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California Accident Injury Trial Lawyers

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The National Security Council has labeled April as the official distracted driving awareness month. For those who are unaware, the statistics surrounding accidents related to distracted drivers are appalling. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), vehicle accidents related to distracted driving are responsible for 387,000 injuries and 3,331 deaths. This means that accidents caused by distracted drivers are responsible for 17% of all injuries and 10% of deaths caused by accidents. In honor of distracted driving awareness month, here is a look into the three forms of distraction.

1. Manual Distractions … reaching for things, eyes off the road, even for a moment …

Manual distractions are perhaps the most easy to eliminate. These distractions refer to any instance where a driver’s hand is removed from the steering wheel. This can happen when a driver reaches into the passenger or rear seats to grab something. To avoid these distractions, one simply needs to exercise a bit of discipline by holding two hands on the steering wheel at both times. Placing a cell phone in the trunk of a car can also be a useful trick.

2. Visual Distractions … cell phones, electronic devices are the worst …

Although a bit harder to avoid than manual distractions, visual distractions can also be decreased. Visual distractions refer to any instance where a driver’s eyes are take off the road. Visual perception is one of the primary faculties that allow humans to drive effectively without crashing into everything around. Therefore, the chances for vehicle accidents rise exponentially with visual distractions. Similar to manual distractions, drivers need to focus on keeping their eyes on the road.

3. Cognitive Distractions … driving on “automatic pilot,” so to speak, lost in your head …

Cognitive distractions are a bit more abstract than visual or manual distractions. These distractions refer to instances in which a driver’s mind is not focused on the process of driving. These distractions are a bit more complex because of their mental nature. Drivers can attempt to avoid cognitive distractions by not engaging in anything that may take their primary attention away from driving itself.

When referring to all three types of distractions, cell phones are one of the most tempting distractions in the modern era. One only needs to look around when driving to see how many people are using phones while driving. Cell phones usage is incredibly dangerous as it requires hands, eyes and the mind. Therefore, drivers must resist the urge to use cell phones at all cost.

As U.S. Population Ages, Reports of Nursing Home Abuse also on the Rise

National data on cases of abuse in America’s 15,600-plus nursing homes and other elder-care programs is hard to come by. But several recent studies by government investigators, advocacy groups and the news media have chilling implications.

According to the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS), 14,258 (7.6 percent) of approximately 188,599 complaints reported to state ombudsman programs in 2014 involved abuse, gross neglect or exploitation. Another study of nursing home staff throughout the country found that 36 percent had witnessed at least one incident of physical abuse of an elderly patient in the previous year, 10 percent committed at least one act of physical abuse, and 40 percent admitted to committing psychological abuse. It gets worse: A CNN special investigation aired in February found that the federal government cited more than 1,000 nursing homes for mishandling or failing to prevent alleged cases of sexual assault and abuse from 2013 to 2016.

Given that 1.4 million aging adults already live in nursing homes and that the number of Americans 65-plus will double from 2010 to 2050, this issue will only become more pressing.

Keep a Watchful Eye

Financial AbuseFinancial abuse is often overlooked, costing older Americans more than $36 billion a year.

Abuse can encompass a wide range of behaviors, including physical, mental, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse and neglect. Beyond the physical scars left by abuse, neglect and mistreatment have dangerous effects on the quality of life left to an aging person. Elders who have been abused have a higher risk of early death compared to those who have not been mistreated. If your loved ones are in a nursing home or other elder care program, watch for these warning signs:

  • Broken bones or fractures
  • Bruising, cuts or welts
  • Bed sores
  • Frequent infections
  • Signs of dehydration
  • Mood swings and emotional outbursts or unusual depression
  • Reclusiveness or refusal to speak
  • Refusal to eat or take medications
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Poor physical appearance or lack of cleanliness
  • Caregivers that do not want the patient to be left alone with others
  • Sudden changes in financial situation or missing personal items

Protect Your Most Vulnerable Loved Ones

For a family member or caregiver choosing a care facility, the risk of abuse can be overwhelming and traumatic. The best way to prevent elder abuse is to choose the right care facility, which is not always easy given location or financial constraints. Nevertheless, here are factors to consider:

  • Talk to residents or other patients. Observe their physical well-being and behavior. Also, visit with residents’ families if possible, and learn whether they have experienced problems with the facility.
  • Avoid facilities that have restricted access.
  • Meet with key personnel (nurses, aides, social workers, administrators and doctors).
  • Read contracts carefully before signing and look for a forced arbitration clause. The rights of your loved one may be denied even if they are abused.
  • Visit frequently. Vary your visits to different times of the day and evening to assess the care provided during the day, night, weekends and holidays.
  • Trust your gut. Pay attention to whether residents appear clean, well fed and free of bruises or other wounds. Also, note if the environment is peaceful and feels safe.
  • Document in writing the details about any problems or concerns.

April Newsletter

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JAMES MCKIERNAN LAWYERS

Winning For You!

(888) 442-2918

April 2017

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Aging Americans Are at Risk

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Aging Americans Are at Risk
In 2010, the U.S. Census recorded 40 million Americans aged 65 or older. By 2050 that number will double! The long-term care industry has exploded, posting more than $300 billion in profits in 2015 alone. Unfortunately, some providers treat residents as a commodity rather than patients. Abuse, assault, fraud and forced arbitration contracts have become increasingly common in nursing homes across the country.

Before you choose a nursing home for your loved ones, make sure you know the facility has their best interests at heart. Our oldest citizens deserve respect and quality care.

Continue reading.

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Do You Know the Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?

Choosing nursing home, assisted living or in-home medical care is complicated, difficult and often an emotional process. The last thing on your mind is the possibility that those responsible for the care of some of our most vulnerable citizens would abuse or neglect their patients. But it does happen all too often, which is why you should know the signs of elder abuse and how to find quality care for the older loved ones in your life.

BY THE NUMBERS

13%

Adults 65-plus make up 13 percent of the population, numbering more than 40 million.

VIDEO BOOKMARK

A Culture of Denial,
a Failure to Act

CNN investigation uncovers rampant sexual assault in elder care facilities – and little accountability.

THE DOCKET

ONLINE ABUSE

Social media abuse of nursing home residents often goes unchecked, reports NPR.

You Should Know is a copyrighted publication of Voice2News, LLC, and is made possible by the attorney shown above. This newsletter is intended for the interest of past and present clients and other friends of this lawyer. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter, and your request will be honored immediately. You may also submit your request in writing to: Steven L. Miller, Editor, 4907 Woodland Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312. Be sure to include your email address.

Is There a Rise in Personal Injuries in the Spring

Is there a rise in personal injuries in the spring? As flowers begin to bloom and sunny skies prevail, outdoor enthusiasts embark on their favorite time of year. The weather lends itself to more activity but with that comes the potential for more personal injury accidents.

Because of that accelerated increase in activity, personal injuries often rise in the spring. The warm weather gets people leaning more toward outdoor activities as opposed to sticking inside watching television or reading.

Perhaps it’s time to clean gutters or do chores around the yard. People are also more apt to be involved in springtime sports. Perhaps a competitive spring personality will opt for a softball, baseball, soccer or flag football league.

Spring also lends itself to other activities like riding bicycles, motorcycles or hiking. All of these outdoor activities could potentially lead to more personal injuries in the spring.

Neck, back, ankle, knee and other catastrophic injuries are some of the potential events possible in warmer spring time weather. Outdoor physical activity can be brutal at times especially without preventative measures. Protective gear for bikes is one example of a way to avoid such personal injuries. A helmet is always a good idea for any bicycle or motorcycle. It can cut down on the full extent of any personal injury should an accident occur.

When riding a bicycle or motorcycle, it’s also good to be extra cautious because drivers may not be paying attention. Drivers also aren’t ready for the heavy influx of new bicycle and motorcycle riders due to the warm weather. That means the number of accidents could be significantly higher in Spring weather. Awareness of bicycle and motorcycle riders is an ongoing issue across the United States and even in San Luis Obispo, California. Motorcycle drivers have to almost be proactive to the extent of making automobile drivers aware of their existence at all times.

For hikers, building up momentum to take the longer and more difficult trails and terrain might be wise initially. This could prevent muscle tears, knee, and back injuries for those trying to push too hard too fast.

Having someone hold the ladder is an obvious protective measure for climbing up to clean the gutters for the first time during the spring.

Too much golf could also lead to some lower back pain or perhaps even a ruptured disc. Perhaps the best prevention is to ease back into the sport with a few light rounds.

During the winter months, people may get cabin fever and simply push their bodies too hard once spring time arrives. Personal Injuries in the spring often result because of that anxiousness to go too fast too soon.

The most important tip is to be careful and use caution as spring starts. It’s just the beginning of the great weather.

James McKiernan Lawyers is a personal injury law firm that can help with personal injury claims if negligence is involved.

Two killed in crash on Highway 46 near Paso Robles

PASO ROBLES, Calif. – Two people were killed Sunday morning after the vehicle they were riding in collided with another vehicle and rolled several times.

The crash happened at around 8:30 a.m. on California State Route 46 near Paso Robles.

According to witnesses at the scene, a Ford Expedition was traveling on Highway 46 when it ran a red light at the intersection of westbound Highway 46 and Buena Vista Drive. A small Honda car was turning north through the intersection when it clipped the rear of the Expedition.

The Expedition rolled multiple times across the highway and came to rest in the eastbound lanes.

A female passenger of the Expedition was ejected onto the highway and pronounced dead on scene. The male driver was also pronounced dead on scene.

Two additional passengers in the Expedition as well as the driver of the Honda were transported to Sierra Vista Hospital in San Luis Obispo. A small dog riding in the Expedition was taken to a local veterinarian.

Police believe the two people that died were visiting from Coalinga.

Multiple agencies responded to the scene to investigate the crash.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone’s wrongful conduct or negligence in Lompoc, CA, you may have a right to a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. James McKiernan Lawyers encourages anyone who may find him or herself in such a difficult situation to contact an experienced Santa Maria personal injury attorney at 1-800-200-HURT (4878) for a free case evaluation. We only get paid if you get paid. Our offices are conveniently located throughout California.

At James McKiernan Lawyers, We work tirelessly to deliver accurate news about the California accidents that impact our readers and clients most. Although our goal is to keep people as informed as possible, we’d like to note the information we aggregate is obtained from a wide variety of nonaffiliated secondary sources. These include but are not limited to: Law enforcement agencies, press release, News articles, and websites.

As we publish and share accident information, we make all possible efforts to ensure its correctness, but for the aforementioned reasons, we cannot guarantee that our content is completely accurate. Although we generally respond to inquiries and requests to change, update or amend the content and articles that we publish, we cannot promise that we’ll be able to do so within a given time frame.

The articles and blogs that we share or post here and on social media are designed to serve solely as general information. They should not be taken to constitute legal, medical or any other form of express or implied advice. Similarly, they may not be applicable to your personal circumstances, situation or case. Any information referring to specific laws, statutes or legal actions reflects legal principles, but the laws that apply to you may differ based on your situation, jurisdiction or other factors.

CALL JAMES McKIERNAN LAWYERS (800) 200-HURT (4878) for a FREE CONSULTATION

1 person killed in 5-vehicle crash on Highway 46, CHP says

One person was killed Friday in a five-vehicle crash near Shandon that left an overturned semi-truck stretched on its side across Highway 46 East, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP responded to the crash about 2:25 p.m, according to the CHP Traffic Incident Information Page. Other people involved in the crash suffered injuries, but they appeared to be minor, a CHP dispatcher said.

The crash occurred between Shandon and the rest area, next to the Shandon Cemetery.

CHP Officer Michael Egan said a semi-truck hauling spent grain eastbound from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles crossed the center divider and clipped a pickup truck, which then hit two other cars. The semi-truck then hit a westbound GMC Sierra head-on before tipping over on its side and spilling the mushy grain on the roadway.

The driver of the Sierra was pronounced dead at the scene. No drugs or alcohol are suspected, Egan said.

The highway wasn’t closed, but westbound traffic backed up beyond the 46/41 Y near Cholame, while eastbound traffic backed up through Shandon.

Caltrans plowed a lane in the dirt for westbound traffic in the area currently under construction as part of the highway’s widening project. Eastbound traffic was diverted to the shoulder.

Cal Fire and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies also responded to the crash.

Our sincere sympathies go out to the family and friends of the deceasedWe wish them courage during these trying moments of losing their loved one.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone’s wrongful conduct or negligence in Lompoc, CA, you may have a right to a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. James McKiernan Lawyers encourages anyone who may find him or herself in such a difficult situation to contact an experienced Santa Maria personal injury attorney at 1-800-200-HURT (4878) for a free case evaluation. We only get paid if you get paid. Our offices are conveniently located throughout California.

At James McKiernan Lawyers, We work tirelessly to deliver accurate news about the California accidents that impact our readers and clients most. Although our goal is to keep people as informed as possible, we’d like to note the information we aggregate is obtained from a wide variety of nonaffiliated secondary sources. These include but are not limited to: Law enforcement agencies, press release, News articles, and websites.

As we publish and share accident information, we make all possible efforts to ensure its correctness, but for the aforementioned reasons, we cannot guarantee that our content is completely accurate. Although we generally respond to inquiries and requests to change, update or amend the content and articles that we publish, we cannot promise that we’ll be able to do so within a given time frame.

The articles and blogs that we share or post here and on social media are designed to serve solely as general information. They should not be taken to constitute legal, medical or any other form of express or implied advice. Similarly, they may not be applicable to your personal circumstances, situation or case. Any information referring to specific laws, statutes or legal actions reflects legal principles, but the laws that apply to you may differ based on your situation, jurisdiction or other factors.

CALL JAMES McKIERNAN LAWYERS (800) 200-HURT (4878) for a FREE CONSULTATION

CHP releases new details about fatal Highway 46 crash near Shandon

One person was killed Friday, March 31, 2017, in a five-vehicle crash near Shandon that left an overturned semi-truck stretched on its side across Highway 46 East, according to the California Highway Patrol

New details have been released about the fatal five-vehicle accident near Shandon on Friday on Highway 46 East.

According to a California Highway Patrol news release, the driver of a semi-truck was traveling 55 to 65 mph when the truck drifted onto the right shoulder of Highway 46 heading east about 2:15 p.m. When the driver, Charles S. Celaya, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, attempted to direct the big rig back to the road on a right-hand curve, he crossed the center divider and clipped a 2001 Dodge Dakota, police said.

The big rig then collided head-on with a westbound 2014 GMC Sierra, causing major damage to both vehicles, police said. The semi-truck, swerving left and right, tipped on its side and spilled its contents, mushy grain that it was hauling from Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles.

The driver of the GMC died from blunt force trauma, police said. His name has not been released, pending notification of his family.

Authorities said the man driving the Dodge — Alfaro Rafael Mendoza, 49, of Salinas — crashed into a 2016 Ford F-150, driven by Jeffrey Wayne Fisher, and a 2013 Honda Odyssey, driven by Brian Garard Kelly. Kelly, 61, of Buellton, received minor injuries to his left arm. Mendoza and Fisher, 53, of Bodfish, were not injured.

Police do not believe drugs or alcohol were a factor in the crash.

Our sincere sympathies go out to the family and friends of the deceasedWe wish them courage during these trying moments of losing their loved one.

If you have lost a loved one due to someone’s wrongful conduct or negligence in Lompoc, CA, you may have a right to a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. James McKiernan Lawyers encourages anyone who may find him or herself in such a difficult situation to contact an experienced Santa Maria personal injury attorney at 1-800-200-HURT (4878) for a free case evaluation. We only get paid if you get paid. Our offices are conveniently located throughout California.

At James McKiernan Lawyers, We work tirelessly to deliver accurate news about the California accidents that impact our readers and clients most. Although our goal is to keep people as informed as possible, we’d like to note the information we aggregate is obtained from a wide variety of nonaffiliated secondary sources. These include but are not limited to: Law enforcement agencies, press release, News articles, and websites.

As we publish and share accident information, we make all possible efforts to ensure its correctness, but for the aforementioned reasons, we cannot guarantee that our content is completely accurate. Although we generally respond to inquiries and requests to change, update or amend the content and articles that we publish, we cannot promise that we’ll be able to do so within a given time frame.

The articles and blogs that we share or post here and on social media are designed to serve solely as general information. They should not be taken to constitute legal, medical or any other form of express or implied advice. Similarly, they may not be applicable to your personal circumstances, situation or case. Any information referring to specific laws, statutes or legal actions reflects legal principles, but the laws that apply to you may differ based on your situation, jurisdiction or other factors.

CALL JAMES McKIERNAN LAWYERS (800) 200-HURT (4878) for a FREE CONSULTATION

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