U-Turn Accidents: Who’s at Fault?

In many driving situations in the San Fernando Valley, it is dangerous — and sometimes downright illegal — to make a u-turn. It is not surprising that turning the car 180 degrees, to travel with oncoming traffic, can cause serious accidents. Indeed, hundreds of drivers are injured and even killed every year when making u-turns. If you or a loved one was injured by a driver making a reckless u-turn, contact an experienced auto accident attorney.

Common Causes of U-Turn Accidents

Common causes of u-turn accidents can include making a u-turn where it is illegal to do so; making a u-turn from a parked position or stopped position on the right side of the road; reckless, careless or negligent u-turns without looking for traffic, and obstructed views; and making a u-turn through a middle yellow “turning” lane. Whether a u-turn is illegal depends in part on where you do it.

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Auto Accidents Occurring On On-Ramps

Unfortunately, accidents near or on freeway off-ramps and on-ramps in the San Fernando Valley are more common than one might wish. Recently, for example, a So Cal driver carrying newspapers in a pickup truck hit a guardrail located near an onramp, flipped over, and the car lights turned off. A sedan headed onto the onramp ran into the truck, and the driver of the truck died as a result of this second accident.  In another instance, a woman pushing her baby in a stroller was seriously injured in a pedestrian accident when an SUV struck her as she was walking through the crosswalk of an on-ramp.

While many vehicles accelerate to enter the freeway at safe speeds, many do not and the risk to pedestrians, stopped cars, and other drivers is high. These tragic tales are a harsh reminder of the importance of driving without distractions and proceeding on and off of freeways with extreme care.

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Does Hollywood Encourage Illegal Speed Racing?

Despite its glorification in Hollywood films such as the “Fast and the Furious” series and “Need for Speed,” street racing (or drag racing) has been blamed for causing many accidents — and with good reason. Drivers often lose control of their vehicles due to high racing speeds, resulting in injuries and fatalities to drivers, passengers, or bystanders.

Street racing generally refers to any contest or exhibition of speed between two or more vehicles on any street or roadway and is illegal in most states, including California. According to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the California Office of Traffic Safety, hundreds of citations are issued each year for illegal speed racing. Since 2006, California has allowed prosecutors to charge drivers who engage in reckless driving or speed contests that injure another person with a felony. Drivers could also be sentenced to six months in state prison and fined up to $1,000. Prior to that time, drivers could only be charged with a misdemeanor and thus faced shorter prison stints (if they faced any at all).

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What to Do After a Pedestrian Accident

Pedestrian accidents can happen anywhere, anytime, even when you think are paying attention. Perhaps, before crossing a street, you checked left and right and saw that the coast was clear of cars. Or you saw a car and believed that you and a driver made eye contact and it was safe to cross the street, but the driver didn’t slow down. Long story short? Accidents between motorists and pedestrians in Woodland Hills are common. If you are a pedestrian who was hit by an automobile driver, there are several things you should know.

First, the driver of the car, truck, or motorcycle may face both civil and criminal liability. Civil liability means that as the injured pedestrian, you may sue for damages sustained as a result of the accident. An experienced pedestrian accident attorney will be able to help you with this. You may be able to recover medical expenses, lost wages, emotional distress, and for injuries suffered. Additionally, a local government agency, such as the District Attorney’s Office, could charge the driver with criminal liability. This means the state would prosecute the driver for injuries caused to you if the driver was determined to be breaking the law, such as driving under the influence or engaging in a hit and run. Criminal liability could result in fines, probation, jail time, and loss of a driver’s license.

Legal Obligations of Driver Who Hits a Pedestrian

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Don’t Terminate Me —Bro!

Woodland Hills Personal Injury Lawyer Barry P. Goldberg has noticed a shift in litigation attorneys’ attitudes towards discovery in court.  Due to under-funded Superior Courts, it is more and more difficult to enforce discovery.  Therefore, a “new breed” of litigator is growing that is trying to game the otherwise self-executing discovery process.  When they eventually…

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10 Details You Should Write Down After Being Involved in a Car Accident

In the confusion and chaos often following a serious auto accident in Woodland Hills, the last thing on many accident victims’ minds is protecting their legal rights. However, if down the road, you or your loved one may want to consider bringing a personal injury claim against a negligent driver, it is important that you remember to gather certain information that could end up being very useful. Of course, if you or your loved one is seriously injured in the crash and require immediate transportation to a hospital to take care of injuries, your well-being comes first. Perhaps a non-injured friend or family member can obtain documentation and photographs to potentially be used as evidence on your behalf.

What to Write Down After an Auto Accident

If you or a loved one is injured in an automobile accident, it could be helpful to write down, or have someone else write down for you, these ten important accident-related details as soon as possible:

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A Proper C.C.P. § 998 Offer to Compromise Must Apportion Amounts to Multiple Defendants.

Woodland Hills Personal Injury Attorney Barry P. Goldberg is a major advocate of utilizing the California Code of Civil Procedure § 998 Offer to Compromise in every case.  In fact, Mr. Goldberg calls the procedure the “Tactic of Champions” because it can reverse substantial costs of litigation to the losing party.  Unfortunately, many lawyers do…

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Side Swipe, or Lane Changing Auto Accidents

Lane change or “side swipe” collisions are more common than one might think.  These auto accidents are described as a “glancing blow” from or on the side of another object, such as another vehicle and usually occur when one vehicle makes an improper lane change and makes contact with the vehicle in the adjacent lane. Drivers of motorcycles and commercial trucks can also be guilty of side swipe collisions.  Cyclists are often victims of these accidents as drivers underestimate or fail to acknowledge the space a cyclist needs on the road.

A side swipe accident in Woodland Hills may also be caused by a distracted driver who veers into the adjacent lane.  Distracted driving occurs under a variety of circumstances, including texting while driving, using a phone, being impaired by alcohol or prescription drugs, or a host of other circumstances.

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Be Careful Out There! The Recreational Immunity Statute Could Preclude Liability!

Woodland Hills Personal Injury Lawyer Barry P. Goldberg encourages everyone to enjoy the outdoors and experience all that California, Los Angeles County and Ventura County have to offer.  However, if you are entering property to hike, sight see or bike, you may not be able to sue anyone if you are injured.  This surprises many…

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Recovering Lost Wages After An Auto Accident

If you are involved an auto, bicycle, or motorcycle accident in the San Fernando Valley, you might be able to recover financial compensation for your injuries. For example, your lawyer may seek “lost income” and/or “lost earning capacity” damages in presenting claims to the insurance company or at trial. These types of monetary awards aim to make you or an injured loved one “whole” after an accident.

“Lost Income” Financial Recovery for Injuries

Personal injury victims may seek lost income damages as compensation for wages and benefits lost due to injury. For instance, if you were unable to work for two weeks following a car accident, your San Fernando Valley auto accident lawyer might seek two weeks’ worth of wages, because you “lost income” during that week. For purposes of calculating the damages, you need not miss the days of work consecutively. Any income lost can be counted, whether it was one day here, and two days the following week, due to pain and/or doctor’s appointments that prevented you from working. Lost income damages can be fairly straightforward to prove, because these damages involve examining the person’s work attendance record and their pay stubs.

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