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November 2013 Archives

Seatbelts: Why you should wear them

Study after study has shown that seat belts are the best protectionfrom injury in an automobile accident. Consider this sobering statistic: Over 45,000 people were killed in auto accidents in the United States in 2002. According to the World Health Organization, deaths from automobile accidents in the United States is the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 2 and 14. California, with the largest number of drivers in any state, leads the nation with the greatest number of automobile accidents resulting in death.Many of these deaths were preventable. According to a recent Oklahoma State University analysis, about 50% of these fatal accidents involved the failure to wear a seat belt. In fact, being thrown from a car is the number one cause of death in car crashes. 

Minivan crash leaves at least four injured

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that a minivan and a sedan collided on Highway 78 near Vista Village Way, in Vista. The accident, which occurred on Sunday afternoon, May 2, resulted in at least four people being transported to local hospitals. Two of the injured were reportedly children. 

Texting and Driving: A recipe for disaster!

As the father of a teen-ager, I know how popular text messaging has become as a means of communication. Text messaging, or using a cell phone while driving, is a particularly dangerous practice that leads to many accidents and deaths every year. Consider these statistics: According to the National Safety Council, 28% of car accidents are caused by talking or texting while driving. According to this same study, 60% of teenagers reported that they have texted while driving. Another study has concluded that use of a cell phone while driving is similar to driving while intoxicated! Texting is an effective and convenient means of communication. However, the evidence is clear: texting is not safe to text while on the road. Save your texting for when you are at the dinner table with your parents (like my kids). 

Dogs and the Law: What are your responsibilities?

In some states, dogs are given "one free bite" before any liability is imposed. Not so in our state of California. California Courtsimpose "strict liability" with respect to dog bites. What this means is that a dog owner is liable for the injuries caused when their dog bites or attacks a person, even if they had no reason to suspect that the dog was dangerous. The plaintiff does not need to prove that the owner was negligent, or that the owner should have known that the dog would bite or attack. If your dog injures a person, you will be liable to pay for the damages. Dog attacks can result in significant medical costs. It's easy to protect yourself if you're a dog owner.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May has been designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness month. It is well documented that the freedom that one enjoys on a motorcycle comes with a high price. Simply stated, motorcyclists are statistically more vulnerable to crashes than other drivers. The mileage death rate for motorcycle drivers was thirty seven times higher than that of other types of vehicles, according to the National Safety Council. In 2006, about 4,035 people were killed riding motorcycles. The NHTSA investigated nearly every aspect of motorcycle crashes in Southern California, including some crashes in San Diego. Some of the findings from this investigation are as follows:

Suspected DUI collision leaves three hospitalized

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports this morning that three people were hospitalized after a crash that left their vehicle split in two following an accident on I-15. The driver was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving. The accident occurred about 1 a.m. when the driver was traveling south on I-15, and apparently lost control of the car and crashed into a concrete divider. The California Highway Patrol reported that the Dodge Neon was "ripped in half" by the accident, and that half the car flew over to the other side of the freeway. This auto accident caused much of the freeway to be closed for several hours. Although the accident was spectacular, the injuries are believed to be only moderate, and not life threatening.

Head on Collision sends four to hospital

A head on collision on State route 76 sent two people to area hospitals with unknown injuries. At least one victim was taken to the hospital by the life flight helicopter. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, a gold Chevrolet Trailblazer and a red Toyota Camry crashed head on. Highway 76 was closed for about an hour and a half after the accident. The accident occurred about 8:45 am, near old Highway 395.Watch the news report here:http://www.10news.com/news/23567331/detail.html

Head on Collision sends four to hospital

A head on collision on State route 76 sent two people to area hospitals with unknown injuries. At least one victim was taken to the hospital by the life flight helicopter. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, a gold Chevrolet Trailblazer and a red Toyota Camry crashed head on. Highway 76 was closed for about an hour and a half after the accident. The accident occurred about 8:45 am, near old Highway 395.Watch the news report here:http://www.10news.com/news/23567331/detail.html

Pedestrian Safety tips to avoid becoming a statistic

Earlier, I posted some facts about pedestrian accidents involving death or injury. Some basic safety tips can greatly reduce the possibility of being an injury victim from a traffic collision while being a pedestrian. Here are some helpful tips to avoid death or injury while a pedestrian:

How to avoid a bicycle-car accident

In 2008, 716 bicyclists were killed in traffic accidents. About 44,000 bicyclists were injured in traffic accidents in 2007. Despite these sobering statistics, cycling remains a very popular past time. A few simple guidelines can help avoid a bicycle car collision. According to Bicycling Magazine, the most common bicycle car accidents involve the following situations:

Female Pedestrian hit by vehicle

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that a 42 year old female pedestrian was struck and injured by a vehicle as she was crossing the street Sunday night. The accident took place in the Midway area. The newspaper reports that the unidentified female was crossing the street against the traffic light at the intersection of Rosecrans street and Sports Arena Boulevard about 8:00 p.m. when the accident occurred and she was hit by the vehicle. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment of a hip injury. It is unknown if she was legally crossing the street before the vehicle struck her. It was reported that the police are investigating the accident, and that no arrests have been made. 

Auto Makers agree to make electric cars noisier

I reported here last week about the danger to pedestrians from "quiet" hybrid and electric cars. Now, advocates for the blind and car makers have reached an agreement to impose minimum noise levels on the future manufacture of electric cars. The agreement was reached, both sides agreed, because the current hybrid and electric cars pose a greater risk of danger to those that are visually impaired, as well as bikers, runners, and other pedestrians. A study conducted last year by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that hybrid cars were more likely to hit pedestrians than other cars where the approaching car cannot be seen. Recent studies conducted by UC Riverside came to similar conclusions.

Traumatic brain injuries/concussions linked to depression

A study by the University of Washington concludes that roughly half of the survivors of a traumatic brain injury will experience a bout of clinical depression. Traumatic brain injury is also sometimes called a concussion. As reported in today's Los Angeles Times, the UW report states that traumatic brain injury victims that do experience depression report significantly more pain, greater mobility problems, and more difficulty carrying out tasks than those not plagued by post injury depression.

Bike crash!

One of the basic safety tips to avoid a bicycle accident is to ride with traffic, not against traffic. Riding against traffic can result in the accident known as the "wrong way wreck." A common cause of the wrong way wreck occurs when a car turns into traffic by making a right turn out of a driveway. The attention of the driver is looking left at the oncoming traffic. The driver does not even think about or notice the cyclist coming the other direction, against traffic.

Motorcycle crash kills El Cajon man

A 38 year old El Cajon man died Sunday night from injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, was heading east on Greenfield Drive Near First street when he collided with the drivers side of a Toyota Camry. The Medical Examiner's office reported that the motorcyclist collided with the Camry as the car was making a U Turn on Greenfield Drive. The motorcyclist was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital with massive injuries, where he died three hours later. The CHP is investigating the accident. No other injuries were reported. 

What is "Premises liability?"

Some of the cases we are involved in concern "premises liability." I am frequently asked what is meant by the term premises liability. When someone is injured on another's property as a result of unsafe property or building conditions, the person injured may have a right to make a claim against the building owner or property owner. Any injury that occurs on another's property, particularly a commercial establishment, may give rise to liability of the property owner. A common premises liability case is a slip and fall, but many other types of injuries and accidents fall under this category, including:

Drop Side Crib Recall!

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a press release earlier this month warning about the dangers of drop side cribs. The U.S.C.P.S.C attributed at least thirty two infant accidental deaths to hazards associated with these types of cribs. A drop side crib is the type of crib where one side of the crib can be lowered when a latch is released. The Consumer Product Safety Commissionhas announced eleven recalls involving over seven million drop side cribs due to suffocation and strangulation dangers. These recalls involve several manufacturers of drop side cribs.

5 Injured in Chula Vista Multi-vehicle Automobile Crash

The San Diego Union Tribune reports that a multi-vehicle auto accident occurred Tuesday night in Chula Vista. Five people were injured, including two with major injuries. The crash occurred on Interstate 805 about 7:30 p.m. Three vehicles were involved in crash. No details were released about the cause of the crash, but it was reported that intersection of I-805 and East H Street was closed for several hours to allow the police to investigate the cause and circumstances leading up to this multi-vehicle crash. Two of the most seriously injured were flown to area hospitals by life flight. 

Slip or Trip and Fall: Do you have a case?

If you slip or trip or fall on someone else's property, you may have a case against the owner. Many thousands of people are injured each year due to slip or trip and falls. Many of these falls can lead to serious injuries. Most notably, when thebrain is traumatized from a fall, for example when a concussion occurs, the damages can be devastating, and the recovery slow and painful.

Head on crash fatal to local teenager

A 17 year old Poway girl was fatally injured in a head on crash that occurred Friday afternoon on Sabre Springs Parkway south of Poway Road. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, four other teenagers, all believed to be students of Poway High School, were injured when their vehicle crashed into the back of an Enterprise Rent-a-Car Truck. Injuries to the other passengers did not appear to be life threatening, although all four were taken to area hospitals. One of the injured was believed to have multiple fractures.

National Drivers Test finds 38 Million drivers may be unfit for the roads

Do you ever get the feeling that every other driver on the road is not competent to drive? A new survey released today by insurance giant GMAC confirms what many of us already know: there are millions of American drivers who don't know the basic rules of the road. The 2010 GMAC National Drivers test found than nearly 1 in 5 drivers nationally (roughly 38 million drivers) could not pass a standard written drivers test exam. Many drivers were confused about the correct action to take when approaching a yellow traffic light, and many others were confused about safe following distances.

Jogger injured when car runs curb

A man jogging on Telegraph Canyon Road in Chula Vista was hit and injured when a vehicle veered off the roadway and struck him. The 35 year old man was hospitalized with head and facial injuries, and possible broken bones. The accident took place on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. The victim was apparently running on the sidewalk when the vehicle veered off Telegraph Canyon road and hit him. The police do not suspect that alcohol was involved, and are investigating the cause of the crash.Any runner/jogger/cyclist will tell you that this is their nightmare scenario. The injured victim was on the sidewalk, and apparently did not even see the car coming. The accident occurred at 8:00 in the morning. Was the driver distracted (Ipod? cell phone? texting?) No further information was released by the Chula Vista police department. The driver, however, was not arrested. 

Chula Vista Woman Killed in 3 Vehicle Crash on Route 125

A Chula Vista woman was killed in a 3 car crash on Route 125 early Tuesday morning. The crash occurred when a Ford Explorer SUV crossed onto oncoming freeway traffic and collided with two vehicles. The San Diego Union Tribune reports that the driver was traveling north on Route 125 north of Jamacha Road when she lost control of her vehicle, and crossed the center divide into traffic coming south. Two other vehicles were involved in the accident, including an off duty border patrol Jeep Wrangler. The SUV rolled on top of a PT Cruiser, and continued to roll and collide with the Border Patrol Wrangler.

Ramona boy hurt in freak auto accident

A ten year old Ramona boy was hurt when he was pinned between two cars near the Ramona Pony baseball fields Friday afternoon. The North County Times states that the ten year old boy was loading his baseball equipment into the back of the family car when a car backed into him, pinning his right leg between the two bumpers. The boy was taken by air to Rady Children's hospital. The extent of the injuries was not known.

Man hospitalized following hit by Fed Ex Truck

A 69 year old man was hospitalized Thursday following an accident in which he washit by a Fed Ex delivery truck. The man suffered broken ribs and a collapsed lung following the accident. The man was crossing Federal Boulevard at 50th Street, in a crosswalk,when the truck struck him. The Fed Ex driver was exiting a strip mall and did not see the pedestrian. The accident victim is anticipated to recover from his injuries. 

What is Uninsured/Underinsured motorist insurance coverage?

Many consumers are confused about Uninsured (UM) and Underinsured (UIM) auto insurance coverage. In California, all motorists are required by law to carry auto liability insurance. The minimum coverage permitted by law is $15,000 for auto liability coverage, and $5,000 for property damage. What does this mean? This means that a driver with the legal minimum of insurance has coverage up to only $15,000 for all damage, besides property damage, that may result from that driver's negligence in an accident. Here's a scenario that is not uncommon: A driver with the minimum insurance coverage runs a red light, and causes a serious accident. The victim of the accident is hospitalized and loses several days, (or more) of work. The medical bills and the lost wages are in excess of $50,000. Unfortunately, the driver's insurance company is only liable for $15,000 of the damage. If the driver has no insurance, it is not uncommon to receive nothing to compensate you for your injuries. Unless you have UM or UIM coverage.

Higher fines proposed for using cell phones while driving

The California legislature will soon consider a bill to increase fines for using cell phones while driving a vehicle. According to the June 4 edition of the Sacramento Bee, California State Senator Joe Simitian has proposed increasing the fines associated with cell phones and driving. The current law provides a fine of $20 for the first offense, and $50 to $100 for subsequent offenses. Another interesting aspect of Simitian's bill would allow law enforcement to pull over a teen motorist for any suspected use of wireless devices, not just if if they're visibly holding a phone or texting. California's law making the use of cell phones while driving an infraction commenced in 2008.

Carlsbad cyclist injured in late night accident

A bicyclist from Carlsbad was injured Monday night when he wasstruck by a motorist about 11:30 p.m., according to the San Diego Union Tribune. The cyclist was travelling east in the bike lane on Cannon Road, near Hemmingway Drive, when he was struck by a pickup truck. The cyclist was reported to be a 22 year old male. He was transported to Scripps Mormoria Hospital in Encinitas with a broken leg and head injuries. No details were reported regarding the cause of the accident, but alcohol and drugs were not believed to be a factor in the accident. The accident is under investigation and it is possible that criminal charges will be filed. 

Trial to begin for man accused of killing cyclist while drunk

Trial is set to start today in Garden Grove for Alex Trujillo, who is accused of crashing his car into a bicyclist and killing her while under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol. Trujillo has pleaded not guilty to felony murder in the death of Catherine Busse of Seal Beach.

Violent Car Crash Leaves San Diego Police Officers Injured

Two San Diego Police Officers were injured in a violent crash with a speeding pickup truck Thursday, and are feeling lucky to be alive. News 8 San Diego reports that the two officers recuperating from injuries that could have been much worse. Officer Tim Bell suffered a concussion and injury to his right leg while Officer Healey suffered injuries to his left arm and lower back. The driver of the pickup remains in a medically induced coma due to a serious head injury.

CHP officer injured in Freeway crash

A CHP motorcycle officer was injured in a morning rush hour accident on the 405 (San Diego) Freeway in West Los Angeles Wednesday morning. The accident caused a massive traffic jam as police investigated and cleared the accident debris. Photos and video of the crash are posted on KTLA.com.

Sobriety checkpoint

On Saturday night, I went to dinner with my family in theGaslamp section of downtown San Diego. We had a very nice meal at Pan e Vino. The San Diego Police are known to heavily patrol downtown San Diego, especially on a Saturday night. Aware of this, I made sure not to drink any alcohol at dinner. I have heard many stories of people arrested on suspected DUI after drinking very little alcohol. Many times an arrest will take place if there is any suspicion of a DUI, and even if the driver is subsequently found to be not intoxicated, it makes for a long night in the County Jail.

Motorcyclist killed in crash on I-15

KGTV Channel 10 reports that one person was killed and another injured on Tuesday after they were struck by a vehicle early Tuesday on South Interstate 15 in Escondido. The victims were both on a motorcycle traveling south on the I-15 when they hit some debris that was on the road just south of Felicita Road. After hitting the debris, they stopped and got off their bike. They were then struck by a Toyota Prius according to the California Highway Patrol. One motorcycle rider was killed instantly. The other rider was injured with undisclosed injuries and taken to a local hospital. 

Dog Attack Fatal for Postal Carrier

A Rottweiler attack on a County mail carrier has resulted in the mail carrier's death, the San Diego Union Tribune reports today. Postal employee Hao Yun "Eddie" Lin was working overtime on a route in Oceanside when he was attacked by the dog on May 25. He suffered a head wound which proved fatal when he died on June 4. Authorities say that the dog was inside a house when Lin was on his rounds, and apparently was able to push a door open to chase Lin. The dog chased Lin down the block, where Lin fell and struck his head. It is not reported whether the dog bit the mail carrier. The dog was later euthanized. An investigation is pending to determine if criminal charges will be filed against the dog owners.

DUI Crash Leaves Three injured

A suspected drunken driver caused a two vehicle collision Friday night, resulting in three injuries, at least two of them serious. The male driver, in his early 20's, suffered internal injuries, and a serious arm injury. His passenger suffered serious leg injuries. According to police, as reported in the San Diego Union Tribune, the accident occurred Friday night at Park Village Road and Ragweed Street in Rancho Penasquitos. The drunker driver ran a red light. The injured were taken to local hospitals. None of the injuries were life threatening. 

Rider Injured in Motorcycle Crash

For the second time in less than a week, a motorcyclist was injured in a crash while heading southbound on Lilac Road in West Valley Center, according to the North County Times. The latest crash occurred when a 55 year old man took his motorcycle around acorner too fast and ran head on into a 1996 Toyota Corolla heading north on Lilac Road. The motorcycle rider was taken to Palomar Medical Center, and his injuries were not believed to be life threatening.

Woman Dies in Jacumba Car Crash

A 54 year old woman died in a rollover car crash off Interstate 8 in East County San Diego, near Jacumba. The deceased driver, Martha Lidia Jimenez of Yuma, Arizona, was driving a 2006 Nissan Sentra westbound on Interstate 8 early Saturday morning when she drove off the Freeway, onto Carrizo Gorge Road, where she collided with a Ford-150 truck heading north. No injuries were reported with respect to the Ford 150. Jimenez died at the scene of the accident. Investigators have not determined what caused her to drive off the road. 

Hit and Run Crash Leaves Bicyclist in Critical Condition

A North County bicyclist is in critical condition after being struck by a hit and run driver on Saturday morning. The unidentified man was riding his bike south on Twin Oaks Valley Road south of Del Roy drive when he was hit by a vehicle. The impact threw the rider from his bike. The crash occurred about 10:30 a.m. The vehicle driver did not stop. Unfortunately, it appears that there aren't any witnesses to the accident. No information is available about the vehicle who struck the bicyclist. Anyone who has any information that can assist in this investigation should call the County Sheriff's department.

Truck Crashes Into Mira Mesa House

Recently retired UPS driver Rod Anderson told his former co-workers that he was looking forward to new adventures. Having a truck crash through into his home was probably not what he had in mind. At 1:45 A.M. on Wednesday morning, a truck crashed into Mr. Anderson's Mira Mesa home, as reported by both the San Diego Union Tribune, and News 8 San Diego. The driver of the truck was suspected of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Bus Driver Charged with DUI

A North County Transit District Bus driver was charged yesterday with driving under the influence of alcohol, and also with driving a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol level greater than 0.04%. The driver, David Costello, was arrested on June 1 after a passenger who suspected the driver was intoxicated called the Sheriff's department on his cell phone. Sheriff's deputies were than able to pull the bus over in Encinitas as it was heading east on Encinitas Boulevard near Calle Magdalena. Field sobriety tests were conducted, and it was determined that Costello showed signs of being under the influence.

Los Angeles Mayor hurt in Bike Accident

Even those in powerful positions are mortal like the rest of us. On Saturday, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa suffered a broken elbow when he became involved in a car bike collision. The Mayor was out for a bike ride with his security detail, according to theLos Angeles Times, when a Taxi driver abruptly pulled out in front of him, causing him to fall and break his elbow. The Mayor did not actually collide with the vehicle, but in his efforts to avoid the Taxi, he fell from his bike. The Mayor had indicated that he does not believe the driver broke any traffic laws, but was not being "careful" when he moved in front of the bike riding Mayor without using his signal.

Star of India Volunteer Dies after falling from Ship's Mast

A tragedy struck the landmark ship the Star of India on Sunday. A volunteer crew member who was working on the ship fell about 40 feet and died, as reported by News8 San Diego. Reports say thatvolunteer Greg Gushaw was up in the sails of the ship when he fell and hit his head on the ship, and landed in the water. Other crew members got Gushaw out of the water and commenced CPR, without success. He was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. Gushaw was reportedly wearing a safety harness, so it is unclear how or why he fell. Harbor Police are investigating.

Hit and run Victim Hospitalized

A 65 year old man was found lying on Alvarado Road around Midnight on Saturday, and is believed to be the victim of a hit and run driver. The man was suffering from head injuries and a broken leg, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.

Greyhound Bus Crash leaves Six dead

A Greyhound bus traveling from Los Angeles to Sacramento crashed in the Central Valley, killing six and injuring many others. The driver was reported to be among the dead, as reported by News 8 San Diego. The California Highway Patrol reports that the bus driver swerved to avoid another crash involving an overturnedMinivan and slammed into a concrete center divider, and then hit another vehicle and a tree about 2 a.m. last night. In addition to the six deaths, a number of serious injuries were reported. 

Multi Car Crash Leaves at Least 5 Injured on I-5

A crash on Interstate 5 involving at least four vehicles resulted in a number of injuries Thursday morning. Two of the injured were believed to have suffered major trauma. The accident occurred near Gilman Drive. Reports indicate the two of the seriously injured hadpulled over into the emergency lane, and had raised the hood of their car to check their car trouble. A vehicle then ran into their vehicle, and sent the two men flying into the freeway traffic, where they were hit by more than one vehicle. It was not known what caused the vehicle to hit them in the emergency lane.

Pedestrian Struck and Killed by a Car in Balboa Park

A pedestrian wearing ear plugs was struck and killed by a vehicle in Balboa Park, Tuesday afternoon. The accident occurred on Pershing Drive near Florida Drive. The man who was killed appeared to walk into the driver's path. Police reported that the victim was on the shoulder of Pershing near Florida Drive, when the man looked into traffic, and then continued to walk into traffic. The man continued to walk into traffic after one car swerved to avoid him. Police speculated that he walked into traffic deliberately. 

Bus, Pickup Collision Injures Seven

A North County Transit District bus collided with a pickup truckSaturday afternoon in Valley Center, resulting in the hospitalization of six passengers, as well as the bus driver. According to Police investigators, the pickup swerved across North Lake Wohlford Road south of Valley Center Road, and into the path of the bus, that was traveling north. Police are investigating why the pickup crossed into the northbound traffic, causing the accident. The windshield of the bus was shattered, and moderate damage was caused to the left front end of the truck.

Hit and Run Driver Injuries Pacific Beach Man

As reported in the Union Tribune, a 26 year old man was seriously injured when he was struck by a hit and run driver early Saturday morning. The accident took place in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. The injured pedestrian was crossing Grand Avenue southbound at Cass Street about 12:30 A.M. The pedestrian was crossing against a red light. He was about 3/4's of the way across the street when a black pickup started into the intersection on a green light and struck the pedestrian. The pickup kept going and did not stop. The pedestrian was hospitalized with a broken pelvis. 

Elderly Pedestrian Dies After Being Hit by a Car

Susan Ely lived alone in a small apartment. Last Friday she was walking south on Tierrasanta Boulevard near Tambor Road when she was struck and killed by a 2001 Chrysler sedan. San Diego Police report that Ely was 66, and that the accident occurred about 8:45 a.m. Alcohol was not believed to be a factor in the accident. The driver of the vehicle stopped after Ely was struck, and was cooperating with Police. 

Trolley crash injures Bicyclist

A bicyclist was struck by a trolley Tuesday afternoon, and was seriously injured. The accident occured at Severin Drive at about 5:20 p.m. The male bicyclist was travelling north on Severin Drive in La Mesa, approaching Amaya Drive. The crossing arms came down to stop traffic for a westbound trolley. The bicyclist went around the crossing guard arms and veered into the southbound lanes, apparently in an effort to "beat the approaching trolley" according to La Mesa Police officer Carlos Medero. The bicycle hit the side of the trolley. The rider was thrown to the ground near the tracks. He was taken to an area hospital by ambulance. He was reportedly unconscious and had suffered several broken bones. 

Police Seek Information re Hit and Run Driver

San Diego Sheriff's deputies are seeking the help of the public to locate a driver involved in a hit and run accident that left an area woman seriously injured. The accident occurred in Encinitas on August 23 at about 8:45 p.m. The woman was crossing South El Camino Real when she was struck by a van heading north. The van continued without stopping, and turned right on Encinitas Boulevard. The van is described as a dark or black colored early 90's Dodge Caravan or Plymouth Voyager. It was likely damaged in the accident and will probably be missing the drivers side mirror. Anyone with information can call the authorities at 760-966-3544. 

Bicyclist Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver

A Ramona bicyclist was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver over the weekend. David B. Menea was riding his bike on Main Street, at South Kalbaugh Street, when he was struck by a car driven by Suzanne Reed of El Cajon. He was pronounced dead at the scene. After striking Menea, the SUV driven by Reed struck a parked car, which went careening into Mike's Liquor store, injuring two customers. Driver Reed was arrested on suspicion of Driving under the Influence, and arrested at the scene of the accident. 

Truck Hits And Kills Man In Wheelchair

Roger Minx was crossing Valley Parkway Saturday evening in his wheelchair when he was struck and hit by a truck. Minx was in hismotorized wheelchair when he was struck by a pickup truck driven by an unidentified driver. Mr. Minx suffered massive injuries, and was transported to a local hospital, where he was later pronounced dead. The driver of the pickup was cooperating with police. Alcohol was reportedly not a factor in the fatal accident. 

Car Crash Deaths Drop To The Lowest Level In 60 years

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last week that traffic deaths in the United States have fallen to theirlowest level in 60 years. The 33,808 deaths represented a 9.7 decline from 2008. The number of injuries were also significantly reduced, down from 2.35 million in 2008 to 2.22 million in 2009. The NHTSA reported that fatalities have dropped for seven years in a row. A number of factors were attributed to the decline, including the economy, unemployment, improvements in vehicle design and highway safety programs, according to Clarence Ditlow, the Executive Director for the Center for Auto Safety. An interesting statistic: about 53% of those killed in traffic crashes were not wearing seat belts. 

Bicyclist Killed by Suspected Drunk Driver

A Ramona bicyclist was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver over the weekend. David B. Menea was riding his bike on Main Street, at South Kalbaugh Street, when he was struck by a car driven by Suzanne Reed of El Cajon. He was pronounced dead at the scene. After striking Menea, the SUV driven by Reed struck a parked car, which went careening into Mike's Liquor store, injuring two customers. Driver Reed was arrested on suspicion of Driving under the Influence, and arrested at the scene of the accident. 

Head On Collision In Rancho Santa Fe Results In Major Injuries

Two Separate helicopters were necessary to transport two women with major injuries to area hospitals following a head on collision in Rancho Santa Fe. The crash happened on Via De La Valle near Calzada del Bosque Tuesday morning. Both women had to be freed by firefighters from their wrecked vehicles. The extent of the injuries and the cause of the accident were not yet know. 

Woman On bicycle Struck And Killed By Car

The North County Times reports that a 50 year old Poway womandied Sunday after being struck by a vehicle. The Times reports that the woman was going north on South Rancho Santa Fe Road near the border of Carlsbad and Encinitas when she lost control of her bikeand was struck by a vehicle. She reportedly was attempting to make a left turn onto Calle Barcelona, but hit the median and lost control. She swerved into the fast lane on Rancho Santa Fe Road where she was struck by a Nissan Sentra. 

Distracted Driving Summit Calls For Tougher Laws

The topic of distracted driving has gone national. The Obama administration convened their second summit on distracted drivingyesterday in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the summit was to come up with additional ideas to make sure that, in this era of PDA's, Smart Phones, and portable laptops, that drivers keep their eyes on the road. The summit brought together government leaders, safety advocates, family members of victims, and business groups. Their goal: to reduce accidents caused by distracted driving. Last year, nearly 5,500 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.

Safety Concerns Regarding Toddlers And Furniture

A recent tragedy that came to my attention points out thedangers that toddlers may face around baby and other furniture. Small children are naturally inquisitive, and are not aware of the risks that are associated with climbing on furniture. This story highlights a tragedy that could have been prevented. Consumer Reports opines that about a dozen children die and at least 15,000 are injured every year by tipping furniture. Unfortunately, much of the furniture for children is not designed to prevent tipping. If you think the furniture in your child's room is unsafe, furniture restraints can be installed cheaply and easily. They are readily available at most hardware type stores. 

San Diego: We're No. 1...When It Comes To National DUI List

We all know that driving after drinking is dangerous and not smart. In addition to the danger of causing an accident or injury, thecosts associated with arrest and conviction for driving under the influence are substantial. A new study released today suggest thatyour risk of arrest for a DUI is greater in San Diego than in most cities. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the study indicates that San Diego ranks number 1 when it comes to the largest percentage of drivers with alcohol-related driving convictions. This means, on a percentage basis, there are more drivers on the road with DUI convictions in San Diego than anywhere else.

12 Year Old Girl Killed In Head-On Crash

A 12 year old girl was killed in a violent head-on collision last Saturday night in Bonsall. The crash happened Saturday night around 9:00p.m. The girl was in a 1956 Volkswagen Beetle that apparently lost control, and drifted into oncoming traffic while traveling east on Route 76. The Beetle hit head on with a Buick Regal Sedan. The girl died at the scene. Three other people were transported to hospitals for treatment. 

Alpine Woman Killed By Suspected Drunken Driver

A woman well known and beloved in the Alpine community was killed in a head-on collision Saturday night in Alpine. Catherine Marie Harless and her two dogs died at the scene of the accident Saturday night, when her Chevy Silverado Pickup was struck head-on by another pick up on Alpine Boulevard, just east of Flinn Springs. The driver of the other vehicle crossed the double yellow line and drove directly in front of Harless' truck, causing a head-on collision, according to the CHP.

I-5 North Crash Kills Two

A rollover crash Monday morning left two people dead and two others injured. The accident took place on I - 5 North near Clairemont Drive. The victims were in a Toyota Tundra heading north just after 11:00 a.m. when the pickup spun out of control and struck a palm tree. The truck overturned at least twice before coming to rest near the railroad tracks. 

Former Charger Junior Seau Injured in Car Crash

Former Chargers Linebacker Junior Seau suffered only minor injuries Monday morning after driving his vehicle off a thirty foot cliff and landing on the beach in Carlsbad. Seau was hospitalized overnight, and released on Tuesday. News reports in the San Diego Union and News 8 San Diego indicate that Seau apparently fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the Coast Highway, off a cliff, and onto the beach. Seau's problems were complicated by the fact that the previous night, Seau had been arrested for Felony domestic violence and spent the night in jail. The accident occurred a couple of hours after Seau had been released. 

Local Trauma Specialist Warns Teens About the Dangers of Texting while Driving

Dr. Raul Coimbra is the chief of trauma, surgical care, for the UC San Diego health care system. Dr. Coimbra sees the devastatingimpact of unsafe driving every day. An article in today's San Diego Union interviews Dr. Coimbra and provides a really good wake up call for any driver that even thinks about driving and texting. 

Drunk Driver Having a Bad Day

A 36 year old Chula Vista woman was arrested Sunday night after she crashed into a Police Cruiser while under the influence. The intoxicated woman ran a red light at Third Avenue and collided with a Police car going through the intersection. The Office driving the cruiser was at a local hospital being evaluated. Never a good idea to drive while intoxicated, but try real hard to not run red lights or collide with Police vehicles

Border Agents Save Woman after Car Crash

Agents from the Border Patrol helped rescue a woman trapped in her vehicle in the Buena Vista lagoon in Carlsbad on Wednesday, after the driver's vehicle careened off the Interstate near State Route 78. According to SignOnSanDiego, the woman's vehicle landedupside down in the lagoon, and trapped her in the vehicle. Other motorists who saw the auto accident flagged down members of the Border Patrol, who helped to free the woman from the overturned vehicle, which was floating in several feet of water. The agents were able to wade into the lagoon to free the woman. The driver was reportedly not seriously injured. 

Beeping Hardhats Designed To Prevent Construction Accidents

A Duke University Professor is working on creating a device that will keep the construction workplace safer:A hard hat that beeps! Matt Reynolds, a Computer and Electrical Engineering Assistant Professor at Duke has created a prototype he calls the "Smart Hat." The principal of the Smart Hat is similar to the beeping noise that is common regarding trucks backing up. Reynolds believes that although the beeping of trucks is a good safety practice, the Smart Hat would take that principal to a different level. The Smart Hat would be immune to the distractions that frequently lead to construction accidents. It would beep when construction equipment is nearing the construction worker that is wearing the hat. The Smart Hat is powered by radio frequency and would act as an alert specific to the construction worker. The Smart Hat is in the early stages of development and may be commercially available in the near future. 

Basketball Coach Helps Rescue Car Accident Victims

By all accounts, University of Pittsburgh Men's basketball coach Jamie Dixon is one of the most respected and well liked coaches in the game. He also appears to be one of the game's better people. Coach Dixon was recently involved in assisting the rescue of two passengers trapped in a vehicle following a car accident. According to WPXI in Pittsburgh, Dixon was driving on I 279 North in Pittsburgh when he saw an overturned car by the side of the road with passengers trapped inside. The Pittsburgh coach assisted in freeing at least one of the passengers, and suffered minor injuries to his hands in the effort. "He was a Good Samaritan," Pennsylvania State Trooper Eric Fisher told ESPN.Com. "That's the way people are supposed to be."

Young Workers Twice as Prone to Workplace and Construction Accidents

A recent report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) indicates that those workers 24 and below are much more likely to suffer workplace injuries as other workers. The report was an analysis of on the job injuries between 1998 and 2007. Overall, nearly 8 million young workers were injured. The highest rate of accidents were among workers who were 18 or 19. Workers 24 and younger were twice as likely to suffer workplace injuries as other workers. The July 8, 2010 report also revealed that young hispanic workers were the most likely to suffer a workplace or construction accident.

Disabled Man Killed Crossing Steet in El Cajon

An El Cajon man traveling in a motorized scooter was killed after being struck by a vehicle while crossing the street. Alex Gilliam, Jr. of El Cajon was fatally injured while he was crossing East Chase Avenue about 5:15 on Tuesday evening. Gilliam was crossing mid block, and was apparently not in a cross walk. He was struck by a Toyota traveling wast bound. The Police believe that the Toyota driver did not see the victim, as it was becoming dark, he was wearing dark clothing, and he was crossing mid block. Gilliam was thrown from his scooter, and died several hours later after being transported to a local hospital. No charges have been filed against the driver. 

9/11 Workers Accept Settlement That Could Exceed $700 Million

First responders to the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center have accepted a settlement with the City of New York that may eventually result in over $700 million in payments. The lawsuit on behalf of first responders alleged that they were not properly equipped without proper respiratory and other protection related to the toxic environment after the attack. The Plaintiff's included Police Officers, Firefighters, and other rescue workers. They alleged damages, including blood cancers, severe asthma, and other illnesses stemming from the toxic air after following the destruction of the Twin Towers. A guaranteed payment of $625 million could be increased to over $700 million based on certain milestones. The settlement, which took several years to craft, needed approval by 95% of the plaintiff's for approval. 

Hit and Run Driver Injures Man in Wheelchair

National City Police report that a man in a wheelchair suffered asevere head injury when he was struck by a hit and run driver on Christmas morning. The 57 year old victim was riding on a motorized scooter/wheelchair along the shoulder of Paradise Road near East 8th Street when he was struck from behind by a Burgundy Pickup truck traveling about 50 mph. The Wheelchair was totally destroyed and the man was sent flying through the air. The driver of the pickup reportedly stopped only long enough to remove debris from below his truck, and then took off. The driver, Joshua Becerra, was later arrested after he contacted police about the accident.The unidentified victim is in serious condition and hospitalized with a severe head injury. 

Contingency Fees and Personal Injury Lawsuits

One of the most important concerns for anyone thinking about embarking on a personal injury lawsuit, be it for a car accident, wrongful death or dog bite situation, is how to pay for the entire process. The aftermath of such a trying time can be filled with expensive medical bills, lost work, and damaged cars, all of which require money that is already in short supply.Combine that with the expense of hiring a lawyer to represent you in court, and you have another level of stress that you don't need, potentially making your situation worse and diverting energy and resources that you need to put your life back together.However, many personal injury lawyers understand your situation, your stress and your expenses, and have worked out a solution that is equitable for you both. This resolution is referred to in the legal industry as "contingency." What this basically means is that you can hire a personal injury attorney to work for you, represent you, and fight for you in and out of court, and they don't see one dime of money until you get the financial compensation you deserve.Legal professionals work contingency for a number of reasons. Lawsuits, particularly ones that involve complicated accidents with lots of factors and variables such as contradictory evidence, witness testimony, and expert opinions. These expenses add up fast, and unless you have the money to pay for this out of pocket, people like you in your situation would be prevented from taking their cases to court and would not be able to get the justice they deserve.It is important to note that some expenses are sometimes not covered by the lawyer's contingency arrangement.Typically they include paperwork management, records request and certain other procedural issues. Your legal representative will disclose what is not covered by your agreement beforehand, and if they do not, that can become another point for a different type of lawsuit.What it comes down to is this: your lawyer is taking a risk on your case, that they can win it and get you the compensation rightly owed to you by the party responsible for your situation. However, because the attorney is staking a large investment of time, resources and money into you, should you prevail in your case then they can claim a large percentage of the verdict in addition to any expenses they incurred over the course of representing you. This percentage varies from one lawyer to another, but this percentage, like the type of expense not covered by the settlement, will be spelled out in the contract you sign with your advocate prior to them getting to work for you.There is no reason why you should not contact a personal injury lawyer if you were hurt in any kind of accident. Since many work on a contingency basis, if you lose you will not risk your own money or finances trying to get the justice you deserve. Finding the right one for you takes a bit of effort, but once you have the right legal representation, you can begin to put your life back together.

CHP Targeting Drivers Who Text

Drivers talking or texting on hand held phones are quickly becoming a primary target of the CHP. In fact, the CHP recently acknowledged that they have created special enforcement units with the specific task of ticketing violators. A recent CHP unit targeting Interstate 10 in Los Angeles County issued over 70 citations on one day for using cell phones while behind the wheel. CHP spokesman Mario Lopez indicated that these special enforcement efforts against cell phone use will continue.

Van in Fatal Crash driven by Unlicensed Driver

The driver of a van that rolled over in northern New York last week, leaving six dead and others injured, was driven by a man that has had his license suspended 25 times and was suspended at the time of the crash. Bernard Lattibeaudiere was driving with a revoked New York license that had been suspended at least 25 times. Police said the predominant cause of the crash was a blown tire, and not driver error. Nonetheless, Lattibeaudiere was charged with aggravated unlicensed driving, a felony in the state of New York. the crash occurred in Woodbury, about 55 miles north of New York city. 

Metrolink Introduces Crash Absorbing Trains

Metrolink is introducing a new fleet of passenger train cars built to better withstand the force of a head on collision. The rail agency claims that the new cars, designed to better withstand the crushing force of a collision, are the safest train cars in America. The new cars have front end compartments that are designed to buckle in a collision and channel the forces away from passengers. The manufacturer of the train cars, Hyundai-Rotem, stated that the new Metrolink cars are not being used anywhere else in the United States, and perhaps the world.

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