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!
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Can I Receive Compensation for a Dog Bite in California?
Dogs have been called man’s best friend since as long as many of us can remember. However, there are millions of instances that show dogs do not always live up to this name. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 4.5 million dog bites occur in the US year. Even minor bites can result in scarring and infections. The CDC estimates that one in five dog bites become infected.
Some dog bites and attacks could cause paralysis, lacerations, nerve damage, factures and severe puncture wounds. Victims may also lose an eye, ear or other parts of the body that are visible to others. Some victims may be unable to control areas of their bodies that are affected by nerve damage. Infections and severe crush injuries may even require victims to have limbs amputated. Corrective surgical procedures could be required.
Victims of dog attacks could also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or other psychological problems. Disfigurement could cause significant harm to a person’s self-esteem, which could affect their social and professional lives.
Victims of dog attacks could accrue thousands in medical bills and may require rehabilitation services. They could suffer lost wages or a loss in future earning capacity. The factors described above could be considered when determining compensation for dog bite cases.
Who is Liable for a Dog Bite in California?
Liability for dog bites in California depends heavily on the circumstances and which laws are being discussed. California has a strict-liability statute when it comes to dog bites. Therefore, the owner is strictly liable under the state’s dog bite statute in many circumstances. In other states, the owner must have firsthand knowledge that the dog was dangerous before they can be liable for a bite. Dog owners could be liable if the victim was in a public place, lawfully on private property, or invited onto the owner’s private property when they were bitten.
Even if the owner is not liable under California’s dog bite statute, there could be other options for victims to seek compensation. Dog owners can still be negligent in other ways. If you or a loved one were bitten or attacked by a dog, we encourage you to speak with one of our attorneys. The Fairfield personal injury lawyers at Barnett, Bennett & Scott, LLP could review your situation at no cost and explain whether you have legal options against a dog’s owner or other parties.
Do I Need an Attorney If I’m Injured in a Car Accident?
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that car accidents are responsible for more than two million injuries in the US each year. Although some car accidents result in minor injuries that resolve without much effort, others can devastate the lives of survivors and their families. Survivors may require long hospital stays, rehabilitation services and an extended absence from their jobs. In cases that involve catastrophic injuries, accident survivors may never recover.
Depending on the circumstances, it may be possible for survivors with these injuries or their family members to secure compensation from the responsible parties. Money from a settlement or verdict could help pay for expenses that are associated with severe injuries.
How Can an Attorney Help My Car Accident Claim?
There are multiple reasons why it is important to hire an attorney after you or a loved one were injured in a car accident. An attorney could help in ways that include:
- Investigating the cause of the wreck: Experienced attorneys are familiar with investigating motor vehicle accidents. They know where to look for evidence that could show fault. Some law firms even work with accident reconstruction specialists to achieve these ends.
- Preserving evidence: An attorney can help you preserve crucial evidence. In some cases, the at-fault parties may be guilty of spoliation (intentionally or unintentionally), which could alter or erase crucial evidence.
- Taking depositions: During discovery, your attorney could take depositions from witnesses or other experts. Depositions could help build a case against the party or other parties who may be responsible for causing the wreck.
- Helping you avoid mistakes: There are mistakes you could make after an accident that could put your ability to recover adequate compensation in jeopardy. For example, talking to the other driver’s insurance company. An attorney can advise you on what not to do after an accident.
- Helping you communicate: Various people will want to speak with you after an accident. Insurance companies, health care providers or even an attorney hired by the other driver may try to speak with you. Your attorney could facilitate communications with these individuals to help protect your interests.
- Helping you negotiate a settlement: Your attorney could help you negotiate a settlement with the at-fault parties or their attorneys. In addition, your attorney could take the case to trial if necessary.
We have only discussed a few examples of why an attorney can help with your car accident claim. Ultimately, an attorney can provide you with a better of chance of recovering the resources you or your family member could need after being injured in an accident.
Our attorneys can provide you with a free consultation that could help you determine your legal options. To speak with one of our Solano County car accident attorneys, please call (707) 425-0671 or describe what happened on our case review form.