parked truck caused accident

How Dangerously Parked Trucks Can Lead to Increased Collisions on The Road

Truck drivers are legally obligated to park their vehicles in such a way that it doesn’t cause an accident. Unfortunately, too many truck operators cut corners in a bid to maximize delivery time. There is often mounting pressure on truck drivers to ship goods in an unrealistic amount of time.

You shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences of a serious accident just because a truck was dangerously parked by a negligent driver and a trucking company. It’s prudent to consult with a truck accident attorney as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights to financial compensation for your injuries and losses.

Liability of a Truck Driver in California

Truck drivers are to be blamed in most cases for an accident. Being a long-haul driver is a both demanding and tiresome job. The most cautious and exceptional drivers may end up making mistakes as a result of fatigue. They may try to speed up delivery times and cut corners to that effect. Such negligent mistakes and acts can threaten the lives of others on the road.

Truck drivers routinely make these common parking mistakes on California highways that cause a crash:

  • Parking in prohibited areas, such as residential neighborhoods
  • Parking without adequate warning lights
  • Parking next to intersection exits
  • Parking on the shoulder with a part of the truck sticking dangerously out on the road

The financial liability for the truck accident may solely lie on the truck operator or the trucking company. An experienced and resourceful truck accident attorney will try to identify whether the driver violated any municipal, state, or federal laws for maximizing your compensation.

 

Parking Violations are Not Strictly Forbidden

Such type of parking may be prohibited by local ordinance and law. However, they are not strictly forbidden by FMCSR (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations).

These are the rules that all truckers and trucking companies across the country are required to follow. However, just because the FMCSR is silent on this type of activity doesn’t mean that it is not dangerous. Further, silence doesn’t preclude the actions from being on a recovery basis.

For instance, parking a rolling billboard near an intersection even if on the shoulder of the highway will be seen as dangerous by any reasonable person. This is more than negligence.

It is pure recklessness on part of the driver and company. The fact becomes egregious when you realize that parking in that spot did not serve any purpose except to be convenient for the driver.

Additionally, the FMCSR doesn’t necessarily prohibit such parking activities. However, it does dictate the actions that drivers should take while stopping on the shoulder or on a roadway. 49 CFR 392.22 of the FMCSA regulations state that commercial vehicle drivers when stopping a truck on the shoulder or traveling portion of a highway are required to:

  • Turn on the vehicular warning signal flashers. These signals should be used till warning devices can be put in place by the driver.
  • Place reflective triangles, flares, and other warning devices around the truck for enhancing other roadway users’ recognition of the parked truck as a potential hazard. This should be completed within 10 minutes of stopping the truck.

Large trucks when parked along the side of a roadway pose unique dangers. This is why several trucking companies have adopted policies specifically forbidding such activity. You may have an additional basis for recovery if the trucking company fails to adopt such policies.

Building a Strong Compensation Claim in Dangerously Parked Trucks

Keep in mind that accident reports seldom provide an accurate account of what truly caused the accident. If you or someone you love was involved in an accident with a dangerously parked truck, you should identify the causes behind the accident. There is a high possibility that the authorities may overlook the incorrectly parked truck as the primary cause of the accident.

The first step to building a strong compensation claim is to discover all dangerous acts that may have caused the accident. This is where you may need to consult with an experienced law firm.

They will have the necessary resources to undertake an investigation into the cause of the accident. In fact, you may not even be completely aware of your legal rights and potential claim.

The law firm will thoroughly investigate the accident and its causes for determining all responsible parties. In the case of a parked truck, they will identify why the truck driver stopped, the location of the parked truck, and whether the driver followed all relevant and applicable safety guidelines.

It can be difficult to pursue justice against large insurance and trucking companies. Well-established law firms will lend the necessary credibility to your case to make insurance adjusters take you seriously.

Speak With an Experienced Truck Accident Attorney in Southern California Today

Injuries sustained from trucking accidents can be significant and painful. Because of the large size of the truck, these accidents can result in devastating consequences. You need an attorney that understands what you are going through and has the skills and resources to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

The proven and considerate attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP have helped many truck accident injury victims obtain substantial recovery. Schedule your free and confidential consultation with us today. Give us a call at 619-897-2144 or write to us online.

 

third-party caused car accident

Determining Liability When a Third Party Causes a Car Accident

Millions of car accidents take place in the United States every year. Most of these crashes or collisions result from some type of negligence of one of the drivers, but sometimes third parties may also be liable for the victim’s injuries.

Pursuing injury claims against third parties is often more difficult and complicated as compared to regular car accidents. This makes it vital to work with a skilled car accident attorney that has an understanding of such cases and the proven ability to make sure all accountable parties are held liable for your damages.

Third Parties Responsible for California Car Accidents

Employers

Employers can be held liable for a car accident if an employee driving the company vehicle results in a crash. Pertaining to this, the employee should have been performing job-related duties.

The liability may extend to include an employee that is using their personal vehicle for work-related duties. The employee should also be acting within the scope and course of their employment.

There have been cases where the company claims the responsible driver is not an employee but an independent contractor. You should know that you still have a claim in such cases. In fact, situations, where employees are intentionally misclassified, are usual in the trucking industry. Lines between employees and independent contractors are often blurred in these situations.

Rideshare Companies

Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing companies frequently maintain that their drivers are not employees, but independent contractors. The majority of states have now agreed with this classification making it difficult for a personal injury victim to obtain compensation. In relation to this, this should not stop you from filing a claim against the rideshare company’s insurance policy.

For instance, Uber maintains $1 million of liability coverage for accidents that occur while transporting a passenger. The coverage is reduced when the driver has their app turned on but is not transporting a passenger in the vehicle. Having an experienced and hard-working car accident attorney by your side can be helpful in obtaining the compensation you deserve.

Car Repair/Maintenance Providers

There are instances in which the accident happens due to faulty brakes or other avoidable circumstances. The vehicle repair shop can be potentially held responsible for the accident if they did a shoddy job and the car malfunctioned. Moreover, you will need strong evidence to prove the car accident was because the repair or maintenance shop did not perform as promised.

Product Manufacturers

The manufacturer, distributor, and other related parties within the supply chain of the faulty product can be held liable for the accident if a manufacturing or design defect results in a car accident. Brake failures, tire blowouts, and computer malfunctions are a few examples of product defects that can cause an accident.

Car Owners

It’s not necessary that the person driving the car is also the car owner. The car owner can be held responsible for the accident if they entrust their vehicle to someone that is intoxicated, inexperienced, or known to be an unfit or dangerous driver.

The car owner may be found to be responsible under the theory of “negligent entrustment.” Liability may extend to parents, grandparents, and guardians that entrust the vehicle to a minor in their care.

Liquor Providers/ Establishments

Californian courts have held that liquor stores, bars, and other similar establishments may be held responsible for a car accident that is caused by someone that became physically incapacitated by drinking at their establishment. You would need to establish that the person was visibly intoxicated when the establishment was still serving them. Eyewitness testimony and video footage are usually helpful in proving such claims.

Claiming Compensation from At-Fault Third Parties in Car Accidents

It’s a unique and complicated process to bring a claim against third parties in car accidents. Injured parties require experienced attorneys for handling their cases. You may need to bring your personal injury claim within two different judicial systems depending on the third party involves. This can be the Industrial Commission and the state or federal court for example.

Different laws and regulations may be invoked for guiding the standards of care and negligence depending on the third parties involved. You may require unique discovery tools in such claims, like FOIA requests. The negligent driver and negligent third party may be held responsible since California follows the doctrine of joint and several liabilities.

Every party that is found to be negligent of the accident is responsible for the full amount of the victim’s damages under this doctrine. It may be complicated to resolve your claim and obtain the maximum settlement. You would need to employ a proper strategy for attaining a favorable resolution if there is more than one negligent party.

The smallest mistake in paperwork can negatively affect or even prevent you from recovering your damages. This is where an experienced and established law firm can be invaluable.

Legal Help is Here from Top-Rated Car Accident Attorneys

The skilled personal injury attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP have the required knowledge, experience, and resources to ensure that all responsible third-party entities are held liable for your damages. This will ensure that you receive the maximum compensation you are entitled to. Schedule your free case review with our lawyers today. Call us at 619-897-2144 or contact us online.

 

dashcam footage in a car accident

How Dashcam Footage Can Impact a Car Accident Case

It’s sometimes difficult to prove the liability of the negligent party following a car accident that resulted in your injuries. A dashcam or dashboard camera can be a helpful tool in establishing fault if you are involved in an auto accident. These tiny cameras can be mounted on the vehicle’s windshield or dashboard to record everything that happens in front of the car. Most dashcams continue recording as long as the vehicle is in gear.

With that said, a few intricate models also record interior video and audio, stream directly on the internet, or show rear-facing video on the rearview mirror. As per Statista, the dashcam industry has grown at a consistent rate over the last 10 years, and millions of dollars worth of dashcam equipment are installed every year in the US.

Potential Impact of Dashcam Footage on Your Case

Advantages of Dashcam Footage

Precisely remembering and describing the events of an accident can often get challenging after a serious accident. You or the other driver may be unable to state the events accurately. In addition, errors may be made in police reports. Dashcams can reveal valuable evidence, such as someone else running a red light, another car cutting you off, or a vehicle refusing to yield the way at an intersection.

Such evidence doesn’t just prove the other driver’s fault but also depicts the precise way in which the law was violated. This makes dashcam footage valuable. A majority of car insurance claims end up as he-said-she-said disputes. You may be able to strengthen your claim with dashcam footage and save a considerable amount of time.

While this footage may not prove to be conclusive evidence of events, it can certainly assist with your claim. Dashcam footage provides strong evidence in car accident claims. The insurance company will take your claim seriously when you submit the footage. They will calculate the potential impact of the recording on a deliberating jury. You may be able to fast-track the compensation process.

Timestamped recording can provide sufficient evidence for the insurer to settle the claim without going to trial. You don’t just fast-track the process, but also save on considerable expenses and legal fees. Taking this into account, you would still need an attorney to negotiate with the insurance company.

Insurers do everything in their power to invalidate such recordings. For instance, the insurance carrier may claim the video is invaluable if the image is grainy because of fog, rain, or other conditions.

You would need to prove to the jury and judge that the recording accurately details the events in question if the case goes to trial. The judge may want to view the footage before the jury sees it. The jury’s determination of liability and damages may get affected favorably if the judge decides to permit the recording.

Risks of Dashcam Footage

It’s critical to understand that dashcam does not take sides. The dashcam footage will display your actions too, which can have a negative impact if you contributed to the accident in some manner. The car insurance company may get a court order for obtaining the recording.

For instance, the dashcam footage may show that you switched lanes multiple times before the other car sideswiped you. An expert may project that the wreck occurred when you were speeding. Dashcam audio may record your drowsiness or tiredness before the accident. Or it may prove that you were listening to loud music and were somehow distracted when the accident took place.

Car insurance companies are always on the lookout for their best interests. They will use the footage against you in whatever way possible. Dashcam footage can make serious dents in your claim if it is deemed that you were at fault for the accident too.

Incidents Captured by Dashcams

No one should be able to dispute the recording if the dashcam clearly captures the events that occurred before, during, and after the accident clearly and with a timestamp. For instance, the dashcam may be able to record the license plate, color, make, and model of the vehicle that hit you. This kind of information is highly valuable in hit-and-run accidents.

A dashcam can record the following information in addition:

  • That your car was keeping straight in the same lane
  • That you were not speeding
  • That you were hit by another car on the right or left
  • That the car traveling ahead of you swerved into your lane

Dashcam recording can show other useful events that may happen following a collision. These are a few things that can help strengthen your claim:

  • The other driver’s hostility
  • The other driver’s apology
  • The other driver’s visibly alcohol or drug impaired behavior

Having a favorable dashcam recording doesn’t automatically help your claim. Insurance companies may still try to short-sell. You should consider speaking with an experienced car accident attorney to maximize your compensation.

Talk to a California Auto Accident Attorney Today

You may be owed compensation if someone else causes the car accident. The legal team at Garmo & Garmo, LLP has helped many victims like you. Our first try is to negotiate with the insurance company so that you get the compensation you deserve without having to go to trial. Schedule your free case review with our lawyers today. Call us at 619-897-2144 or contact us online.

 

beach injury attorneys

Personal Injury Risks at The Beach This Summer

Southern California beaches are alive with activity, fun, and frolic throughout the summer – unless there’s a virus scare. The state coastline has always been popular for weeklong vacations or daytime “getaways” for travelers from far and wide. Each summer, Southern California beach towns are inundated with local visitors as well as tourists from other states. But vacationers must be cautious of the unforeseen dangers on the picturesque Pacific coastline.

Common Kinds of Beach Accidents

Accidents on the beach can happen in various situations. At times, such accidents can cause devastating injuries and damages which warrant immediate medical care and treatment. Common accidents that occur on South California beach include the following:

  • Surfing accidents
  • Drowning or near-drowning accidents
  • Accidents due to water sports, including traumatic brain injuries
  • Jet ski accidents
  • Lacerations and cuts from rocks or sharp objects in the water, on ocean jetties, or on the shoreline

If you or someone you love has suffered any such injuries while on a Southern California beach, you should reach out to emergency personnel immediately, including the lifeguard on duty, and request emergency services. When you reach the hospital, be ready to provide the on-duty medical practitioner or nurse with a description of how the incident occurred, as well as details of all your injuries and symptoms.

Drowning Danger at the Beach

Drowning accidents can occur due to negligence through the inability to have appropriate, constant, and close supervision. In the US, drowning ranks as the fifth leading reason for accident injury and death and is even more common for kids 15 years and under.

For every one fatality, four require hospitalization for near-drowning injuries. These can be as serious as permanent brain damage, mental incapacitation, or nerve damage, medical expenses for injuries of that nature can rapidly add up and be an unanticipated burden on the already anxious family.

Surfing Accidents on the Beach

Drowning

While surfing, there is a very real risk of drowning. Getting trapped on the reef, hold-downs, being separated from your board and being unable to swim in, and unconsciousness through an accident are all possible reasons for drowning while surfing. Therefore, it’s vital to always go surfing with a friend who will help you out if a problem manifests itself.

Waves

Waves may appear beautiful from the beach, but they can be remarkably powerful. Some are powerful enough to fracture bones (certainly if you smash into a rock or coral). A common cause of surfing injury is wipeouts on waves.

Locals

At times, the scariest thing about a surf break is the regular surfers. Sometimes local surfers can be unfriendly and even aggressive in some cases. You can reduce the possibility of an incident with a group of unruly locals by behaving yourself, following surf etiquette at all times, and not making a general nuisance of yourself. You have only yourself to blame if you are not behaving.

Surfboards

Surfboards can be dangerous sporting gear as they are pointed at one end, with one or more switchblade-like fins that can tear into anything that gets in their path. It is truly the stuff nightmares are made of. Remain in control of your board while surfing and try to stay out of harm’s way when you wipe out.

Risk of Injuries on the Beach

The beach is swarming with many dangers that could harm you or someone you love. The types of injuries sustained on beaches include:

Riptides, Undertow, and Rip Currents

Never swim in ocean water in the absence of a lifeguard, regardless of how confident you are in your swimming abilities. Unfortunately, swimming can be hazardous, especially at night, due to riptides, rip currents, and undertow.

Spinal Cord Injuries

A surf zone or shore break occurs when waves break directly on the shoreline. Also, they happen to be very powerful. If you dive into a shore break, you are putting yourself at risk for blunt trauma injuries, including spinal injuries. According to a study, most swimming injuries happen in less than two feet of water.

Cuts

You may cut yourself when stepping over any shell fragments, exposed shells, sharp rocks, sea glass, driftwood, or litter (cans, glass, and so on). If you cut yourself on any debris, you should avoid swimming as salt water can enter the wound and apply first aid.

Slip and Fall Injuries

Wet sand may be challenging to navigate, causing some tragic slip and fall injuries.

Assault Injuries

You may suffer an attack by another beach attendee or beach security. Both of these parties can be held responsible for any injuries that they cause you.

Hire a Southern California Beach Accident Attorney Today

Beach accident cases can be challenging to prove as they typically depend on witness testimony. Witnesses can be difficult to track down as people are not always paying attention to the immediate surrounding while enjoying the beach.

If you or a loved one has endured injuries due to a beach accident, time may be a vital factor in your case. Thus, you should not delay in seeking legal counsel. The attorneys at Garmo & Garmo may be able to help you gather the required evidence to prove fault and damages in your case. For a no-obligation case review with a seasoned beach accident attorney, call us today at (619) 441-2500.

 

dental injuries in San Diego

Common Dental Injuries That Result from Auto Accidents

Dental injuries and motor vehicle accidents are rarely thought of together. However, there is always a risk of sustaining serious damage to your teeth, gum tissue, tongue, or other parts of the mouth in a car crash. Many car accident victims also suffer trauma to the head and face, which may include oral damage as well.

Dental injuries may not only cause severe pain and suffering, but they may also result in disfigurement and serious aesthetic challenges. While the law is on your side, you should know how to move ahead with a claim. This post will shed light on common dental injuries that may be caused by California car accidents.

Fractured Teeth Can Impact Your Dental Health

Fractured or cracked teeth can quickly escalate into a tooth abscess. It is possible to suffer root damage from an innocuous hairline fracture too. Fluctuating pain levels, aversion to sugar or temperature, and swelling may be indicative of a broken tooth.

The fracture may only scar the outer portion of the tooth, depending on the severity. It may impact the nerves lying within the roots. Cracked teeth, when left untreated, can infect the sensitive inner pulp. There may be no other option left but to extract the tooth in this case.

Tooth Loss because of Luxation

Tooth luxation occurs when the tissues and ligaments holding the tooth in place get stretched or torn, causing the tooth to get displaced. It may result in the tooth loosening to the point where you can wiggle it or get pushed up into the gum line. Tooth luxation generally occurs when the driver’s head hits a hard object, such as the steering wheel.

Car accident victims should quickly seek dental treatment for any displaced teeth before the tooth detaches and becomes an avulsed tooth. Everyday wear and tear can cause this. You should know that you have the responsibility to take all steps towards mitigating the damages. Otherwise, you may unknowingly reduce the compensation received in a car accident settlement.

Risk of Oral Infection after an Auto Accident

An avulsed tooth is when a tooth gets detached from its socket or knocked out. This is a rare dental injury and is usually associated with head trauma. A capable dentist may be able to salvage the tooth. Moreover, time is of the essence. 120 million Americans, as per the American College of Prosthodontists, are estimated to be missing at least one tooth.

You can reduce the risk of an avulsed tooth by going to a dentist and having the tooth reimplanted. The hole left behind by an avulsed tooth can leave you vulnerable to infection.

Dental Injuries Need Urgent Care

Dental injuries are often overlooked by victims in the initial aftermath of an accident. In fact, many victims are overwhelmed by the severity of other injuries even after discovering the oral damage. This causes them to postpone the dental treatment during the recovery period.

Delaying care may leave your broken tooth exposed to pathogens and cause decay. The deterioration may spread to other healthy teeth and the gums. Delaying treatment is a bad idea since it can affect the credibility of your car accident claim. Failure to seek immediate treatment makes the injuries appear less severe to insurance companies. It may negatively impact the value of your claim.

You should immediately have your teeth checked for chips and breaks if you experienced whiplash or head trauma. Whiplash is a violent motion that can leave your teeth damaged and cause pain in the back and neck.

Compensatory Damages for Cosmetic Dental Issues

Teeth may become scuffed or chipped after coming in contact with inflexible or abrasive surfaces. Scratched and chipped teeth can affect your confidence. It can also compromise your comfort in a social setting and performance at work. These invisible costs may not have a tangible receipt. Moreover, they are legitimate losses warranting compensation.

You may be able to qualify these losses as special damages in a personal injury. This is especially true if you had to seek veneers or caps for disguising the damage done to the teeth. Pain and suffering is a hidden cost that may arise from seeking dental treatment.

For many people, a trip to the dentist is nothing less than visiting the house of horrors. It is stressful and traumatic. You may be able to claim damages for the distress you feel like part of the pain and suffering component. Speak with an accomplished car accident attorney to learn more.

Impact of Dental Injuries on Daily Life

Your teeth are necessary for smiling confidently, speaking articulately, and chewing food. Dental injury may disrupt several facets of your life. You should seek a solid and reliable car accident attorney and familiarize yourself with the steps required in a personal injury claim if you damaged your teeth. The compensation should include components beyond the potential medical implications and pain.

Our Capable and Resourceful Dental Injury Lawyers are Here to Help

The personal injury attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP can help if you or a loved one suffered dental injuries as a result of a car accident caused by a negligent or careless driver. To request your free, no-obligation consultation, call us at 619-441-2500 or complete this online form.

 

accidents from not using turn signal

Accidents Caused by Not Using Turn Signals

When a driver fails to use the turn signals, it increases the risk of a car accident. Turn signals let the other road users know where the vehicle in front of them is going. Spontaneous lane change or a sudden turn without signaling does not give time to the other motorists to adjust their vehicles, which can result in a car accident. California law allows victims of car accidents to file a personal injury claim if their injuries were the result of a negligent driver not using turn signals.

Turn Signals are Important

Turn signals matter because they let the other driver know in which direction the automobile ahead of them is going. The only way to indicate a lane switch or a potential turn is by using these indicators. These signals are helpful for pedestrians as well. They let pedestrians anticipate the movement of a particular car in a parking lot, at intersections, and in other places. This can prevent pedestrians from walking straight into a moving vehicle.

California Statutes Regarding Turn Signal

There are a number of situations in which the California Vehicle Code mandates using turn signals. California Vehicle Code 22107 mandates all drivers to give an appropriate signal in case another vehicle can be affected by their turn. It also prohibits drivers from turning from a direct course until it is made in a reasonably safe manner.

CVC 22108 states that a driver needs to signal their intention to turn left or right by having the turn signal on continuously for the last 100 feet of travel. CVC 22110 comes into effect if the car is not equipped with turn signals. In such a scenario, the signal needs to be made through a signal lamp or by giving a hand.

Failure to abide by these rules can result in negligence per se. The plaintiff will need to prove elements of damage and causation when this applies. Medical bills, lost income, costs of future treatment, pain and suffering, loss of earning capacity, and property damage are a few common forms of compensation.

Filing a Car Accident Claim in California

You may be entitled to compensation if you suffered serious injuries in a car accident that was caused because of a driver not using turn signals. Hiring an experienced car accident attorney can help you increase the likelihood of a successful claim. Your attorney will be able to walk you through the available legal options.

They will also ensure that you are within the statute of limitations. You may lose your right to file a claim if you miss the statute of limitations deadline. Most insurance companies tend to take accident claims seriously only when backed by an attorney. This is because they know that responsible attorneys will never allow their clients to settle for a lowball offer. Instead, the car accident lawyer will be prepared to go to trial.

Proving Liability in a Car Accident Claim for Not Using Turn Signals

You and your attorney will need to prove the negligence of the at-fault party before you can receive compensation for your losses and damages. The burden to prove the other driver’s negligence by not turning on the turn signal falls on the victim. You would also need to prove that the accident caused the damages and injuries suffered by you.

The following elements of personal injury need to be established for a successful case:

  • The driver owed a duty of care to the victim
  • The duty of care was breached
  • The plaintiff suffered physical, emotional, or financial injury
  • The plaintiff’s losses and damages were the result of the breach of duty of care

While you don’t need to prove these elements at the time of filing a claim with the insurance company, it is recommended that you build a strong claim to have a better negotiating position.

Necessary Evidence to Prove Your Claim

Every driver owes another driver a duty of care on the road. This means that the motorist has to employ best driving practices for keeping the others safe on the road. Any breach of this duty of care leaves the at-fault party liable for damages.

These are a few ways negligence can be proved in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Video footage of the negligent action
  • Car accident reconstruction
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Record of arrest or ticket connected to the accident
  • Medical records linking the accident to injuries suffered

It can be difficult to gather the necessary evidence on your own, especially if you are still recovering from your injuries. Having an attorney can help gather evidence. Many law firms have expert investigators on their panel that can collect enough relevant evidence on your behalf.

Speak to a Car Accident Attorney in California Today

Car accidents can leave a victim overwhelmed and confused. Mounting medical bills and loss of earning capabilities don’t help in easing the pressure. The car accident lawyers at Garmo & Garmo, LLP has a deep understanding of the personal injury law in California, and we can build a strong case for damages.

We will leave no stone unturned in establishing evidence and pursuing the highest possible compensation you are entitled to from the liable parties and their insurers. To schedule your free consultation, call us at 619-441-2500 or fill out this online contact form.

knee injury

Common Knee Injuries Caused by Accidents

Knee injuries are a common occurrence in accidents. These injuries may range from minor scrapes and bruises to knee fractures, dislocations, and ligament tears that may require extensive medical attention and rehabilitation.

The injured victim’s physical condition and age along with the severity of the knee injuries will determine how long it takes to recover from the accident and how successfully the knee function is restored. Certain injuries heal well over a period of time, while others result in chronic pain and impact the victim’s quality of life forever.

Accidents Commonly Result in Patellar Fractures

The kneecap or patella serves as the protective shield for the knee. It gives the knee its structure and the ability to move freely and bend. The knee joint may be exposed to damage because of a break in the kneecap bone. Car accidents cause intense trauma that can cause this break, affecting the kneecap.

These are the four types of patellar fractures:

  • Displaced fractures occur when the bone breaks and is moved from its position. This type of fracture requires surgery to realign the bone with the rest of the knee.
  • Stable fracture: Bone is knocked out of position by 1 – 2 mm
  • Comminuted fracture: Patella gets shattered in 3 or more pieces that remain floating within the knee
  • Open fracture: Pieces of the broken bone pierces the skin or penetrate downwards into the bone

Torn Ligaments Following a Car Crash

This type of injury is common after the knee hits the dashboard following a car crash. Elastic tissues or ligaments hold the knee together. The ligaments are responsible for connecting the femur to the fibula and tibia. It stabilizes the knee joint to protect it from twisting. These ligaments may tear following car accident trauma affecting your mobility.

Following ligaments can suffer damage in a car accident:

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)
  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL)
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL)

PCL injuries are among the most common types of knee injuries following a car crash. This type of injury is also called the dashboard knee injury. It is mainly caused when the knee hits the dashboard in a rear-end collision or a head-on crash. The tibia is connected to the femur through the PCL. This type of injury can make it difficult for you to move around. You may experience partial difficulty because of this as well.

Meniscus Tear After a Car Accident

A meniscus tear can occur when the knee joint unnaturally hyperextends or twists. You may experience swelling, pain, stiffness, and difficulty with extending the knee because of a torn meniscus. You can heal a minor injury by icing the knee. The torn meniscus will require surgery if the knee locks and therapy are not enough.

Tibial Plateau Fracture Due to a Crushing Car Accident

The tibial plateau fracture refers to a break at the top of the shinbone, which can damage the tendons, cartilage, and ligaments. It may involve the knee joint’s cartilage surface making it harder for the knee to absorb the shock of walking around. This type of fracture can occur as a result of compaction between the knee and a hard surface.

Proving Liability in an Accident Knee Injury Claim

You need to prove the negligence of the at-fault party for knee injury liability claim to succeed. You can learn more about how to identify all responsible parties and prove their negligence by consulting with a skilled attorney.

Consult with a Seasoned Car Accident Attorney in California Today

You should speak with the qualified personal injury attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP if you suspect that your knee injury occurred because of someone else’s negligent actions. We may be able to help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses. Schedule a consultation with our dedicated personal injury lawyers today. Call us at 619-441-2500 or contact us online.

wrong-way accidents in La Mesa

Wrong-Way Accidents Increasing Across The US

Headlights of another vehicle coming directly at you from the opposite side when you are driving on a one-way road can be a nerve-wracking experience. Even highly experienced drivers may find themselves to be helpless in this situation and may fail to prevent a wrong-way car accident.

According to an AAA research study, wrong-way accidents can result in devastating injuries in most cases. The at-fault driver in these accidents may be distracted, may have lost direction, or may be driving while intoxicated. There has been a marked increase in the number of wrong-way crashes in recent years across the country and this post will attempt to explain the reasons behind that.

Wrong-Way Accident Statistics

The wrong-way driving crash is described by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as one in which a car traveling in the opposing direction of legal traffic flow on a high-speed access ramp or divided highway hits another car traveling in the right direction on the same highway.

In 2018, these crashes resulted in 428 traffic fatalities. This is up from 415 wrong-way accidents in 2017. These numbers are a part of the analysis released earlier in 2020 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. According to a recent study, wrong-way accidents were found to have increased by 27 times in the past few decades. They have become one of the most dangerous types of car accidents.

In another study conducted by the California Department of Transportation, the fatality rate was found to be 12 times higher in wrong-way traffic accidents. The fatality rate was found to be 22% in wrong-way collisions as compared to 0.3% in other types of car accidents as found by a Michigan study.

Causes of Wrong-Way Accidents

Data from a variety of traffic safety sources was looked at by researchers for analyzing the factors that contributed the most to wrong-way car collisions. Four factors stood out the most:

  1. Alcohol impairment

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that alcohol impairment has been, by far, the single major factor in causing wrong-way driving accidents. The statistics have not changed much since 2012 when NTSB issued the special investigation report regarding wrong-way collisions. A AAA study found that 6 out of every 10 or 60.1% of wrong-way drivers that are involved in a vehicular accident had a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) higher than 0.08%.

  1. Elderly confusion

Drivers above the age of 70 are at a higher risk of being involved in wrong-way driving accidents as compared to their younger counterparts. Typically, older drivers drive fewer miles and spend less time on the road as compared to younger people. Correlating with this, seniors do suffer from cognitive, memory, and vision impairments. This can cause accidents as highlighted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

  1. Driving alone

This may not be a direct cause for getting involved in a wrong-way driving accident, but AAA reports that 87% of wrong-way drivers did not have any other passengers in the vehicle. This has led to the hypothesis that the presence of a passenger in the vehicle to alert the driver of their mistake can drastically reduce the number of such accidents.

According to the study, passengers play an important role in alerting drivers when they wrongly enter a one-way road. This allows the driver to take corrective action before the error can result in a crash.

  1. Issues with road design

Confusion can be heightened when such one-way streets or exit ramps are not properly marked using signs. Poor lighting, faded signs, and foliage-covered signs because of poor maintenance are a few other factors that can lead to confusion. The drivers may think they are traveling in the right direction until they see other vehicles coming toward them.

  1. Harsh weather conditions

Roadway visibility is affected by certain weather conditions that can cause a head-on collision. Dense or heavy fog and rainfall among other forms of inclement weather can significantly reduce roadway visibility. Drivers that don’t slow down because of decreased visibility increase the risk of causing or being involved in an accident.

  1. Distracted driving

Driver distraction is by far the most frequently occurring cause of a head-on collision. It is easy for drivers today to become distracted due to mobile usage, car entertainment panel, eating, and other things. Even if you were paying attention to the road, the other driver may be distracted by something in the back seat among other things and cause the accident.

Ways to Prevent Wrong-Way Collisions

The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) and UC Davis collaborated on a 3-year program in 2020 to pilot several prevention measures. Some of these measures have proved to be highly successful in preventing wrong-way driving accidents. These include:

  • Installing 2-way reflective pavement markers blinking red at wrong-way drivers and yellow or white at drivers driving in the right direction
  • Signs stating ‘Wrong Way’ at alternate spacings
  • LED signs stating ‘Do Not Enter’
  • Active monitoring systems that send an alert to the California Highway Patrol when a driver enters the ramp or highway the wrong way

Caltrans noted that there was a 44% reduction in wrong-way accidents in San Diego after the installation of the reflective pavement markers. These measures are continually being implemented in California and other states, such as North Dakota.

Speak with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Today

Wrong-way accidents are primarily head-on collisions and can result in severe injuries or even the death of the victims. The skilled wrong-way car accident attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP can help you seek maximum compensation to pay for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages, among other things. To request a free consultation with one of our attorneys, call us at 619-441-2500 or complete this online form.

texting while driving

Proving The Other Driver Was Texting in An Auto Accident

Distracted driving, which primarily includes texting while driving is one of the more common causes of auto accidents in California and other parts of the country. Texting and driving can lead to life-threatening injuries or even the death of the victims in the event of an accident.

The driver that hit you because they couldn’t wait to pull over and reply to a text should be brought to justice. You should be prepared to hire a capable and resourceful personal injury attorney in California for getting the distracted driver to compensate you for their recklessness and negligence.

California’s Ban on Texting and Driving

In California, it is illegal to text or simply even hold a cell phone in hand while driving. This law has been in place since 2017. California District 20 Assemblyman Bill Quirk issued a press release that linked 12 fatal car accidents in a single year with handheld cell phone use while driving. More than 13,000 citations were issued by the California Highway Patrol in the same year for writing, reading, and sending texts while driving.

Another 78,000 citations were issued for operating a vehicle while using a cellphone. Drivers are not allowed to do anything more than perform single swipes and taps on a smartphone under state laws. The cell phone should be mounted on the dashboard or windshield of the vehicle.

How to Hold the Negligent Driver Liable for Distracted Driving or Texting While Driving

Your lawyer will have to show that the motorist in question was driving and texting when the accident occurred for you to be awarded compensation in a distracted driving personal injury case. Here are a few methods employed by reliable car accident attorneys to prove that their client was a victim of negligence occurring because of texting while driving:

  1. Acquiring cellphone records

It is against the law to use a cellphone while operating a vehicle in California. Your attorney will subpoena the defendant’s cellphone records to effectively support your claim. The attorney will need a court order to obtain the records since the majority of cellphone companies refuse to release these sensitive records.

  1. Police report

You should not delay calling the law enforcement officials to the accident scene. The police officer will review the accident scene and try to determine the reason for the crash. You should tell the officer if you noticed the other driver was on their cellphone. The police officer is likely to mention texting while driving in their police report if they have reason to believe that it was a factor in the car crash.

  1. Eyewitness statements

Another important component in proving negligence is eyewitness statements. You should collect the name and contact information of other witnesses to the accident. There is a high likelihood that someone standing nearby, or another driver was privy to the accident and saw the at-fault driver glance down at their phone.

  1. Camera footage

Your attorney can determine whether there were any cameras in the area during the accident. They may obtain the footage to prove your claim.

  1. Innovative tech

Experienced attorneys may use innovative evidence, such as from the Textalyzer to prove the other driver was responsible for the accident. Textalyzer is a new roadside test used by the police to learn whether a driver was involved in texting while driving or not.

The device is similar to a breathalyzer that is used for determining whether a driver was driving intoxicated. It allows the officers to determine whether the at-fault driver sent an email, text, or performed any other activity on their phone.

There are penalties to refuse to submit to a textalyzer test. It can attract a license suspension among other similar penalties. It can be challenging to obtain this type of evidence. However, a capable personal injury attorney will be able to get the evidence on your behalf.

Get the Maximum Compensation You Deserve

It can be difficult for you to gather necessary evidence supporting your claim while you are still recovering from your injuries. Unfortunately, delaying this step may result in the evidence getting misplaced, forgotten, or lost. It may also cause the statute of limitations deadline to run out.

This is why you should not delay in contacting a skilled car accident attorney. There are several paths that can be taken for getting the compensation you deserve. You can file a claim with the insurance company after the accident. Your attorney will build the claim for you by gathering the necessary evidence that shows the other driver was texting.

Insurance companies use various tactics to get away with denying the claim or paying less than what victims rightfully deserve. A strong claim may compel the insurance company to compensate for your losses. If not, you should be prepared to bring the distracted driver to court. This will require the expertise of a knowledgeable attorney since they would need to present a strong case before the judge and jury.

Discuss Your Distracted Driving Injury Case with a Qualified Personal Injury Attorney

You can make distracted drivers accountable for their actions when they are responsible for your injuries and losses. Reach out to the reputable and proven car accident attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP to make the at-fault driver pay for their serious negligence. Get in touch with us today by calling at 619-441-2500 or simply fill out this online contact form.

 

defective tires cause accidents

How Defective Tires Can Cause Auto Accidents

Defective tires are one of the major reasons for automobile accidents. Most drivers overlook the importance of periodically checking car tires. This essential component of a car can have a major impact on overall driving safety. Faulty tires can also result in accidents causing severe or fatal injuries.

A car accident injury attorney can help if a driver caused a car accident resulting in injuries and losses to others because they were negligent in checking the tires. Similarly, tire manufacturers, car companies, and car dealers may also be held liable if the accident and injury occurred due to a manufacturing defect in the tires. This article explores a few common types of tire defects which can cause a car accident.

Common Tire Defects in California

Tire defects can happen for a wide array of reasons. In relation to this, the more common causes are because of defects in the manufacturing or designing process. Overworked tire manufacturers may produce defective and deadly products in their efforts to meet a certain amount of per day tire manufacturing quota.

In some cases, tires that don’t show any physical signs of defect can prove to be incredibly dangerous depending on their condition and age. These are a few common tire defects:

  • Belt separation
  • Tread separation
  • Improper repair of tire puncture
  • Tires manufactured without prevention design features
  • Retread failure
  • Unsuitable tires as per the vehicle type
  • Design and manufacturing defects
  • Tires damaged during the mounting process
  • Aged and old tires
  • Side all blowouts
  • Zipper failures
  • Bead defects
  • Trapped internal air pockets within the tires
  • Foreign materials within the tire

Tire Defects Can Cause Catastrophic Accidents

Different types of accidents can occur when motorists drive with defective tires unknowingly. As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a minimum of 11,000 tire-related accidents take place each year.

Defective tires can easily explode while being inflated leading to serious injuries. Blowouts, tire explosions, and tread or belt separations can result in serious vehicular accidents.

These are a few common types of car accidents that can result from defective tires:

  1. Loss of control

The defective tire may explode or blow out unexpectedly causing drivers to lose control of their cars. The car may skid, swerve, spin, or rollover. Loss of control accidents can be single-vehicle crashes or involve multiple cars.

  1. Rollovers

Rollover accidents take place when a vehicle rolls onto its roof or side. As per the NHTSA, rollover accidents have the highest fatality rate as compared to any other type of vehicle crash. Tire defects and failures can result in dangerous rollover accidents, which may cause fatal or devastating injuries.

  1. Run off the road

Defective tires can easily cause a vehicle to entirely run off the road. It may make the vehicle jump into the opposite lane. The driver may get involved in a head-on collision as a result. Head-on collisions are rare, but deadly because of the high speeds involved.

Defective Tire Treads Can Cause Serious Injuries

Accidents as a result of defective tires can cause serious injuries. In some cases, the accident may prove to be fatal as well. These are a few common tire defect accident injuries:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Closed head injuries (CHI)
  • Chest injuries
  • Neck and whiplash injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Broken bones
  • Damage to the back and spinal cord
  • Bruises
  • Amputations
  • Internal bleeding
  • Paralysis
  • Wrongful death

Signs of Defective Tires

NHTSA conducted a study of 11,500 vehicles in 2014 and observed that an estimated 50% of cars were being used with at least one worn-out tread. Also, 1 in every 10 vehicles had at least 1 bald tire. This only goes to show that majority of vehicle owners and drivers are not serious about keeping up with tire maintenance. They don’t check their tires regularly either for ensuring whether they are in good shape or properly functioning.

Performing the penny test is an easy way of checking the tires’ tread. In this test, a penny is placed in the tire tread. You probably need to replace the tire if you can see the penny mostly or the top of Lincoln’s head. Your tire is likely in good shape if the penny goes in most of the way and you cannot see Lincoln’s head.

In addition, most tire warranties are meant to last for a certain amount of time or cover a specified number of miles. For instance, the tire may have a warranty covering them for the first 50,000 miles. You should take advantage of the warranty if you believe the tires are defective and still in warranty. You may be able to get the tires replaced if required.

Other signs to look out for include:

  • Bulges or blisters indicating a weak spot (immediate replacement)
  • Uneven tread wear
  • Cuts or cracks in the sidewall
  • Worn out tread
  • Vibration while driving

Speak with a Dedicated Car Accident Attorney in California Today

The experienced attorneys at Garmo & Garmo, LLP are here to help you if you or a loved one was injured in a vehicle accident. Our capable lawyers will fight aggressively to get you the compensation you deserve. You can schedule an appointment today by calling at 619-441-2500 or using our online contact form.