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CA injury attorneyResidents and visitors throughout the Bay Area routinely rely on buses and trains to get where they want to go. Commercial carriers ease traffic tie-ups and eliminate the cost associated with maintaining a car or paying for parking. However, in addition to the downside of working around a train or bus schedule and having to sit through multiple stops, there are dangers that passengers face. Mass transit accidents are rare but can cause catastrophic injuries, while even minor incidents aboard buses and trains can cause major harm. The following highlights some of the more common dangers and what you can do to protect yourself.

Mass Transit Hazards

A local man was the latest victim in a Caltrain accident that occurred during rush hour on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. The incident occurred in San Mateo and involved the man being struck while on or near the tracks. While police are still investigating the underlying causes, it marks the fourth fatality for Caltrain this year.

Crossing train tracks and waiting at bus stops or rail stations is one of the most common places for mass transit accidents to occur. Mishaps can happen due to overcrowding, rushing to get to a stop in time, and ignoring warning signs and signals. Other common mass transit hazards include:

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CA injury lawyerAs the end of another school year fast approaches, college students throughout the area have been enjoying the chance to relax and recharge their energies. Spring Break provides an opportunity to get away from classroom lectures, studying, and endless testing in order to blow off steam before the pressure of final exams. While some use this time to travel, others enjoy having the time to explore the local area and catch up with friends. Unfortunately, the emphasis on having fun can lead young adults to make errors in judgment and to take risks they otherwise would not. As a result, Spring Break accidents resulting in serious personal injuries are common. The following highlights potential dangers and ways you can protect yourself.

College Students and Car Accident Risks

According to studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), car accidents are one of the biggest risks college students face, both at spring break and over the course of the school year. As young adults, college students tend to have less experience behind the wheel. As a result, they may not be as aware of general safety precautions or how to respond when unexpected situations occur. They are also more subject to lapses in judgment, which put them, their passengers, and others on the road at risk. Among the most common causes of car accidents among college students include:

  • Speeding and going too fast for conditions;
  • Disregarding traffic signs and signals;
  • Distracted driving, such as texting, taking pictures, using cell phones, or simply talking to other passengers in the vehicle;
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications; and
  • Driving while excessively tired and falling asleep behind the wheel.

When hanging out with friends, it is important to use good judgment in assessing your own driving skills and in being cautious about who you travel with. Getting into a car with a driver who is under the influence or given to engaging in daredevil stunts could end up leaving you with serious and even life-threatening injuries.

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CA injury attorneyThe temperate climate in San Jose makes it perfect for motorcycling enthusiasts, who will find plenty of people who share their passion for riding throughout the Bay Area. Poker runs, group rides, and other biker events pick up speed throughout the state over the summer months. Unfortunately, more bikers on the road means an increased risk of motorcycle accidents and injuries. The month of May is designated as National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which makes it a good time for motorcyclists and other drivers to brush up on safety tips.

Brush Up on Your Motorcycle Skills

Whether you just bought your first motorcycle or having plenty of years riding under your belt, taking the time to polish your skills and brush up on road safety tips is a smart idea. The California Department of Motor Vehicles advises all riders to take a motorcycle safety course. It will cover topics such as riding during adverse weather, traveling through different road conditions, and how to handle when sudden or unexpected events arise. An added benefit to taking a class is that it can also lower your insurance premiums.

Aside from honing your biker skills, there are simple steps you should take to protect yourself before any ride. These include making sure your motorcycle is properly maintained and investing in the appropriate safety gear. Wearing a helmet can significantly reduce your risk of debilitating and potentially life threatening injuries if a crash or collision does occur. In addition, wear long pants or jeans, motorcycle boots, protective eye gear, and riding gloves at all times. Other ways you can protect yourself on the road include:

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CA injury lawyerAerophobia, or fear of flying, is a common affliction. Even if you can overcome your fear enough to step on board a plane, mid-air turbulence and the sheer discomfort of being trapped in a tight, closed environment is enough to make even the most frequent flier uncomfortable. News of the recent crash of an Ethiopian airliner is likely to stir up these fears for passengers on upcoming trips. While statistically your odds of being involved in a major aviation accident are low, there is cause for concern regarding the safety of certain planes as well as the potentially serious personal injuries that can occur before, during, or after your flight.

Airplanes Grounded After Ethiopian Crash

The news of the devastating crash involving the Boeing Co.’s 737 Max 8 out of Ethiopia, which killed more than 150 people, came as a shock both to the public and to airline industry officials. It was the second crash within six months involving that particular model of plane. In the aftermath, numerous airlines stepped forward saying they would ground the aircraft until a more in-depth investigation could be conducted. Several others, including Southwest and American Airlines, insisted they had confidence in the plane and would continue flights as scheduled.

Within days U.S. aviation officials took more definitive action and grounded the planes. Boeing itself pledged to halt further deliveries of the aircraft until they are able to properly assess the problem and install new flight control software. The process could take at least six weeks or longer, leaving the planes out of circulation until the end of April and causing airlines to change customer flight plans.

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CA injury lawyerParticipating in recreational or school-related sports is a good way for your child to stay fit and to make new friends. While it can be fun for your child to be a part of a team and to engage in healthy competition with others, it is important to be aware of the risks. Young athletes may push themselves too hard or disregard safety instructions, resulting in potentially serious personal injuries. Coaches, recreational staff, and school officials have a responsibility to protect your child, but it is up to parents to ensure the proper precautions are taken.

Raising Awareness About Youth Sports Injuries

The month of April is designated as National Youth Sports Safety Month. The month is sponsored by the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, which offers numerous tools and resources for coaches and concerned parents.

Serious injuries can occur when young athletes are engaged in a wide variety of activities. This includes sports which require physical interactions with others, such as basketball, football, and soccer, as well as more individual pursuits, such as dance, swimming, or long distance running. The following are among the most common types of youth sports injuries:

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CA injury lawyerThe recent rash of motor vehicle accidents in San Jose involving pedestrians has gotten people talking about the problem and how to address it. Increased law enforcement efforts in apprehending reckless drivers and improvements to infrastructure designed to increase pedestrian safety are both viable safety options currently being implemented. However, some suggest that pedestrians themselves need to be more aware of the behaviors which put them at risk.

San Jose Pedestrian Accidents Continue Alarming Increase

For the past several years, there have been a steady number of pedestrian accidents in our area. The current years tally started on January 1, 2019, when an incident involving an SUV left the mayor of San Jose with multiple broken bones. One of the most recent pedestrian crashes occurred in late January, claiming the life of a local man who was a husband, father, volunteer firefighter, and Sunday school teacher. In 2018 there was a total of 24 pedestrian deaths, the highest number in three years.

San Jose city officials claim that part of the problem is a thinly stretched police force unable to crack down on reckless drivers, combined with high crash risk intersections and roadways in need of safety improvements. The city plans to address these issues over the next year as part of its Vision Zero plan, which aims at reducing the overall number of traffic accidents. While more sidewalks, increased lighting, and additional crosswalks will help, some are saying pedestrians need to be more aware of the types of behaviors which put them at risk.

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CA injury lawyerDamages to muscles, joints, tendons, and other soft tissues are one of the most common types of personal injuries. These injuries often result in immediate symptoms, such as bruising, pain, and swelling, but victims are often tempted to downplay the potential long term effects they can have on their health. When soft tissue injuries occur as the result of accidents, it is important to bear in mind that you have only one chance to get the compensation you need to recover. Before accepting less than what you may be entitled to in a claim, consider the long term effects your soft tissue injuries may have on your professional life, your financial security, and your overall well being first.

The Serious Nature of Soft Tissue Injuries

The most common types of soft tissue injuries involve the muscles, tendons, and ligaments which support bone structure, joints, and the various movements of the body. These types of injuries often occur as a result of the following:

  • Car, bike, and pedestrian accidents;
  • Slips, trips, and falls;
  • Getting struck by or against objects;
  • Sports and recreational mishaps; and
  • On-the-job accidents and overuse.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), even a relatively minor sprain, strain, or tear can have long term impacts on your overall health, preventing you from performing certain types of tasks or engaging in your usual activities. Part of the problem is that these injuries can take long weeks, months, or even years to heal completely. While people who suffer soft tissue injuries may be tempted to downplay them and resume work or daily tasks too quickly, doing so puts them at risk for causing additional - and sometimes permanent - damage.

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CA injury lawyerThis winter has been a wet and rainy one for those living in the Bay area. Multiple storm fronts over the past few months have brought heavy downpours and damaging winds, making roads dangerous and wreaking havoc for drivers. While these types of conditions may seem relatively mild compared to the snow accumulations experienced in more eastern parts of Northern California, they increase motor vehicle accident risks, something all drivers need to be aware of.

Additional Heavy Rains Slam San Jose and Bay Area

While wet winter weather is nothing unusual for San Jose, the recent round of storms have been particularly potent. In early February, a harsh winter storm front brought inches of rain, high waves, and gusting winds to the local area, spurring mandatory evacuations for places recently impacted by the wildfires. All residents were warned to be alert for downed trees and power lines, as well as dangerous road conditions which could present serious hazards for drivers.

After riding out these heavy storms, the Bay Area has continued to get battered by additional adverse weather fronts. Forecasters described this as a ‘potent atmospheric river’ over Valentine’s Day weekend that was likely to lead to additional flooding, power outages, and downed trees. With soil already saturated due to previous drenching rains, this new storm could bring landslides, potentially wiping out some roads.

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CA accident lawyerNumerous factors can contribute to car accidents and there may be multiple drivers involved. The actions of one motorist can end up causing a chain reaction, eventually involving numerous other cars and potentially serious injuries. In these situations, it requires a thorough investigation to determine all those who may be responsible so that you can get the compensation you are entitled to in a claim.

San Jose Multi-Vehicle Crash Proves Fatal

On October 28, 2018, CBS SF Bay Area reported on a multi-vehicle accident which occurred in San Jose. It happened on Interstate Highway 280 at roughly 4:00 a.m., a time when traffic is not typically heavy. Involving a total of four different vehicles, it killed one of the drivers while leaving several others with potentially serious injuries.

Preliminary investigations by the California Highway Patrol show the multi-vehicle crash occurred in the following sequence:

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CA injury lawyerWinter in San Jose can bring a mix of temperatures and weather conditions. Rainy days and colder evening temps mean there is a chance ice can form overnight and create slushy, slippery conditions for sidewalks, walkways, and parking lots. Any type of moisture accumulation increases your risks for slip and fall accidents, which can leave you suffering serious and potentially ongoing injuries. Take the steps now to protect yourself for the coming winter months ahead.

Winter Slips and Falls Injuries

We have all been there. You may be walking to work or out running errands over the cold weather season and you suddenly slip on a wet, slick patch. These occur both indoors and out, on neighborhood sidewalks as well as in stores and office buildings. Even if you do not actually fall, the abrupt movements associated with a slip or trip can leave you with serious injuries.

According to the National Floor Safety Institute, slips and falls account for more than one million hospital emergency room visits each year. Among the common injuries suffered include:

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CA injury lawyerThe federal government recently awarded the California Highway Patrol a grant meant to support increased law enforcement and education efforts aimed at reducing the number of pedestrian and bicycle accidents in the state. Considering the fact that Santa Clara County ranks highest for the overall number of bicycle collisions, it stands to reason that a portion of that money will likely end up being used to benefit local programs currently in place.

Increased Enforcement and Education Efforts Focus on Pedestrian and Bike Safety

A program developed by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) was selected to receive more than $1 million in federal grant funds to support efforts at preventing pedestrian and bicycle accidents on roads throughout the state. The program is currently funded through both state and national agencies, such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Office of Traffic Safety. The additional money will be used in counties throughout California to help address the issues behind the more than 26,000 pedestrian and cyclists injuries that occur each year.

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CA injury lawyerMotorcycle riding is a popular hobby in our area, with enthusiasts regularly meeting for activities and events. While these can provide a great deal of fun and fellowship, it is important to make safety your top priority. Motorcycle accidents are a common occurrence in San Jose and the injuries bikers suffer as a result tend to be severe. Before your next ride, check out these safety tips and share them with other riders you know.

Motorcycle Accident Causes

One of the first steps in protecting yourself against motorcycle accidents and injuries is understanding how they commonly occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in nearly half of all collisions alcohol is a leading contributing factor. Be aware that even one or two drinks can significantly impact your coordination, judgment, and reflexes. Avoid drinking any amount that could put you at risk.

In addition, be alert to the warning signs that other drivers on the road may be under the influence. Alcohol-related accidents often happen at night or in the early morning hours. Watch for drivers who swerve in and out of their lanes, as well as those driving either over or under the speed limit. If you notice a driver behaving erratically, your best bet is to pull over, let them pass, and notify law enforcement officials. Other dangerous driving behaviors to be alert for include:

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CA injury lawyerPublic transit trains are a convenient and cost-effective way to get across San Jose. Whether for work, school, or simply for visiting friends and family, they eliminate the need for driving and getting stuck in traffic. For the most part, accidents are not common. However, when they do occur, they can result in serious personal injuries. While passengers on board need to take the appropriate safety precautions, it is equally important for pedestrians to be aware of the dangers as well.

VTA and ACE Train Accidents in San Jose

On September 14, 2018, a tragic accident involving the VTA train in San Jose left a local woman with serious injuries. The accident occurred around 9:30 p.m., near First Street and Jackson Avenue. The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office was still investigating the details, but it appears the woman was struck while either walking by or across the train tracks. The victim, who was taken to a local hospital, is expected to recover. Considering the massive weight of VTA trains and the speeds at which they travel, she is fortunate to not have suffered more severe and life-threatening injuries.

A woman struck just several weeks earlier by an ACE train traveling through San Jose was not so lucky. The incident occurred on August 31, when an Altamont Corridor Express train passing through the Alviso neighborhood hit a jogger running either on or near the tracks. Again, authorities are struggling to piece together what may have occurred, but say that witness accounts and evidence from the scene indicate that the woman killed did not intentionally put herself in harm's way. The incident appears to be a tragic accident, which authorities continue to investigate.

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CA injury lawyerBeing in a public place and suddenly suffering a slip and fall accident can be embarrassing. While you may be tempted to downplay the incident, the fact is these types of accidents are one of the most common ways in which serious and potentially debilitating personal injuries occur. To protect your rights, the following outlines five important steps you need to follow.

What to Do When a Slip and Fall Accident Happens

Slip and fall accidents are common and can happen in any public place. According to the National Floor Safety Institute, roughly eight million people seek emergency care for slip and fall injuries each year. These can result in medical conditions you are immediately aware of, such as a broken ankle or a head injury that knocks you unconscious. They can also involve more subtle injuries, such as muscle or tendon sprains and strains, which often have symptoms which take days or even weeks to appear.

  1. Do not make any assumptions about the situation or the injuries you may have suffered. To prevent being stuck with potentially enormous out of pocket costs, follow these steps when any type of slip and fall accident occurs:
  2. Notify someone in authority right away. Filing an accident report is one of the most important steps you can take after a slip and fall. Have a friend or onlooker find the appropriate person to report your accident to before you even attempt to get back on your feet.
  3. Make note of the exact day, time, and place where the accident occurred. Look around you for anything that might have contributed to your slip and fall accident, such as wet or uneven floors, torn carpeting, or excess clutter. Under the California statutes, property owners can be held liable for failing to maintain the premises and for not letting others know that dangerous conditions exist.
  4. Get contact information for witnesses at the scene. Often times, people will immediately come forward after your accident to see if you are all right. Get a brief description of what they saw, along with their complete name and address. Enlist a friend or other onlooker to help if you are unable to do this yourself.
  5. Get medical attention immediately. If you are dizzy or having trouble walking, do not hesitate to call an ambulance to the scene. Otherwise, seek treatment at your local hospital emergency room.
  6. Follow your doctor’s instructions. Seemingly minor injuries can take weeks or even months to heal. Not following your doctor’s instructions could increase the risk of ongoing disabilities and jeopardize your rights in a claim.

Contact Us Today for Help

At the Jachimowicz Law Group, we know that slip and fall injuries can have long-ranging impacts on your health and financial security. To ensure you get the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs, reach out and contact our passionate San Jose slip and fall accident attorneys to request a consultation today.

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerMany people assume that a rear-end collision is an open and shut case. It is common knowledge that the car that hits the other car from behind is usually responsible for the accident.

In many situations, this may be true. However, there are always exceptions to the rule. Exceptions can be difficult to prove, so if you believe that you may not be at fault in a rear-end accident, you should speak to a lawyer who has a better understanding of traffic laws and determining fault.

Fault in a Typical Rear-End Accident

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerIf you are an accident victim, you should not have to pay for your medical treatment and lost wages. You should also be compensated for the pain and suffering you experience. However, some personal injury victims believe that because they were injured they are entitled to an unlimited amount of damages. This is not the case. California law imposes duties on accident victims, and failure to fulfill these duties could be used against you in court or by an insurance adjustor. This holds true for all victims whether you were injured in a car wreck, slip and fall, or any other accident where you believe another party to be at fault. Speaking to an attorney about what steps the law will require you to take is a good way to be sure that you are meeting your duties as an accident victim.

The Duty to Mitigate Damages

The law requires that accident victims take “reasonable” steps to mitigate damages. An accident victim cannot recover for losses that could have been avoided by taking ordinary care and “reasonable exertion.” [Valle de Oro Bank v. Gamboa (1994) 26 Cal.App.4th 1686, 1691.]

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California accident attorney, California injury lawyerIf you rent a house or apartment and get injured due to a hazard in the premises, your landlord may be held responsible. The landlord will not always be liable, however, and there are many instances where liability is a close call. Because of the complexity of some slip and fall cases, it is recommended that a skilled personal injury attorney review your case.

What a Tenant or Visitor Must Prove

Because slip and fall cases are negligence cases, the accident victim that the landlord acted unreasonably as a property owner. It also must be proven that the landlord knew or should have known that the dangerous condition existed and failed to correct it.

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California car accident lawyer, California injury attorneyBeing in a car accident can be a jarring. It is also something that most people do not have a lot of experience handling. People are often uninformed about how best to conduct themselves after an accident and what it takes to prevail in a lawsuit. Some drivers may rush to assign fault - either to someone else or to themselves. Others may try to resolve all issues of damage at the scene.

As attorneys, we can say that none of these are good ideas. Typically, the best thing to do after an accident is to address your injuries with a doctor, comply with law enforcement, and avoid giving your opinion or saying extraneous statements.

These are some common things that get said after an accident that could make your case more difficult even though you were not at fault:

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California accident attorney, California personal injury lawyerTwo lawmakers have put forward a bill that would essentially allow bicyclists to treat stop signs as yield signs. If passed, bicyclists would be able to go through stop signs at clear intersections with nothing more than a rolling stop. The new law would not apply to traffic signals. Proponents of the bill argue that this law would make the roads safer for bicyclists, who are at a great risk of injury in the event of a collision with a motor vehicle.

How Would the Law Make the Roads Safer?

The lawmakers who introduce this bill claim that by reducing the amount of time cyclists are at an intersection, the risk of an accident between bicycles and cars is reduced. Requiring cyclists to come to a full stop substantially increases the amount of time spent at each intersection.

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California injury attorney, California accident lawywerProving who was at fault in an accident is a major issue in any personal injury case, whether it be a car accident or a slip and fall. In some cases, an accident victim will be put in the defensive position when the at-fault party asserts that the victim is responsible for the accident.

For example, if you slipped and fell on a slick floor in the supermarket, you may be able to file a suit against the store. You may be able to prove that the store is responsible for your fall by failing to clean its floors in a timely way.

However, there may be a video of your fall showing that you were texting while walking or that you were running down the aisle. If a jury sees that evidence, the jurors may conclude that the fall victim is ultimately at fault or at least partially at fault.

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