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California Accident Injury Trial Lawyers

5 Tips To Prevent Tire Related Accidents

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates show that car accidents are a major cause of injuries and deaths in the United States. According to CDC estimates more than 2 million people suffer injuries in car accidents each year, and 200,000 require hospitalization. An additional 35,000 plus lose their lives during or after the collision.

While there are many causes of car accidents, such as drunk or distracted driving, there are some risk factors that many drivers overlook. Tires can cause an accident under the right circumstances, and not just the tires on your car, but on the vehicles of nearby motorists.

Of all of the important pieces of equipment to maintain on a vehicle, tires and brakes should be near the top. Follow the tips below to reduce the risk of suffering harm in a tire related accident.

Keep Your Tires Inflated

You need adequate tire pressure to give your vehicle optimal braking and steering abilities. Tire pressure is essential for maintaining control of your vehicle, especially during poor weather conditions. You could also suffer a blowout if you do not ensure your tires are properly pressurized. Blowouts can lead to a sudden loss of control that leads to an accident.

You should look at your vehicle’s owners’ manual to determine how to optimize pressure for your tires. Always abide by the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Check Tire Tread Depth

Tire tread depth is also important for avoiding an accident. If you do not have enough tread depth, then you could have a more difficult time stopping and could be at higher risk for hydroplaning during rainy weather conditions. Simply put, your tire tread depth determines how well your vehicle can maintain traction with the road.

You can use the penny test to determine whether your vehicle has proper tread depth. This technique is also called the Lincoln Test.

Scan for Potholes

Potholes are a major hazard, not just for your car, but also your tires. This is more true for people who are driving smaller passenger vehicles. Trucks with large enough tires may have an easier time passing over a pothole.

Regardless of what vehicle you are driving, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for potholes at all times. Distractions can take your attention away from hazards that are in front of your vehicle. If you hit a large enough pothole, you could lose control of your vehicle and collide with other motorists or objects.

Be Prepared for the Worst

Tire maintenance is important for avoiding an accident, but so is how to handle your tires if you experience certain hazards. Keep in mind that there are certain hazards that could cause your tires to fail. During hydroplaning, it is important to take certain actions to prevent yourself from losing control of your vehicle..

Preparing for the worst can help you reduce the risk of an accident. You should never drive at speeds that are faster than current conditions permit even if you have great tires. Not only is it a state law, staying at a speed that matches surrounding conditions could save your life.

You should also keep a safe distance behind other vehicles. If your tires fail for any reason, you need an adequate amount of room to come to a safe stop. Additionally, you should always drive with a spare tire so you can drive to a nearby service station if necessary.

Buy the Right Type of Tires

Not all tires are made equally. Some tires may have safety issues or could be under recall. You should do some research on the tires you want to buy beforehand. Additionally, certain types of tires are useful for specific seasons. Winter tires can help with snow and ice if you live in the mountains.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has a tire buying guide that can help you make the safest selection for you and your family.

About Our San Luis Obispo Car Accident Lawyers

James McKiernan Lawyers has years of experience helping accident survivors and their families. If you or a loved one suffered harm during an accident, then our experienced attorneys can help explain your potential legal options.

We offer free initial consultations at our firm. To schedule a free consultation with one of our San Luis Obispo car accident lawyers, give us a call at (888)442-2918 or use the contact form on our website.

How Can San Luis Obispo Residents Drive Carefully During Harvest Season?

A 59-year-old man was killed late August when a farm tractor-trailer struck his Chevrolet Silverado east of Interstate 5. The truck had hit the farm implement from behind which caused the driver to lose control and drive into the northbound lanes, hitting a semi-trailer head on. After the fatal accident, the Modesto Area CHP issued an official warning to drivers about the dangers of sharing the road with farm equipment.

How Can I Avoid an Accident with Harvest Vehicles?

Late summer is peak harvest season, which means there will be a guaranteed increase of harvest vehicles and equipment on the road. In order to help avoid another deadly accident, drivers in the area should:

  • Keep a safe distance. Many harvest vehicles are very large and bulky, which means they can obstruct your view if you are driving directly behind them or next to them. To be safe, drive 15-20 feet behind and away from these vehicles so you can have a better and faster reaction time. Tools and other equipment can also sometimes fly off and hit your vehicle, which is another reason to stay away.
  • Drive with caution. Defensive driving is key when you are driving near a harvest vehicle on the highway. Keep both hands on your steering wheel, don’t be distracted by your cell phone or any other electronic device, and have your eyes on the road ahead.
  • Look out for warning signs and lights. Many farmers will place signs and lights on their vehicles in order to warn nearby drivers of their presence. These could include reflective signage, marking lights or written placards that help drivers be aware.

If you have been involved in an auto accident, you should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney for more information. Contact James McKiernan Lawyers today for a free consultation.

Who Is Liable in a Car Accident with an Autonomous Vehicle?

The new technology associated with autonomous, or self-driving, vehicles has raised some legal questions among curious drivers. Is the driver or the vehicle responsible for a self-driving accident? Companies such as Uber and Toyota have withdrawn their autonomous vehicle fleets after pedestrian accidents involving vehicles in autonomous driving mode resulted in fatalities. Car manufacturers and technology companies such as Tesla and GM plan on testing self-driving vehicles with the hopes of automating the trucking and ridesharing industries, but the subject of liability still remains a debate.

Understanding Self-Driving Car Accident Liability

Many self-driving vehicles that are currently on the road require a human driver to still be inside. This human presence is what raises the complication of liability during accidents. In car accidents that involve a self-driving car, finding out liability actually works the same way with any other sort of car accident. The same questions need to be brought up, such as:

  • Which vehicle had the right-of-way?
  • Was a traffic law violated?
  • Were there multiple parties involved in the fault for the accident?

However, in self-driving accidents, the question of whether the driver of that car or the car manufacturer is responsible exists as a separate concern. If the accident involved a commercial vehicle, such as the pedestrian accident with Uber, the company’s insurance policy would take liability if the company’s driver or car was found to be at fault.

In non-commercial situations, however, insurance companies and injury courts will need more information, such as whether or not the AV mode was activated in the right location, if there was a software or manufacturing defect, or if the driver could have reasonably intervened to prevent the accident.

If you have been injured in an accident involving an autonomous or self-driving vehicle, the legal process of filing an injury claim can get difficult. Contact a San Luis Obispo personal injury attorney at James McKiernan Lawyers today for more information.

Should Commercial Vehicles Be Equipped with Automated Driving Systems?

You have probably heard about automated driving systems that are being installed in self-driving, or autonomous, vehicles. Automated driving systems, or ADS, were designed to improve safety in all types of vehicles and to prevent serious accidents to occur. The U.S. Department of Transportation has played a huge role in improving ADS technology, and one of the most recent advancements has been with commercial vehicles.

Why Should Commercial Vehicles Have ADS Technology?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is responsible for providing and regulating safety management for motor carriers that operate commercial motor vehicles, or CMVs. CMVs can include trucks, buses or other transportation vehicles.

In July 2018, the FMCSA announced a public listening session where they discussed information on issues involving the design, testing, development and integration of ADS-equipped CMVs in the country. Specifically, the session related to the safety integration of ADS into CMVs and how it will prevent  accidents and injuries.

ADS technology would help decrease accidents and injuries involving CMVs by:

  • Designing the vehicles to maneuver the roadways safely.
  • Installing safety sensors that will alert the vehicle to stop in front of pedestrians, other motorists, and environmental hazards.
  • Producing alerts over potential software errors.
  • Increasing safety reliability

If you would like to know more about new safety regulations that can help reduce car accidents, stay updated on our website. Contact our James McKiernan Lawyers today if you would like a free consultation.

What Resulted in this Fatal Highway Crash in New Cuyama?

A head-on collision in New Cuyama on Sunday lead to two deaths and one injury. The accident, which occurred on Highway 66 in the Cuyama Valley, involved a Honda sedan and an oil tanker truck.

According to local authorities, the two people in the sedan crashed into the oil tanker near Hubbard Avenue. A man and woman in the sedan were pronounced dead at the scene. The tanker truck driver sustained serious injuries and was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The cause of the collision is being investigated by the California Highway Patrol.

Contact us or visit us online at James McKiernan Lawyers for more news information on serious accidents in the Santa Barbara area.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to someone’s wrongful conduct or negligence in California, 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 Central Coast 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

What to Look for in a New Auto Insurance Provider

If you have just purchased a brand-new car, or you are interested in switching your current auto insurance provider, you’re probably unsure where to start. There are so many different insurance companies to choose from, and each company will have a specific policy that may or may not work for your circumstances. It’s important to consider the various requirements and options for auto insurance and what each type of auto insurance can cover for you.

What Should I Consider for My New Auto Insurance?

– Find out your state’s minimum insurance requirements: To find the best auto insurance for you, start by determining how much coverage you need. Once you know your state’s requirements, you can decide if you need bodily injury liability, property damage liability, or another type of coverage.
– Research your own competing quotes from insurance websites: Do some shopping and get as many quotes as you can from various insurance companies so you have the best range of options to choose from.
– Review your new insurance in relation to your finances: Note the amount of coverage you have now and how much your current payments are. In order to get a figure to beat, write down the monthly and yearly cost of your insurance, since you will receive quotes both ways.
– Check your driving record: Know how many tickets you have recently received (and how long they have been on your record) by checking your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Wait until those tickets and points on your record have disappeared before you get your insurance quotes. A bad driving record will likely increase your insurance rates.
– Compare your current payments to your new policy: During your research, make price and coverage comparisons. Keep track of a few things in order to get the most information from both sides. This could include annual and monthly rates for the different types of coverage, the company’s contact information, and the company’s payment policy.

Once you’ve found the policy that’s right for you, read over the main points of the policy and finalize everything before you agree to accept it.  If you were involved in a car accident in the middle of switching your policy, the attorneys at James McKiernan Lawyers can help you. Contact us today.

Staying Safe after a Car Accident on a Highway

two drivers arguing over car accident liabilityYou are much safer after a car accident on a city street than you are if you get into an accident on a highway. Given the much higher speed limits on California highways, after an accident, your safety is in the hands of people approaching your vehicle at upwards of 60 miles per hour. At those speeds, getting hit by a vehicle is almost an assured death sentence. For that reason, you should be extraordinarily cautious after an accident on the highway. It is safest to stay in your vehicle with your hazard flashers on until emergency responders arrive. Here are some other tips to ensure your safety after a highway accident.

  1. Look before you leap. Before you get out of your car, make sure your path is clear. Don’t let your confusion or panic following an accident provoke you into exiting your vehicle without knowing whether cars are approaching. This advice is best if you are able to get your car to the side of the road. If you are stranded with open lanes on both sides, stay inside and call 911.
  2. Make your presence known. Especially at night, it is important to signal to oncoming drivers that you are crashed. Bright clothing, reflective cones, hazard lights and road flares – which you should keep in your vehicle at all times – are good ways to signal other drivers.
  3. Shield yourself and your vehicle. You may run across a good Samaritan willing to park behind your vehicle to provide you and the other driver with some protection from oncoming cars. You’d be surprised how many helpful people you might find on the road after you are involved in an accident, and every little bit of help counts.

If you are involved in an accident in San Luis Obispo, our law firm can help.

Did You Know Thanksgiving is One of the Most Dangerous Holidays?

Passenger Injured in a Car AccidentThanksgiving is just around the corner, and you probably already have plans to meet up with family and friends for food, football and fun. Thanksgiving is one of the most traveled holidays of the year. And for an overwhelming majority of people, travel by car will be the transportation method of choice.

This holiday has a dark side, however. Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays to be on the road. Unfamiliar roads, late night driving and especially intoxication contribute to a high number of car accidents. Statistically speaking, Thanksgiving regularly rates among the top holidays for drunk driving fatalities. The day prior to Thanksgiving (sometimes known as Black Wednesday, Blackout Wednesday, Drinksgiving and Thanksgiving Eve) is one of the busiest nights of the year for bars.

Here is a list of tips to help keep you safe and make sure your Thanksgiving goes off without a hitch.

  • Make sure your vehicle is in working order. Prior to the holiday, fill your gas tank, air up your tires and make sure your wiper fluid is full.
  • When driving, make sure to wear a seat belt. Many victims of fatal car accidents during Thanksgiving are not wearing seat belts.
  • Drivers should be well-rested and alert.
  • When driving in work zones, use caution. Slow down and obey all signs.
  • Avoid distractions, especially cell phones.
  • Obey the speed limit.
  • Clean your headlights, taillights, signal lights and windows.

If you are involved in an accident with a drunk driver:

  • Seek medical attention, even if you do not believe you have been seriously injured. Some injuries, like traumatic brain injury, may not manifest symptoms right away.
  • Document the scene of the crash. Take pictures of all vehicle damage, all injuries and get contact information from all witnesses.
  • Discuss the accident in a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.

12-Year-Old Child Killed in Rollover Crash on Highway 101 Near Buellton

September 11, 2017

Fatal AccidentA 12-year-old girl from Encino was killed and several other people were injured late Sunday in a rollover crash on Highway 101 near Buellton.

A Lincoln Navigator carrying seven people overturned at about 11 p.m. and came to rest in the center divider, according to California Highway Patrol.

The vehicle, driven by Erasmo Vargas, 35, of Encino, was traveling at 75 mph when the man lost control as the Lincoln Navigator went off the paved road and into the grassy median where it overturned.

A girl who was ejected from the vehicle was declared dead at the scene, according to Mike Eliason, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

In addition to the driver, the vehicle had one other adult, Alma Rosa Vargas, 37, of Encino, who had minor injuries.

Four additional youths, ranging from ages 2 to 7,  in the vehicle were not injured, the CHP said.

The girl ejected from the vehicle reportedly was not wearing her seat belt, according to CHP officers.

The name of the girl who died will not be released until family members have been notified, the CHP added.

Heavy rain was falling in the area at the time of the wreck, the CHP said.

Several other crashes were reported in the area at about the same time, but they were all noninjury incidents, Eliason said.

One lane of Highway 101 was closed for an hour due to the fatal crash, the CHP said.

Alcohol and drugs were not factors in the crash, the CHP added.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one due to someone’s wrongful conduct or negligence in California, 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 Central Coast 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

www.JamesMcKiernanLawyers.com

What should you do as a passenger injured in a car accident?

If you were a passenger injured in a car accident, you deserve compensation. In most cases, you will have an easier case because one or both of the drivers may be liable. When dealing with a personal injury claim, the plaintiff needs to prove liability (party at fault) and damages (the injuries incurred by the plaintiff). Proving liability is not always easy, especially when neither of the drivers wants to take responsibility for their actions. This is why you should consider enlisting the services of an accident or personal injury lawyer. While the passenger injured in a car accident may not be at fault, the complication may arise with the other drivers involved.

Understanding Your Options

Often, making an insurance claim can be a lengthy process. This is especially the case with third party claims. As a passenger injured in a car accident, you will have medical bills that need to be timely paid. While your case is still under review, you might be able to file a claim to cover medical payments. This type of insurance cover is known as “med pay”. This coverage is available in personal car insurance policies.

It is important to understand that “med pay” is not based on who is at fault. It is a provision made to cover the immediate medical bills. However, you cannot file for lost wages and pain and suffering under med pay. These damages are covered by the insurer of the party at fault.

If the med pay in the policy is not sufficient to cover all your medical bills, you may be able to make a med pay claim on the owner or the driver of the car you were traveling in.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Personal injury claims are bound by state laws. You need to follow the right procedure so as to receive compensation. If you are a passenger injured in a car accident, contact us, and we will help secure you compensation based on the merits of your injuries.

Contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at James McKiernan Lawyers for a no cost consultation to discuss your particular circumstances.

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