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Month: December 2015

People On Foot Getting Run Over While Walking on California Sidewalks

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In California, just like the Vegas Strip, sidewalk accident claims occur more frequently than we like to see since they often cause serious bodily harm. Areas in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino, San Francisco, San Diego and other urban centers. The aftermath of a motor vehicle versus pedestrian crash on sidewalks can lead to serious injuries or death even when the crash was at a low rate of speed.


What the Auto Speed and Impact Studies Show About Injuries to Walkers and Joggers

Studies on accident impact involving pedestrians or runners show that approximately 75 percent of these crashes happen when the vehicle is traveling 25 miles per hour or slower. The impact between the vehicle and person walking or running can result in various injuries.


Vehicle—Pedestrian Collision Injuries

  • Injuries to the Head

There is some harm that can occur when a person is walking is struck by a vehicle. And the leading cause of death in this type of accident is traumatic head injuries. Skull fractures, intracranial swelling, concussions, hematomas, hemorrhages and scalp lacerations are common due to the head hitting either the front, hood or windshield of the vehicle or a hard surface such as concrete of the sidewalk, other objects or ground.

  • Legs Injuries

Leg injuries are also common for people walking or running when struck by a vehicle and are a disabling injury. Harm to the legs can include the pelvis, hip, femur, tibia and fibula fractures. There can also be soft tissue injuries such as lacerations and abrasions, along with torn knee ligaments.

The Differences in the Injury Causing Vehicles

If the crash involves an SUV or truck, the torso is more likely to suffer physical damage. This damage is often to the ribcage, liver, and lungs that can be a moderate or severe injury.

  • Vehicle—Pedestrian Impacts

When a vehicle and pedestrian crash, the driver usually attempts to brake before the initial impact. When the body is struck by the car, it accelerates to the speed of the vehicle, and even though the driver has slowed the speed, the body does not reduce the speed which it was hit resulting in a forward projection.

When the driver does not attempt to use the brakes or evasive maneuvers to avoid the collision a roof vault interaction can occur, which causes the person walking or running to be sent over the hood of the vehicle and onto the ground behind the car. This is dependent on the vehicle front bumper is lower than the person’s center of gravity. The social center of gravity is located in the area of the belly button.

Another type of vehicle and pedestrian contact can cause the person walking or running to be dragged by the vehicle. This happens in cases where the front bumper of the vehicle is higher than the pedestrian’s center of gravity. The impact causes the person to be knocked down with the vehicle either partially or completely passing over the person.

The person can also be dragged before they are pushed to the ground by the force of the impact. And that is something that can occur at slower speeds. If the person is located more to the side of a vehicle, then the contact may result in a fender vault, which can cause the person to be thrown behind or to the side of the car.


California Statues for Vehicle Sidewalk Pedestrian Crashes

In California, pedestrians have California Vehicle Codes that protect and drivers are required to follow all traffic laws including driving on a sidewalk. The two that involve pedestrians include California Vehicle Code 21663 and California Vehicle Code 21950 and 21952. These statues include the fact that in California drivers must yield to pedestrians.


Legal Counsel in Vehicle Versus Pedestrian Sidewalk Crashes

Drivers are charged with a duty to drive safely.  And when an auto swerves or veers onto a sidewalk, it can cause harm to people walking or running. So they are violating the California Vehicle Codes. Hence, the can be charged with negligent or reckless driving along with other charges. After all, they caused the bodily harm. And they have caused manslaughter or murder in cases where pedestrians are killed.

The Southern California law offices of Ehline Law Firm have both the experience and the resources to protect the rights of victims involved in pedestrian sidewalk vehicle collisions in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, Inland Empire and other areas. Contact us to discuss your case to learn your legal rights as a victim or the family of a loved one’s wrongful death toll-free at 888-400-9721 for a free consultation.

Police Cruisers Chasing Perps Means Death to Bystanders

High speed police chase
Police Cruiser

Annually in the United States tens of thousands of people are chased by police after they have violated the law. And in some cases, it may be a minor infraction or misdemeanor offense. The problem with high-speed police chases is that innocent people are put at risk. And the risk in many cases is fatal. Many car accident lawyers end up suing the police, which is not an easy effort.


FBI Statistics – One Killed Per Day In Police Chases?

According to an FBI statistical report, high-speed police chases kill one person a day nationwide and innocent bystanders represent 42 percent of the fatalities. In other words, almost half of those people killed were likely minding their own business. Hence, they were in no way connected to the automobile chase. According to other federal records, police are not immune to being fatally injured in high-speed chases. Also, this type of pursuit ends up in car crashes with at least 139 police officers killed so far.

police are not immune to being fatally injured in high speed chases…

Authorities maintain that high-speed pursuits are necessary when uncooperative drivers or suspects flee the cops. The belief is that by not pursuing them it would send criminals a message that if they take off they won’t be chased. So this gives them no reason to fear the police when they are operating a vehicle.

In effect, many police feel that while casualties are unfortunate, especially when it is an innocent bystander or police officer. Also, it is an unavoidable consequence of the job. Their attitude is society should do a better job instilling patriotism, love of country and respect for the Constitution into the citizenry. That way, we would likely return to the low crime rates of the 50’s.

There are opponents of this belief in law enforcement that admit high-speed chases are dangerous. And they promote avoiding chases and using alternative means to enforce the law. This is the opposite end of the spectrum, that gives criminals a pass in order to save lives in the here and now. Unfortunately, this leaves perps free to continue harming another person somewhere else.  And also, it breeds a certain disrespect and contempt for the law by both the protected and the criminals.

  • The DOJ Thinks that High-Speed Chases are The Most Dangerous of All Police Activities

The Justice Department has labeled high speed chases “the most dangerous of all ordinary police activities.” (Source.) They have advised in order to reduce these pursuits that all police departments set strict guidelines. These are to determine when law enforcement officers should or should not chase a driver fleeing. Even with the Justice Departments warnings about police chases, it is still up to the police departments. And most leave it to the officer’s discretion whether they should pursue a fleeing driver or not.

There is proof with police records that the officers do not always make the right choice. In California, a review of the high-speed chase police department records show that approximately 89% or more of these pursuits were for minor violations. So vehicle code issues such as expired registration, speeding, and reckless driving.

In defense of law enforcement agencies and officers, it is not solely their fault these pursuits occur. But it is the driver who has violated the law that in fleeing initiates the chase. It is police officers job to enforce the law. So they do what they have been trained to do. Their job is to stop crime and criminal violations of the law. In this respect, it is understandable why police officers often choose to pursue a driver who has violated the law.


Short of Deporting Illegal Criminals and Slowing Immigration, What Else Can Be Done to Reduce Pursuits?

With sanctuary cities on the rise, and the current administration hell bent on massively importing people from middle eastern countries who in large part want to kill us for “disrespecting” their religion, we have a serious problem on our hands. Now we have violent criminals using our own system against us. Our own government actually has created this problem for political purposes. Typically Democrats try to get campaign donations or votes from so-called “minority communities.” Whatever the reasons, it is you and I, the peaceable citizen being faced with the outcomes, murder, death, and high-speed chases.

Short of deporting these bad elements which are not supposed to be here anyways, and halting immigration from terrorist countries, we need to find a way to deal with this today, right now. So what then is the answer?

  • What Can Technology Offer to Prevent Deaths and Injuries From High-Speed Police Pursuits?

Police officers and high-speed chases are one place technology has left behind for longer than a decade. And it has been closer to a decade and a half since the last advances were made in this area of law enforcement. There are devices that can be used like a GPS tracker tag, which the police could shoot as it is an adhesive GPS tracker.

Attaching this tracker to a fleeing vehicle there would be no reason for a pursuit since the car could be tracked. This has been commercially available since 2010. And out of about 18,000 police departments, only approximately 20 use the tracker. Other law enforcement officials have declined its use since the police officers would need to be within 30 feet of the fleeing vehicle to be able to deploy the GPS adhesive tracker. The other factor in the decision is the cost, which is five thousand.

Other law enforcement officials have declined its use since the police officers would need to be within 30 feet of the fleeing vehicle to be able to deploy the GPS adhesive tracker. The other factor in the decision is the cost, which is five thousand.

One in the development states for over a decade is designed to shut off vehicle engines using a microwave transmission. But this isn’t available commercially. But it is still in development and research by Fiore Industries. Their reason is they claim not enough funding.

This questions why there has not been technology advances in the area of high-speed chases that could prevent loss of life.  And police officers would be able to track the fleeing driver or suspect without speed being involved. Without technological advances that are affordable to law enforcement agencies even with Justice Department warnings there is little chance of ending high-speed chases or loss of life.

Recently loss of life during police pursuits has not diminished, and in just this year some of the ones that resulted in innocent bystanders being killed include; a 60-year-old federal worker died March 19 in the vicinity of Washington D.C., a 63-year-old grandmother in Indianapolis, a 25-year-old man July 18th, in New Jersey.

Recently in San Bernardino, California, the high-speed chase and shootout there ended with the deaths of two Islamic Jihadists.  One of whom came here legally on a Visa to marry a citizen of Middle Eastern descent born to parents who support groups like CAIR, linked to terror and Islamic extremism. The male was ostensibly radicalized by his immigrant parents, and in a local CAIR backed Mosque.

So again, many of these car chases could be ended before they even start. By simply enforcing existing immigration laws instead of pandering to special interest groups, we could cut down on crime. (Learn more about terror funding.).

At the end of the day, preventing and mitigating crime prevents chases. Short of this, law enforcement has tough choices to make. Also, they almost always have political ramifications that reverberate to elections. Until politicians start placing the interests of law-abiding Americans and stop kicking the can down the road in exchange for campaign funding, it is likely that the high-speed chase will become an even more familiar aspect of the American landscape.

The Top 8 Mistakes Accident Victims Make – Self Representation

Young man holding hand on his back and expressing negativity while leaning at the cardboard box
Pain in back. Young man holding hand on his back and expressing negativity while leaning at the cardboard box

In the turmoil of a severe car or work accident many victims attempt to rebuild the shattered pieces of their lives. They do this on their own for medical and legal solutions. However, many find out the hard way how the legal system works. The odds are stacked against the victim. Injuries and cost of rehabilitation can create a financial hardship.

The insurance companies that don’t want to pay out on their own policies. The parties that caused the mishap may come to a similar decision. They don’t want to right the situation. To clarify, many victims find at the latest time they need legal counsel. Since, a lawyer can use the evidence in a way to win the case.


Representing Yourself is Not for Everyone

A lawyers specialty in personal injury law is the best protector for injured victims. This also helps with making these self representation errors. In addition this is true, even if it is a “smaller case.” (Source.) Ehline Law has years of injury experience in dealing with claims.

They handle various types of mishaps from auto wrecks and workplace disasters. This lends valuable expertise to the victim that needs it the most. Some of the most common errors that we see include the following:

                 

  • Not Knowing Where to Start

Many times the hurt victims are unsure of the first step to take. In facing the aftermath of an accident they’re without insight. Victim’s aren’t sure if they should contact a personal injury attorney. At times the person hurt will attempt to sort through the information alone. They also make common mistakes in talks with the insurer. This could include statements made construed into admittance of guilt. Also it may be as simple as unwitting acceptance of an offer. This can happen without knowledge of the true extent of your injuries. Plus what the company can or should offer.

  • Not Knowing the Amount Need for Recovery

To obtain a financial award can be a lengthy and costly process. Many victims don’t realize the depths of this process. If they haven’t adequate health insurance to cover treatment is out of pocket. In other cases, years of rehabilitation can bankrupt families. Asking for a moderate amount the company might accept the settlement amount. But this will also leave your family high and dry in the process. If you ask for a significant amount of money, they could deny the claim. If isn’t based on a careful though of what’s needed. It could leave the victim’s claim thrown out.

This can also include unknowing the sheer scope of the harm sustained. Some of the harm and their symptoms don’t right away appear. They manifest in the weeks or months past the incident. This could mean it’s unknown how the injuries will affect each part of your life. This includes your ability to work and enjoy your life.

  • Lack of Organization

This is a frequent problem than people know. Injury attorneys train for years to learn how to present a case in and out of court. The training is, so lawyer gets the most out of the responsible party’s claim. Also the nuances of injury law and the courtroom a lawyer knows. Put it another way procedure that the ordinary person will be unaware. Filing a claim wrong or past the time limit may doom it right out of the gate.

  • Lack of Negotiating Skills

Courtroom procedure and out of court isn’t the same as Law and Order. The average injured victim balances many aspects of recovery. At the same time as dealing with the claim. Many insurers and reckless drivers give their “final” offer. That is way below what can and should be offered. Because they’re desperate, too many victims jump on the offer. They believe that they won’t have a better offer.

In the negotiating process, the victim may believe: That they have documentation of the insurer or defendant. That admits guilt for the event. However, they at times don’t collect the right evidence of such guilt. Instead, they think it will stand in court on its own. At this point, the insurer’s legal team can tear apart these claims.


The Key Factor in All of These Mistakes

Also all of the above may have the same common problem. The lack of hiring an attorney to handle the case can lose the case. If you haven’t an expert hand that has seen all of the tricks. That the insurer’s legal team will try, it can affect the claim. They use tricks that can sink a complaint. Such experience is vital to understand each piece of the puzzle. That an injury claim can represent.

If you require an injury a lawyer, please contact Ehline Law. Michael Ehline and his team’s ready to help the harmed person. The legal pros will travel any place in the state of California. Equally important they can hear a potential case from the victim. They offer to work on contingency basis. So, they won’t accept a cent unless they obtain money for you.

Citation

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8486444     Evaluating rehabilitation for personal injury claimants.

How Driverless Vehicles Will Change the Insurance Game

Health Insurance Costs Benefits Plan Medical Injury Concept
Health Insurance Costs Benefits Plan Medical Injury Concept

During the past couple of years, there has been lots of talk about self-driving vehicles. And this year; the talk became more substantial when on July 13, 2015, Google showed its prototype of its self-driving car in Silicon Valley City at the Community School of Music and Fine Arts in Mountain View. The location is about 40 miles southeast of San Francisco. And it gave attendants at the event a close up of the vehicle.

The prototype does not contain either a steering wheel or pedals like a conventional car. In fact, the vehicle is designed to drive without a dedicated driver behind the wheel.

Beginning in June, Google has been testing the prototypes on the road near its headquarters in Silicon Valley. And not only does the Internet giant have an interest in this type of technology, but some traditional auto manufacturers have begun introducing vehicles that are partially automated.

Both Mercedes and Toyota have introduced vehicles that have braking and parking assistance. Also, they have plans to take the automation further in coming years. Google is not the only tech company to have an interest in autonomous vehicles. In fact, Alibaba and Baidu have also been interested. And they believe they can have a fully operational self-driving vehicle ready in five years.


The Question Remains “What About Auto Insurance?”

Autonomous vehicles have the self-driving technology. So this could mean a change on the roadways by making traffic efficient and less room for error. After all, there is no place for issues like driver distraction or driver error. Also, this could change the whole transportation issue, including possible car ownership due to alternatives.

According to an article in the Yale Journal of Law & Technology, it discusses the $200 billion dollars a year automobile insurance industry. And it relates how this type of technology with autonomous vehicles could make having private auto insurance unnecessary in the future. Yale Law School Student Jack Boeglin who authored the article surmised that private insurance would not be needed. Because of this, liability would get transferred to the manufacturers.

Using this theory, he goes on to say drivers who want to keep their driving privileges would be required to pay. Also, if an accident occurred using collected data from the vehicle’s computer, it could be used to determine the percentage of the driver’s fault. Then the liability using this digital data would be assigned.

What are the Major Liability Issues?

On the other hand, driver’s who relinquish their driving privileges to the vehicle’s automation would not have liability issues. So they would not be required to pay for insurance. Also, this could save driver’s thousands of dollars in insurance premiums. But the question would be is this enough motivation for the public to change to self-driving vehicles?

Ehline Law Firm finds the advances in technology in this area exciting. But we wonder if self-driving cars when the time comes will stop accidents from happening. As with anything computerized, issues can occur. And what happens when there are both types of vehicles on the roads? To learn more about motor vehicle accidents and liability visit our pages.

Possible L.A. Road Changes

Mapping the bad roads
Topical map of L.A. roads.

Los Angeles is a city filled with traffic that results in frequent traffic jams, wrecks, and congestion. The city has maintained roadways by paving through canyons, flattening hillsides to expand roads and downed trees. Also, this has helped improve traffic flow, but it has not been a long term plan for fixing traffic problems.

No faster are roadways widened or added, and get filled with vehicles, rather than easing the problem. City planners have been working on a solution they have been pushing claiming new ideas need to get put into action.

After all, despite new traffic laws in California, LA is still a traffic nightmare on many surface streets. Consequently, the old ones have proven ineffective. The viable options have been brought up enough by city planners that the state legislature is now beginning to discuss the alternatives suggested.

Comprehensive Approach to Traffic Problems

One of the suggestions is to endorse a comprehensive policy to approach traffic issues from a different strategy. Instead of making motor vehicles the priority one alternative is to improve convenience and safety for public transportation, pedestrians, and bicyclists with the object being to reduce traffic. Given other safe and convenient options, many believe some people are now driving would use these alternatives.


What is Mobility Plan 2035?

This alternative that legislatures are discussing is known as Mobility Plan 2035, which includes in it bus only lanes, reduction of some car lanes on some of the largest boulevards, major road designs and hundreds of miles of new bicycle lanes. Consequently, this is a twenty-year plan that also focuses on reducing the traffic accident fatality rate to zero.

There have already been some changes made on LA roadways in this direction, such as safer bicycle lanes throughout the county. However, this plan is much more extensive and will touch every section of Los Angeles including Downtown, Hollywood, South Los Angeles, the Westside and the San Fernando Valley.

  • Pitfalls and Holdups

There are opponents to this alternative Mobility Plan 2035. They believe that taking these measures to improve traffic congestion and reducing fatalities will only intensify traffic congestion. Hence, it may increase problems. The other thing mentioned is if it makes traffic conditions worse then it could contribute to emergency vehicle delays.

Those for the alternative plan believe that implementing these convenience and safety measures it can reduce traffic problems and they cite that it would improve public safety. The Mobility Plan can be downloaded http://la2b.org/documents/ to find out the full information about the plan to form an educated opinion.

L.A. City Councilman Mike Bonin backed the plan and said that the document helps to put in place safety measures for people bicycling and moving about without a vehicle, so they are not harmed or killed. The Councilman went on to state statistics saying that 5% of these people now are killed when a vehicle is traveling 20 miles per hour. Also, at 40 mph the fatality rate is over 80%.

Ehline Law Firm is watching this legislation closely and personal injury laws, along with technology to provide the best quality legal representation for our clients that have gotten harmed in the dangerous traffic congested roadways in Southern California. If you or a loved, one has become damaged contact the law firm to consult with our accomplished traffic accident attorneys.

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Ehline Law Firm
Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC

633 W 5th St #2890
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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