Category: Blog

3 Tips to Avoid a Holiday Car Crash

With the holiday season upon us, people will be back on the roads traveling to visit family. More vehicles on the road could mean an increase in car crashes. Follow these tips to better protect yourself from a car crash:

Tip #1: Be Prepared

Map out your trip. Looking up the best route for your trip ahead of time will keep you from fidgeting with a navigation system or looking up directions on your phone while you are driving. These are forms of distracted driving. Taking your eyes away from the road for even a few seconds could cause a crash. If you do need to use a navigation system, ask a passenger to find directions or pull over somewhere safe first.

Check the weather. Inclement weather can be a dangerous factor when driving, especially if it causes low visibility. Stay alert, slow down, don’t follow other cars too closely and if you need to brake, leave yourself plenty of room. If you know it is supposed to snow or rain during your trip, it could also be beneficial to have your tire tread and windshield wipers checked for high performance.

Tip #2: Get Plenty of Rest

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drowsy driving could account for nearly seven percent of all traffic crashes. It is easy to miss your recommended hours of sleep during the holiday season. The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends that adults between 26 and 64 years of age sleep seven to nine hours each night. However, with work, holiday preparations, family gatherings and long travel days, it can be difficult to get enough sleep.

If you feel tired while driving, ask one of your passengers to switch places with you. If you are alone, pull over at a safe place to take a short nap or find somewhere to spend the night. Though not a long-term solution, caffeine could help you concentrate on the road for a few hours.

Tip #3: Designate a Sober Driver

Holiday parties and family gatherings will be in full swing through the new year. California law enforcement agencies implement maximum enforcement periods during the holiday season because they know that holidays also mean an increase in impaired driving.

Even one or two drinks at your holiday party could put you at risk for a drunk driving accident. Take a few minutes before an event to designate a sober driver or make other arrangements.

Why Should I Contact a Car Accident Attorney After an Accident?

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Fairfield, we recommend that you call our car accident attorneys at Barnett, Bennett & Scott LLP. A car accident attorney could help you gather important evidence to determine fault. In addition, an experienced attorney could help you through the claims process, negotiate your settlement or fight for you in court.

You could have a viable claim to recover compensation for lost wages and medical bills. Call us at (707) 425-0671 or contact us online to discuss your situation. Check out our FAQ page to see our answers to frequently asked questions!

Avoid These Black Friday Shopping Injuries

Black Friday is regarded as the first traditional day of the holiday shopping season and stores use that to their advantage. However, it is also historically a dangerous day. If stores do not have solid safety plans in place, overcrowding can become hazardous. If you plan to participate in Black Friday shopping this year, be aware of the following accidents:

Slips, trips and falls. Depending on the weather, shoppers could track in water on their shoes from rain. Water could create slippery floors at the store’s entrance and throughout the aisles. If the water is not dealt with accordingly, shoppers could slip and injure themselves. Warning signs should be placed around wet floors. With the large number of shoppers, loose mats or torn carpets could result in tripping too.

Be aware of chemical spills or food and drink spills. With people grabbing for items, you can expect to see them.

Trampling. Though uncommon, trampling has occurred on Black Friday and has resulted in serious injury and even death. Door buster deals might seem like a good reason to be at the front of the crowd, but you could be at risk of being trampled. Once the doors open, shoppers behind you will be on a mission to get inside as quickly as possible.

Falling merchandise. During large sales, merchandise and extra stock is typically packed onto shelves. If boxes and merchandise have been placed in a hurry, they could easily fall once shoppers start taking items or bump into shelves. If an item is heavy enough and falls off the shelf, it could land on top of a shopper and cause serious body or head injuries.

Additionally, if an item is out of your reach or there is a sign that tells you to ask for assistance, ask an employee to get it for you. Do not risk it yourself.

Altercations with other shoppers. Black Friday deals and lack of sleep can get the best of people. Unfortunately, the horror stories are true. People have been injured from shopping cart altercations, pepper spray, fist fights and weapons during Black Friday. Stay alert and mindful of the shoppers around you and avoid shoving or pushing. You don’t know who you could be dealing with. That Black Friday deal is not worth an assault charge.

Have You Been Injured on a Store’s Premises?

Store owners and operators have a responsibility by law to keep their premises safe for shoppers. This includes keeping walkways clear of spills and managing crowding of their stores.

If you or someone you love is injured on a store’s property, you could have a viable claim to recover compensation. Contact the premises liability attorneys at Barnett, Bennett & Scott LLP to discuss your situation. We could help you understand your rights under the law, determine who is at fault for your injuries and discuss your legal options.

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3 Free Apps to Track Your Kids’ Whereabouts on Halloween

Do your kids want to trick-or-treat with friends this year? Perhaps they want to go to a friend’s neighborhood across town. Letting them go without you could feel scary, but it doesn’t have to. While calling or texting are valid options, chances are they will be too busy snagging candy to respond to your messages right away. You have some options:

App #1: Life360

The Life360 app integrates location and communication on iOS and Android devices. The app does include a messaging feature, but rather than waiting for your kids to message you back, you can simply look at their real-time location as well as their location history. If you have preprogrammed specific destinations into the app, then you will receive alerts when they arrive and leave. You can also set up emergency alerts, so you’ll be notified if they need help.

This app constantly tracks your kids’ locations, so it has been found to use a lot of battery life. A quick fix could be to change the real-time location interval, so it does not constantly track location.

App #2: Glympse

Glympse works on iOS and Android devices. Glympse stands apart from Life360 because you don’t have to install the app on your phone to keep track of your kids. Once you install the app on their phone, you can enter your phone number or e-mail address to track their whereabouts. A link will be sent to your contact information and you can open it on your web browser whenever you want to check on them.

This app will not continuously refresh your child’s location, so it does not use as much battery life. However, you will have to update their location manually by clicking on the provided link.

App #3: Trusted Contacts

Trusted Contacts also works on iOS and Android devices. Like Life360, this app will give you a general idea of the battery life left on your child’s phone. It will also let you know when your child was last active on their phone. Though you can use real-time location with this app, it will use up battery life. What’s different about this app? You can request their location. If your child does not respond to you within a certain timeframe, like five minutes, then the app will automatically share their location with you, even if their phone is offline.

From Barnett, Bennett & Scott LLP, Happy Halloween! Our attorneys represent clients with personal injury cases in Solano County, California, and the surrounding areas. Contact us today for more information.

NHTSA Launches Anti-Drug Slogan in Time for Labor Day Weekend

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, has launched an anti-drug slogan right before Labor Day Weekend to vitalize their national campaign, announced in January 2018, to combat driving under the influence of drugs. The slogan reads: If you feel different, you drive different. Drive high, get a DUI.

Law enforcement officers are intensively focused on keeping alcohol and drug-impaired drivers off of roads during holiday weekends. With the nation’s growing opioid epidemic and more states legalizing cannabis, NHTSA is striving to be more vocal about their fight against impaired driving. As part of this campaign, NHTSA is reminding the public that it is dangerous to drive under the influence of drugs.

In 2016, the California Highway Patrol, or CHP, reported 38 deaths due to vehicle accidents during Labor Day Weekend. There were over 3,600 vehicle fatalities throughout the year. According to NHTSA, about 30-percent of those vehicle fatalities in 2016 involved a driver with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. Since recreational marijuana sales became legal in California starting January 1, 2018, it is even more crucial to spread awareness and education about drug-impaired driving.

While it is the job of the CHP and local police to keep the streets safe for drivers and pedestrians over the holiday weekend, the CHP has set up guidelines to report unsafe drivers so the public can play their part too. If you see someone driving dangerously by weaving in and out of lanes, or veering out of their lane, ask your passenger to call 9-1-1. Try to be as thorough as you can about where you are located, your speed, and details about the car in question. If you are driving alone, always put your safety first, and either use a hands-free device or pull over to the side of the road or into a parking lot before you make the call.

From Barnett, Bennett, & Scott LLP, we want you to have a safe and fun Labor Day Weekend. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident with an impaired driver involved, Barnett, Bennett & Scott LLP Law Firm can help discuss and determine your legal options.

What to Do When the Other Driver Isn’t Insured

If you’re in a car accident with another motorist that is uninsured or underinsured, it may create even more hassle. Being knowledgeable about car insurance policies can help you to ensure that you receive the proper compensation for your damages.

Uninsured Coverage

If you happen to have an accident with an uninsured driver, you’ll have to go to your insurance company to cover any damages. Uninsured motorist coverage, or UM, is insurance that covers you when you are involved in a car accident with an individual that does not have car insurance. It also protects you if the other motorist is at fault for the accident. Though, it’s required by most state laws that drivers have insurance, some motorists are driving without insurance and this is one way to protect yourself and your car.

Underinsured Coverage

Similar to uninsured coverage, having underinsured coverage (UIM coverage) can help you recover damages when you are in a car accident with a driver who has a policy that does not cover compensation for damage and injuries.

It’s best to file a claim immediately with your car insurance company. Many insurance companies limit the time that the policy holder has to file a claim.

Questions About a Car Accident?

If you need assistance with your car accident claim, contact the attorneys at Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP. Our law firm takes the unique approach of having all of our attorneys look over and offer their guidance on all of our cases. This way we can all work together to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries or loss.

Common Facts About Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents are a common occurrence. It is essential that you know what to do after a slip and fall accident because you may be able to recover compensation for your injury. For instance, poorly maintained property could put you and others at risk of being injured.

Common Injuries Due to Slip and Fall Accidents

This is a list of common injuries may occur to individuals during slip and fall accidents:

  • Head Injuries. Hitting your head as a result of slip and fall accident may cause swelling, bleeding, or even a loss of consciousness that could result in a head injury. Head injuries may result in a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or concussion which can have lasting effects on you. It’s important that you seek medical care after sustaining any amount of injury to the head.
  • Cuts and Abrasions. Injuries to the legs, arms, hips, and head are most common. Cuts and abrasion are usually less severe and may require stitches.
  • Back and Spinal Cord Injuries. If you sustain back or spinal cord injuries, you should medical attention immediately. These injuries could be life-threatening and cost you a significant amount of money and physical mobility.
  • Sprains, Fractures and Broken Bones. Slip and fall accidents may cause damage to ligaments and bones as a result of impact onto hard surfaces. Most common injuries are to the arms, legs, and hips. These injuries may require X-rays or surgery.

In the state of California, there is a statute of limitations on when an injured party can file for a lawsuit. An individual has two years to file an action for any of the above injuries against the negligent party. Though, there are a few exceptions to this rule. It’s best to contact a personal injury attorney for more information.

Need More Information About Slip And Fall Accidents?

If you had a slip and fall accident that resulted in injury, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. At Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP, our attorneys will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you need to recover from a slip and fall accident. If you have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit in California, then we are here to help.

Six Motorcycle Safety Tips for Summer Riding

It goes without saying that motorcyclists face serious risks to their safety while riding. Unlike a typical motor vehicle, a motorcycle offers no protection during a collision. To make matters worse, the roads are full of dangerous drivers who routinely put motorcyclists at risk for severe injuries or death. You could take the following motorcycle safety tips into consideration while riding this summer.

  1. Make yourself more visible. Motorists may be unable to see motorcyclists in time to avoid collisions. Therefore, it is important to maximize your visibility. You could wear bright clothing or safety gear, such as a helmet. The color of your motorcycle and the types of lights it uses can also make a difference.
  2. Wear safety gear. You should always wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. Not only is it required by California law, it could save your life. Other types of gear, such as a bodysuit, can protect you from weather or accidents.
  3. Plan your trip ahead of time. Certain road conditions can increase the risk of a motorcycle accident. For instance, heavy rain or strong winds can make riding dangerous. You can check the weather before departing to your destination. Construction zones can also pose a hazard to your safety. You can search for active construction zones on Caltrans’ website.
  4. Brush up on your skills. Inexperienced and seasoned riders can benefit from enrolling in motorcycle safety courses. The California Highway Patrol operates the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. For riders under 21 years old, the program is mandatory. You can also enroll in this program to receive a motorcycle endorsement on your California driver’s license.
  5. Maintain your motorcycle. Like other motor vehicles, motorcycles can suffer from wear and tear. You should keep your motorcycle and its various parts in working order. If the lights, brakes, tires or other essential parts break down, it will increase your risk of an accident.
  6. Watch for hazards. Potholes, construction zones, gravel, debris left by other vehicles and sand are examples of hazards that can cause you to lose control of your motorcycle. It is important to scan the road for these hazards.

There are other basic riding techniques our blog did not cover, such as riding at a speed that is safe for present conditions or not following other vehicles too closely. Follow our blog for future updates on these topics.

Questions About Motorcycle Accidents? Call Our Fairfield Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

You should speak with an attorney if you or a loved one suffered harm in a motorcycle accident. It may be possible to recover compensation for your injuries or loss. The Fairfield motorcycle accident attorneys at Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP can help you determine whether it would be possible to recover compensation.

Common Causes of Bicycle Accidents in California

Cycling continues to increase in popularity as a cheap and healthy transportation option. Statistics published by the League of American Bicyclists shows that at least two California cities have more than 10,000 regular cyclists. Unfortunately, California also has a high number of bicycle accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 129 fatal bicycle accidents in California during 2015 – more than every state except Florida.

There are several ways you could be in a bicycle accident while cycling in California. Common causes of accidents include:

  1. Distracted driving. A motorist could strike your bicycle if they are text messaging or checking email while driving. Distracted drivers are less likely to spot cyclists in time to avoid collisions. Motorists who are eating, applying makeup or fidgeting with the radio are also more likely to hit cyclists.
  2. Drunk or drugged driving. Marijuana, prescription medications and alcohol impair the ability to operate a vehicle. Impaired drivers cause bicycle accidents in California and across the country.
  3. Dooring occurs when a passenger door opens in front of a cyclist. You could be thrown from your bicycle and seriously injured if a door opens in front of you with no warning. Dooring accidents are more common in urban areas, and even in bicycle lanes.
  4. Bicycles may suffer from manufacturing or design defects. Some defects may cause accidents. Safety equipment could also suffer from defects that keep them from working properly during an accident.
  5. Poor visibility. Motorists are more likely to hit you while cycling in areas with poor visibility. Some areas may have poor lighting or a large number of blind spots.
  6. Right and left turns at intersections. Right-hook accidents can occur when vehicles make right turns in front of cyclists who are travelling in a straight line. Left-hook accidents can occur when motorists turn left in front of cyclists at an intersection.

Questions About Bicycle Accidents? Contact Our Fairfield Bicycle Accident Attorneys

Bicycle accidents may lead to life-altering injuries that require rehabilitation and other medical services. You or your loved one may be unable to return to work as a result of the injury. After a bicycle accident, it is important to speak with an attorney to determine your options for securing compensation that can help pay these expenses.

The Fairfield bicycle accident attorneys at Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP offer free consultations that can help explain if these options are available.

What Should or Shouldn’t I Do After a Car Accident?

When you’re in a car accident, it’s understandable if your state of shock affects your decision-making process after the accident. You might forget to collect the other driver’s information, neglect to seek medical help for your injuries, or not even consider calling the police to file a police report. These decisions, however, are essential steps to take in order to file a strong car accident case. They are especially important should you be interested in seeking compensation for damages sustained in the accident. Don’t just walk away from a car accident. Make sure you get all the information necessary for your insurance and injury claim.

Do This!

After the car accident, it is important you seek medical help immediately if you or someone else is injured in the accident. Severe car accidents have resulted in catastrophic injuries such as crushed or amputated limbs, traumatic brain injuries, or paralysis. First responders are trained to handle these severe injuries. They can provide initial emergency care and transport the injured parties to the nearest hospital for additional treatment.

Report injuries to the police. If no one was injured in the accident, report this information as well. Police officers can write up a report of the accident for you and provide details regarding road conditions, injuries, and other factors. This report could be beneficial to your car accident claim when attempting to prove that the other driver is liable for your injuries. If possible, collect the other driver’s information as well. This includes his or her:

  • Full Name
  • Address
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Home/Work/Cell Phone
  • Vehicle License Plate
  • Insurance Company’s Name
  • Policy Numbers

Don’t Do That!

After the car accident, resist the urge to leave the site of the accident immediately. Instead of facing the possibility of criminal charges for a “hit and run”, stay at the accident site. This is especially important if you have been injured in the accident. Don’t leave to find assistance but call 911 and wait for help. First responders will assist you with any injuries you sustained in the accident. It is also important to contact a car accident attorney to begin collecting evidence for your car accident case.

Do not sign any authorization forms, property damage documents, or finalize insurance paperwork without consulting with a car accident attorney first. You are not legally required to give the other insurance company a statement. Further, make sure all repairs to your damaged property and medical treatment for your injuries are completed. You’ll want to know the full extent of the damages you sustained and the total end costs before submitting your car accident claim. This way you can increase your chances of getting a large amount of coverage or complete coverage of the damages sustained in the car accident.

If you need assistance with your car accident claim, contact the attorneys at the Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP. Our law firm takes the unique approach of having all of our attorneys look over and offer their guidance on all of our cases. This way we can all work together to get you the compensation you deserve for your injury costs.

Could Social Media Affect the Outcome of My Personal Injury Case?

Millions of people across the country use social media services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat. Social media has become an inescapable aspect of our lives. However, you should be cautious about what you are posting on your social media accounts if you have recently filed a personal injury claim.

What you say on social media could be seen by attorneys who are defending the parties you have filed a claim against. Your posts, photos and videos on social media could be used to establish a narrative that harms your case. Depending on the nature of the posts, you could even lose the chance to recover compensation. You may use the following social media tips to protect yourself during your case.

  1. Remain cautious: It goes without saying, but you should consider that anything you post could be seen by attorneys working for the defense. You could stay off social media while your case is active. If this is not possible, then exercise extreme caution. Even seemingly harmless photos or posts could be used to hurt your claim.
  2. Turn off sharing: You could be tagged by friends in posts or photos if you have sharing features turned on. These features could be disabled while your case is active. Attorneys working for the defense may be able to see shared content posts.
  3. Limit your social media profile’s Google presence: Your social media accounts may be found with a Google search. However, many social media platforms allow you to modify how you appear on third-party websites and search engines. Considering modifying these features to maximize your privacy.
  4. Be very cautious about deleting content: Spoliation of evidence is a serious offense. You could face court sanctions if you delete posts or social media accounts.
  5. Consult with your attorney: If you are unclear about how your social media accounts should be treated during your case, then ask your attorney for help. Your attorney is there to help your case succeed and to give you guidance that could prevent you from making mistakes.

Contact Our Solano County Personal Injury Lawyers

The merits of your case should be as strong as possible. At Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP, our attorneys will work tirelessly to help you obtain the compensation you need to recover from a wrongful injury. If you have questions about filing a personal injury lawsuit in California, then we are here to help.

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Barnett, Bennett & Scott LLP.

712 Empire Street,
Fairfield, CA 94533

P: 707.425.0671