A serious personal injury can change the course of a California resident's life. It may prevent them from returning to work or from enjoying the life that they built with their loved ones. It may cause them and their dependents to experience significant financial hardship if they are forced to pay out of pocket for the losses they incurred due to another party's negligence.
Swimming is a popular activity in California, and many people enjoy doing so in their own backyard pools. However, it is not unknown for injuries to occur at swimming pools. For example, a person could slip and fall on a pool deck at a friend's house. Or, a child could be enticed to a backyard pool and could accidentally drown. In such incidents, who is responsible for accidents that take place in private pools?
The technology available in automobiles seems to be growing every day. We have vehicles with infotainment systems, back-up cameras, lane assist and more. These technologic features are often aimed at preventing car accidents. Now another automaker, Volvo is implementing another technological feature that it hopes will improve the safety of those on the road in Oakland and across the nation.
These days the technology we have at our fingertips is truly astounding. A cellphone can do so much more than make a phone call. One can use a cellphone to send a text message, email, as a navigation system, play music and more. However, all these acts can be extremely distracting for drivers and could lead to a serious car crash.
Sometimes determining fault in a car accident is relatively straight forward. For example, if a motorist in California is struck by a drunk driver or is rear-ended while waiting at a red light, it can generally be shown that the other driver is at fault. Drunk drivers are breaking their duty of care to drive reasonably under the circumstances and, likewise, a motorist who rear-ends another motorist may have been distracted, speeding or following too close, all breaches of their duty of care.
Technology in the automobile industry is increasing at a rapid rate, particularly with regards to self-driving vehicles. Several companies have already put autonomous vehicles on the roads, albeit with a human conductor in them. However, Waymo, Google's autonomous car company, is set to test totally driverless cars on California roadways.
It is well-known that motorcyclists who wear a helmet can experience significantly less serious injuries should they be struck by a car than motorcyclists who do not wear a helmet. In fact, in California all motorcycle riders must wear a helmet when operating their vehicles. However, if a motorcyclist is not wearing a helmet, and is hit by a car, does this preclude him or her from obtaining compensation in a subsequent lawsuit?
Driving a car while intoxicated is not the only means by which to get a DUI. Riding a bike or the increasingly ubiquitous Bird or Lime Scooters while under the influence can also lead to such charges. Indeed, Los Angeles has reportedly just concluded its first such case against the operator of a Bird scooter who hit and injured a 64 year old pedestrian while riding the scooter in an intoxicated state: https://apnews.com/ea871e6bb5f149a59f7d883a221de018. The scooter operator allegedly had a blood alcohol level of more than 3 times the legal limit! The operator must pay a fine and restitution, will be on probation for 36 months and will have to complete a DUI program. These scooters are dangerous enough as it is when illegally operated on city sidewalks; adding alcohol to the mix is simply a recipe for disaster for the operator or others.
I recently saw this sign in an ice skating rink. Everyone in my group was wearing a helmet, and it proved to be a good thing as one person fell and hit her head. Apart from a headache, there was no lasting damage. Had she not been wearing a helmet things would have been much much worse.
Teenagers in California who obtain their driver's license may enjoy their newfound freedom. However, their inexperience behind the wheel as well as a general sense of invincibility can lead them to engage in risky behaviors while driving. One dangerous behavior teen drivers could engage in that could ultimately cause a car accident is texting and driving.