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Monterey County Personal Injury Blog


Monterey County personal injury attorneyWhen a parent gives their child a new toy, they are subconsciously putting their trust in the manufacturer and retailer of that toy. Consumers usually assume that toys meant for children are safe, but unfortunately, injuries and deaths due to defective or malfunctioning children’s products happen every year. Here is what you need to know if your child has been killed or injured while using a defective product.

Federal Law Regarding Unsafe Children’s Toys

The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was generated in order to prevent as many injuries from defective products as possible. The Act gave the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) more funding and required stricter regulations for manufacturers regarding product’s allowable lead content. The Act also imposed rules specifically for child products like cribs, pacifiers, baby bouncers, walkers, and toys. Manufacturers who violate safety standards for products meant for children are subject to serious legal penalties and lawsuits.

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Monterey County personal injury attorneysA car accident can be a traumatic event, regardless of whether it was a relatively minor fender-bender or a devastating crash. In the moments that follow a motor vehicle collision, you may feel confused, overwhelmed, and unsure of what to do next. It is, however, important to take action in identifying and treating injuries and to document the circumstances of the crash as much as possible. Doing so can help you protect your rights and your eligibility to collect compensation if your accident was caused by someone else.

If you have been involved in any type of car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you should:

  • Look for injuries and get medical attention – First take stock of yourself and determine if you are injured. If you are able, check others for injuries, including other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians who may have been involved in the accident. If you can render first aid, do so, but be ready to call 911 for emergency help;
  • Notify the police – While you may not want to get the police involved, notifying the authorities about the accident will likely offer you a great deal of protection. California law also requires you to report your accident to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 10 days if anyone is killed or injured or if property damages exceeds $1,000;
  • Exchange information with everyone involved – If you are not seriously hurt, do your best to obtain the name, address, phone number, license plate number, and insurance coverage details from the other drivers and everyone else involved. Do not admit mistakes or apologize, even if you think you were at fault;
  • Gather evidence – The aftermath of the accident may seem chaotic, but you should gather as much information as you can before you leave the scene. Take photos of the location of vehicles and damage sustained, as well as other potentially important details such as traffic lights, signs, weather conditions, and skid marks. If witnesses are available, obtain their names and phone numbers. Be sure to check businesses or government buildings in the area for possible security camera video of the crash;
  • Get the police report – Once a report is filed with the police, be sure to get a copy of it. If an officer responded to the scene, his or her observations will likely be important in determining who was at fault. If the police report seems inaccurate based on your recollection of events, it is crucial to know that right away so that you can take action to protect your rights; and
  • Contact a lawyer – Even if fault seems obvious, it can still be difficult to collect the money you need to cover your medical bills and property damage. A qualified car accident lawyer can review your case, help establish fault, and assist you in pursuing the compensation you deserve. 

Contact a Monterey County Car Accident Lawyer

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Monterey County personal injury attorneysApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month which means that public education and awareness campaigns have been ramped up to remind drivers about the dangers of driving while distracted. While the most commonly discussed form of distracted driving involves the use of cell phones, eating, drinking, applying makeup, tending to children, and even just talking to a passenger can all take a driver’s attention away from the road. Federal safety officials estimate that about 10 percent of all roadway fatalities are caused by distracted driving, but a new study shows that the number of people who use mobile devices while driving has actually gone up in recent years.

A Dangerous Decision

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently released the results of its annual Traffic Safety Culture Index. The index is a survey that measures drivers’ opinions and behaviors while on the road. According to the survey, nearly 90 percent of drivers polled said that they believe that distracted driving is on the rise, compared to 68 percent who said aggressive driving was increasing and 43 percent who expressed concern about increasing drunk driving dangers.

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Monterey County car accident lawyerOver the last several years, there has been much talk about the rise of driverless vehicles and how they will make American roadways safer in the decades to come. Unfortunately, we are not quite there yet. In fact, most experts suggest that autonomous vehicle technology is still its infancy. As the software that manages driverless cars and trucks improves, however, there will certainly be accidents and mishaps, and some will cause injuries and deaths. Just last month, the first fatal crash involving an autonomous vehicle and a pedestrian occurred in Tempe, Arizona, and tech companies are taking the matter very seriously. 

A Tragic Incident

The accident happened on a Sunday night in March when a self-driving Uber SUV hit a 49-year-old woman as she was walking her bicycle across the street. The woman was taken to a local hospital where she died of her injuries. The vehicle was in autonomous mode, but a test driver was behind the wheel, ostensibly to take over control if necessary. Video of the incident, as well as police reports, indicated that the woman “suddenly emerg[ed] from the darkness on the side of the road.” The video also showed that the human test driver was not looking at the road at the time of crash. 

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Monterey County car accident attorneyFor decades, we have heard of the dangers of drunk driving, but alcohol is not the only mind-altering substance drivers sometimes use before getting behind the wheel. Data shows that drugged driving, or driving under the influence of drugs, is just as dangerous than drunk driving and may be even more common. A 2009 study showed that one out of every three individuals killed in car accidents tested positive for drugs. Drivers under the influence of drugs are not only a danger to themselves but also put everyone else on the road at risk.

Recreational Marijuana Concerns

Our country’s attitude has certainly changed regarding drug use in the last few decades. Many states, including California, have significantly reduced criminal penalties for marijuana use. Since California legalized the use of recreational marijuana, many have worried that there will be an increase of drugged drivers on the roads. To be clear, it is against the law to be under the influence of marijuana while operating a motor vehicle. The law says that a person is guilty of driving under the influence (DUI) if he or she is driving under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug. Motorists can also be charged with a DUI for driving while addicted to a drug.

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