Archive | June 2012

Riverside Car v. Pedestrian Accident Kills Woman in Riverside – June 10, 2012

pedestrian marking on groundIn a sad story, a 35 year old woman was struck and killed in Riverside as she attempted to cross the street at Tyler Street at Kidd Street. A 2007 GMC truck struck the woman at about 8:30 p.m. shortly after dark. Condolences to the family of the killed woman.

Have you ever experienced a situation where you looked left then right and still didn’t see the pedestrian crossing the street? I have and it is really scary to know I came so close to hitting an unprotected pedestrian. It is so easy to miss seeing a pedestrian when you as a driver are looking for cars, trucks and motorcycles. Pedestrian accidents are often serious if not fatal.

So as a pedestrian how do you protect yourself from accidents, or in an accident? Here are five things you should do.

1. Try to avoid crossing the street at night unless absolutely necessary.

2. Wear bright and visible clothing if you expect to be walking

3. Cross in a crosswalk and not in the middle of a block, drivers will not expect you to be walking in the middle of the street and

4. Use defensive strategies when crossing the street. In other words, do not think the driver of the car or truck will see you in the street

5. Protect yourself with a large uninsured motorist insurance policy. You will be covered if the insurance policy of the driver is insufficient to cover your losses.

I once represented a girl who darted across the street and was hit be a car that sped off following the accident. She suffered significant injuries but was able to recover from most of them. Until she came to our office with her father, they did not know that their insurance had uninsured motorist coverage that would protect her from a hit and run driver. The small preparation and forethought of her father protected her from loss. We settled for the policy limits.

Follow these rules for safe walking and avoid the trauma accompanying car verses pedestrian accidents.

 

 

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Teenage Driving is a Blessing and a Curse

Teenage driving is a blessing and a curse. As a parent of four children who have all gone through the teenage driving phase, I was grateful that my teenage drivers were able to drive themselves to school or to get to their sporting practices or even to run some errands for me. On the dark side of teenage driving is the fact that their inexperience, lack of appreciation for the responsibility and since their sense of personal invincibility makes them a greater danger to themselves, their passengers and the general motoring public.

This thought was brought to the forefront of my mind when I read about an 19 year old teenage driver, Michael Navarrete of Hemet, who was driving his Ford Explorer when he lost control and ran into a traffic signal pole in Menifee. While all the details of the accident are unclear, it appears that speed and inattention played a part in the cause of the accident. As a result of this accident where the Explorer struck the pole, a 19 year old boy, Donovan Adams, was killed and two other teenage passengers, Joel Connor Fritz and Gregory Gonzalez, were critically injured. This tragic accident will have lasting affects on the families and friends of all these young men yet it was an avoidable accident.

Not long ago I handled a case involving graduating seniors at high school who were traveling from a school sponsored picnic home, when two cars, one filled with boys and the other filled with girls, ended up colliding and ejecting several passengers because they had too many in the car and not enough seat belts. One of the drivers was not even licensed but the father still let him drive.

If you are the parent of a teenager, or a teenage driver, remind them over and over of the dangers associated with driving. Remind your teenage passengers to be firm about the driver driving safely and to focus on the task of driving and not on the distractions in and out of the car. Make sure your children know they can call you if they find themselves in an unsafe situation and that you will be there for them as their true friend and not to judge them.

Finally, if your teenager has been involved in an accident where he or she has suffered injuries, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for recovering damages. Don’t forget that if your child is either insured or lives in your home, and your insurance policy includes Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, some of the damages or losses may be covered by that insurance policy. A good personal injury attorney has the ability to assist you in finding all available insurance coverage to reduce the financial impact on you and your child.

TEXTING TEENAGER CONVICTED OF MOTOR VEHICLE HOMICIDE

This week a new legal landmark occurred in the arena of texting and driving.  In Massachusetts, a 18 year old teenager was convicted of motor vehicle homicide.  The conviction results from a head-on automobile accident caused by the teenager texting while driving and allowing his car to veer into the on-coming traffic.  The teenager, Aaron Deveau, killed Donald Bowley, a 55 year old father of three.  Deveau argued that he was not texting, but the phone records show text messages were sent and received only a minute prior to the accident.  There were 193 texts sent on the day of the accident.

Texting while driving is a crime in California as it is in many other states.  This means that it is a crime to text anytime the car is in drive, whether you are moving or not.  If a person has been involved in an accident, and it is suspected that texting or cell phone use was a possible distraction which contributed to the accident, get the responsible driver’s cell phone records and compare them with the time of the accident.  A lawsuit and a personal injury attorney may be necessary to subpoena those records.  That information, if it shows texting or talking was on-going at the time of the accident, will help establish liability for the accident.

Smartphones can as be extremely helpful during an accident.  Watch our video on to collect and gather information at an accident scene.  Be safe out there and don’t drive and text.