Troubling Numbers Show Auto Accidents on the Rise

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), auto accidents are on the rise and these rising accident numbers are “a troubling departure from a general downward trend.”  For the first half of 2015, traffic-related fatalities nationally spiked upward when compared against the same period from 2014. In fact, they jumped by more than 8% over the previous year. And unfortunately, the statistics relating to roadway deaths in 2014 were anything but positive. Statistics from NHTSA reports indicate that, on average, nearly 90 people died in the United States in motor vehicle crashes every day last year.

Is there a specific reason that so many innocent victims are being killed in car accidents in California and throughout the country?

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El Nino Is Here! How You Can Avoid a Car Accident

As Southern California drivers know, weather is not generally our biggest concern when it comes to tackling the roads. Now traffic on the other hand… We can count on gridlock on the 101, 405, 10, and just about every side street throughout the San Fernando Valley! However, things are changing this winter — El Nino has arrived.

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, there is an 80% chance that El Niño will continue to rain over California until early spring. This mean that throughout January, February, March, and even into April, California drivers can expect to see colder weather, torrential rainfall at times, and wet roads. For many young drivers, this will be their first time dealing with these less than desirable road conditions. It is important to make sure that whether you are a passenger or another driver on the road, you stay safe and avoid being injured in a serious auto accident.

A few safe-driving best practices for wet roads caused by El Nino include…

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Getting Coverage for your Property Loss — Consider the “Efficient Proximate Cause.”

Woodland Hills personal injury attorney has significant experience in insurance and insurance coverage.  Often, the ability to understand and access insurance coverage is a key component in a successful recovery in a large personal injury action.  Many of the insurance coverage principles overlap when analyzing your own first party property damage claims—particularly water damage claims.  Most homeowners are baffled when their water damage or other claim is denied.  I always recommend that the insured actually read the policy and consider the “efficient proximate cause” of the loss, especially when there are multiple causes for the loss.

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9 Year Old’s Death Brings Attention to Pit Bull Attacks

Pit bulls are loved by many, but a recent case of a tragic dog bite mauling reminds us that these animals can be deadly.

The facts are as follows: a 9 year old California boy was left alone in his sister’s trailer home with three pit bulls for approximately three hours on Sunday morning when the sister arrived home to find the boy barely clinging to his life. According to official reports, deputies found the child in the trailer home with life-threatening injuries around 10am. He was taken to the hospital where he later died. Investigators said the dog bite victim’s 24-year-old sister left the child home alone with the dogs when she left to go to work.

The death of this young boy is tragic and reminds us that dog bite attacks happen all to often in the greater Los Angeles area.  In fact, this young boy is one of many recent attacks by aggressive pit bulls to take place in the last few months. The victims were individuals of all ages. If you or a loved one has been injured by a vicious dog, contact an experienced dog bite lawyer immediately to discuss your legal rights and potential for financial recovery.

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Motorcycle Accidents and a “Contract for Safety”

Motorcycle accidents are all too common in the San Fernando Valley. Whether its riders coming to or from the windy canyon roads or those using their bikes as an opportunity to avoid some of the 101’s notoriously heavy traffic, more and more motorcyclists are on the roads. And more and more of these riders are getting seriously injured, through no fault of their own, in serious motorcycle crashes. If you or a loved one was injured in a motorcycle crash in Woodland Hills or the surrounding area, know that there are experienced motorcycle accident attorneys on your side.

In an attempt to reduce some of these accident-related injuries (many of them fatal), the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) has introduced a “Contract for Safety” tool for riders. The goal is to foster “communication between prospective motorcyclists and their friends and family members about a safe way forward to motorcycling.” The contract is available for free download on the organization’s website, msf-usa.org.

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Expert Testimony is Necessary to Establish Some Types of Damage, But Not Others.

Woodland Hills personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg is often faced with decisions whether to hire experts on medical causation, or allow the plaintiff and the jury to apply common sense.  Essentially, the question of whether an expert is required comes down to whether the medical [or economic] condition is “beyond common experience” such that…

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Who’s at Fault in a Car Accident During Bad Weather?

Southern California is typically the home of sunshine and warm weather. We generally don’t have to deal with the icy roads, snow, and torrential rain that drivers in other states face each winter. With this nice weather comes inexperience with less than perfect driving conditions. As you have probably experienced firsthand, driving through the San Fernando Valley during a rainstorm can be a harrowing ordeal, with traffic backed up for hours due to car crashes, cautious drivers, and other accidents.

So who’s to blame when the weather causes a car accident in California?

As we have discussed in previous posts, not all car accidents in Woodland Hills are cut-and-dry when it comes to determining liability.  Multiple factors can contribute to fender benders, multi-car pile ups, and catastrophic crashes including driver error, mechanical failure (such as faulty brakes), and inclement weather conditions. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident that was not your fault, speak to an experienced auto accident lawyer who can review all of these factors and build a strong case on your behalf.

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Holidays Can Be A Driving Nightmare for Drivers and Pedestrians

While a time of joy and good cheer for many, the holidays can also be a time of stress — especially for those who are injured in Woodland Hills car accidents.

The Christmas and New Years holidays can be a dangerous time in California for drivers and pedestrians. Drivers are distracted, with thoughts about shopping, meal and party planning, and family dynamics on their minds. Some are returning from holiday parties and are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Many of the drivers in the Valley are visitors who are unfamiliar with the roads. The holidays also bring people out on the road who don’t regularly drive; i.e. elderly drivers who may not have the reaction time they used to, unknowingly putting others at risk.

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Hit and Run Bike Accidents on the Rise

Hit and run accidents are frightening auto accidents that require the assistance of an experienced accident attorney in order for a victim to recover maximum financial damages. While hit-and-run car accidents involving automobiles in Los Angeles County have dropped in recent years, those involving bicycles have jumped 42% over the same time period. With the number of cyclists on the road in Woodland Hills, this is not good news.

In an effort to ‘go green’ and increase activity level among its residents, Los Angeles County has spent the last few years encouraging men, women, and children to get on their bikes, adding more than 120 miles of bike lanes to make bike riding safer. The effort has worked. For example, the number of people throughout the County who commute to work by bike is increasing and residents can find Hulu bikes and other bike rentals on corners throughout the Valley.

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Furnishing an insured vehicle for the “regular use” of a non-insured young driver is excluded from coverage!

Woodland Hills personal injury attorney Barry P. Goldberg is often confronted with attempts by families to side-step paying insurance premiums by allowing a family member to “borrow” a vehicle. Later they contend that the use was occasional or intermittent in order to access liability coverage as a permissive user.  The families are able to own…

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