Alameda Personal Injury Law Blog

What are common causes of traumatic brain injuries?

Like other medical injuries that California residents may suffer, traumatic brain injuries can be mild or may be life-threatening. No matter the degree of severity, brain injuries occur when the normal activities of the brain are disrupted by bumps, jolts or penetrations on or into the brain. Depending on how and the severity of the injury, the injured party may require medical attention and long-term support.

Traumatic brain injuries or TBI can be acquired in many different ways. One of the most common causes of TBI is car accidents. When a car is involved in an accident, its driver or passenger may be violently thrown forward, backward or in other directions. When this happens, the victim may collide with interior and exterior surfaces of their vehicle and hit their head. These impacts can result in serious trauma to victims' heads and brains.

Elevators don’t always perform as designed

You don't think twice when you set foot on an elevator. You get on, hit the button for the floor you want to visit and relax.

But before you get too comfortable, don't forget that elevators can sometimes act up. Any type of malfunction can result in serious injury or even death.

Drunk drivers are a danger to everyone else on the roads

Drunk driving is a serious problem in every state across the United States. Every day, innocent individuals lose their lives and suffer life-changing injuries when vehicles operated by intoxicated drivers hit the cars they are driving and riding in. Too many California families have been affected by the actions of drunk drivers and have suffered the pain of losing loved ones in drunk driving collisions.

Drunk driving does not only happen when a driver is heavily inebriated. Even a small amount of alcohol can impact a driver's ability to safely operate their vehicle. According to National Highway Transportation Safety Board, as little as one drink can change the way that a driver perceives their driving ability. They may not be able to see as well, may suffer from lapses in judgment and may feel more relaxed; therefore, they are more likely to make overly confident driving decisions than conditions may warrant.

Who is subject to alcohol and drug testing by FMCSA?

Much like automobile drivers must abide by certain regulations, the same applies to truck drivers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA is a federal government entity tasked with regulating who carries goods throughout the nation in trucks and how those trucks are maintained. Drivers who operate large trucks must obtain special commercial drivers' licenses and having a CDL may mean that a person is subject to drug and alcohol testing by FMCSA. This post will further explore what individuals and entities may have to comply with these important safety procedures.

Drivers who operate trucks in California and who drive their trucks out of California may be required to submit to periodic drug and alcohol testing. It does not matter if the driver works for a private company, a government entity or a religious organization, as all such drivers must follow FMCSA rules. Holding a CDL is enough to trigger drug and alcohol testing even if a person does not use their license to transport goods.

Factors that can influence premises liability claims

Injuries that occur on the properties of others may be compensable under personal injury theories of law. Particularly, premises liability law relates to the responsibility of property owners and non-owner residents to keep land, buildings and other real property sites free of dangers and other hazards. When a California resident is hurt while visiting someone else's home, they may have the right to sue for the recovery of their damages.

However, many factors can influence the outcomes of premises liability cases. One of the most relevant factors to such claims is the status of the victim with regard to the property where they were hurt. If a person should have had an expectation of safety when they entered the property, they are more likely to have the right to sue. If, though, they trespassed or entered the property against the wishes of the landowner, their claim may not be valid.

5 highway driving tips to keep you safe

Driving on the highway can be nerve-racking, as you're in close proximity to a large number of fast-moving vehicles. Add in the fact that the roadways aren't always in the best condition, and it's natural to have concerns about being injured in an accident.

There are many highway driving tips you can follow to maintain your safety, with these five among the most important:

  • Maintain a safe speed: Know the speed limit and follow it at all times. The faster you drive, the more likely you are to be part of an accident.
  • Leave a greater following distance: Don't drive too closely to the vehicle in front of yours, as you want to have enough time to stop in an emergency. For example, if the driver in front of you slams on their brakes, a greater distance gives you time to stop before causing a rear-end collision.
  • Stay in the right lane: With so many lanes to choose from, it's easy to set up shop in the passing lane and stay there for an extended period of time. This is a dangerous approach to highway driving, as the right lane is where you want to spend most of your time.
  • Share the road with all other vehicles: For instance, if you're driving in close proximity to a commercial truck, stay out of the driver's blind spot and do your part in leaving them enough space to operate safely.
  • Remain alert: When cruising on the highway, it's easy to become distracted. You check your cellphone for text messages, you pick up a bite to eat or you scan the radio for your favorite song. Failing to remain alert puts you in harm's way.

Living after the loss of a loved one from a wrongful death

Last week, this Alameda-based personal injury legal blog offered a post on the tragic loss of nearly 3 dozen lives in a boat fire in Southern California. The victims perished when the dive boat they were sleeping on caught fire and they were unable to escape to safety. As investigations into the fire continue, families throughout the state are left reeling from unimaginable losses and extreme emotional pain.

This overwhelming tragedy created many victims and gave rise to many possible legal claims against possible defendants like the owners of the boat and the operators of the dive company that chartered it. However, not all potential wrongful death accidents are as public in nature or large in scale. In fact, many wrongful death incidents happen on local California roads and highways when vehicle accidents turn deadly.

Many killed in dive boat fire

California is a beautiful state that contains some of the nation's most precious natural environments. From the mountains of the Sierra Nevada to the desert of Death Valley, California provides its residents with practically every type of terrain that they could want. This includes water as well, because California contains many pristine lakes as well as hundreds of miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean.

Millions of people flock to California's beaches each year, and many enjoy taking boats out into the ocean to explore the vastness of the space. Below the surface of the water, scuba divers and snorkelers can find whole worlds hidden away that would not otherwise have been visible to them from the shore. Dive boats take individuals out to parts of the ocean that they may not be able to otherwise access to experience the water in a different way.

Different brain injuries may have different symptoms

Suffering a head trauma is a serious situation. The American Association of Neurological Surgeons identifies two different ways that traumatic brain injuries or TBI may occur. First, TBI can happen when a person suffers a blow to their head that affects their brain. Second, TBI may result if a person suffers a penetration injury to their brain. Both impact and penetration injuries to the head are possible when individuals are involved in common personal injury events like motor vehicle accidents, and when TBI occurs, a victim can suffer a range of side effects.

The severity of a TBI may determine if the victim will lose consciousness after their injury-causing event. While a mild TBI may cause a victim to suffer a momentary loss of consciousness or no loss of consciousness at all, serious TBI harm may result in coma or even loss of life. Other symptoms of TBI will vary based on severity of injury as well.

When should a car accident victim consider a settlement?

It is important that California residents seek legal guidance when they are involved in serious incidents, such as car accidents. That is because different cases may be resolved in different ways, and the theories of law that support some victims' claims may not be the same as for other victims. To this end, this post does not offer legal advice and is informational in its contents.

A settlement is an agreement between parties to avoid litigation based on the terms of a negotiation. In the context of a car accident case, a victim may choose to settle their legal claims against the responsible party in exchange for a sum of money. Rather than going to court and fighting for damages, the parties to a settlement agree to an amount of money that the responsible party will pay to the victim in exchange for the victim giving up their rights to sue in the future.

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