Ridesharing Accident

Ridesharing Accident: What Happens If You Crash With A Ridesharing Driver

Understanding the Risks of an Ridesharing Accident   While the convenience of ridesharing has made apps like Uber, Lyft, Juno, and Curb take off, you need to know the risks in advance. You have enough risks just being on the road as it is, without the added distractions and risks of ridesharing cars.   Ridesharing drivers don’t usually have any more training than the average licensed driver. You’re at the mercy of the driver when you get into the passenger seat. While ratings can tell you something, they’re not the whole story.   Many drivers are required to be on their distracting smartphones while they’re driving. That means that they’re not paying attention to the road and might be running multiple devices at once.   Whenever you get into a car, you’re getting into a car with a stranger, despite decades of parents telling their kids otherwise. When you’re riding in a car together, you need to trust the person picking you up, even though there’s not much that could be building that trust.   Ridesharing companies don’t always meet with their drivers before they start driving, so they’re missing a crucial step in the interview process. If you’ve been in an accident in a ridesharing car, you have to take action quickly, as the contractor needs to be held responsible.  

What Happens If You’re Hit By A Ridesharing Car

  Just like any other car accident case, the person who is claiming to have been hit needs to be able to prove they were struck. They need to show proof that someone was liable and that there was significant damage done. While it’s problematic that the onus is on the person who was struck to prove this, it’s vital to ensuring the right people are held responsible.   If you were hit by a driver, you need to prove negligence to have a claim. The most straightforward version of this is going to be against the person who was driving. It could proceed just like any other type of accident claim in this case.   The major difference is that you need to figure out whether the insurance for the rideshare company or for the driver will pay for your damages.   When you’re trying to hold the companies responsible for an accident, you’re fighting an uphill battle. They often have liability car insurance for each of their drivers.   If you were struck, you could be holding the companies financially responsible if you’re fully free of negligence. In these types of car accidents, you can trust that your insurance company should be able to get damages from the company’s insurance without hassle.  

How Insurance Works With Ridesharing Companies

  All of the major ridesharing companies now require that all drivers have personal insurance to meet state requirements for liability coverage. While the personal policy might not provide any coverage when driving for these companies, the extra coverage ensures that they’re covered off the clock. It also keeps them from hiring anyone who has been in accidents that stay off the record.   The coverage that’s provided to drivers of these companies varies depending on when the accident happens. With so much of our behavior timestamped and logged, we can be sure to have a clue as to when each thing happens, down to the minute.   If a driver is logged into the driving apps, they’re going to be considered to be driving for hire, using their car for commercial purposes. Normal insurance doesn’t cover commercial use of vehicles. During this time, the ridesharing companies are going to provide coverage.   If the driver is logged in but has yet to accept a ride request, the companies provide liability coverage for accidents that are their driver’s fault. They go up to $50,000 per person injured and $100,000 total per accident. If property, like your vehicle, is damaged, you get up to $25,000 in coverage for that.   If the driver is in the middle of a trip, liability goes way up, reaching the figure of $1 million if things are that serious.   These drivers sometimes have their own liability insurance covering their commercial business. If they have that or personal car insurance that extends to ridesharing, then the app company is going to make up the difference. The driver’s personal insurance can usually cover a third-party claim, however.  

What Do You Do Now?

  If you’ve just been in a ridesharing accident, you need to act as you would for any other accident. Get the names, contact, information, and insurance info of everyone involved. Takes lots of photos and get names of witnesses or passengers.   Get lots of photos from every angle before you leave the scene of the accident. It can pay off big time later on.   In most states, you need to call the police to let them know of any car accident that causes more than minor property damage or any physical harm at all. However, with ridesharing, you want to act as soon as possible to get the report you’re looking for generated.  

A Ridesharing Accident Can Be A Dangerous Thing

  With the lack of vetting that many ridesharing companies have in place, the likelihood and results of an Uber or Lyft accident can be devastating. You need to know the risks not only when you’re riding in them but also if you’re sharing the road with them.   If your airbag fails to deploy in an accident, check out our guide to understanding what you can do next.   Let our experienced and skilled attorneys lead the way. You will greatly improve your chances of receiving the justice and compensation you deserve for your ridesharing accident lawsuit.   Let us guide you through the difficult legal process so you can be with loved ones and family. Call our offices today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (800) 674-7854.  

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Man Injured in Scooter Accident

Sidewalk Battles: Electric Scooter Laws You Need to Know About

In recent years, electric scooters have been one of the most polarizing things in U.S. cities. This polarization has lead to implementing electric scooter laws.

App-driven bike rentals paved the way for electric scooters, which people can also rent with their phones for quick, easy transportation that requires no pedaling. Some people love them, others hate them.

But choosing sides still leaves an important question unanswered: what are the electric scooter laws?

Whether you plan to hop on an electric scooter soon, or believe they’re a plague upon your city, it’s important to know how the law sees them. This will help you if you find yourself in an increasingly common situation involving one: an electric scooter accident.

The Rise of the Electric Scooter

First, some history: where did these machines come from, and why are they so popular now?

For a long time, the only way to get around a city was by car, public transit, or foot. Needless to say, those options left a lot of gaps waiting to be filled. Going on foot is slow and often impractical.

Traveling by car could be expensive. And public transit didn’t always go right where or when you needed it.

One of the first widespread alternatives was the rent-a-bike option. Companies built sturdy bikes that users could unlock with an app, allowing them to get around without needing to buy and store a bike themselves. Bikes were faster than walking, but cheaper and more versatile than cars, buses, and trains.

However, bikes also require a lot of physical exertion. For people who want the environmental benefits and easy navigation of a bike, without the challenges, scooters started to look appealing.

The concept quickly took off. People could go from place to place quickly and inexpensively on a scooter. Plus, they’re fun to ride, making them incredibly popular in recreational areas like the beach boardwalks of California.

However, while the scooters became popular, the necessary laws took a while to catch up.

A History of Electric Scooter Laws

Electric scooters haven’t been around for long enough for many laws to govern their use. However, in 2019, that’s likely to change.

The need for electric scooter laws has become clear in the short amount of time since they’ve been popularized. These machines often cause accidents, which might be the fault of either the rider or the pedestrian. Some laws, such as regulating their use on sidewalks, will seek to prevent those accidents.

Several lawsuits have cropped up in the meantime. These suits address many situations, from the lack of provided safety instructions to the risks posed by discarded scooters laying in pathways.

Right now, the existing laws vary a great deal by state. Without specific laws to govern motor scooter use, they’ve often been lumped into other categories, even if they don’t fit well.

For example, some places consider these scooters to be motor vehicles, although they’re a far cry from a car or a motorcycle. Other states consider them toys. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of variation between the laws governing toys and the laws governing motor vehicles.

Electric Scooter Laws Now

What are the current laws about electric motor scooters?

It all depends on the city and state. Overall, they’re now widely considered to share the same legal category as electric bicycles. This fits the electric scooter far better than being considered a toy or motor vehicle.

However, there is no consensus on what those laws look like. Let’s take a quick look at how some different areas approach electric scooter laws now.

New York

In New York state, no one can ride an electric scooter on or around streets and sidewalks. However, since electric bikes were recently approved, it’s possible that electric scooter use won’t be far behind.

California

California, with its warm weather and sprawling cities, is one of the most popular places for people to ride electric scooters.

According to state law, the scooters are legal as long as riders follow a few rules. For example, they can’t be ridden on the sidewalk, and aren’t allowed to go faster than 15 mph. Of course, it’s hard to enforce those rules in some areas where scooter use is common.

Cities also often add their own laws on top of the state’s rules.

Texas

Texas has fairly lax state laws governing motor scooters, but again, the specifics depend on the city. For example, Austin banned electric scooters for a while, and then made them legal again, but with new restrictions.

 

Electric Scooters and You

The main thing to know about electric scooter laws is that they’re wildly different from place to place, and change often. How does that affect you?

If you plan to ride an electric scooter, you should carefully research the relevant laws in your city and state. Knowing the most up-to-date laws can help you avoid tickets and worse.

However, even if you don’t ride an electric scooter, you could find yourself encountering one in other ways. Scooter collisions remain incredibly common, as well as other types of accidents, such as tripping over a scooter in the pathway.

If you find yourself in one of these situations, on either side, it’s important to hire legal counsel to help you determine the next steps. With such a complicated legal landscape, it’s not wise to try to navigate it on your own.

 

Need an Electric Scooter Injury Lawyer?

Have you been in an incident involving an electric scooter?

If a personal injury was involved, you won’t want just any lawyer. You need someone with the right kind of experience to get you the outcome you want. That’s where Sweet Lawyers comes in.

Don’t try to figure out the electric scooter laws on your own. Instead, contact us today and learn what you’ll need to do next.

Call our offices today for a free, no-obligation consultation at (800) 674-7854.

 

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SAN JOSE, CA - Motorcyclist Hospitalized in Crash on 280 Freeway near Highway 87

After the Road Rash: 7 Tips to Win Your Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

28 times higher than in cars. For those involved in a motorcycle accident that was not fatal, the injuries incurred were much more severe and long-lasting. This is where a motorcycle accident lawsuit can come into play.   If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident due to the fault or neglect of another person, a valid next step to take is to file a lawsuit. However, these cases are complex. As such, you may need a few tips to help ensure your motorcycle lawsuit is successful.   Keep reading to get the best results possible for your motorcycle accident lawsuit.  

1. Seek Medical Treatment Right Away

  It’s crucial that you seek medical care for any injuries you suffered immediately after your accident. Make sure you let medical staff know of any pains or unusual sensations you experience.   A medical professional needs to know all symptoms to properly diagnose and treat the injuries you have suffered. It’s always best to have your medical situation evaluated right away.   This ensures that your condition, all injuries and other medical concerns are documented. These medical records can prove invaluable when it comes to recovering compensation from the at-fault party.  

2. Document Everything with Pictures and Video

  Photographs and video are extremely compelling pieces of evidence – especially if your case goes to trial. Visualization is crucial for any type of accident case.   If you can, take photos or video footage of the accident scene right after, or as soon as you can. Don’t forget to photograph your motorcycle, as well as your injuries.   It’s a good idea to also document your recovery. When you take pictures throughout the healing process and note the date, they can be used as evidence in the case and prove how long it took you to recover from your injuries.   You also can’t forget about witnesses. Be sure to request the names and the contact information for anyone who was at the accident scene. All this information should be given to your motorcycle accident attorney right away.  

3. Follow Through With any Prescribed Medical Treatment

  After a serious motorcycle accident, it’s important to seek medical care (as mentioned above). However, just seeking evaluation isn’t enough – you have to follow through with the treatment.   It is very common to be given a prescription, or several, and to have follow-up appointments scheduled. This may include physical therapy, or testing and imaging, such as an MRI to see if you need surgery.   It is crucial for your recovery, a well as your lawsuit, that you follow all of the medical directives and appointments. If you fail to do this, it may jeopardize your case.  

4. Don’t Discuss Your Claim

  You may receive a phone call from the at-fault party’s insurance adjuster. While this is common, you should not provide them with a statement or discuss your case with them.   Instead, just refer them to your attorney. It’s also not a good idea to post anything about the accident on your social media accounts. Any of this can be taken out of context and used against you.  

5. Be Truthful and Accurate

  Don’t be afraid to be completely honest about the accident and situation. You don’t have to have the perfect case to prevail.   However, your attorneys are going to have the best chance of success if they understand the weaknesses and strengths of the case. When your council knows all the issues, they are going to be in the very best position to reduce their impact.   Keep in mind, your lawyer isn’t allowed to share any confidential information with anyone unless you provide them with permission to do this. It’s crucial that you are as accurate as can be when communicating with your attorney.  

6. Document Any and All Financial Losses

  If you wind up earning less money due to your injuries, then you need to keep both the before and after pay-stubs, your W2s, 1099s, and tax returns. Make sure to hold on to any records that show any financial losses you experienced due to the accident and resulting injuries.   It’s also a good idea to keep a record of all out of pocket expenses. These should directly relate to the accident.  

7. Start an Accident Journal

  An accident journal can be used as evidence in your case. It should have a few different sections.   You should have one section for any notes about your recovery and the accident itself. You should write down everything that you remember and keep a day to day log of how much pain your experience.   Also, include anything you can’t do because of your injuries, as well as how many days you miss from work.   There should also be a section for you to track all accident-related expenses. And, in the third section record any conversations you have with your lawyer, doctor, or anyone else related to the case.  

Recovering Compensation in a Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit

  If you suffer injuries after a motorcycle accident, you need to use the tips and information here to ensure you collect all the needed information to ensure you can successfully recover compensation. It is also a good idea to take the time to find a quality attorney – as they are going to be your partner in receiving a fair amount. Also check out our blog on how to deal with insurance companies after a motorcycle accident.   If you need more information about legal services or would like to set up an appointment, contact us today. Our legal team can handle any type of personal injury situation you are facing. Our team will provide you with aggressive representation to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.   Call us today at (800) 203-3061 for a free consultation.]]>

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College Admissions Scandal

College Admissions Scandal: 50 Arrested in Nationwide Scam

Actresses, Business Leaders, Wealthy Parents Charged in Largest College Admissions Scandal in History   A total of 50 people nationwide were arrested in what police are calling the largest college admissions scandal and recruitment scheme ever prosecuted by the Department of Justice.   The scandal involved wealthy parents, prominent business leaders, and Hollywood celebrities – including TV actress Lori Loughlin who was among the 50 arrested individuals. Loughlin’s husband, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, was also arrested. Loughlin and Giannulli allegedly paid $500,000 for guaranteed admission for their two daughters to USC.   Felicity Huffman, an Academy Award nominee, has been charged with felony conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, according to court paperwork filed Monday in federal court in Massachusetts.   William E. McGlashan Jr., a prominent partner at the private equity firm TPG, illegally stated that his son had learning disabilities in order to gain extended time for him to take his college entrance exam alone, over two days instead of one, according to court documents. McGlashan’s son was unaware of the scheme, according to court documents.   Thirty-three parents were charged in the case and prosecutors said there could be additional indictments to come. According to federal prosecutors, all of the individuals charged knowingly conspired to help their children either cheat on the SAT or ACT and or buy their children’s admissions to elite American universities through fraud.   Also implicated were top college coaches, who were accused of accepting millions of dollars to help admit students to Wake Forest, Yale, Stanford, the University of Southern California and other schools, regardless of their academic or sports ability, officials said.   Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling spoke on the investigation during a news conference on Thursday. According to Lelling, these parents created an unfair admissions process for their children, potentially taking away opportunities from other hard-working students.   “This scandal reveals just how far parents are willing to go to give their kids an edge in the highly competitive world that is university admissions. Sadly it also shows the level of corruption that exists in some educational institutions in this country,” stated Steven Baric, a former Orange County District Attorney. “It appears that the FBI has conducted a through investigation, but it is important to remember all of these people are innocent until proven guilty.”   At the center of the sweeping financial crime and fraud case was William Singer, the founder of a college preparatory business called the Edge College & Career Network, also known as The Key.   The authorities said Singer, who has agreed to plead guilty to the charges and cooperated with federal prosecutors, used The Key and its nonprofit arm, Key Worldwide Foundation in Newport Beach, CA, to help students cheat on their standardized tests, and to pay bribes to the coaches who could get them into college with fake athletic credentials.   Singer is also accused of bribing Division 1 athletic coaches to tell admissions officers that they wanted certain students, even though the students did not have the necessary athletic credentials.   The 50 suspects were accused of paying bribes up to $6 million. However, Singer was paid roughly $25 million total by parents to help their children get into schools.


If you or someone you love has been a victim of fraud, contact us today at (800) 674-7854 for a free, no-obligation consultation. With a team of highly trained, experienced attorneys, we know what it takes to fight for your right to a fair compensation. ]]>

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Vincent William Jaso Arrested in DUI Hit-and-Run Car Collision on Diamond Drive and 15 Freeway [Lake Elsinore, CA]

Drowsy Driving: The Dangers of Impaired Driving

over 6,000 people are killed every year because of drowsy driving?   While we often think of drunk driving as the main reason behind countless accidents on the road, driving while tired is also a threat that deserves attention. Many people believe that even though you’re feeling a bit exhausted, you’re still OK to drive.   The truth?   Falling asleep or drifting off while driving is a serious risk.   In this post, we’ll take a look at a few shocking drowsy driving statistics that will cause you to think twice before getting behind the wheel. We’ll also fill you in on why driving while tired is such a poor idea. Finally, we’ll discuss where you can find attorneys that will get you results if you’ve been injured by a drowsy driver.   Never compromise when it comes to keeping yourself and everyone else on the road safe.  

A Few Shocking Drowsy Driving Statistics

  Before we get into anything else, let’s first take a look at some statistics surrounding drowsy driving.   The fact is that drivers fatigue is much more common than you might initially think. According to a study conducted by the National Safety Council, about 20% of people on the road say that they’ve fallen asleep while operating a vehicle at least one time within the past year.   That same study also found that staying on the road for 20 hours without pausing for sleep is equal to driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08%.   It also states that you’re three times more likely to get into a potentially fatal car accident if you get behind the wheel when you’re tired.   Translation?   You’re putting yourself in great danger if you drive while tired.   Sadly, a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also found that over 20% of crashes that resulted in a fatality were caused by drowsy driving. It’s just not a risk worth taking.  

What Happens When You Drive Drowsy

  Now you’re a bit more familiar with the very real cost of drowsy driving. Let’s talk more about the ways in which it affects your driving capabilities.   First of all, driving while tired seriously impacts your overall reaction time. For example, if you need to suddenly swerve to avoid hitting another car, you might not be able to.   You’re much more likely to rear-end someone, get side-swiped, or even run off of the road altogether.   You simply won’t be able to make quick or good decisions while out on the road. In some cases, you might even fall asleep at the wheel completely. This will cause you to lose total control of your car, which can and has led to countless fatalities.  

Know The Signs of Drowsy Driving

  It’s important that you educate yourself about a few of the most common signs of drowsy driving.   Some, like constant yawning and bobbing your head while nodding off, are quite obvious.   However, you should also be aware of the less obvious signs.   You might feel like you’re struggling to stay in your lane. Maybe you even notice that you can’t seem to keep track of your directions. You’ve missed your exit, you’ve collided with a rumble strip while driving, and you keep getting confused about where you are.   Additionally, you may blink much more frequently when you’re behind the wheel and tired.  

Who Drives While Tired?

  There are some people that are a bit more likely to have problems with drowsy driving than others.   Driving while tired is a common problem among commercial vehicle drivers. If you’re a truck driver or even drive a bus, you may be at a higher risk than other drivers. If you are required to work long shifts behind the wheel, you are more at risk for drowsy driving.   The same thing goes if you’ve been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, or even if you take certain medications that can make you feel tired.   Now let’s talk about what you can do to stop it.  

How To Stop Drowsy Driving

  In addition to looking out for some of the warning signs we’ve mentioned previously in this article, let’s also talk about other methods of prevention.   First of all, do everything you can to get enough sleep – at least 7 or 8 hours – before you get behind the wheel.   You should also look into changing out drivers about once every 4-5 hours if possible. If you can’t switch drivers, we suggest that you take a 20-minute nap whenever you can.   Improve your overall sleeping habits by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. It goes without saying that you should also stay away from alcohol while driving.   If you’ve been prescribed medication, talk to your doctor about how it could impact your driving.  

Have You Been A Victim Of A Drowsy Driving Accident?

  If you or someone that you know has been the victim of a drowsy driving accident, you deserve compensation.   When someone else’s negligence has caused death or injury to another person, we want to advocate for you. At the Sweet Law Group Firm, we have experience with a wide range of accidents.   We will help to fight for you so that you can pay your medical bills, manage your physical and emotional pain, and get justice.   Talk to one of our personal injury attorneys today at (800) 674-7854 for a free, no-obligation consultation. Get the compensation that you deserve.  

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Distracted Driving

5 Distracted Driving Facts That Will Surprise You

majority of drivers admitting to texting and driving, it’s vital that we start taking distracted driving seriously. With this in mind, the compiled list of distracted driving facts below might convince you that this is serious social issue that causes unnecessary injuries and problems.   Beyond texting, there are many different types of distracted driving. This includes eating, smoking, and radio fumbling while driving.   These five statistics might shock and expose just how vital it is to focus on the road when you’re behind the wheel.  

1. 1,000 Injuries A Day

  According to the CDC, distracted driving causes 1,000 injuries a day. In addition to the injuries, at least 9 people are killed every day because of this epidemic.   If you’re involved in an accident with a distracted driver, there are many distractions that could have caused it. However with people constantly on their phones or otherwise distracted, it is no wonder that there is a massive problem of distracted drivers. People need to pay attention more, but most especially when operating a ton of steel down a highway.
  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has identified three main types of driver distractions:  
  • Visual Tasks, such as checking a GPS monitor, which cause a driver to take his or her eyes off the road.
  • Manual Tasks (like reaching for a cell phone) that cause a driver to remove one or both hands from the steering wheel.
  • Cognitive Tasks that cause a driver to think about something other than driving.

2. Distracted Driving Causes Over Half of Teen Accidents

  If you’re struggling to get your teen to focus while driving, you’re on the right track. Teens are spending so much time on their phones that they’re changing the way that we think about driving and using technology. When nearly 60% of teen crashes are distracted driving related, there are many factors that can lead to this.   Ticketing for distracted driving or using a mobile device while driving is increasing. Distracted driving is tipping the scales of how many accidents we have on the road per year per year.  

3. Almost 400,000 Accidents A Year

  In 2015, there are figures showing more than 390,000 accidents a year due to distracted driving. This number is both alarming and appalling.   In 2013, the rise of distracted driving began to rise. Even famous filmmakers started to take note. Werner Herzog made a film in 2013 about the serious danger of driving while texting.  

4. A True Epidemic

  While we debate just how bad it is, the figures are showing that it’s a real epidemic.   If you look at most crime and public safety statistics, you’ll see a precipitous decline year after year. That’s because we’ve gotten smarter, we’ve gotten safer, and we’re taking things more seriously, dealing with them as they come. At the same time, though, accident and road fatalities are climbing and these preventable deaths can’t seem to be fixed.   This problem has all the makings of an epidemic. Most people think they’re perfectly exempt from it or the exception of the person who isn’t going to have to worry about it. It’s so easy to just pick up the phone and start tapping away.   Since phones have found their way into our lives so comfortably, it’s hard to imagine a space without them. Even inside of a car, that addiction kicks in and people start choosing phones over their own safety. While it seems odd on the hierarchy of values, it keeps happening.  

5. Increase In The Number Of Drivers

  Year after year, it seems like Americans are driving more than ever. If you look at the numbers, driving seems to have increased annually by 3% for the last for the last few years. That means more miles than ever.   That also means more accidents, more deaths, and more problems with traffic. If you’re one of the many people driving, it’s vital to pay full attention while driving.  

Distracted Driving Is A Serious Problem

  If you are involved in a distracted driving accident, there you are not alone. With nearly 45 years of experience, the Sweet Law Group has collected millions in damages for our clients. We know what it takes to fight for what you deserve. We make sure to handle all the legal aspects of a personal injury lawsuit while you focus on healing.   Read our guide to understanding negligence on the road.   For the best legal advise around, contact us today at (800) 674-7854 for a free consolation.  

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Pacific Coast Highway

7 Tales of Tragedy Along California's Pacific Coast Highway

took nine lives and left 376 injured. It’s so dangerous that the highway is also known as “Bloody Alley.”   The frequency of fatal collisions has even led one grieving father to produce a documentary on the hazards of the road.   Read on to discover the truth of the California Pacific Coast Highway through these seven harrowing tales of tragedy.  

1. The Pacific Coast Highway Mystery

  One of the most recent tragedies along the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as PCH, is that of an entire family killed. It’s developed into a real mystery, as investigators scratch their heads as to whether or not the accident was intentional.   Two 39-year-old women, known as Sarah and Jennifer Hart, were either married or relationship partners. In March 2018, the car they were driving crashed off the road and into a cliff.   The vehicle was partially submerged and rolled over onto its roof when first responders arrived. The two women and three children inside the vehicle died at the scene. Three other children were never located and are presumed dead.   Investigators that worked to recreate the scene noted there were little to no skid marks on the road at the time. They also ruled out drugs or alcohol as factors in the crash.   The reasons for the crash and the loss of five lives may always remain unclear.  

2. Bicycle Collision on PCH

  In August 2018, two people died after a bicycle collision with a grey Mercury minivan on PCH. The accident occurred in the afternoon and involved two vehicles and a bicycle.   Two people were pronounced dead at the scene. A thrid party sustained minor injuries while a fourth party was airlifted to a local hospital.   The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department determined speed played a factor in the collision. Things went bad when the driver of the minivan attempted to pass another vehicle on the highway and subsequently lost control.   The driver of the van and the car in the lane it was crossing into died. A bicyclist experienced injuries caused by debris flying from the scene during the collision.   Video footage of the scene hints at a possible head-on collision.  

3. Drinking and Driving Kills Three Teens

  Every accident is tragic, but when it touches the lives of teenagers and children, the accident seems even more raw. Such is the case for three Las Vegas families who lost their children in April 2018.   Three teenagers were in Huntington Beach on the Pacific Coast Highway at the time of the accident. All three were on spring break and visiting southern California. Four teenagers were in the vehicle and all were under the age of 18.   Only one teenager survived the crash. Two of the fatal victims were preparing for graduation.   The twenty-seven-year-old driver of the other vehicle was arrested on suspicion of DUI and gross vehicular manslaughter when intoxicated. This kind of collision would be an example of a “no doubt” liability in the eyes of the law, as this collision resulted in a conviction and sentence.   But not every accident is like this. Find out about the different kinds of car accident liability every driver needs to know about.  

4. Caitlyn Jenner’s PCH Tragedy

  Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner, is also quite familiar with the tragedies that rock California’s Pacific Coast Highway. In 2015, Jenner was involved in a fatal crash along the highway in Malibu.   Jenner bumped into one vehicle, which sent it into oncoming traffic. That lead to a chain-reaction car collision. In total, four injuries occurred and one woman died.   Jenner was ultimately sued for a wrongful death claim. The ones suing Jenner were the two step-children of the victim, Kim Howe. They filed a lawsuit claiming loss of affection. However, some reports indicated that sources close to the deceased said the woman had no existing relationship with those suing Jenner.   That lawsuit alleged that Jenner was speeding at the time of the accident. The plaintiffs ultimately dismissed the charges for reasons not made public.   This is just one example of the many legal problems that occur after a collision. For example, there are many other legal remedies available for car accident passengers today.  

5. PCH Crash Leaves US Navy Member Dead

  In 2010, a collision on the PCH took the life of at least one United States Navy member stationed out of Port Hueneme. It was an accident that resulted in two fatalities with one person being airlifted from the scene for emergency treatment.   The accident happened in the early hours of the morning, just before 1:00 AM. One of the vehicles, a Saturn, was reportedly moving in the opposite direction of traffic. After that, it hit a Ford Mustang that was carrying several members of the US Navy.   The Saturn caught on fire after the crash. Because of this, both of the drivers were killed. Police kept the highway closed until just before 9:00 AM the same day.  

6. Teenager Killed on Blood Alley

  One of the fatalities that has happened on the Pacific Coast Highway has resulted in a documentary on the dangers of this road. Emily Rose Shane was just thirteen years old during the 2010 Easter weekend, days before a crash that take her life..   A car struck and killed Shane instantly as she was leaving a friend’s home to see her father. Because of the tragedy, the section of the road where she died is now known as Emily Shane Way.   Her father, Michel Shane, is a known producer and writer in California. His film credits include “Catch Me If You Can” and “I, Robot.”   Shane called the road a “war zone” when seeking funding for his documentary. His film was created with the intent to create safety precautions, and lobby for additional security features such as sidewalks and stop lights in some areas of the road.   Police reported that the driver of the vehicle, Sina Khankhanian, was suicidal at the time of the accident. There were reportedly approximately 6 calls to 911 from other drivers on the road just before the fatal crash occurred.   Sina managed to survive the accident. Within two years of the crash, he was convicted of second-degree murder.  

7. Christmas Crash Kills Four

  A 2014 accident along PCH claimed multiple lives over the Christmas season. It resulted in four fatalities, including that of a six-year-old boy.   The crash occurred on December 17, just one week before the holidays. It happened outside St. James Church, where revelers were leaving a Christmas musical. Fifty-seven-year-old Margo Bronstein pled guilty with no contest to vehicular manslaughter. She was sentenced to three years plus four months in a state prison.   Bronstein reportedly had multiple issues related to pain management. With this in mind, her lawyer argued at sentencing that an excruciating pain went through her spine right before the accident. Therefore, the pain caused her to drive erratically into oncoming traffic.   Bronstein reportedly appeared “sleepy and confused” at the time of the collision according to police. She gave the police 13 Soma pills, 9 Norcos, and a number of other unknown pills.   She was not charged with any DUI offenses. According to police, her blood levels did not meet the legal criteria for intoxication at the time of the sample.  

Get Legal Support After Your Accident

  After rapper MC Supreme was killed in an accident on Pacific Coast Highway, actor Rob Lowe tweeted about it. Lowe called PCH a “death trap.” It is a highway known as “Blood Alley” and sees about 400 collisions a year.   Every collision can present multiple lawsuits. You need to protect yourself legally in an accident no matter where you stand in the position of fault after an accident. The same applies if you lose a loved one to a collision on the Pacific Coast Highway.   Every single one of those collisions is a tragedy, even if no fatalities happen. Every car accident is a mess of legal problems, problems you should not have to handle alone.   If you are in a car accident on California’s Pacific Coast Highway, get a free consultation from Sweet Lawyers. The Sweet Law Group has been awarded a spot in the top 100 National Trial Lawyers. For the best legal advise around, contact them today at (800) 674-7854.  

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Wrongful Death Lawsuit

How to Prove Fault in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

In 2016, there were over 160,000 deaths that resulted from unintentional injuries. Considering the statistic, many of these were caused by someone else through negligence. This lead to more and more people filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
 
When it comes to dealing with wrongful death cases, the situation can become even more challenging if the defending party tries to deflect blame. But, it is possible to prove fault if you take the right steps.
 
Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we got you covered.
 
Let’s take a look at everything you need to know about coming out on top during a wrongful death lawsuit.
 

Before We Begin

 
There’s crucial information to understand before we go any further, so take a moment to read these sections.
 

What Exactly Is “Wrongful Death?”

 
It’s important to understand what “wrongful death” actually is. When someone dies due to another party’s negligence, this is considered a wrongful death. The family members of the deceased are able to then sue those liable on the deceased’s behalf.
 
Put simply, a wrongful death lawsuit exists in order to hold those responsible accountable for their actions. Since the deceased cannot pursue compensation themselves, the family may.
 

What Compensation Can I Expect to Pursue?

 
As you can expect, this is dependent on your relationship with the deceased. If they were your primary form of financial support, you can sue the other party to obtain what you’ve missed out on.
 
In general, though, you’ll be able to sue for pain and suffering as well as funeral expenses. The average funeral costs are often over $10,000 total in expenses.
 

Proving Fault

 
To get the compensation you deserve, you’re going to have to prove that the other party was either negligent toward the deceased or that their act was wrongful.
 
Even if the deceased was at fault, the circumstances they were in may be due to someone’s negligence. For example, the victim was operating equipment or machinery without the proper training or license. This is something a company should have prevented because they did not train the victim before letting him run the equipment.
 

Wrongful Actions

 
The term “wrongful” here can be ambiguous, so let’s take a look at an example:
 
Let’s assume that the victim was a former employee of a hardware store. Store policy states that at least two employees must be present at the shop at all times. However, the victim’s manager demands one evening that they stay as long as it takes until they’re finished stocking shelves and moving equipment to prepare for the next morning.
 
Over the next few hours, the victim is by themselves in the store. Due to unknown factors, the victim falls while moving cargo and is trapped underneath the weight. With no one else around, the victim dies from their injuries.
 
The family of the victim can now file a wrongful death claim against the manager. Due to the company policy, it was negligent to demand that the victim work alone at the store.
 
The defendant will then be held responsible for the funeral costs and pain & suffering of the plaintiff. If the victim was the plaintiff’s caregiver or provider, the defendant may also be held liable for these costs.
 

Negligence

 
Luckily, negligence is far more straightforward when it comes to filing a lawful death suit.
 
Negligence can include common mistakes, such as the iconic slippery floor without a “wet floor” sign present. However, negligence can also be complicated.
 
Let’s say that the victim was struck and killed by the driver of a car while crossing the street. In order for the family of the victim to prove fault, they need to prove that the driver was acting negligently while driving.
 
It is occasionally difficult to prove negligence in a situation like this as it’s difficult to have evidence unless you were present at the scene.
 

Standard of Proof

 
In criminal cases, all defendants are innocent until proven guilty. It’s up to the prosecution to provide proof that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the defendant is guilty of their accused crime.
 
Fortunately for those seeking damages in wrongful death cases, they don’t need to have undeniable proof that the defendant should be responsible for providing compensation.
 
Let’s take a look back at the negligence example.
 
While the plaintiff may have not been present at the scene, they can still provide compelling evidence that the driver was acting negligently.
 
For example, the driver has had multiple speeding tickets and citations in the past. The plaintiff can argue that they’re prone to being unaware of their surroundings while driving (even if they weren’t speeding at the time of the incident).
 
This means that families with a reputable legal professional on their side will often be able to prove that the defendant is at fault for the deceased’s death. Hiring the right attorney is a crucial decision when it comes to optimizing your chances of winning the suit.
 

Handling a Wrongful Death Lawsuit Can Seem Difficult…

 
But it doesn’t have to be.
 
With the above information about winning a wrongful death lawsuit in mind, you are well on your way to getting the compensation you deserve for your loved one.
 
Want to learn more about how to handle common legal issues? Call our office today for a free consultation at (800) 674-7854 to discus your wrongful death lawsuit.

 

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Winter Driving Safety Tips

9 Winter Driving Safety Tips to Keep Your Family Safe

If you live in a part of the country that gets snow and ice during the winter season, you might be feeling nervous about driving during a heavy storm or harsh conditions. This is where brushing up on some winter driving safety tips can come in handy.
 
You have good reason to be cautious. Icy roads are a major cause of road accidents in the US and each year over half a million crashes occur on slick roads.
 
However, if you take proper precautions and learn how to drive safely in these conditions, you and your family will remain safe. Read our handy guide to nine winter driving safety tips to find out more.
 

1. Conduct Essential Vehicle Checks

 
When you are thinking about driving in harsh winter conditions, there are a few things you need to do before you even set off.
 
The first thing you need to do is make some essential vehicle checks on your car. Winter driving can be quite tricky, but not as bad as breaking down in sub-zero conditions. Which is why you should make sure your car has been properly serviced before driving in the winter.
 
You should also check your tires are properly inflated and have the correct amount of tread. You may choose to use snow tires, which you will need to fit before you set off.
 
Other checks you need to make on your vehicle include:

  • The battery (battery power can fall in cold weather)
  • Windshield wiper fluid and anti-freeze
  • You have a full tank of gas
  • Your heaters and defrosters are fully working
  • All of the lights work properly

Many of these checks apply to all weather conditions. However, in winter weather conditions you stand a greater chance of being delayed.
 

2. Make Sure You Are Well Equipped

 
The next thing you need to check is that your car is properly packed with the items you would need in case of a winter emergency.
 
If you have made all the vehicle checks we have already mentioned, it is unlikely you will break down. However, winter conditions can throw up unexpected events like fallen trees and floods.
 
Here is a list of the items you should keep in your vehicle throughout the winter:

  • Tire chains
  • Jumper cables
  • Shovel
  • Road salt
  • Extra wiper fluid
  • Antifreeze
  • Food and water
  • Blanket
  • Flashlight
  • Toolkit
  • Reflective vest
  • First Aid kit
  • Pocket knife

You should make sure that you have all the equipment in your car, that should you break down, means you are safe and comfortable.
 

3. Do You Really Need to Make the Trip?

 
The final thing you should think about before you set off in winter conditions is whether your journey is really essential.
 
Driving in snow and ice is hazardous, and if you can avoid it you should. Even if the weather does not appear too severe to start with, it can worsen quickly.
 
If your journey is a social call, it is probably best to postpone it for another day. If you are traveling to work, have you asked if can you work from home instead?
 

4. Plan Your Journey

 
Once you have made all the necessary checks and packed your car, you should plan your journey. Check the weather forecast to see how widespread the snow storm is, then check your route. Ask yourself which is the safest route to travel in winter conditions.
 
Your usual route is probably the quickest one, but it might not be the most appropriate for winter conditions if it involves winding narrow roads.
 
Finally, make sure you tell someone where you are going and how long you expect to be. If you do encounter delays or breakdown, at least someone will know to look for you.
 

5. Take It Slowly

 
It is harder to control your vehicle if there is ice on the road. Driving slightly slower than usual will give more time to react in icy conditions.
 
It is also likely snow will reduce visibility and you may not be able to see as far in front as the next vehicle. Driving at speed on these conditions is very risky as you may not be able to see obstructions in the road or other vehicles.
 

6. How To Recover From a Skid

 
Even if you are cautious and driving slowly it is still possible that ice and snow will cause your vehicle to skid. Knowing how to react when your car skids can mean the difference between having a collision or not.
 
So what should you do if you can feel your vehicle beginning to slide on the road?
 
First: don’t panic. While it may seem scary, you can recover from a skid if you stay calm. If it is the rear wheels sliding behind you, then you should steer into the skid.
 
However, if your front wheels start to skid then you should just lessen the steering angle and brake gradually. Do not brake hard as this can make the skid worse.
 

7. Keep Your Distance

 
Among the many winter driving safety tips, keeping your distance from other vehicles is an important one. There may not be that many other cars on the road in winter conditions, but when you are sharing the road it is important that you keep your distance.
 
When driving conditions are unpredictable, the car in front may well brake or skid when you are not expecting it. Tailgating in these conditions can be very dangerous and cause accidents.
 

8. Stay Alert

 
Winter driving can be tiring. You are concentrating harder than usual, visibility may be poor, and you probably have your car heaters on.
 
All of this can leave you fatigued, and if you are not careful, you can fall asleep.
 
Stay alert by taking regular breaks on a long journey. You can also open the window for a few seconds every now and then. Nothing wakes you up more than a blast of cold air.
 
Stay hydrated by drinking water, as dehydration can cause tiredness and headaches.
 

9. Safety Is The Key To Winter Driving

 
Road accidents caused by winter weather are common and can cause personal injury. Keeping yourself and your family safe when driving in winter is the most important thing.
 
Regardless of these winter driving safety tips, you should all routinely be wearing seatbelts and sitting still in the vehicle.
 
Never text or use your cellphone manually, as it can distract you from driving. And you should never drive while under the influence of drink or drugs.
 

One of the Most Important Winter Driving Safety Tips: Get Legal Help Following a Car Accident

 
So those are some tips on winter driving. Most of it comes down to common sense and being cautious.
 
When you know the journey and the roads are familiar it can be easy to get complacent. But driving in snow and ice is hazardous and you should always take it slowly, and be prepared.
 
However, if you were involved in a car accident, you should seek legal help as soon as possible. Talk to one of our personal injury attorneys today at (800) 674-7854 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

 

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2 Drivers Seriously Injured in Car Crash on Pacific Coast Highway and Prospect Avenue [Torrance, CA]

7 Ways to Get in a Car Accident in Washington State

Washington state should be a great place for driving – stunning scenery, such as woodlands and mountains, all make for a unique and potentially pleasurable driving experience. However, getting into a car accident in Washington state is a real, serious problem.
 
Reports show that Washington state drivers are actually among the most at danger to be involved in a car accident. They recently ranked 5th worst in a list topped by California.
 
But what actually causes all this mayhem?
 
Read on for 7 possible ways to get into a car accident in Washington.
 

1. Drunk Driving

 
Let’s start with a serious one.
 
2017 saw a rise from the previous year of DUI related traffic deaths in Washington state – in fact, a shocking 11% increase. And this is while the stats are actually improving in the rest of the country.
 
People who have been drinking are just far more likely to get into serious collisions that those who have not. With 178 fatalities occurring in 2017, the lesson is clear – don’t even think about getting behind the wheel if you’ve had a drink.
 

2. Drug Driving

 
Washington is also known for its legalization of marijuana. However, accidents involving drivers impaired by more than one drug actually accounted for the highest number of fatalities on Washington roads between 2008-2016.
 
Sadly some drivers try to counteract the effects of drugs such as alcohol by taking other drugs, including marijuana. Some may even mistakenly believe that they are better drivers while high.
 
The lesson is clear – drugs and driving do not mix.
 

3. Distracted Driving

 
Distracted driving is defined as driving while engaged in another activity. Typically these days, that involves using a cell phone or other electronic devices, such as GPS systems or tablets.
 
This type of driving is a major cause of recent car accidents in Washington state.
 
A recent survey by the AAA indicated that distracted driving is drivers’ number 1 concern on the roads – with 88% feeling it’s the biggest danger today.
 
In Washington, what do the stats show?
 
In recent years, the number of fatalities from distracted driving accidents have risen sharply. It’s such a serious concern that the Washington Traffic Safety Commission has a goal known as Target Zero – to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries in Washington to zero by 2030.
 
This ties in with tough new laws introduced in 2017 which have clamped down on drivers using handheld devices while driving, even at traffic lights and stop signs.
 
With cell phone use increasing your risk of crashes by 300%, it’s not surprising eliminating this is a top priority for law enforcers.
 

4. Speeding

 
The latest Washington State stats show that a speeding driver was involved in a crash every 27 minutes.
 
Speeding is not only implicated in a high number of fatal accidents but also causes countless serious and minor injuries and millions of dollars worth of damage to property.
 
The key is simple – even if the road’s clear, remember the speed limit. It’s not a buzzkill, it’s there to protect you and everyone else from the lethal weapon you’re sat in.
 

5. Icy Conditions

 
Weather conditions in Washington can get pretty extreme in the winter.
 
Many parts of the state experience average lows of 36°F and precipitation levels notoriously high, the chances are you’re going to get icy days on the roads most years.
 
Snowy conditions can also make roads very slippery and dramatically reduce visibility. Add in our famous high rainfall, and you’ve got a recipe for car accidents.
 
The key to keeping control of the vehicle? Drive slowly and carefully, in as high a gear as you can. Brake and accelerate gently. Gently brake in a safe place to test the road surface. Take corners carefully.
 

6. Wild Animals

 
In many parts of the country, animal hazards on the roads are nothing more than the occasional fox or cat.
 
Not in Washington. Get out of town, and it won’t be long before you run the risk of encountering something big – big enough to cause a serious car accident.
 
The main risk is deer. They’re implicated in hundreds of accidents and many fatalities each year. The key is to keep a keen lookout.
 
Take note of any signs indicating the presence of deer in an area. They’re not there for decoration. Where there’s one deer, there’s likely to be more. Keep checking the sides of the road for any that may roam into your vehicle’s path.
 
The sad fact is that if you do encounter a deer ahead and can’t brake in time, the advice is to hit it. Doing this will be safer than swerving, which will endanger the lives of you, your passengers and other road users.
 

7. Failure to Yield

 
Our final word is for something that comes down to driving courtesy. Failing to yield the right of way to another vehicle is actually one of the easiest ways to get into a car accident in Washingtontoday.
 
Failing to yield to traffic on the right results in collisions with other vehicles, bikes and sadly pedestrians. The latest stats show that these accounted for almost 19,000 accidents in one year alone. This included 34 fatalities.
 

Avoid These Likely Ways to Get in a Car Accident in Washington State

 
Clearly, we’ve got a long way to go to make Washington State a safe and fun place to go out for a drive.
 
But many of the ways to get into a car accident in Washington State that we’ve looked at are easily preventable. Staying away from drink and drugs, taking some simple precautions against the weather and wildlife are two good options.
 
Also, if you find yourself puzzled about what to do at an intersection, always remember to yield to vehicles already in the intersection you are approaching.
 
If you have found yourself in a Washington car collision, then make sure you’ve got an experienced team of lawyers backing you up.
 
Click here to see how Sweet Lawyers can help you today. Or call us at (800) 674-7854 for a free consolation.

 

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