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Monterey County Personal Injury Blog


Monterey County personal injury attorneysWhile there are countless ways to be injured in everyday life, auto and motorcycle accidents are among the most common that result in personal injury claims. Careless driving, driving under the influence, or even a mechanical defect due to poor maintenance or recalled parts can lead to tragic consequences.

Fortunately, it is more than possible to reduce the likelihood of an auto accident. All it takes is a little extra caution and the elimination of a few dangerous habits that are frequently linked with traffic violations, accidents, and unnecessary injuries. The next time you are behind the wheel, be wary of:

  • Speeding: Driving above the posted limit is an easy way to earn a citation. It is also one of the leading causes of auto accidents nationwide. It only takes one mistake to cause a crash, so each driver must do his or her part to prevent an accident. Under California Law, speeding is a moving violation, which can lead to hefty fines and a mandatory court appearance;
  • Running red lights:  It is easy to coast through a yellow light, but many drivers cut it dangerously close and end up running run through a red light. Just like speeding, running a red light is considered a moving violation and will not only get you a ticket, it also seriously increases the risk for causing an accident with a pedestrian or another car;
  • Driving with a mechanical issue: A minor mechanical problem like a broken tail light can seem like a petty issue, but even simple issues problems can cause your vehicle to operate less efficiently on the road. A burned-out turn signal, for example, could be the difference between changing lanes safely and causing an accident;
  • Distractions: This is possibly one of the most talked about dangers on the roadways today—along with driving under the influence. Texting, playing with the radio or other devices, putting on makeup, eating, or tending to children while driving are all activities that endanger everyone on the road.

It is also important to stay alert to changing weather patterns and roadway conditions. You should also plan ahead for things like meals or tolls so that you can remain focused on operating your vehicle safely.

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Monterey County personal injury attorneyLawsuits for traffic accidents and other injuries are, at their heart, about assigning fault to one of the parties. The court's goal is to examine the evidence and determine whether it was the defendant's fault that the plaintiff was injured. Some accidents are simple enough for this to be obvious. For example, if one party is obeying all the rules of the road and the accident happens because another driver runs a red light while texting and speeding, then fault is easy enough to assign.

However, this way of looking at things often oversimplifies the events that led to the accident. In many cases, both drivers were careless in some way—or many ways—and both are partially to blame for the crash. Such a situation, at one point, used to give rise to an affirmative defense known as “contributory negligence.” Affirmative defenses are arguments the defendant may use to acknowledge that he or she did do what the plaintiff alleges, but puts forward additional information to justify the actions or escape liability. Under the old contributory negligence laws, all a defendant needed to do was show that the plaintiff negligent in some way that contributed to the accident. If the defendant could show the plaintiff’s negligence, the plaintiff could no longer recover for his or injuries.

This type of law still exists in several states, but the California Supreme Court established a new standard for the Golden State in 1975. Under the new standard—known as pure comparative negligence—the actions and negligence of both drivers may be accounted for and still result in an award of damages to the plaintiff.

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Monterey County personal injury attorneysGetting into a car accident can be stressful and overwhelming. You may have many thoughts all at once. “Is anyone injured? Should I call the police? Will my insurance cover this?” It is important to know what your rights and responsibilities are following a car accident. Although each situation is different, there are a few steps you should always take including:

  1. Stay at the scene. Regardless of the severity of the accident, never immediately drive away. Doing so can result in you being charged with a “hit and run.” If you are able to, move the car to a shoulder or other safe location. Turn on your hazard lights and pull out of the way of traffic.
  2. Call 911. If someone is injured or there is damage to property, you need to call the police. Calling the police will ensure that the accident is documented properly. Having a neutral third party to document the accident is always a safe choice.
  3. Exchange information with the other driver. Car insurance information, names, addresses, and phone numbers should be exchanged. Write this information down. It is better to have too much information than not enough. Having your insurance and insurance information in an easy-to-find location is always a smart idea. After an accident, emotions are running high, and this is not the time to have to go digging for your documents. Do not, however, apologize or admit liability, even if you think it was your fault. There may be factors of which you are unaware that could affect the designation of fault, such as the other driver texting while driving or driving drunk.
  4. Take photos and gather statements from witnesses. It is better to over-document an accident than under-document it. Take pictures of the damage to vehicles or property and speak to those who witnessed the accident. Collect names and phone numbers from witnesses if possible.
  5. File a police report. Even if the accident is minor, filing a police report can protect you from false allegations or misinformation. Laws requiring a police report after an accident vary from state to state but it is better to be on the safe side.
  6. Call your insurance company. Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Explain what happened objectively and truthfully.
  7. Consider hiring an attorney. If you or another individual was injured in the accident, extensive damage to property was done, or there is a disagreement about the cause of the accident, it is best to hire an attorney. An attorney will make sure your rights are protected and that you receive the compensation you deserve.

The moments following an auto accident can be chaotic and confusing. In fact, such confusion and uncertainty can last for weeks after the crash—and far longer if you are injured. Contact an experienced Monterey County personal injury attorney to discuss your situation and to get the guidance you need. Schedule your free consultation by calling 408-298-7200 today.

 

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Monterey County personal injury attorneyThe Fourth of July holiday is practically  synonymous with fireworks. In fact, Americans will light around 285 million pounds of fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. That amounts to roughly $1.09 billion worth of fireworks! While most fireworks displays go as planned, it is important to remember that fireworks can be extremely dangerous.  

Fireworks Recall Spans Several States

Recently, a line of consumer fireworks was recalled after the fireworks caused several individuals to suffer burns. Some 36,100 fireworks were pulled from shelves because of the danger they could “explode unexpectedly after being lit.” While many fireworks are meant to explode, the recalled products were intended to produce colorful smoke rather than explosions, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The fireworks were sold in stores in Illinois, Ohio, Vermont and Wisconsin. In addition to faulty fireworks, the misuse or illegal use of fireworks cause injuries. An estimated average of 9,125 fireworks injuries occur every year with seven people losing their lives due to such accidents.

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Monterey County personal injury attorneyEvery car accident is different, but as experienced car accident attorneys, we see that many of our clients often suffer from similar types of injuries. A skilled car accident attorney should be able to assess your injuries and talk to you about the value of your case. With the right guidance, you may be able to collect compensation to help put your life back on track.

Common Car Accident Injuries

While auto accidents can range in severity from a minor fender-bender to a high-speed, multi-vehicle pileup, certain kinds of injuries are particularly common. Car accident victims have been known to experience:

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Corsiglia McMahon & Allard, L.L.P.

1233 Shell Avenue
Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Phone: 408-298-7200
Toll Free: 866-433-6797

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