Hayward Legal Blog

Do you really need an attorney after a construction accident?

If you've worked construction for any length of time, you've probably seen your fair share of on-the-job accidents. When it happens to you, however, you may not be prepared for the physical, mental and financial toll that the injury and the workers' comp claims process can take on you.

Frankly, being injured and dealing with the paperwork involved, prior authorizations for treatment, follow-ups, doctor visits, physical therapy, claims notifications and deadlines can feel like a full-time job. That kind of pressure can be intense and take energy away from what you really need to be doing: Trying to heal.

Tips for cyclists to avoid getting hit by cars

Riding a bicycle becomes second nature quickly. After you ride for years, you may feel like you are safe and have nothing left to learn. But the truth is the riding a bike is always dangerous, especially when you are near motor vehicles. 

As a bicyclist, you have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers, but many motorists may view you as a second-class citizen on the road. Plus, you can never trust drivers to be paying attention. If a motorist does not notice you and crashes into you, you can suffer severely. Here are some suggestions on how to share the road with larger and faster vehicles. 

The main reasons drivers drift out of their lanes

When a driver drifts out of their lane, it puts everyone in serious danger. On a multi-lane road like an interstate, it can force other drivers off of the road. On a two-lane highway with oncoming traffic, it can cause a devastating head-on collision.

Even so, odds are that you have seen drivers drifting all over in their lanes and sometimes into the wrong lane entirely. Why does something so dangerous keep happening? There are a few different reasons, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, including:

  • The driver is falling asleep at the wheel because they are simply too tired to drive. They may drift repeatedly as they doze off before finally causing an accident.
  • The driver is having a medical emergency. For instance, they could have a seizure, a stroke or a panic attack.
  • The driver has been using drugs or alcohol. They could pass out or black out on account of this impairment. Often, cars that drift all over the highway and seem to change lanes accidentally are one of the biggest red flags to law enforcement that the drivers are intoxicated.

Can 3 dimensional crosswalks protect pedestrians from being hit?

Some fourth-graders in Massachusetts have come up with an innovative way to try and curb pedestrian accidents near their school. They want other schools in their district and other parts of the country to adopt and implement their idea as well.

A 10-year-old Medford elementary school student and her male classmate came up with the idea of painting an optical illusion crosswalk nearby their own school's campus after seeing similar ones depicted in pictures in China, Germany and Iceland.

A variety of circumstances can lead to truck accidents

Long-haul truck drivers have a difficult job. They spend hours on the road away from their families. As with all drivers, they can become distracted behind the wheel, which can lead to an accident.

These are some of the top causes of truck accidents.

  1. Unfamiliar roadways: Some truck drivers travel up and down Interstate 5 for their entire career, while many have routes that take them to unfamiliar places. The latter could require inattention from truck drivers who must check their road navigation systems or they could find themselves on roads not built for travel.
  2. Blind spots: Truck drivers must contend with blind spots that drivers of cars don't have and might not be aware of that.
  3. Speeding: Because of the weight and size of a semitruck, the faster they go, the harder it is to stop. Staying within the speed limit allows drivers more time to stop.
  4. Weather issues: California's beautiful weather can lead to drivers becoming uncomfortable when rain does fall -- and that can include truck drivers. Truck drivers should keep as much distance as possible between themselves and other vehicles on the road and be prepared to react to sudden stops by drivers.
  5. Poor maintenance: Drivers should inspect their trucks regularly, including tires, brakes and fluid levels. By following a good maintenance plan, drivers can help prevent accidents.

Man awarded $37 million; construction accident left him paralyzed

A construction worker who was paralyzed on the job eight years ago will receive a $37 million settlement from Caltrans.

A Humboldt County Superior Court jury awarded him $57 million two years ago and Caltrans appealed. The lower amount was agreed to between the two sides.

Falling workers and objects at construction sites are preventable

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) data shows that there were 7,402 falling protections violations in 2015. There were 50,000 falling objects incidents reported that same year. While construction workers sometimes fell in these reported incidents, it's equipment and tools that came tumbling down on top of someone else's head the most. These events could have been avoided.

California workers can reduce their risk of falling by wearing a safety harness. Its line should be tied off at a certain connection point in proximity to where they're working for it to be most effective though.

Proposed changes to trucker drive times could endanger public

Drowsy drivers pose a potential threat to you and everyone else they encounter across California, and when the people driving while drowsy or fatigued are also driving large commercial trucks, they present even more of a public safety hazard. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Transportation is considering easing up on the regulations currently surrounding trucker drive times, even though deregulating this part of the industry could create a serious threat to the public.

According to the Associated Press, proponents of loosening up the current regulations in place governing how long truckers can drive between breaks and similar matters believe that doing so would allow for more flexibility for workers. However, opponents note that current rules already allow semi-truck drivers to drive for 11 hours a day, which can give rise to drowsy driving and driving while fatigued.

Woman killed in California motorcycle accident

One of the truisms in life is that one event leads to another. Unfortunately, that holds true of motor vehicle accidents as well, including motorcycle accidents. A recent example involved a California woman, 51, who died when the motorcycle on which she was a passenger was hit at the scene of a prior accident.

The fatal collision that took the woman's life happened while she was on riding on the back of a 2008 Harley-Davidson driven by a man, 62. They were riding along Ortega Highway, also known as Highway 74. It's a very popular road for motorcyclists on weekends.

Understanding how lights increase your bike's visibility

It's no secret that one way to increase the visibility of your motorcycle, especially during low-light hours or during the night, is to make extensive use of your lighting options. However, it is important to dig into that a bit to see how and why certain lights work better than others.

For instance, your bike comes with a stock light, but odds are that it really just satisfies the government's minimum standards. It helps, but it could be better. Bright lights not only give you a wide field of visible when you ride, but they also make you more obvious to oncoming drivers.

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Law Offices of Patricia Turnage
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Hayward, CA 94541

Phone: 510-470-5044
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