Bicycle Accident, CaliforniaA recent jury verdict in Santa Cruz County shows how bicycle accidents may involve more than one vehicle, and if the second driver fails to take action to avoid hitting the cyclist, the second driver may be held to be civilly liable and ordered to pay damage for his or her percentage of fault.

Background of the case

The case involved a wrongful death case in which a farmworker who was riding his bicycle to work was first struck by a car. After landing in the middle of the lane, the man was reportedly talking and moaning. He was then run over by a Ford F-150 that crushed his head and his chest with its tires. The driver of the first car said that the bicyclist had veered in front of him, making the initial collision unavoidable. People who stopped in an effort to help the man after the first crash reported that they had tried to direct traffic away from the man in order to alert other drivers that he was lying in the roadway before the truck hit him. The man’s wife and adult children filed a wrongful death civil lawsuit against the driver of the Ford F-150.

Plaintiffs’ arguments

The plaintiffs acknowledged that the bicyclist did hold some fault for his collision with the first car, but they disputed how much he was injured in that accident. They also argued that the driver of the Ford F-150 was at fault for the second accident because he was driving too fast, failed to pay attention and didn’t apply his brakes. Finally, the plaintiffs argued that the man would have survived his injuries from the first wreck. They contended that the man died from the injuries he sustained in the second accident when the truck ran over him. During the trial, the plaintiffs used medical experts in order to present evidence that the man’s injuries from the second accident and not the first are what killed him.

Defendant’s arguments

The defendant argued that the second accident couldn’t be avoided and disputed liability for it. The defendant asserted the imminent peril defense, arguing that there was no time to react or avoid the bicyclist in the roadway. He also argued that the injuries the cyclist received from the first collision were not known and that the first car’s traveling at 50 mph when it hit the man likely provided a fatal injury, thus negating the crushing injuries and liability from the second wreck.

Jury verdict

After a trial that lasted for two weeks, the jury deliberated for a day and a half before returning with a verdict in favor of the plaintiffs. The jury’s verdict was in the amount of $3.6 million, with $300,000 earmarked for each of the man’s seven adult children and the remaining $1.5 million awarded to the wife. The jury also found that the defendant was 30 percent liable and that the bicyclist was 70 percent liable for the accident. While the jury was still deliberating, the plaintiff and defendant settled for $2.5 million.

Comparative negligence in California

California follows what is know as a pure comparative fault rule in injury cases. California’s approach was adopted in the 1975 decision in Li v. Yellow Cab Co. Under the comparative fault rule, each person holding fault in an accident is responsible for his or her own percentage of liability. That means that plaintiffs will have their awards reduced by their percentage of fault. In this case, since the decedent held 70 percent of the liability, it means that the actual award would be reduced by that percentage.

Contact a personal injury lawyer

If your loved one was killed in a similar bicycle accident, you will likely need to get help from a California personal injury attorney familiar with bike accident claims in order to recover damages for your loved one’s loss. Your attorney may use experts in order to prove that the motorist was liable. In many cases, an attorney may be able to convince insurance companies that it is best for them to settle without going to trial by presenting the companies with the experts’ reports. Contact a California bike accident lawyer today to learn more about your rights in your loved one’s accident.

Defective Car Seats, Injury Lawyer, CaliforniaAs a defective car seatback injury lawyer in California, I have seen, first-hand, how this serious product defect can cause injury or death.  According to experts, defective seatbacks in some cars can break or collapse in major accidents, particularly rear-end crashes, causing paralysis or death to the occupants. They say that the seats might not provide protection for anyone in the car, including children, even if the car has a five-star rating.

The Danger for Children and Drivers

Crash tests show what could occur when defective seatbacks collapse in major crashes: The driver flies backward, slamming into the face of the child sitting behind. An average of three children die and 470 are injured in car accidents every day, and 11 percent of them were sitting in the back seat.

This was the case for a 16-month-old girl in 2010, when a vehicle rear-ended her family’s new Honda Odyssey at 55 mph. The girl was secured in a car seat behind her father, but his seatback collapsed, striking her in the face and killing her. CBS News found in an investigation of its own that nine kids have died in similar accidents.

Drivers and front-seat passengers are at risk for injury as well because their heads slam into the back seat when their seatbacks fail. A 70-year-old woman was paralyzed in 2011 when a vehicle rear-ended her 2002 Dodge Caravan and her seatback broke.

The families of the little girl and elderly woman settled lawsuits against Dodge and Honda. The carmakers maintain that their vehicles are safe, meet or exceed safety standards, and are built better than in years past.

Poor Crash Test Standards for Seatbacks

The collapse of seatbacks happens every day, auto collision expert Alan Cantor told CBS News. The investigators hired him and his lab to test seats according to federal safety regulations. The test involves putting a brace on the seat, connecting a winch and pulling on it. Cantor and his team found that while car seats meet or exceed the requirements, they can still break. He also noted that this is something automakers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have known about for more than 20 years.

The NHTSA was warned in 1992 about the major and fatal injuries that collapsed seatbacks cause. Crash test reports even showed that defective seatbacks could collapse in rear-end impacts at just 30 mph. That same year, crash investigator Ken Saczalski told “60 Minutes” that the federal standard was inadequate. In response, the agency said it was looking into ways to improve the standard.

In 1996, an engineer working for General Motors gave a deposition, admitting that the company started securing crash dummies to seats during crash tests because the cost of losing them was high. Another deposed engineer said that making the seats stronger would not be expensive.

Then in 2000, the NHTSA administrator at the time told CBS News that they were investigating the issue within the year. She noted that using a 30-year-old standard was inappropriate. However, the agency stopped its investigation in 2004 because it lacked sufficient data to make changes, so the standard remains the same in 2016 as it was in the 1960s.

Contact a Defective Car Seatback Attorney

Time is of the essence when defective car parts cause injuries and deaths because the parts must be preserved and tested to provide evidence that they were the cause. Contact an attorney immediately if you or someone you know was injured or killed by a defective seatback.

grocery store accident attorney, CaliforniaA recent case in California demonstrates how the extent and cause of a plaintiff’s injuries may be disputed even when liability itself is not in dispute. In the case, Plent v. Anheuser-Busch, LLC, Los Angeles Superior Court / BC551113, the injured plaintiff received far more at trial than she would have received if she had accepted the defendant’s final settlement offer.

Background of the case

The plaintiff, an 86-year-old woman, was shopping at an Albertson’s grocery store on May 14, 2013. While she was shopping, an Anheuser-Busch, LLC employee struck the woman with a loaded merchandise cart from behind. The woman fell to the ground and was injured. The incident was captured on the store’s surveillance videotape system. While Anheuser-Busch admitted liability, the extent of the woman’s injuries was at issue at trial. The injured woman filed a personal injury lawsuit against the defendant on July 9, 2014, alleging her injuries resulted from the defendant’s negligence. She asked for compensation for her future medical expenses, for her pain and suffering and for the loss of enjoyment of her life that the accident had caused.

Plaintiff’s argument

The woman argued that she suffered from a combination of back injury and chronic pain. She argued that her injuries would require her to receive a number of different types of treatment, including visits to a rehabilitation medicine doctor, participation in a pain program, ongoing injections of botulinum toxin, in-home care, intra-articular injections, a vestibular program and physical therapy. She claimed that the cash value of those expected treatments was $290,000.

Defendant’s argument

The defendant argued that the woman did not need any further treatment for the injuries caused by the accident other than mild analgesics and two physical therapy sessions to learn exercises she could do at home on her own. The defendant also contended that the woman’s issues were age-related rather than a result of the cart accident. Pointing to her pre-existing degenerative disc disease, the defendant argued if she did need any further care for a worsened injury, it would only require epidural shots for a total cost ranging from between $4,000 and $32,000. The defendant argued that in addition to her age and degenerative disc disease, the woman also suffered from scoliosis, generalized osteoarthritis, peripheral vascular disease, compression fractures of the thoracic and lumbar parts of her spine and segmental instability.

Settlement offer

At mediation before trial, the defendant’s final offer was $85,000. While the trial was still progressing, the defendant offered $500,000. At mediation, the plaintiff requested a settlement in the range of $200,000 to $800,000. During the trial, the plaintiff demanded $1.1 million.

Jury verdict

After a trial lasting 5 1/2 days, the jury deliberated for 2 hours and 45 minutes before returning a gross verdict in favor of the plaintiff in the amount of $886,974. Of that amount, $271,974 was awarded to compensate the woman for her economic losses while $615,000 was for the woman’s noneconomic losses.

Contact an attorney

If you or your loved one has been injured in an accident through no fault of yours or your loved one’s, contact a California personal injury attorney today. An attorney may be able to help if the extent of your injuries or the defendant’s liability is in dispute in order to secure the maximum possible recovery amount that you need to be fairly compensated for your losses.

Rental Car Defects, Lawsuits, Wrongful Death, RecallsA long-term battle for justice for two 20-year-old women who lost their lives in a tragic accident has just ended in a huge way. Legislatures have just passed a law that governs how rental companies rent out their vehicles. The new law requires auto rental corporations to fix vehicles that are on their lots with recall orders on them. The legislation was passed because of the extremely catastrophic death of two sisters, Raechel and Jacqueline Houck. They lost their lives in 2004 in a crash that sent their mother on a mission to change laws.

An Unnecessary Loss of Life

Automobile accidents are always tragic no matter who loses their lives in them or who gets hurt. This incident was severely tragic because of the neglect that the auto rental company showed. The PT Cruiser that the girls rented was placed on the recall list. The manufacturer notified the vehicle owners, Enterprise Rental Company, of the defect and the need for repairs. Enterprise rented the vehicle to the Houck sisters and three other people instead of removing the vehicle from the inventory until the repairs were done.

The vehicle had a faulty power steering hose that the manufacturer needed to replace. The dangers of not replacing the hose included a loss of steering and a fire. A sudden loss of steering caused the accident that took the victim’s lives. The vehicle swerved off of the highway just north of Pasa Robles and collided with an 18-wheeler vehicle. The vehicle exploded into flames immediately, and the women lost their lives almost instantly. The tragic loss of her two daughters caused Cally Houck to seek justice by any means necessary. Houck had experience as an attorney, so she understood the multiple levels of legal culpability that lied with Enterprise.

New Auto Renter Recall Laws in the U.S.

No auto rental company had ever been forced to disclose defects or fix recalled vehicles before they rented them to consumers. Many consumers had no idea that rental companies were not under legal obligation to do so. Unfortunately, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration does not cover rental cars.

All aspects of justice took a long time for Houck to receive, but she never gave up. Enterprise first denied their fault in the case and claimed that the driver was suicidal. The company later admitted fault and offered Houck $3 million for the incident if she agreed not to discuss it. The President of the Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety urged her not to. Enterprise ended up having to pay the Houck family $15 million. The better news is that legislatures passed a law that requires rental companies to turn the recalled vehicles in for repairs before they rent them again. Right now, the legislation only obligates companies that have less than 35 vehicles to rent, but it is a huge step for a grieving mother and the rest of our society. The Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act of 2015 is in full effect.

You have the right to contact an attorney and schedule a consultation if you have been involved in a similar incident as the persons in the above story. A reputable personal injury attorney will bring you into the office and consult with you about your incident. An attorney will review your case and then let you know how viable it is. You can then decide whether or not you would like the attorney to defend you in your situation. The attorney will work diligently to collect the compensation that you deserve for the injuries that you have endured from the incident.


Delivery Truck, Accident, Injury AttorneyThe case of Kayleigh McCall v. Coast Line Distributing, Inc. and Paul Anthony Ceja in the San Luis Obispo Superior Court case no. 14CV0535 has taken the nation by storm. The original case was filed back on October 16, 2014 by 27 year-old Kayleigh McCall. Honorable Barry T. LaBarbera presided over the court proceedings in this auto v. auto accident. It wasn’t until March 10, 2016 that a jury verdict was actually reached in the case.

The whole case revolves around a father hiring his son to work as a truck driver for his dairy distribution company when he should never have been hired in the first place. Paul Ceja had a long-standing history of incarceration, drug abuse, license suspensions and felonies before ever being hired by his father. It was only 10 months into his being hired that he rear-ended the plaintiff on February 4, 2013 at the intersection of Yerba Buena and Highway 1 in Morro Bay. The son ended up crashing the heavy delivery truck into a smaller car traveling at 55-60 miles per hour.

The truck contained various drug paraphernalia such as burned foil containing drug residue, hypodermic needles and Suboxone. He ended up being arrested for driving while under the influence of a controlled substance. A blood test ended up confirming that he had opioids and methamphetamines in his system when the crash occurred. It wasn’t until trial that the defendants admitted fault. Because of the rate of speed and the size difference between the two vehicles, the driver of the smaller car sustained significant injuries and out of pocket costs.

The plaintiff contended that there was negligence in both the scope and course of employment and entrustment of the delivery truck. Because of the DUI, they asked for punitive damages. While the plaintiff suffered from significant injuries, the defendant argued that her injuries were taken care of by April 2013 which was just two months after the accident occurred. She had undergone multiple physical therapy treatments by that time, but she was far from being healed. Since there was a gap in treatment that spanned from April 2013 through March 2014, the defendant argued that her injuries weren’t related to the accident.

At that time, the defendants requested that the plaintiff only be awarded $3,000 to cover her past medical bills and another $25,000 to cover her pain and suffering. They also argued that the father didn’t have knowledge of the son’s drug abuse when he hired him. Regardless, the father should have made sure that he was hiring someone who was capable of being able to do the job correctly and safely, even if it was his son.

Kayleigh ended up suffering from a mild brain injury and facet injuries from the severe whiplash sustained. Dr. Jordan ended up diagnosing Kayleigh with compressed and crushed facet joints and gave her radiofrequency ablation and a facet block injection. Both of these procedures ended up leaving her suffering with a significant amount of pain. Dr. Jordan has determined that she is going to end up needing a radiofrequency ablation every year for her entire life.

Even though the defendant only offered to pay her $29,034.44, she ended up getting much more.

Kayleigh was awarded $2,119,875.48 in gross damages. Her past medical bills amounted to $41,937.74 and she is expected to accumulate another $393,000 in medical bills in the future. She had $375,000 in past non-economic losses and is expected to accumulate another $250,000 in the future. Her total punitive damages were $1,059,937.74. In total, the jury spent two days deliberating and the total trial took nine days before being settled.

Consulting A Commercial Delivery Truck Accident Attorney

If you or someone you know was injured or killed in an accident by a commercial delivery vehicle, you need to turn to a California trucking accident and injury lawyer to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Speeding, Car Accidents, Injury LawyerSpeeding is one of the most common causes of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. More than 10,000 deaths each year are attributable to accidents in which one or more of the drivers was speeding. In terms of economic impact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration puts the cost of accidents caused by speeding at more than $40 billion a year.

There are 34 states that have maximum speed limits of 70 mph or higher for motor vehicles. Although the highest posted speed limits in California of 70 mph speed are restricted to rural interstate highways and limited access roads, a new report linking speeding and motor vehicle accident fatalities offers evidence that drivers in populated urban areas, such as Oakland and San Jose, are ignoring posted speed restrictions.

California cities lead the nation in speeding fatalities

Eleven of the 20 cities in the United States ranked by the Auto Insurance Center as having the highest average vehicle speeds in fatal accidents are located in California. Some of the 11 cities and the average reported fatal accident speeds include:

Corona, CA: 65.07 mph
• Oakland: 64.04 mph
• San Jose: 61.49 mph
• Hesperia: 59.0 mph
• San Bernadino: 58.82 mph
• Fresno: 57.39

The state had three highways listed among the 20 fastest roadways in the U.S. based upon the average speed of vehicles involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents occurring on them. Included on the list was Interstate 580 in the East Bay area, I-10 that goes through Los Angeles and San Bernadino, and I-5 that goes through San Jose.

Surprising statistic: California drivers are not the fastest

The Auto Insurance Center report listed 10 states as having the highest average speed in the nation. California does not appear on the list. This might indicate that traffic congestion, roadway design and other situations could be factors that when combined with excessive speed contribute to fatal accidents.

Another point made in the report is that the average speed of vehicles involved in fatal accidents appeared to be related to the age of the drivers. Drivers in their early 20s had the highest speeds in accidents in which someone was killed. Motorists in their 80s had the lowest speeds.

How speeding contributes to accidents

Stopping a moving vehicle takes more time than most people realize. Studies have shown that it can take 1.75 seconds for the brain to process information picked up by the human eye. If a driver sees something in the road, whether it be another car or a pedestrian, there is a delay from the moment it is seen until the driver’s brain identifies it and decides what must be done to avoid it.

A vehicle traveling at 55 mph will cover a distance of 142 feet while the brain is processing the information it received from the eyes. Once the driver realizes the brakes must be applied, the vehicle will travel another 61 feet before the driver begins the act of braking. At 55 mph, the car or truck could travel another 216 feet before it actually comes to a stop. A higher rate of speed will increase the stopping distances and make it more difficult for a motorist to take action to avoid an accident.

Another factor speed adds to an accident has to do with the amount of force at the time the speeding vehicle makes contact with an object, a person or another vehicle. The amount of force at impact is nine times greater at 60 mph than it is at 20 mph.

Speeding can also make it difficult for a driver to maintain control of a vehicle. This is particularly true on curves where excessive speed can cause a car or truck to skid. Even on straight roadways, speeding increases the chances of hydroplaning on wet roads. Hydroplaning is when the tires lose contact with the surface of the road and cause a driver to lose control of the vehicle.

Preventing speed-related accidents

Wearing a seat belt and obeying posted speed limits is a good way to begin reducing the number of fatalities on California highways, but there is more that drivers can do to improve road safety. Remaining alert and avoiding distractions, such as talking on cellphones and texting while driving, can play an important role in accident avoidance.

A California motor vehicle collision attorney can help

Motorists whose excessive speeds cause accidents could be engaging in negligent conduct. A person who is injured or killed might be entitled to sue the negligent driver for damages. A California motor vehicle collision attorney can assist an accident victim or the victim’s family through the process of obtaining financial compensation.


eggshell plaintiff rule CaliforniaA California woman was awarded more than $2.8 million by a jury as compensation for past and future damages for injuries she suffered in a car accident. The verdict appears to rely on a legal doctrine known as the “eggshell plaintiff rule.” Although generations of budding attorneys have learned about the rule in law school, its significance in personal injury cases is oftentimes lost to anyone who has not been subjected to a professor’s lecture about it in a first-year torts class.  It is still a useful and practical argument for party’s who have pre-existing medical conditions who suffer emotional or physical harm due to negligence.  Such was the case here.

An admission of liability and a concession by the defense

The defendant in the Sacramento case admitted that she was at fault in causing the car accident in which her vehicle hit the passenger side of a car driven by the 26-year-old plaintiff. Both sides in the case agreed that the speed of the defendant’s car was no more than 15 mph when it struck the plaintiff’s vehicle.

In addition to conceding liability for causing the accident, the defendant agreed that the victim suffered an injury to her knees. An agreement by the parties on the amount of compensation payable to the plaintiff would appear to have been the likely result of this case, but plaintiff claimed her injuries included the following:

• Bruises to the left knee and both shins
• Pain in the neck and lower back
• A herniated disc requiring surgery
• Emotional disturbances including post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks and abnormal brain function

Plaintiff’s claims that all the physical and emotional injuries she suffered were related to the collision with the defendant’s car were challenged by the defendant. The defense produced experts linking the pain, disability and emotional disturbances experienced by the plaintiff to conditions that existed prior to the accident and others that were unrelated to the collision. One defense expert went so far as to state in his testimony that plaintiff’s emotional complaints were caused by a mental illness that existed prior to the car accident.

Plaintiff introduces the eggshell plaintiff rule into the case

One of the doctors who testified on behalf of the plaintiff characterized her as having an “abnormal brain” prior to the accident. This might at first appear to support the defendant’s claim that plaintiff’s emotional disturbances were preexisting and unrelated to the accident, but the expert’s reference to the eggshell plaintiff rule during his testimony appears to have tipped the case in favor of the victim.

The expert’s recommendation that plaintiff receive up to five years of treatment and other services for her emotional issues and testimony from other doctors about the victim’s long-term physical disability and the need for pain management treatment appears to have been favorably received by the jurors. The award for future medical treatment and lost earnings was $1,332,225.

The hypothetical eggshell plaintiff

Eggshell plaintiffs are individuals with preexisting medical or psychological conditions that make them susceptible to suffering injuries far worse than would be suffered by an otherwise normal person under similar circumstances. Law school professors use a hypothetical victim with a skull that is as thin as an eggshell to teach future attorneys the legal principle that defendants take their victims as they find them. In other words, a negligent defendant, such as the Sacramento driver, is liable for the injuries suffered by a victim even though someone without a preexisting emotional and medical condition might not have been as seriously injured.

California follows the eggshell plaintiff rule, and judges in cases, such as the one in Sacramento, instruct jurors to award damages to a victim even if the evidence shows that someone without a preexisting condition might not have been suffered the same injuries. The fact that the plaintiff was more susceptible to emotional disturbances due to her abnormal brain function did not relieve the defendant from responsibility once defendant admitted to being liable for causing the accident.

Consulting with an attorney might help

Someone injured as a result of the negligence of another party might benefit from consulting with a personal injury attorney. Legal principles, such as the eggshell plaintiff rule, can make it difficult for an accident victim to fully understand his or her compensation rights. The legal advice and guidance of an attorney might help by addressing a victim’s questions and concerns.

Lowes Hardware, Accidents, Injury, Attorney, California

Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse exterior. Lowe’s is an American chain of retail home improvement stores in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

As a Lowes hardware accident attorney in California, I know that Lowes Companies, Inc. is big business in the Golden State. The hardware, appliance and home improvement store operator has 1,140 stores in the United States, 40 stores in Canada and another 10 in Mexico. The company has plans to open another 150 stores in Australia under a different name. Lowes is number 50 on the Fortune 500 list, and only Home Depot sells more hardware, appliance and home improvement products than Lowes.

Lowes operates 111 stores in California. Only Texas and Florida have more. As a majority shareholder, the company also operates more than 70 neighborhood hardware and backyard stores known as Orchard Supply Hardware that it acquired in 2013. Nearly all of those stores are in California too.

Whether you own a single hardware and home improvement store in a small town or over 1,000 of them that are scattered across the country, it’s nearly inevitable that accidents are going to happen. These stores are packed with merchandise and machinery, and the store owners bear certain risks for which they can be held responsible. Personal injury attorneys are instrumental in keeping hardware and home improvement store owners alert and attentive to preventing accidents and compelling them to pay when accidents and injuries indeed do occur.

Common retail accident claims
Although other types of personal injury claims might arise from conditions on or about the property of a retailer like Lowes, common claims consist of:

  • Falling merchandise
  • Slip-and-falls and trip-and-falls
  • Injuries from defective products

Falling merchandise
There are no statutes or regulations governing how Lowes might stack and display merchandise. It might be stacked up to 15 feet high, and it’s usually left unsecured without any devices that might restrain it from falling onto customers. Merchandise can be caused to fall by:

  • Generally unstable stacking
  • Pushing on one aisle stack and causing merchandise to fall from another aisle stack
  • Stacking heavy merchandise on top of lighter merchandise
  • Stacking large boxes on top of small boxes

When a boxes fall from a height of 10 or 15 feet, it’s likely that there’s no warning whatsoever. Common injuries from falling merchandise include:

  • Traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries
  • Serious neck injuries
  • Fractured facial bones
  • Leg and foot fractures
  • Facial lacerations

Falling merchandise injuries are wholly and completely preventable. Store owners simply need to stack and display merchandise in such a way as it doesn’t fall onto customers from high above.

Slip and falls and trip and falls
Most slip and fall accidents are caused when a customer slips on a liquid or otherwise slippery substance inside of the Lowes store. Trip and falls are usually caused by merchandise or other obstructions in aisles or uneven surfaces. In a slip and fall, the victim ordinarily falls backward. In a trip and fall, they ordinarily trip forward. In either case, the victim wasn’t prepared for the fall. Very serious injuries can result.

The law of negligence
Whether it’s falling merchandise or a falling person, the law of negligence governs these types of cases. To prove negligence in a store injury case, the person claiming injury must prove the following elements.

  • That a duty was owed to prevent or warn him or her of possible injury
  • That the duty to prevent or warn was breached
  • That the breach of the duty caused the customer’s injury
  • That the customer suffered legally recognized damages

Failure to prove any single element will cause the negligence case to fail in its entirety.

Injuries from defective products
Under product liability law, the retailer who sells a dangerously defective product can be held strictly liable for the injury or death of a user of that product. The injuries or deaths are ordinarily alleged to have resulted from:

  • A design defect
  • A manufacturing defect
  • A failure to warn of the product’s inherent danger

As big as Lowes is, accidents either happen on their property or thorough products that they sell just about every day. If you or somebody close to you has been hurt inside of a Lowe’s store or by a product that Lowes sells, contact a California personal injury lawyer who is familiar with how the company operates. Customers injured by the negligence of Lowes deserve fair and just compensation.

On Feb. 4, 2016, a jury unanimously awarded more than $3.5 million to two plaintiffs, the successors of the deceased, in a wrongful death case in San Bernardino. Damages included funeral expenses, past and future costs for bodily injury for one of the plaintiffs, and past and future non-economic losses.

Facts of the Case

On July 6, 2011, the plaintiff was driving her minivan with her two children in Rice on Highway 62 in San Bernardino County.

The defendant and her husband traveled westbound but drove into on-coming traffic, resulting in a head-on collision with the van. One of the children, 16, succumbed to injuries from the accident at the scene. The plaintiffs stated that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident and subsequently filed the lawsuit. The defendant insisted that gravel on the side of the road caused her to swerve into the van, causing the accident. She further claimed that the girl was not properly secured by her seatbelt. However, the jury did not accept her defense.

The plaintiffs requested damages for physical injuries, including emotional distress, disfigurement, pain and suffering, physical impairment and loss of enjoyment of life. They also claimed the loss of: moral support, love, society, companionship, affection, comfort, protection, assistance and care.

The gross jury verdict was over $3.5 Million.  This included approximately $150,000 for present and future medical expenses for one of the children and the remainder for the wrongful death of the other child.

Statistics on Head On Collision Fatalities

Head-on collisions cause 10 percent of the deaths in a vehicular accident although they only make up 2 percent of all accidents. When two vehicles race toward each other, the force of the collision and the related impact now doubles. So if a car and a motorcycle each travelling at 40 miles per hour crash in a head-on collision, the impact equals 80 mph.

Additional national statistics from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials follow:

Nearly all of these accidents happen due to an “unintentional” action by the driver, such as:

• Falling asleep at the wheel
• Distraction from an electronic device or
• Failure to slow down when turning.

These accidents almost always occur when both parties are going straight or trying to navigate a turn.

About three-fourths of all fatal head-on collisions happen when no median divides the traffic traveling in opposite directions on rural roads.

The initial action can cause the accident, but sometimes, the driver overcorrects, which causes the accident instead.

California laws specifically address each of these situations as follows:

California Vehicle Code 21751: When on a two-lane road, the vehicle should remain on the
right-hand side of the road unless the driver can clearly see that the way is clear of any oncoming traffic to safely pass on the left-hand side of the road.

California Vehicle Code 21752: Drivers cannot ever drive on the left-hand side of the road in these scenarios:
• When approaching a curve or turn without a clear view
• When approaching a tunnel, viaduct or bridge without a clear view or
• When the driver is less than 100 feet from a railroad crossing.

California Vehicle Code Sections 23123, 23124, 23125: Drivers cannot use electronics while driving.

California Vehicle Code 23152: Drivers cannot drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

California Vehicle Code 22350: Drivers must navigate the roadways at safe and appropriate speeds for the conditions of the road.


Los Angeles, Street Accidents, Injury Attorneys, Accident LawyersAmong all of the traffic fatalities that happen each year in Los Angeles, almost half are pedestrians or cyclists. This is true even though pedestrians and cyclists are involved in around 14 percent of traffic accidents in the city. In order to combat this problem, the City of Los Angeles implemented the Vision Zero initiative, which is a concerted effort to eliminate traffic deaths and serious injury accidents by 2025. The primary focus is on pedestrians and bicyclists since they have the highest risk of death. To carry out the city’s initiative, the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance is working towards bringing the goals to fruition.

Vision Zero is a collaborative, worldwide effort aimed at eliminating traffic deaths by involving multiple government departments and agencies utilizing accident data in order to identify and address the highest risk categories and areas. Because they have very little protection, pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable of all people traveling on the roads.

Mayor Eric Garcetti issued an executive directive on Aug. 24, 2015, which established the Vision Zero initiative in Los Angeles as a citywide effort. Prior to that, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation had adopted the initiative in Sept. 2014 as a component of the department’s strategic plan. The City Council likewise adopted Vision Zero in Jan. 2016, making it a key part of the City’s Mobility Plan 2035.

A part of the preparation for the initiative’s implementation are studies conducted concerning crash causes throughout Los Angeles, as well as the steps that are needed in order to reduce or eliminate the causes. The city has moved on to the phase of determining the neighborhoods and areas that are at highest risk, such as where children and seniors may be, neglected neighborhoods and places where the most serious collisions tend to occur.

The Vision Zero Task Force and the Vision Zero Steering Committee, both established by Mayor Garcetti, are working together with the Los Angeles Department of Transportation in order to achieve the initiative’s purpose. Representatives on the steering committee include representatives from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and the public works, water and power, fire and police departments. Nonprofit agencies and community organizations, as well as additional representatives from the city, make up the alliance and the task force.

Since the launch of the initiative, substantial research has been conducted into the incidence and causes of traffic collisions over a multi-year period. Consultants have also analyzed countermeasures that reduce the number of accidents, as well as the collision rates in cities that have implemented them across the U.S.

While the aim of Vision Zero may seem daunting, it is terrific that the City of Los Angeles is taking active steps and implementing measures aimed at reducing or eliminating serious injuries and fatalities caused by collisions. Since bicyclists and pedestrians have a much higher risk of being killed in traffic accidents than other types of motorists and travelers, it is obvious why they should be placed at the top of the list.

The Need to Contact An Experienced Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney After A Traffic Fatality

When a pedestrian or bicyclist is seriously injured or killed in an accident, either they or their family may need legal assistance. A personal injury lawyer may be able to help their clients recover the maximum amount needed to fairly compensate them for their suffered losses. If you or a family member have been a victim of a pedestrian or bicyclist collision with a motor vehicle, contact Los Angeles personal injury lawyer Steven M. Sweat, APC to learn more about your legal rights.