Category: Blogs

Driving Without Insurance? Not Worth The Risk.

As we all know, driving is a vital part of our everyday life, yet some people will take the risk of driving around without insurance. A study conducted by The Insurance Research Council found that approximately 14% of all drivers in the state of California are uninsured. Many motorists simply can not afford to insure their cars or have ignored California law. This truly has become a major probelm in Los Angeles as well as other cities in California. Since 2008 car insurance rates have been rising steadily and so has the number of uninsured motorists.

The DMV recommends that drivers get uninsured driver and uninsured motorist coverage from their insurance carriers. The rates for uninsured motorist coverage are not that high, annually, compared with liability coverage rates. Note, The DMV imposes penalties on motorists who choose to drive without auto insurance. If you’ve been involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, then the fact is you have little to no recourse unless you have uninsured motorist coverage. You can try to sue that person that caused the accident, but you probably will not get much because if they were not able to afford or pay for insurance they probably don’t have enough assets to recover from.

FACT is if you get into an accident without insurance in Los Angeles, you may face fines and/or penalties from law enforcement. You leave yourself open to lawsuits, you will probably have your car impounded, and you may have your license suspended. It is not worth driving without insurance, or having only liability insurance which doesn’t cover being hit by an uninsured motorist.

Estimated Percentage Of Uninsured Motorists, 1992-2015

 

3 Tips to Finding the Right Personal Injury Lawyer

Tip #1 – Choose a Lawyer who only handles Personal Injury Cases.

Every area of law has its own specific rules, regulations and nuances. Specifically, Personal injury law, can be very complex, detailed and may involve many specific local rules not to mention specific laws pertaining to each type of personal injury claim. Attorney’s who handle many types of cases including divorces, wills, trusts or bankruptcies, can be Jack of all trades but a Master in none. Insurance companies have a knack for knowing this and will not give in just to any lawyer. Not knowing how to handle a injury case can adversely affect the full settlement value and outcome of your case. Its just like having an arm fracture but going to an ear nose and throat specialist for medical care. Always Choose a reputable California personal injury lawyer to handle your injury case.

Tip #2 – Choose an attorney who isn’t afraid of going to trial, if needed.

Many, if not most attorneys, who advertise to get cases, have never tried a case themselves. They take your case with the intention to just settle for the first amount they receive from the carrier. Insurance companies do their research, if they know your attorney does not have a reputation of going to trial, they will take advantage of this and make lowball offers or make little or no effort to resolve and settle your case. Choose wisely.

Tip #3 – Choose a personal injury lawyer with a proven track record of obtaining large settlements.

If you have a case with catastrophic injuries, it’s important to know that your attorney can deliver a large settlement. Look them up and see their credentials, awards, settlements and what top multi-million dollar associations they are a part of. Talk to the attorney you wish to hire and if you feel comfortable with them then retain them BUT do your research.

5 facts about daylight saving time

As the saying goes, it’s just about time to “fall back.” This weekend, we’ll be turning our clocks back as daylight saving time ends for the year.
So set a reminder for 2 a.m. Sunday and then check out five fast facts about daylight saving time.

  1. It’s daylight saving time, no “s.” (Because we’re saving daylight.)
  2. By act of Congress, beginning in 2007, daylight saving time begins in the United States on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
  3. Every state in the U.S. observes daylight saving time except for Hawaii and most of Arizona. The American territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also do not observe daylight saving time.
  4. The most recent state to change its daylight time policy was Indiana, which adopted the use of daylight time state-wide in 2006.
  5. Don’t worry, we’ll be “springing ahead” in just a few months. Next year’s daylight saving time begins on March 13.

source: abc7.com

TIPS FOR DRIVING NEXT TO SEMI-TRUCKS IN CALIFORNIA

Driving in close proximity to semi-trucks in Los Angeles or anywhere in California can be incredibly dangerous. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Association’s “2017 Pocket Guide to Large Truck and Bus Statistics,” there were 480,000 accidents involving large trucks & buses in 2016. While that number is far smaller than car accidents, accidents involving large trucks and buses can cause catastrophic injuries or death.

“Large trucks and buses have operating limitations such as large blind spots, long stopping distances, that make it essential for other vehicles to put extra focus on safety,” according to the FMCSA. As the driver of a average car, truck, or SUV, there are things you can do to avoid causing an accident with a commercial truck.

Here are some suggestions from the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration):

· Be aware that large commercial vehicles have major blind spots, also known as “No Zones.” These are located around the front, back and sides of commercial vehicles. If you cannot see the driver’s face in the truck or bus’s side mirror, the driver cannot see you. One of the best ways to avoid a truck accident is to stay out of the truck’s blind spot.

·When you pass a commercial vehicle, make sure that you are able to see the driver in the side mirror before you pass. Use your turn signal and after moving into the left lane, accelerate so you can pass the truck (and get out of the blind spot) as quickly and safely as possible.

·If a truck or bus tries to pass you, don’t try to prevent them from passing. Instead, stay in the right lane and slow down a little so it’s easy for them to pass. By helping the driver pass you, it gets you out of their blind spot quickly.

·Never pass a semi-truck or bus while driving downhill, when it’s difficult for them to stop or slow down. Also, never pass a commercial vehicle from the right lane.

·Never “cut off” a semi-truck or bus, even if the driver is being aggressive or reckless.

·Do not tailgate a truck or bus, no matter how slow they’re going. This places you in the “No Zone,” the blind spot. If the truck comes to a sudden stop, your vehicle can slide right under the truck.

·Remember, trucks make WIDE turns. If a truck is turning right, do not try to squeeze in between the truck and the curb to beat the truck driver to the turn.

Hope these tips help you on the road. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved has been involved in a bus or semi-truck accident anywhere in California, feel free to contact the Oaks Law Firm’s experienced California truck accident lawyers for assistance and guidance.

Texting While Walking– Pedestrian Safety

Texting has become the most common form of communication. Nowadays, it seems like everywhere we look, we see people walking and texting. Clearly, this is very dangerous habit and is the cause of many catastrophic injuries. Why? Simply because it takes away your ability to be alert and cautious.

Lately many videos of people walking into poles and falling into water fountains, while on their phones, have surfaced and taken over social media.

Many accidents and injuries are reported daily. Thousands of wrongful death cases and catastrophic injury cases have been filed over recent years. One such recent incident took place at a subway station of a man texting and walking, when he continued walking and ended up falling into the train tracks. Luckily, the train was not running.

It has been proven that distraction from walking while texting can cause pedestrians to cross streets even when not safe to do so. Wrongful death cases for pedestrians and catastrophic injury claims by pedestrians have risen over the last few years. A lot has to do with distractions, mainly due to walking while texting. You can verify the statistics and increased pedestrian fatality on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

Another study from the Ohio State University conducted shows distracted walking has caused more than two million injuries in the last few years.

Avoiding these types of accidents might be easier than you may think. Clearly texting should be done when at a stand still to prevent any and all accidents caused by distraction. Think about it, a lot of drivers are distracted because they are texting. If you too are texting and crossing a street, as well, this is recipe for a disasterous outcome. We want you safe, so please put the phone away and be mindful of your surroundings.

If you have any questions about a recent claim pertaining to yourself or a loved one, contact us and speak with one of our experienced California pedestrian accident attorneys.

Los Angeles Brain Injury Lawyers

Los Angeles Brain Injury Lawyers

What is Traumatic Brain Injury also referred to as TBI?

TBI can be severe or mild, in degree. Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. TBI generally occurs in auto crashes, vehicular accidents, auto v. Pedestrian incidents or from a major slip and fall injury. Center for Disease Control reported that Car crashes are the third leading cause of TBI. Brain injury in a car accident can range from a light concussion that clears up in a few hours to severe brain damage. A Mild traumatic brain injury may cause temporary dysfunction of brain cells. More serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain that can result in long-term complications or death.

You can suffer TBI in an accident when there is extreme forward and backward movement from the sudden impact of a collision. Ex. head hitting the windshield, steering wheel or any part of the car during the accident. Airbags also can create TBI injury from impact.

In a TBI injury, one moment the person is normal and the next moment life has abruptly changed. Since our brain defines who we are, the consequences of a brain injury can affect all aspects of our lives, including our personality. A brain injury is different from a broken limb. An injury such as a broken limb limits the use of a specific part of your body, but your personality and mental abilities remain unchanged. Most often, these body structures heal and regain their previous function but this is not the case when one has suffered a TBI.

Some symptoms of TBI can be forgetfulness (memory loss), anxiety, headaches, insomnia, despression, loss of appetite, neurological issues and many more symptoms. Generally, the people suffering from a TBI do not feel like themselves. Symptoms may appear right away or may not be present for days, weeks or months after the injury has occurred. At times, a consequence of brain injury is that the person often does not realize that a brain injury has occurred.

These types of Brain injuries do not heal like other injuries. Recovery is a functional recovery, based on mechanisms that remain uncertain. Proper Neurological and Neuropsychological assessments are needed along with clear diagnostic tests to know what degree of a TBI one has sustained. There are tests and medical care that can minimize symptoms and the long term affects of TBI.

Preventing traumatic brain injuries:

  • Wear a seatbelt every time you drive your car or ride as a passenger.
  • Children should continue using the booster seat until the lap/shoulder belts fit properly; usually when they are about 4ft 9 inches tall. Make sure children are buckled up using either a safety seat, booster seat, or a seat belt that is suitable for the child’s size and age. When children outgrow their safety seats
  • Always wear a helmet when on a bicycle, motorcycle, scooter, snowmobile and other open unrestrained vehicles.

In the event of a major injury or TBI, contact the California Traumatic Brain Injury lawyers of Oaks Law Firm for assistance and the best medical attention for your injuries

San Fernando Valley Fire Arrest



San Fernando Valley Fire Arrest

News reports indicate Suspect in series of San Fernando Valley fires is in custody.

LAPD issued a statement that a woman arrested on a warrant is the subject of an arson investigation involving a series of fires in the Valley. She was taken into custody on 10/23 after police issued flyers searching for a female who was caught on video trying to set a big rig truck on fire in North Hollywood last week.

Officer Mike Lopez of the LAPD said the woman had a warrant for bringing in contraband into a jail. An arson squad is investigating at least five small tree fires and auto blazes that took place across the same general area last Thursday morning and they believe she is the culprit.

WHAT IS ROCKY MOUNTAIN FEVER?

Take a few precaution measures while visiting a Pumpkin patch!

It’s pumpkin season and we are all enjoying the wonderful month of October by visiting local pumpkin patches and/or petting zoos. In a few recent articles, on Yahoo and the Miami Herald, there have been cases where people have contracted Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This condition is caused by being bitten by ticks, leaving your body covered in red blotchy bumps. This condition can be a lethal tick bite/ disease, so it’s better to take some precaution while visiting your local pumpkin patch or petting zoo this fall season.

While vising these types of places, it’s best to wear protective attire such as long pants, long sleeves and shoes with socks. According to the Mayo Clinic, if you contract this disease, the fever can inflict lasting damage on your heart and kidneys. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t go out and have fun and don’t let this ruin your outings. Just make sure to take a few precautionary measures for yourself and loved ones.  In addition to covering up, be sure to check for ticks. If you happen to spot red bumps, be sure to go get checked out with a doctor, immediately.

Always good to know and be prepared. We hope you don’t let this keep you away from having a good time out.

Enjoy this fall season, making wonderful memories with your loved ones.

Source: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article179630781.html

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

Halloween Driving Safety Tips

  • Let’s have fun this halloween and make sure we help protect trick-or-treaters by following these driving safety tips.
  • Be especially careful between 4 and 8 p.m., when most severe vehicle/young pedestrian collisions happen.
  • Drive slowly, and don’t pass stopped vehicles. The driver might be dropping off children or stopped to let pedestrians pass.
  • Please put away your mobile phone. Avoid distractions by waiting until you’ve stopped or have pulled over  to call, text, or surf.
  • Watch for children darting into the street. Kids can cross the street anywhere, and most young pedestrian deaths happen at spots other than intersections.
  • Yield to young pedestrians. Children might not stop, either because they don’t see your vehicle approaching or don’t know how to safely cross the street.
  • Communicate with other drivers.Always use your turn signals. And if you have to pull over to drop off or pick up your kids, turn on your hazard lights and be aware of your surroundings. Look before you put your car in drive or reverse.
  • And, to keep your own trick-or-treaters safe:
  • Teach them how to safely cross streets. They should look both ways and cross only at corners and crosswalks.
  • Consider indoor community Halloween programs for younger kids. Some communities also offer to help you inspect your kids’ treats to make sure they’re safe to eat.
  • Brighten them up. Give them flashlights and glow sticks, and/or use reflective tape on their costumes, so drivers can see them.

Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Pedestrian Safety

Pedestrian Safety

According to an article released by ABC7 news, a pedestrian was killed on Friday, October 13, 2017, in Gardena. The incident involved a collision with a semi-truck. Although many details of the case have not yet been released, it is still an important reminder to be cautious as pedestrians and of pedestrian. There are many different situations that can cause a pedestrian accident. In many cases, the accident is caused by some form of negligence on behalf of a driver of a car, truck, bus, or other type of vehicle. Although, there is minimal information regarding the Gardena accident, there is enough to point out that this too could have been prevented. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2015, there were 5,376 pedestrians killed in traffic crashes in the United States. This averages to one crash-related pedestrian death every 1.6 hours. This is an alarming rate.  

Here are some of the reported common causes of pedestrian accidents in Los Angeles:

Distracted Driving: When a driver is talking on the phone, looking in another direction, looking towards the backseat, texting, or otherwise not paying attention, they place other drivers and pedestrians at risk. It takes only a split second of distraction to veer from the road and strike a pedestrian, injuring them and forever altering one’s life. Pedestrians must be even more alert nowadays and look around before setting foot on the street surface.

Driving Under the Influence: Drunk driving and driving under the influence are serious offenses that can seriously injure or kill a pedestrian or other motorists. With Uber and Lyft, it makes no sense for anyone to drive knowing they’ll be drinking, even if it’s one drink. It’s just not worth it.

Struck at a Crosswalk: When crossing the road, there are important traffic rules regarding yielding to a pedestrian and using caution. Even if you are at a crosswalk or otherwise have the right of way to cross the street, Please take a longer second to look around before setting foot on the street. Pedestrians should also make sure to stay aware of  their surroundings and not be distracted by looking down at their phones/texting.

Bus/Pedestrian Accidents: Sometimes while entering or exiting a bus, or while waiting at a bus stop,  pedestrians have been seriously injured by bus drivers or other motorists. Use caution and take your time.

Struck on Sidewalk or Walkway: Many reports have come out regarding auto v pedestrian collisions on sidewalks or walkways. Some were results of distracted driving, some because of intoxication and others due to excessive speed. Pedestrians should also make sure to stay aware of  their surroundings and not be distracted by looking down at their phones.

Please be cautious of others while on the road. Staying alert and being aware of the reasons mentioned above may prevent someone from getting seriously injured or killed.