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Can GPS Apps Cause Car Accidents? Baxter Street Residents Say Yes

United States MUTCD regulatory road sign - Only left.

Car accident-prone Baxter Street in Los Angeles began life on an 1853 surveyor’s map, and entered its adolescence in 1872 when it was officially declared a street. Rumor has it Baxter was originally designated as a goat thoroughfare. Others claim it was supposed to be a pedestrian access path. But during the early 1900s, Baxter Street became a publicity stunt. Photographers snapped as early automobile manufacturers showed off how their products could climb this ridiculously steep monstrosity.

At a 32-percent grade, Baxter Street is easily steeper than some of San Francisco’s notorious roadways. It’s even on a list of the top 10 steepest roads in America. This dubious designation might be more exciting for Los Angeles residents if it weren’t for the frequent car accidents here, allegedly made worse by navigation apps like Waze.

Can you sue a navigation app because of a crash?

GPS apps are intended to make everyday life easier for users, in part by diverting drivers to alternate routes during rush hour. In LA, one of those alternate routes is Baxter St. The problem is that navigation apps like Waze do not mark Baxter Street as potentially hazardous. This applies to all vehicles, which means drivers of big trucks, limousines, school buses, or other lengthy vehicles have no prior warning that the hill they are ascending has a very small summit before beginning a steep decline. The Baxter Street summit is notorious for scraping the undercarriages of vehicles, and it’s been said that some vehicles have had to be airlifted off the hill.

The traffic congestion isn’t just problematic for passersby; it’s a nightmare for residents. “The car came through our garden, went through two fences and ended up backwards hanging over our driveway,” said Jason Luther, a Baxter Street resident, discussing an accident that occurred during a recent rainfall. Another resident, Robbie Adams, said, “We had our garden wall knocked down twice, and my wife’s car got hit in our own driveway. I’ve seen five or six cars smash into other cars, and it’s getting worse.”

Baxter Street residents have mobilized in an attempt to get Waze to take Baxter Street off its list of suggested alternative routes—or at least, to mark it as a hazard when it rains. A spokesperson for the app said that making such a change was impossible due to technical issues.

Residents and local officials are getting together to discuss possible solutions, but in the meantime, accidents are still happening, and this begs the question: Can a navigation app be sued for car accidents? This is a legal issue that’s still in its infancy, but the question has increasingly been popping up all over the U.S. and abroad.

Filing a lawsuit against Waze is not without precedent. A homeowners’ association in Tel Aviv, Israel has filed a lawsuit against Waze after drivers using the app turned a sleepy neighborhood street into a major thoroughfare, virtually overnight. And last year, two Israeli soldiers were directed by Waze to enter a refugee camp housing Palestinians. They had to be rescued by the Israeli Army. One person was killed, and 10 were wounded. Although these incidents happened in foreign jurisdictions, they do point to the possibility that a navigation app may be held liable, assuming that it can be proven the app was negligent in suggesting Baxter Street as a safe alternative route.

Legal remedies for car accident victims

Even if it’s a stretch to sue a navigation app, car accident victims do have well-established legal avenues available to them. A driver may be held liable if it’s determined that he or she struck another car due to unsafe actions behind the wheel. If a crash happens because brakes fail, and a design defect is to blame, then the manufacturer of the brakes might be held liable. Homeowners may secure an insurance settlement or legal award against a driver who crashes into their home or other property, particularly if that driver was going too fast given the conditions of the road.

Residents in Los Angeles and throughout southern California turn to Ellis Injury Law when they have complex legal problems. Our experienced team of investigators and car accident lawyers in Los Angeles provide personalized, compassionate assistance to victims and their families. Anyone affected by a Baxter Street car accident, or a crash elsewhere in California, is encouraged to request a free case review at our office. Call toll-free at 888-981-9214, any time of the day or night.

Additional resources on app-driven car accidents:

  1. Los Angeles Times, On one of L.A.’s steepest streets, an app-driven frenzy of spinouts, confusion and crashes, http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-lopez-echo-park-traffic-20180404-story.html
  2. Forward, Israelis Sue Waze Navigation App for Creating Neighborhood Traffic Jam, https://forward.com/news/israel/356487/israelis-sue-waze-navigation-app-for-creating-neighborhood-traffic-jam/

Is Your Sunroof Putting You in Danger?

palm trees in santa barbara through car sunroofRoughly 40 percent of all 2017 model year trucks and passenger vehicles sold in the U.S. came equipped with a sunroof – an optional feature that has been gaining popularity in recent years.

While sunroofs have tons of merits (fresh air and sunshine, for one), are these sought-after options putting drivers at risk?

Sunroof shattering incidents

Recent reports of sunroof glass exploding have rolled in with increasing frequency. One man was driving his 2013 Hyundai Tucson when the sunroof spontaneously shattered, raining glass over his head and body. According to a report by the Global News, there are certain models that have been more prone to this structural defect in sunroof glass. Among the top offenders were:

  • Hyundai Santa Fe (37 incidents)
  • Nissan Murano (19)
  • BMW 3 Series (13)
  • Kia Sorento (10)

Preliminary research points to contaminants in the glass that undermines the stability, especially during high temperatures.

A 2017 investigation by Consumer Reports discovered that sunroof exploding accidents are not that rare. According to their database, some 900 shattering incidents spanning 35 vehicle brands have been reported. Nearly three-quarters of the incidents have happened in the past six years – a period when larger panoramic sunroofs became more common.

Some automakers like General Motors have initiated their own internal review of the risks posed by panoramic sunroofs, even though their shattering rate was much lower than Kia and Hyundai models.

Congress and auto industry trade groups have been urged to review sunroof designs, particularly in newer panoramic sunroofs– and pay closer attention to this obvious safety issue.

Crash data on sunroof ejections

Whether open or closed during a crash, sunroofs can still be hazardous. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that from 1997 -2008, 1,400 were injured and 300 more killed when they were ejected from their sunroofs. Between 2002- 2012, 500 people were hurt and 230 died when they were thrown through sunroofs that were closed at the time of impact.

Despite evidence that sunroof designs may be inherently dangerous, legislators have not come to consensus on design and safety standards for automakers. Last year, NHTSA made strides in creating a viable performance gauge to monitor the strength of laminated glass used in sunroofs. In the event that federal regulators do impose standards on sunroof design and manufacture, laminated glass (the same type used in windshields) will likely be top on the list.

Sunroof ejection crash reports shed light on the horrific nature of the injuries. 18-year old Liza Hankins – a Mississippi resident — was left permanently paralyzed when she was thrown out of her Ford’s sunroof during an accident. Others have suffered disfiguring scars, broken bones and internal injuries.

Los Angeles auto defect attorneys

Both the NHTSA and automakers have more than sufficient evidence of the dangers posed by defective sunroofs and those that are poorly designed. In order to recover monetary damages from a vehicle manufacturer in the wake of a sunroof-related injury, victims would need to assert claims of defective design or manufacture.

Establishing liability for your injuries and whether they were preventable are key to a successful lawsuit. Call Ellis Injury Law to schedule a free consultation with a Los Angeles car accident attorney to explore your rights.

Additional Resources on Sunroof Safety: 

  1. New York Times, Sunroofs Are Growing in Size and Popularity. Rules Haven’t Kept Up https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/22/business/car-sunroof-safety.html
  2. New York Times, In a Rollover, You’re Safer Inside https://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/04/automobiles/in-a-rollover-youre-safer-inside.html
  3. Consumer Reports, GM Says It Will Review Safety of Panoramic Sunroofs https://www.consumerreports.org/car-safety/gm-review-safety-of-panoramic-sunroofs/
  4. Chicago Tribune, Sunroofs and safety: Reports of shattering glass on the rise http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/automotive/sc-auto-cover-0222-exploding-sunroofs-20180220-story.html

Greyhound Bus Crash in East Los Angeles Leaves 13 Injured

ambulanceInvestigations continue into a two-bus bus collision on the 10 Freeway in Boyle Heights that sent 13 people to the hospital last Thursday. Los Angeles firefighters were notified of an accident involving a Greyhound bus and a Foothill Transit bus on the rain-slicked freeway just before 11 AM. Thirteen ambulances were dispatched to the eastbound express lanes near Soto Street, where a Greyhound bus had rear-ended a Silver Streak commuter bus. At least 40 passengers were evaluated for injuries and 13 were transported to local hospitals for medical treatment. Fortunately, there were no fatalities, but one of the injured is reportedly in critical condition.

IF YOU WANT A REAL CHANCE AT SECURING FAIR COMPENSATION FOR YOUR INJURIES AND LOSSES, CONTACT ELLIS INJURY LAW TOLL-FREE AT 1-800-INJURED!

Guidance from Los Angeles bus accident lawyers

As liability issues loom, Ellis Law bus accident attorneys continue our own investigations into the East LA crash. There are several parties that may be held accountable for the victims’ injuries, related medical bills, pain and emotional trauma.

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU LOVE WAS INVOLVED IN THE GREYHOUND-FOOTHILL COMMUTER BUS ACCIDENT, YOU MAY HAVE A CLAIM FOR MONETARY DAMAGES!

We highly encourage anyone who was harmed in this collision to reach out for a free legal consultation as soon as possible.

In our decades of award-winning personal injury litigation, we have seen the long-term effects suffered by accident victims and their loved ones. Whether dealing with chronic pain, PSTD, or the lost productivity associated with physical injury, it is critical that you retain a trusted attorney who has a successful track record handling bus accident claims. Ellis Law offers aggressive representation that gets results. With a strong advocate in your corner, you will be able to pursue the full value of your case, as determined by our in-house team of experts.

Greyhound-Foothill commuter bus crash liability

Representatives for Greyhound confirmed they will be conducting an independent investigation into the accident.  What we know from California Highway Patrol and aerial footage from the scene is that the Greyhound bus, carrying 38 passengers, struck the rear bumper of the transit bus as it was slowed down on the eastbound Express Lane. It is uncertain if the driver of the Greyhound bus was applying his brakes at the time of the collision or tying to maneuver around the transit bus.

Bus drivers are held to a higher duty of care when transporting passengers, and as such must exercise reasonable caution to prevent injury or harm. As authorities delve deeper into the causes of this bus accident, special care must be taken to establish which party or parties are responsible.

Liability may hinge upon a number of factors, including:

  • Weather and road conditions
  • Driver error
  • Vehicle speed
  • Driver fatigue
  • Mechanical failure
  • Negligent maintenance
  • Driver distraction

Protect your legal rights – call today

Given the time-sensitive nature of personal injury claims, it’s important to take action as quickly as possible. Find out if you have a case by scheduling a complimentary case review with a Los Angeles bus accident lawyer at Ellis Injury Law. Insurance companies never settle for less than our clients deserve, because they know we have the expertise to win in court.

Call our Los Angeles law firm headquarters at 888 675 8254 to get started today. 

Additional Resources on the Greyhound Bus Crash:

  1. ABC 7, 13 injured in bus crash on 10 Freeway in East Los Angeles, http://abc7.com/tag/car-crash/
  2. KTLA, 13 Hospitalized After Greyhound Bus Collides With Foothill Transit Bus on Rainy 10 Freeway in Boyle Heights, http://ktla.com/2018/03/22/13-hospitalized-after-greyhound-bus-collides-with-foothill-transit-bus-on-rainy-10-freeway-in-boyle-heights/
  3. Daily News, Two-bus crash on 10 Freeway in East LA sends 13 to hospital https://www.dailynews.com/2018/03/22/two-bus-crash-on-10-freeway-in-east-la-sends-13-to-hospital/

Liability Questions Remain in LA Greyhound Bus Crash

A collision between two buses sent 13 people to the hospital on Thursday morning. The March 22, 2018, crash occurred on the 10 Freeway in Boyle Heights and prompted a SigAlert. Those involved in the crash are encouraged to call Ellis Law for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Traffic backup leads to bus crash

The accident occurred at about 11 a.m. on rainy Thursday. It happened in the Express Lanes when the front right corner of a Greyhound bus carrying 38 passengers struck the back left of a Foothill Transit bus. The crash shut down the Express Lanes in both directions and other buses took detours to avoid the scene.

The bus accident was reportedly triggered by a car that left the roadway, where it hit a tree and then crossed back into the lanes of traffic. The backup from this congestion set off a chain reaction involving the bus crash.

According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, 40 people were evaluated at the scene for injuries. Thirteen of those people were transported to the hospital with injuries; one of those people was critically injured.

Liability factors in Greyhound bus accident

In addition to the authorities, Greyhound is investigating the accident. There are a few factors that may complicate the analysis. All motorists have a duty to keep their vehicles under control – this includes remaining on the road, in the correct lane and making the necessary adjustments to drive safely in bad weather. Motorists must also maintain assured clear distance from the the vehicle ahead. This is especially true for common carriers like buses, which are under the duty of highest care to transport passengers; they must use all vigilance reasonable under the circumstances to prevent harm.

Some things the investigators may be looking for include:

  • Position of vehicles
  • Vehicle speed
  • Weather
  • Visibility
  • Whether involved vehicles were functioning properly
  • Whether there were any distractions, either outside or in the vehicles

An official determination of cause can go a long way in determining legal liability in multi-vehicle accidents. This, in turn, can assist those who suffered injuries to recover compensation for losses such as:

  • Past and future medical bills related to the accident
  • Lost wages
  • Physical and emotional pain and suffering
  • Spouse’s loss of consortium
  • Costs of prescriptions and other medications

Do not delay: speak with a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer at Ellis Injury Law

Accident claims may seem like they take a “hurry up and wait!” pattern but it is still important to get started on the process early. Evidence is easier to obtain; witnesses’ memories are fresh; there is more flexibility to negotiate a pre-lawsuit settlement before the statute of limitations runs.

If you or a loved one was among those injured in the recent Greyhound bus crash, speak with a skilled and experienced LA bus accident lawyer from Ellis Injury Law today. By calling 1-888-981-9214, you can schedule a confidential free, no-obligation consultation.

Additional Resources:

  1. KTLA, 13 Hospitalized After Greyhound Bus Collides With Foothill Transit Bus on Rainy 10 Freeway in Boyle Heights, http://ktla.com/2018/03/22/13-hospitalized-after-greyhound-bus-collides-with-foothill-transit-bus-on-rainy-10-freeway-in-boyle-heights/
  2. Mass Transit Magazine, CA: 13 Hospitalized After Greyhound Bus Collides With Foothill Transit Bus, http://www.masstransitmag.com/news/12404463/13-hospitalized-after-greyhound-bus-collides-with-foothill-transit-bus
  3. ABC 7, 13 injured in bus crash on 10 Freeway in East Los Angeles, http://abc7.com/tag/car-crash/

Is a Car Making a Left Turn Always at Fault for an Accident?

United States MUTCD regulatory road sign - Only left.There is almost always some degree of fault assessed to a driver turning left into oncoming traffic. However, other drivers or entities may also share blame for the crash. Was the other driver speeding? Was the traffic light not operating correctly? Many contributing factors will have to be assessed to determine liability for a left hand turn crash in the state of California.

What does California law say about left hand turns?

California Vehicle Code 21801 reads: “The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left, or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or the U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”

When is a car making a left hand turn not at fault for an accident?

The driver of a car turning left may contend that:

  • The other driver was speeding so fast he wasn’t there when the turn was initiated.
  • The other driver broke a law by blowing through a red light or stop sign.
  • The other driver was intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
  • The other driver was driving while texting or otherwise distracted.
  • The other driver did not have a valid driver’s license at the time.
  • Something unexpected occurred while making the turn to unintentionally slow the turning vehicle.
  • You had a green turn arrow and the other driver failed to yield your right of way.

How do you prove fault in a left hand turn accident?

Proving liability in a motor vehicle accident isn’t easy, but it can be done by experienced legal experts. We may:

  • Collect a copy of the police report filed at the time of the accident and interview officers at the scene.
  • Interview eyewitnesses who were driving in the area at the time.
  • Capture recorded data if there was a traffic camera installed or video surveillance footage.
  • Take photo evidence of the road geography, vehicle damage, skid marks, or environmental hazards.
  • Work with a professional accident reconstructionist who can create a plausible scenario.
  • Request cell phone data to indicate distracted driver status of the other driver.

Comparative liability in the State of California

California operates on the basis of comparative liability, as decided by a judge. For example, if it was determined that you were 20% at fault due to your speed or another factor, a $10,000 settlement would be reduced by 20% so you receive $8,000 of the total amount awarded. The other driver who was 80% at fault is entitled to a settlement if desired, but the award will be reduced 80% due to liability.

Explore your legal options

US News & World Report listed our firm as one of the “Best Law Firms” in 2018, but our long list of multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements for motor vehicle accident victims speaks for itself. Even if you’re not 100% certain of what happened in the accident, our experienced team of investigators is happy to look into your matter. Contact Ellis Injury Law to discuss your case with a qualified LA car accident attorney.

Additional “Left Turn Car Accidents” Resources:

  1. California Legislature – Vehicle Code 21801, http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=21801.&lawCode=VEH
  2. The Globe and Mail – What Your Insurance Company Will Say About Left Turns in Intersections, https://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/what-your-insurance-company-will-say-about-left-turns-in-intersections/article14727945/

Why Street Racing Is So Dangerous

Car in Motion at Night, moving at fast speedsIllegal street racing in the Los Angeles area is highly dangerous. Unfortunately, southern California has seen what law enforcement describes as “epidemic” levels of illegal street racing in recent years.

Why is it so dangerous? Many reasons.

5 Dangers of Street Racing

There are multiple reasons that street racing poses risks that are not worth taking.

1. Vehicles engaged in street racing are driving at exceptionally fast speeds.

Street racing vehicles often exceed 100 miles per hour, and reach speeds of perhaps as much as 200 mph. The faster a car is driving, the more damage it does if it hits another vehicle, person, or object. Speeding cars are more prone to accidents because they are harder for drivers to control.

Many street racing accidents where a car has crashed into another car are fatal to everyone concerned, both drivers and passengers.

Bystanders, drivers and passengers of vehicles not in the race, but in proximity to the racing cars, have all been killed by debris from a high-speed crash.

And it’s not just during a race that fast-driving vehicles are dangerous. Many participants in street racing hear about race locations on social media channels. They aren’t made public, to evade stepped-up law enforcement focusing on street racing. Once racers hear, they often race to the locations, at speeds in triple digits.

They often drive this fast on freeways, where the number of cars increases exponentially.

2. Street racing is often fueled with alcohol and other substances that can impair the ability of drivers.

News accounts often refer to the high amount of intoxicating substances consumed by street racing participants and onlookers alike. Alcohol, marijuana, and other substances can impair one’s ability to drive.

3. Collateral damage.

When race cars driving at very fast speeds hit objects and other vehicles, these objects and other vehicles become agents of destruction themselves. A car or truck hit by a racing car can careen across lanes, causing multiple injuries and deaths. In several street racing accidents, trucks have overturned.

4. Onlookers can be harmed.

Large groups of people have been known to gather to watch street races. If a spin-out or crash happens, flying debris and associated mayhem, like fire from burning gasoline, may injure large numbers of people.

5. Participants may underestimate the danger.

Law enforcement believes that street racing is powered by movies like The Fast and the Furious or video games. In popular culture depictions of street racing, no one is hurt, maimed, or killed.

Participants in illegal street racing in Los Angeles may believe there are as safe as video game heroes, who always live to race another day.

If You Need an Auto Accident Attorney in Los Angeles

Unfortunately, all too many people have been injured and killed in illegal street racing in Southern California. If you or a loved one is among them, award-winning Los Angeles car accident lawyer Andrew Ellis can assist you in finding justice.

Ellis Injury Law has been successfully investigating and litigating auto accidents in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. Contact us today at 1-800-INJURED for a complimentary consultation. Put our track record to work for you: Our firm has won over $100 million in compensation for our clients over the last 5 years. We charge no fees unless you get paid from a settlement or verdict!

Additional “L.A. Street Racing Dangers” Resources:

  1. Meija, Brittny and Hailey Branson-Potts. “LAPD Trying to Put Brakes on Illegal Street Racing.” Los Angeles Times. May 10, 2015. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-racing-20150511-story.html
  2. Stevens, Matt, Frank Shyong, and Brittny Meija. “Deadly Street Racing Fueled by Social Media, Popular Culture, Police Say.” Los Angeles Times. February 29, 2016.  http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-street-racing-popularity-20160229-story.html

5 Out-of-the-Box Ways to Celebrate New Year’s Eve in LA

Cheerful young people blowing confetti and smiling while enjoying party togetherReady to ring in 2018 with friends, family and loved ones? If you’re feeling pressure to have the best New Year’s Eve ever, but aren’t much of a party lover, there are plenty of creative ways to celebrate in style this January 31st. These outside-the-box ideas are an inexpensive way to have fun, be social and get silly with your closest pals.

Host a Game Night

Are your clubbing days over? Not interested in a dance-til-you-drop marathon? You’re not alone. Instead, why not invite your favorite friends over for an evening of friendly yet spirited competition. Nothing like a rousing game of Pictionary, Cranium, Trivial Pursuit or Cards Against Humanity to get people laughing and keeping your get-together lively.

Throw a Karaoke Party

These days you don’t need to rent pricey equipment to enjoy a night of karaoke madness. All you need is a microphone, decent speakers and the Internet. Some sites boast more than 120,000 songs, let you record your favorite renditions and earn a fan base. Sing your heart out to the latest chart toppers or holiday classics all in the comfort of your own home.

Host a Fancy Dinner Party

Unleash your inner Julia Childs by throwing a no-holds-barred dinner party on New Year’s Eve. Get creative with new recipes, dazzle your guests with delicious appetizers as you put on your chef’s hat and make a feast that will be remembered.

Enjoy a Movie Marathon

Make a giant bowl of popcorn, serve up your best cinema treats and get cozy with your favorite line up of movies. This is a great opportunity to re-watch popular flicks like the Matrix series, Lord of the Rings trilogy or older classics.

Reconnect with Loved Ones Online

This is the perfect chance to reconnect with an old pal or family member that is all alone on New Year’s Eve. Catch up using FaceTime or Skype, and enjoy a holiday champagne cheers from your living room.

Celebrate NYE safely in California

If you absolutely have to get behind the wheel, keep in mind that New Year’s Eve is one of the most dangerous nights for being on Los Angeles roads (or anywhere in the country). If you plan on enjoying a cocktail or glass of champagne, please use a designated driver, car-sharing service or taxi, and if you’re the chosen chauffer, we encourage you to be extra alert for drunk drivers.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that New Year’s Eve and January 1 has the highest rate of vehicle crashes in the calendar year.

If you are injured or lose a loved one in a DUI crash, Ellis Injury Law offers aggressive legal assistance in California. Helping drunk driving victims and their families for more than 25 years, our attorneys have the experience to win the most challenging personal injury and wrongful death cases.

Schedule a free case evaluation with a Los Angeles car accident attorney who gets results by dialing 1-800-INJURED.

More ideas for a safe and fun New Year’s Eve:

  1. SafeAutoBlog, New Year’s Drunk Driving Statistics http://blog.safeauto.com/new-years-drunk-driving-statistics/
  2. BuzzFeed, 18 Alternative Ways To Spend New Year’s Eve https://www.buzzfeed.com/emmacooke24/alternative-ways-to-spend-new-years-eve?utm_term=.ckZV6nEDN2#.mmp907e6AP
  3. Society19, 15 Creative Ideas For Celebrating New Year’s Eve At Home https://www.society19.com/creative-ideas-for-celebrating-new-years-eve-at-home/

What To Do If You Lose Control of Your Car

Slippery road sign The number one cause of drivers losing control of their vehicles is poor weather conditions. Rain, especially after a long dry spell, can make roads dangerous. But weather isn’t the only reason drivers lose control of their cars. Brake failure, faulty steering rods and other mechanical problems can also cause loss of control.

It’s frightening and dangerous to lose control of your car. What should you do? Here’s some tips for the road.

Tips for Regaining Control of the Car

Tip Number 1: Don’t Panic

It’s easier said than done, but if you lose control of your car for any reason, don’t panic. You have options to regain control. Think about those options, not about your fear.

Tip Number 2: Don’t Brake Hard to Regain Control

Roads can be dangerous in rain, especially if it’s just started to rain or is raining heavily. Hydroplaning refers to a car’s tires losing traction due to wetness on the road. Cars can also skid or become out of control even if they’re not hydroplaning. The natural human reaction if your car is skidding or hydroplaning is to slam on the brakes to slow down or stop the car. Don’t do this! It can cause your car to skid even more dangerously or hydroplane more.

Instead, apply gentle brake pressure for just a second or two, then take your foot off the brake. Then do it again. You want to stop very slowly, and you don’t want steady pressure on the brake.

Tip Number 3: Don’t Accelerate

Strange as it may so

und, some drivers panic and hit the gas pedal when they skid or hydroplane. It’s accidental, but some part of their brain is aiming for the same area as the brake. Don’t accelerate an already out-of-control car, ever.

Tip Number 4: Steer in the Opposite Direction Slowly

If you’re skidding, you want to steer out of it slowly. Move the steering wheel in the direction you need to go, but don’t do it hard. Turning your wheel hard intensifies the correction and can cause you to skid in the opposite direction.

Tip No. 5: Use the Emergency Brake

The other reason a car might be out of control is brake failure. You tape the brakes and there’s no response. Generally, this will only happen if the car has run out of brake fluid or the brake pads are worn.

The answer is to use the emergency brake. This is clearly not ideal, but it’s better than running into another car, a person, or running through an intersection.

Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney in Los Angeles?

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car crash in southern California, we can help. Ellis Injury Law has more than two decades of experience in car accident law. Contact an experienced Los Angeles auto accident attorney today at 1-800-INJURED for a consultation at no cost to you.

More information on what to do if you lose control of your car:

  1. Allstate Insurance. You Lost Control of Your Car in Bad Weather. Now What? March 15, 2012. https://blog.allstate.com/you-lost-control-of-your-car-in-bad-weather-now-what/
  2. Lampton, Christopher. How Do You Stop an Out-of-Control Car? How Stuff Works. https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/accidents-hazardous-conditions/stop-out-of-control-car.htm

Common Delayed Car Accident Injury Symptoms and How They Can Affect You

injured woman after car crash, concussionIf you have been in a car accident in southern California, you may not have felt any symptoms of an injury at the time of a crash or shortly after it. Adrenaline and other stress responses can kick in to mask symptoms.

In addition, a number of injuries, including those to soft tissue, may not manifest for several days or even weeks after an accident. They can affect your functioning and quality of life. Some can even be life-threatening.

As a result, it’s good to know what the most common delayed car accident injury symptoms are and how they can affect you.

Headaches

It’s a good idea to see a doctor after a car crash. Why? Because they can check for signs of a concussion and other potential head injuries. Concussions can occur by the head being jostled, or your upper body and head being moved sharply back and forth.

If you begin having headaches several days after the accident, it may be a sign of several common post-accident injuries, including injury to the neck, the head, a concussion, or a blood clot or bleeding in the brain.

Pain or Stiffness in the Neck or Shoulder

Experiencing pain or stiffness in the neck or shoulder after an accident is one of the most common delayed symptoms after a car accident.

Many cases are associated with whiplash, which acquired its name from the movement of a body back and forth if a car is hit from the rear. The movement can cause soft tissue damage, which will not show up on an x-ray, but may result in pain and stiffness that can be long-lasting.

Pain in the Back

Back pain can stem from injured muscles, nerves, vertebrae, or ligaments. It is especially common in rear-end crashes and crashes in which people were hit from the side.

Pain or Swelling in the Stomach

If you have pain or swelling in the stomach after an accident, see a physician immediately. Pain and swelling could mean you have internal bleeding. Other potential symptoms of internal bleeding include bruising, especially dark bruises, faintness, and dizziness.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) manifests through nightmares and flashbacks of traumatic events. PTSD is a common psychological symptom after a crash.

Experienced Car Accident Lawyers

If you or a loved one has been in a car crash causing injury or psychological stress in southern California, we can help. We have been litigating and investigating accidents in the Los Angeles area for more than 20 years. We fight aggressively for your rights.

Please call today at 1-800-INJURED for a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles car crash lawyer.

More information on common delayed injury symptoms after a car crash:

  1. Konet, Kyle. Arrowhead Clinic. “Delayed Car Accident Injury Symptoms To Pay Attention To.” https://www.arrowheadclinic.com/category/blog/delayed-car-accident-injury-symptoms
  2. Bigham, Alex. “7 Delayed Injury Symptoms After a Car Crash.” KTAR News, August 31, 2015. http://ktar.com/story/605000/7-delayed-injury-symptoms-after-a-car-crash/

How Is Fault Determined in a Car Accident?

Two Drivers Arguing After Traffic Accident If you’ve been in a car accident, the determination of who or what caused the accident can have a major bearing on your future. If a person other than yourself caused it, whether through direct action or through failure to obey proper driving procedures, they can be determined to be at fault, or negligent, in a court of law. If you caused it, you may be determined to be at fault, or negligent.

Why Fault Matters in a Car Accident

A negligent driver can be sued under California law by an injured party. While some states are “no fault,” in which car repairs and medical treatment are always handled by individual insurance companies, California is not one of them.

Being at fault can also affect your insurance rates and points on your driver’s license in California.

Accidents can be caused by a direct action, such as failure to stop at a stop sign. This is always against the law.

Failure to obey proper driving procedures means that an accident could have been avoided had proper procedures been followed. Suppose a driver behind you, for example, is traveling too fast to stop if you make a sudden stop. The driver may try to argue that you stopped too suddenly, but in fact all drivers are expected to leave appropriate space between them and the car in front of them. Defensive driving practices could potentially have prevented such an accident.

How Is Auto Accident Fault Determined?

Many factors have to be considered to determine fault in a car crash. Laws, speed, condition of the car and driver, and weather are just some common factors in accidents.

If a police officer comes to the scene after an accident in the Los Angeles area, they will file a police report. This will have a detailed description of the accident scene from the drivers involved, the physical evidence, and the officer’s observations. It may have a sketch.

This can help to determine fault. If a driver turned left at an intersection without signaling, for example, it will be that driver’s fault if you hit him going straight.

Statements of witnesses can also be used to determine fault. If there are witnesses that saw the failure to deploy a turn signal, for example, such as the driver behind that car, their testimony can be used.

If the police do not take witness statements, you may ask the witnesses if they are willing to make statements, and take notes.

Forensic evidence is also used to assess degree of fault. The degree of a car’s trajectory may indicate excessive speed or another issue in the driving.

Images such as pictures and videos are also used. Skid marks, for example, may indicate that a driver was going too fast or stopped very quickly – perhaps not in time. It is always a good idea to take multiple pictures after the scene of an accident, from various perspectives and from nearby and far away.

It is also possible to call investigators to the scene to carefully review evidence.

Involved in a car crash? Learn your legal rights

Ellis Injury Law Firm attorneys have 20 years of experience litigating and investigating car accidents in the Los Angeles area. Accidents can be complex, and determining fault and degree of fault requires experience and knowhow.

We fight for your rights. Please call today for a complimentary appointment to receive advice about car accidents, negligence, and California law. An experienced Los Angeles car crash lawyer at our award-winning firm can be reached at 1-800-INJURED.

Further reading on how liability in car crashes is determined in California:

  1. Esurance. The Blame Game: How Fault Is Determined After a Car Accident. https://www.esurance.com/info/car/how-fault-is-determined-after-a-car-accident
  2. Department of Motor Vehicles. State of California. Traffic Accident Report SR 1. https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/forms/sr/sr1