San Francisco Injury Lawyer: Accidents and Rain

One of the most common reasons for serious rear-end accidents and collisions in the San Francisco Bay area and the surrounding areas during rain is failure to maintain safe distance with the car in front. It seems to be our nature to not fully appreciate the danger of following someone too closely on the road until we face a situation where we need to suddenly stop a car, and we realize how little control over our car we have when the road is wet or even mildly moist.

Just the other day, just a few minutes after it started raining I saw a car approach an intersection, just a few feet before the stop light the driver realized that he might run the read light and he abruptly but forcefully applied his breaks. Had it not been raining, he most likely would have stopped just slightly protruding into a crosswalk. However, because of the slippery conditions (and probably because his tires weren’t in the best condition), he car slid forward and swerved into the middle of the intersection. He was lucky that it was late at night, and there were no upcoming traffic from any direction. Had it happened during the busy hours of the day, he would likely have been “t-boned” and severely injured.

I really do believe that one of the great exercises that every driver can do to learn and appreciate how difficult it is to stop a car in rainy conditions and avoid a collision, is by getting in a car at night during rain, finding a very safe area for experimenting, go up to 20-30 miles an hour and try to stop abruptly right before the intersection or a crosswalk, to just see how much further your car will end when stopped than you would normally expect.

San Francisco Injury Attorney: Car-Bicycle Accidents

In San Francisco – the city full of hills, busy people, extensive public transportation, roads that could use improvement, impatient drivers, distractions while driving, and a multitude of bicyclists (both recreational and workers of various messenger services), accidents involving bicyclists resulting in serious injuries and even fatalities are unfortunately more common than we hear on our local news.

The majority of the injury accidents involving bicycles arise out of incidents where a driver opens the door of his park car without looking back at the lane on his left carefully to make sure that the road is clear and safe for opening the door. This lead to a bicyclist running into the driver’s door and often flying over the door, hitting his body and head violently against the ground. Obviously, the faster the bicyclist goes, the harder the impact and the more serious injury will be sustained. The other common kind of accidents involving bicyclists is where a bicyclist in San Francisco is riding on the the right side of the road, near the sidewalk, and where the car in front of him, turns right at the intersection without seeing the bicyclist in the right mirror.

Even relatively slow-impact car-bicycle collisions result in serious injuries to the bicycle riders, the most common of which are concussion  (especially if the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet) and compression fracture injury to the riders back. I believe that while the drivers are usually found at fault and liable for injuries and damages of the bicyclist in both of the above situations, the rider of the bicycle has more power to prevent these common accidents and avoid the most serious injuries.

First, about hitting open doors of parked cars. Try to not ride to close to the parked cars. If the road behind you is clear (like it is at night) and there are no cars behind you, ride close to the middle of the lane and away from parked cars to avoid running into an open door. When you ride, look a little further forward and pay attention to the cars that are just pulling into the parking space, so that by the time you are near those vehicles, you are especially careful.

When you are about to go through an intersection, never assume that the driver sees you in the right mirror. If it’s obvious to you that the guy is about to turn right, yield, let him pass, let him complete the turn so that you are safe to proceed on your bicycle.

And if you end up in an accident while riding your bicycle in San Francisco, and you are need of legal advice, contact San Francisco injury lawyer for a free, no-obligation consultation, to discuss your concerns.

San Mateo Injury Lawyer: injury to ear and loss of hearing

Although at first sight linking an car accident to a loss of hearing might sounds like a stretch, an injury to ear and hearing loss are quite common consequences of car accidents. One of my clients sustained an injury in San Mateo County. This was a typical “t-bone” collission in which the other driver ran the red light and hit my client in the front side of the car. It didn’t take much to throw my client’s body sideways and have him hit his head violently against the side window of his car.

Shortly after the incident, along with the severe headaches, he noticed numbness in his ear, experiencing a similar feeling that we all have when we get water in our ears. He hoped that that problem was going to go away, however six months later he still had the same noticeable discomfort in his ear. When he went to the ear doctor, he was diagnosed with a torn ear drum, significant decline in hearing ability, and blood had to be sucked out from underneath his torn drum. It is unclear whether my client will regain his hearing in the future.

This is just one example, how a relatively minor impact in an injury accident can result in a serious injury, which, while might not be visible, will have a significant impact on the injured person’s professional and social life. Under such circumstances a careful medical assessment of the injured person’s present and future condition and a thorough legal evaluation of damages and fair compensation must be made prior to settling any such injury claim or a lawsuit.

Why You Are More Likely to Get Into a Car Accident In Your Own Neighborhood

I remember hearing for the first time the statistical fact that most car accidents occur within a mile of an injured person’s residence and being puzzled: why would people get into a car accident in the area which is most familiar and the easiest to get around for them. Hearing the same statistics over and over, I really wanted ot find out what hides behind them.

As time went by, I realized what should have been an obvious fact – we naturally turn into the most careless drivers as we get closer to our home. Following the same route to the “finish line” day after day, we find ourselves drive on auto-pilot, which makes us both speed with confidence through the very well familiar streets and also not expect and not be ready for any surprised during the final minutes of our drive home. This is a dangerous combination and the one likely to lead to a serious injury accident between two cars or even worse – between a car and a pedestrian or a car an a bicyclist.

And the quieter the area is, the less alert the drivers are to people and children walking around their homes or crossing the street. The City of Stockton and the surrounding towns are known to be quite “bedroom” communities, with many children residing in those communities. This is exactly the reason why it is so important to pay great attention to the road when you drive through those communities, especially if you are approaching your home, as this is exactly the time when we tend to take care of calling or even worse – texting people right before we get into the house.

If you or your close friend or relative have been involved in a serious injury accident and you are not quite sure how to protect your rights and make sure that you will be fairly compensated for your injuries and damages, contact experienced injury lawyer Arkady Itkin for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your rights.

What do insurance companies/adjusters need to settle an accident injury claim?

Insurance adjusters need documentation to back up every protion of damage claim in the file of any given injury accident. If they do not have that documentation, they cannot get settlement authority from their superiors because they don’t have a basis upon which to advise their managers that a claim should be settled for a certain amount.

Make sure that you obtian itemized medical bills and a narrative report of your injury claim outlining the history of your injury, the treatment you have received so far, as well as prognosis (future treatment) that you will need in your doctor’s professional medical opinion, and the approximate cost of such treatment.

The key to getting any injury claim settled with an insurance adjuster is documentation. When the time comes to settle your accident claim, makes ure that you don’t just throw a figure at the adjuster. For example, if you incurred $1,200 in medical bills and $400 in lost wages, and you want to settle the case for $7,000, explain why the case is worth that much. You may count the number of doctor visits that you incurred during your recovery, the number of pain pills consumed, and how the incident affected your social, professional and even romantic life. (i.e. Did you miss a trip? Educational opportunity? Other events that you planned and expected to attend?) In other words, show some thought into and basis for the settlement figure you propose.

Remember that the adjuster has to sell the value of your injury claim to his supervisors. If you help the adjuster sell your case to his supervisors, he or she will likely help you get a fair settlement for your injury claim.

Slip and fall injuries on rented property

Any monetary recovery of damages in a slip-and-fall injury claim usually turns on whether the owner or the operator of the premises had a notice of the defect/condition that gave rise the injury. Thus, if you are a tenant at a certain property that you are renting, and you noticed a certain, potentially dangerous condition, such as defective deck, or unstable porch/stairs, you must notify your landlord of that condition in writing as soon as possible and insist on prompt and thorough inspection and repairs. If the landlord doesn’t respond to the letter promptly, you should call the owner and follow up with another letter.

The above strategy is useful for two reasons. First, any prudent and responsible landlord will appreciate that concern and will act promptly to remedy the dangerous condition. Secondly, having copies of the letters that you sent, notifying your landlord of the dangerous condition, will be crucial evidence of proving notice to the landlord and the landlord’s negligence to repair the condition, triggering the coverage of the homeowners insurance policy for the tenant’s injuries.

If you have any questions about slip and fall injuries on rented property, contact San Francisco injury lawyer Arkady Itkin for a free, no-obligation consultation.