Over a decade ago two young Santa Cruz, California women driving a rental vehicle lost their lives in a tragic car accident. On the highway, the rental car swerved over the median and collided with an 18 wheeler. The cause of the crash was not an issue of driving, but one of negligence. The car had been recalled for loss of power steering years ago but the rental company had never bothered to fix it and continued to rent it out to customers. What they did at the time was not illegal, but thanks to a new law this month, needless deaths will be avoided in the future. Continue reading “Rental Car Deaths Force National Law Change A Decade Later”
As the 2012 Mayo Clinic’s case study linking Benicar to severe sprue-like enteropathy continues to be discussed, patients are coming forward to report negative side effects suffered from taking the drug. With the New Year came yet another California personal injury lawsuit filed over Benicar (generic “olmersartan”): one lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California in January 2015 alleges that the makers of Benicar did not properly warn patients about the risks associated with the drug. The case – Verduzco v. Daiichi Sankyo, Inc., (Case No. 3:15-cv-159) – is currently before the US District Court, Northern District of California. Continue reading “Benicar Litigation Moves Forward – Laws to Change”
Memorial Day weekend is known as the unofficial start of summer for many Californians. It is a time where state highways will be filled with countless of families looking to enjoy the sunny California coast. As many people take to the roads to get to their travel destinations, this also raises the amount of auto accidents. According to data provided by the National Safety Council, there is an estimated 400 people who could be killed and approximately 40,000 who could suffer serious injuries as a result of auto accidents during the Memorial Day weekend. As summer quickly approaches, it is important that drivers ensure to take extra precaution when hitting the road. Safe driving will help to minimize auto accidents and will help countless of families enjoy their summer vacations. Continue reading “Urging Safe Driving Practices for the Summer”
Freight trucks mingling with passenger vehicles may be a thing of the past on San Bernardino freeways if planning officials have their way reports ABC 7 News. With traffic expected to double on Inland Empire freeways, officials have put forward many solutions including a requirement that freight trucks use special lanes only for freight use. Such a requirement is not new to Southern California, as the recently opened Devore Interchange implemented these special trucking lanes.
Many drivers can recall an intersection that stands out from the rest because of its dangers. The intersection can have weird corners, or there can be overgrown brush that causes blind spots. Additionally, the intersection can be a place that is commonly known to be the setting of multiple auto accidents throughout the year. For the most part, drivers will take extra precaution when taking this roadway but nonetheless, unsuspecting accidents can take place at any time and even to the most careful drivers.
When an intersection or road has a faulty design or is otherwise somehow neglected by having overgrown brush or an otherwise unsafe and unmaintained pathway, the dangers can quickly and easily result in devastating auto accidents. Individuals who suffer injuries because of an intersection or road can sometimes file a lawsuit against a government entity, if certain conditions apply.
If you have experienced an auto accident in a California road or intersection, it is important to consider seeking the advice of a knowledgeable attorney who has experience in handling these cases. A personal injury attorney with the right experience can help you understand if you have a valid claim. The following factors highlighted throughout this article can help answer some of your questions, however, for specific questions regarding your claim, speak to a personal injury attorney who can help you.
Filing a Lawsuit Against a Government Entity
In order to understand when a government entity can be held responsible for a victim’s injuries after a roadway accident, it is first important to highlight when the government cannot be held accountable for the injuries. The State of California has enacted a set of rules and guidelines when it comes to filing a lawsuit against a government entity. The California Tort Claims Act determines that government agencies cannot be found responsible in a claim filed against it for actions or inactions based on the entity’s discretionary powers.
In the State of California, a government’s discretionary power is a semi-ambiguous term that is usually determined on a case-by-case basis. Although this could seem like a majority of victims will not be able to pursue a claim against a government entity, it should be noted that there is limited immunity to government agencies in the state. A common example of this can be the failure to place necessary warning signs. When an agency responsible for the maintenance of a road fails to provide necessary warnings on an otherwise dangerous road, the government agency can be held accountable for any accidents that occur because of that hazard.
In order to determine that a government agency was responsible for a person’s injuries, it should be noted that the facts of each case will be highly important. The victim filing the claim will need to demonstrated that the agency was indeed responsible for the upkeep of the roads, had knowledge that a hazardous condition existed, and ultimately, the agency did nothing to repair the dangers. With this being said, it should be noted that cases against government agencies are never easy to win.
Common Examples of Unsafe Roads Where a Government Agency Could Be Held Accountable
Even when a defective or hazardous road condition is present, it can be difficult to demonstrate that a government agency was the responsible party for causing injuries and other damages to accident victims. The following scenarios, however, could be prime examples of when a government agency should be looked into as being responsible for the dangers.
Roadway Construction Zones
Although construction sites are generally handled by a private agency hired by the government entity, construction sights will be sometimes be supervised by a government agency. When there is a failure to adequately supervise construction sites and ensure that the level of hazards are minimized, the government agency could be held accountable for the accidents caused from the unsafe construction zone.
Potholes are a nuisance that cost many cities across the state millions of dollars each year. According to a report provided by The American Society of Civil Engineers: California’s Surface Transition Report Card, the passing of SB1 will distribute $1.8 billion each year toward roadway reparations programs. In spite of the collective efforts to provide road maintenance, potholes are an ever-going problem. When a road’s condition is poor, the oversight or lack of fixing the ongoing issue can be the responsibility of a government agency.
Failure to Improve Lighting
Driving in roads that have insufficient lighting can be highly dangerous. For many, the lack of street lighting can cause a driver to drive into center dividers or crash into parked cars. In other cases, the lack of lighting can also be disastrous for pedestrians as it diminishes their visibility to unsuspecting drivers.
Lack of Road Markings
Whether it is a fading in street lanes or the lack of rumble strips, a lack of road markings can easily be the reason behind a vehicular collision. Road markings help drivers ensure that they are within the safety of the road and the lack of these markings can be detrimental.
Obtain the Legal Support of a Skilled Attorney
If you or someone you know has sustained an injury because of a hazardous road or intersection, it is important to seek the legal advice of an attorney who has experience in handling personal injury cases. An attorney with the right knowledge and experience will look into the case and help to determine if the case is valid.
Attorney Justin H. King is highly skilled in the field of auto accident claims. He is dedicated to helping auto accident victims obtain the compensation they deserve following the negligence of a government agency. If you have reason to believe that a government agency was responsible for your accidents, consult an attorney who can help you look at the facts of your case and help you construct a solid lawsuit against the responsible agency. Personal injury claims in California are time sensitive, seek legal support as soon as possible.