Establishing Liability in California Trucking Accidents Caused by Roadway Hazards in Southern California

Roadway hazards are responsible for a significant number of trucking accidents; when you consider that a truck traveling at 60 mph requires a full football field length to come to a complete stop, you can see how an unexpected roadway hazard could be responsible for a serious or fatal trucking accident. Many commercial vehicles also drive too fast for current roadway conditions. Even a few miles of excess speed above the posted speed limit can result in a serious truck accident since most trucks (due to their size and weight) cannot stop in time to avoid certain roadway hazards. The most common roadway hazards include the following:

  • Inclement weather conditions such as wet or icy roads can cause a truck to be involved in a serious accident, particularly when the driver does not take the weather and road conditions into account, decreasing the speed accordingly.
  • Debris on the road, including the sand used on snowy and icy roads or road litter can threaten the truck driver’s ability to safely navigate the large truck.
  • Uneven roadways or potholes in the road can trigger a truck accident, particularly in an overloaded truck or one being driven by an inexperienced truck driver.
  • Pedestrians who cross the street unexpectedly in front of a large truck can cause the trucker to hit the brakes hard, resulting in a potential jackknife or rollover. Children are also extremely unpredictable, and in city conditions can dart across the road, leaving the truck driver few good options.
  • On more rural roads animals on the roadways are a distinct hazard. Should the truck driver swerve to avoid hitting the animal, a severe collision can occur.

Determining Liability in Trucking Accidents

California trucking accident cases are often complex since they may involve a number of responsible parties, including:

  • The Truck Driver – The determination of liability following a trucking collision whether caused by roadway hazards or other issues can be difficult because of the number of potential defendants. Perhaps the truck driver was the liable party. The driver could have been distracted, fatigued from driving too many hours, inexperienced, or could be driving under the influence. Since the trucker’s livelihood is totally dependent upon the speed with which he or she delivers the loads, many truck drivers continue to drive long after federal regulations mandate they stop and rest. Truck drivers who routinely keep two sets of logbooks are fairly common; the trucking companies are aware of this practice, but have little interest in stopping it as the quicker loads are delivered, the more money they make.
  • The Trucking Company – The vast majority of truck drivers work for large trucking companies who have a responsibility to the other drivers on the road to only hire experienced drivers with a clean driving record. Background checks should be mandatory, and a trucking company should never allow an inexperienced truck driver to get behind the wheel of a large commercial truck. The truck driver must be thoroughly trained in regular truck maintenance and must have the mental and physical strength to be a safe driver.
  • A Third Party – Depending on the circumstances, it could be that an outside company is liable for a trucking accident. Most trucking companies employ third-parties to load trucks, secure cargo and perform routine maintenance. If an accident is the result of poorly secured cargo, then the company who was responsible for loading the truck may be liable for the accident. If the accident is the result of faulty brakes or tires, then the company responsible for truck maintenance could be held liable. Even the manufacturer of the truck could be held responsible for a trucking accident if it is found that a part on the truck was defective and caused the accident.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

At the Skolnick Law Group, Attorney Skolnick will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve. She will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case. Attorney Skolnick serves clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact Skolnick Law Group at (760) 585-7092, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. Suzanne Skolnick also offers evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to her office. For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact Attorney Skolnick today.

The 411 on Rear End Accidents & Whiplash Injuries in California

Many people today associate the word “whiplash” with a fraudulent injury dreamed up by an individual attempting to seek financial gain at another’s expense.  This is largely due to the fact that whiplash injuries can be extremely difficult to diagnose and, has often been overdramatized in the media.  The term whiplash is generally associated with any injury to the soft tissue of the cervical spine including muscles, nerves, ligaments and discs.  In truth, whiplash is a very real, very painful and potentially debilitating injury. In fact, research suggests that as many as 10% of all whiplash injuries can lead to permanent disability with chronic pain and other serious conditions.  With this in mind, it is important to understand how most whiplash injuries are caused, the symptoms associated therewith, the ways of diagnosing and treating whiplash, and its potential long terms effects.  Considering the following:

What Happens During a Rear End Accident that Causes Whiplash?

During a relatively low-speed rear-impact collision, the front vehicle is pushed very rapidly forward from the initial impact. The automobile seat pushes the passenger’s body forward at the same rate of speed, but because the head lacks the same support as the body, the neck is compressed and there is a rapid forward bending (much like the snap of a whip) of the neck followed by an equally rapid backward bend. This “snapping” motion occurs before the head actually makes contact with the seat’s head restraint.

This violent snapping motion can not only force the vertebrae from normal positions, it can lead to serious levels of pain which radiate through the entire upper body and can greatly reduce range of motion. The level of injury will depend on the size of both vehicles, the speed of the collision, the type of headrests installed in the vehicle and whether they were properly adjusted for the driver or passengers, awareness of the impending collision and the prior medical condition of those involved.

What are the Symptoms of Whiplash?

The most common symptoms of whiplash include the following:

  • stiffness or tenderness in the neck area
  • chronic headaches
  • vertigo or dizziness
  • nausea, jaw pain
  • shoulder or arm pain
  • vision blurriness or numbness
  • tingling in the back, shoulders or arms.

Particularly severe cases of whiplash can lead to memory loss, irritability, depression, insomnia, extreme fatigue, difficulty swallowing and other negative cognitive symptoms.

How are Whiplash Injuries in California Diagnosed and Treated?

While the injuries may not show up on x-rays, MRI’s or CT scans, a thorough patient history combined with a comprehensive physical exam can diagnose whiplash injuries. Pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, and muscle relaxants may be the only treatment available to those with whiplash injuries, although chiropractic care can offer positive results for many.

What are the Potential Long Term Effects of Whiplash?

In some cases, once the soft tissue of the neck is injured, the patient’s health may never be restored to anything resembling “normal” again.  Severely injured soft tissue can generate pain for the rest of the patient’s life and damage done to the ligaments could cause arthritis conditions to develop even years later.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with whiplash as a result of a car accident?  At the Skolnick Law Group, Suzanne Skolnick will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  She will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  Our law firm serves clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. Attorney Skolnick also offers evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact Skolnick Law Group today.

California Motorcycle Accident FAQs

Motorcyclists, more than any other on the road, are especially vulnerable to injury in California. Unfortunately, the safety of motorcyclists is often compromised by a number factors, including lack of protection from the elements and other vehicles/objects, and the inability for drivers to readily see them.  With this in mind, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions by our clients in the hopes that it will help you determine whether filing a motorcycle accident claim is right for you.  Consider the following:

1.     I wasn’t wearing a motorcycle helmet.  Does that mean I cannot file a lawsuit against the person who hit me?

No.  Not wearing a helmet does not bear any weight on whether you can file a suit against a negligent party.  Meaning, if another person is at fault for your accident, not wearing a helmet will not bar your ability to recover.  Keep in mind however, that it may reduce the total amount of damages you can receive if not wearing a helmet caused your injuries.  While the State of California has a mandatory helmet law for all motorcyclists, it does not prevent people from bringing forth successful lawsuits against others who caused or contributed to their accident.

2.     What is the filing deadline for personal injury cases?

In California, victims of motorcycle accidents typically have two years from the date of their accident to file their lawsuit against responsible parties.  Also known as the statute of limitations, if you miss the applicable deadline, you may be unable to seek legal redress for your injuries.  Should you be involved in an accident with a government entity, the time period is 180 days from the date of the accident. Speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the scope of your rights and ensure your compliance with all applicable time frames and filing deadlines.

 3.     What documents do I need to give my attorney when we meet?

No matter what, you should provide your lawyer any and all information that pertains to your case.   These include police reports, which often contain key eye witness statements regarding the cause of your accident.  Additional documentation such as medical reports, medical bills, the opposing party’s insurance information, and any photographs or video footage of your accident and/or injuries may be extremely helpful in proving your case.

4.     What damages can I seek against the person who caused my injuries?

Intended to restore you to your pre-injury condition, motorcycle accident victims in California may generally seek three types of damages: pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss wages.  If a motorcyclist is hit by an impaired or reckless driver, he or she may pursue punitive damages against the wrongdoer.  These are rare however, in certain limited circumstances such as the aforementioned, they can be recoverable.

  • 5.     Can I still collect damages for my motorcycle accident if my medical insurance paid for them?

Generally, yes. Under the Collateral Source Rule in California, you can still collect money for your medical expenses, even if they were covered by your health insurance or MEDPAY.  The same goes for loss time at work.  You can be compensated for this time even if your work despite being paid for it.

6.     Do I need an attorney to represent me, even if the at-fault driver’s insurance company wants to settle?

While there is no law requiring you to hire a lawyer, it is highly recommended that you do.  Not only are motorcycle accident attorneys especially qualified to handle motorcycle accident cases (which are often very complex), they also know how much you should be entitled to receive.  Specifically, insurance companies are well equipped with lawyers and accident investigators who will do everything and anything to reduce, if not deny, the amount of money you deserve for your damages.  As such, we recommend that you wait to accept a settlement offer until you speak with an attorney first.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident in California, it is crucial that you hire an accident attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact us today.

California Personal Injury FAQs

When dealing with personal injuries, most people have a significant amount of questions and concerns regarding their legal rights.  At the Skolnick Law Group we have prevailed in countless accident cases in California, and believe that educating clients about their legal rights and options is key to our success. From day one, we take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, and also, guide you throughout the legal process.  With this in mind, we felt that it would be helpful to provide you with a list of the most frequently asked questions by our clients, which can assist you in deciding whether a personal injury case is right for you.  While the following does not constitute legal advice, it does serve as a primer on California personal injury law.  Consider the following:

1.     Do I have a viable personal injury claim? 

To file a viable personal injury claim, there are a number of requirements.  First, you must demonstrate that either you were injured or, you sustained damage to your property.  Second, you must further establish that said injuries or damage was caused by someone else’s intentional or negligent actions.  If successful, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries.

2.     What is the filing deadline for personal injury cases?

In California, victims of personal injuries typically have two years from the date of their accident to file their lawsuit against responsible parties.  Known as the statute of limitations, if you miss this deadline, you may forever be barred from recovering from your injuries.  Should you be involved in an accident with a government entity, the time period is 180 days from the date of the accident. Speaking to an experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand the scope of your rights and ensure your compliance with all applicable time frames and filing deadlines.

 3.     What documents do I need to give my attorney when we meet?

No matter what, you should provide your lawyer any and all information that pertains to your case.   These include police reports, which often contain key eye witness statements regarding the cause of your accident.  Additional documentation such as medical reports, medical bills, the opposing party’s insurance information, and any photographs or video footage of your accident and/or injuries may be extremely helpful in proving your case.

 4.     What is negligence?

Negligence is one of the main theories of liability that you can pursue against a person that caused your injuries.  Specifically, negligence pertains to when a person fails to act in a reasonably prudent manner to avoid causing harm to others.  The determination of whether a person’s actions were negligent is typically considered by a jury after the close of all evidence presented at trial.

5.     What damages can I seek against the person who caused my injuries?

Intended to restore you to your pre-injury condition, injury victims in California may seek three types of damages: pain and suffering, medical expenses, and loss wages.  If a person is hit by a drunk driver, or was injured due to assault and battery, he or she may pursue punitive damages against the wrongdoer.  These are rare however, in certain limited circumstances such as the aforementioned, they can be recoverable.

6.     Can I still collect damages if my medical insurance paid for them?

Generally, yes. Under the Collateral Source Rule in California, you can still collect money for your medical expenses, even if they were covered by your health insurance or MEDPAY.  The same goes for loss time at work.  You can be compensated for this time even if your work despite being paid for it.

7.     Do I need a personal injury attorney?

While California law does not require someone to seek legal representation, it is nonetheless recommended that they do so.  Only a seasoned personal injury attorney can assist you in determining the scope of your legal options, and help guide you throughout the pendency of your case. Also, insurance companies are crafty and well equipped at doing anything and everything to reduce the monetary value of your claim.  Do not accept a settlement offer of any kind without speaking with an attorney as to whether the proposed amount is fair and just in light of the facts of your case.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

If you or someone you know has been injured in any type of accident in California, it is crucial that you hire an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group, we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact us today.

Skolnick Law Group In Carlsbad Ca Discuss the Most Common California Accident Causes

In general, drivers of automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and all other types of vehicles are expected to use “reasonable care” while operating a vehicle in California.  In other words, a California driver has a duty to operate their vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.  Failure to do so can result in liability under a theory of negligence, potentially costing the offender a significant amount of money for any damages or injuries that were caused by the accident.

In order to succeed in a negligence action, a victim must prove that the other driver is liable for his or her failure to exercise reasonable care. Moreover, California courts, in adjudicating these types of cases, consider a number of different factors in determining a driver’s potential negligence, mainly pertaining to the driver’s bad habits.  While not exhaustive, these factors include:

  1. Failure to use a turn signal when driving
  2. Not following the rules of the road
  3. Speeding
  4. Failure to consider bad weather or adverse traffic conditions
  5. Driving under the influence
  6. Improper passing or changing lanes on a highway
  7. Driving while distracted, i.e., whether due to eating, texting, or talking to other passengers
  8. Reckless and/or careless driving
  9. Automobile manufacturing and/or design defects

Preventing Accidents in California

While not all accidents can be prevented, there are ways in which you can avoid them.  Accordingly, the following are a number of tips that can help you prevent a potential negligence suit:

  1. Obey the rules of the road – as much as you would like to test out the maximum speed of your brand new Mustang, it is best to avoid speeding. The higher the speed, the more likely an accident will occur, especially one involving serious injury or death.
  2. Be good to your car – keeping your car in good repair is really a no brainer.  Many accidents are caused by people who fail to maintain their vehicle, such as by not changing the filters or failing to check that their tires are in good shape.
  3. Pay attention!  There is a reason why the anti-texting slogan “it can wait” has become so heavily advertised on television.  In the United States, over 300,000 accidents are caused each year due to distracted driving.  If you need to respond to a text message or email, be smart and pull over before engaging in dangerous multi-tasking.
  4. Watch out for bikers and pedestrians – in California, many people love to be outdoors, especially during the summer months.  As such, it is crucial to watch out for people who are out and about, especially bikers and runners who tend to be on or near the road.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for Superior Personal Injury Representation!

If you or someone you know has been injured in any type of vehicular accident in California, it is crucial that you hire an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group, we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  As a seasoned personal injury lawyer, we serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  For the personal attention and aggressive representation you need, contact us today.

Carlsbad Auto Accident Attorney Examines Problem of Overloaded and Improperly Loaded Vehicles

There are several reasons why accidents occur throughout the U.S.  However, in the State of California, numerous traffic problems and accidents arise as a direct result of vehicles that have been either been overloaded or improperly loaded.  Loose items such as trash, construction materials, equipment, luggage, aggregate materials (i.e. sand, stone, etc.), and improperly secured logs have created serious and life threatening hazards for California drivers.

In order to prevent these types of accidents, there are specific laws in California that address the proper loading and corresponding weight requirements of trucks within the State.  First and foremost, California law requires that every driver, whether they were responsible for loading their vehicle or not, (i) inspect their vehicles prior to taking off, (ii) identify improperly secured items or those that are poorly balanced, and (iii) ensure that loads are covered and/or properly secured.  Additional laws that apply to vehicle loading are as follows:

  1. Passenger vehicle load restrictions – in California, no passenger vehicle may be driven on any highway within the State that has anything extending beyond the car’s left side fenders.  Moreover, nothing can extend more than 6 inches past the vehicle’s right side venders.  Anything extending beyond the rear bumper must have a red flag or warning lights affixed thereto.
  2. Vehicle load height restrictions – no vehicle in the State is allowed to have a load exceeding fourteen feet in height from the road, with the exception of double decker buses.
  3. Containment of debris – under California law, a vehicle transporting loose items must be properly contained, whether through being covered, securely loaded, or constructed in a way so as to prevent loose debris from falling and potentially injuring other drivers.
  4. Aggregate material containment – California requires that aggregate materials, such as sand, stones, or recycled concrete, often used in construction, must only be stored in the cargo portion of a vehicle.  Said area must not contain any openings or cracks that would facilitate the escape of said materials.

If you happen to notice a truck or any other type of vehicle that appears to have been improperly loaded or is creating a road hazard due to loose and falling debris, do not hesitate to contact police and report the driver.  Make sure to get the make, model and license plate number of the offender. Taking the time to report these offenders can save countless lives.  Additionally, if you transport cargo, it is crucial that you follow the above requirements.  To learn more about safe vehicle loading, visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ website.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for the Personal Attention You Deserve!

If you or someone you know has been injured, it is crucial that you hire an accident attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  Don’t wait – give us a call now for the personal attention and aggressive representation you need.

California Trucking Accident Laws Explained

Being in an accident involving a truck can be devastating, and may result in a litany of serious, if not fatal, injuries.  According to a 2011 report generated by the California Highway Patrol, there were more than 5,100 accidents involving injuries, and nearly 250 that resulted in death.  Most of these accidents in California however, they primarily stem from driver negligence.  Meaning, they typically arise due to the fault of the truck driver, and could range anywhere from distracted driving to poor maneuvering in traffic.  In the event that you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, it is crucial to know your rights and, the laws that apply to your case.  Consider the following primer on California accident laws:

An Overview of California’s Accident Laws

If you have been injured in a trucking accident in California due to a truck driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to damages to compensate you for the following:

  • Medical bills to treat your injuries
  • The expenses associated with having to hire someone to help you complete household chores and other tasks
  • Pain and suffering
  • The costs associated with repairing your vehicle
  • Lost wages
  • Emotional trauma
  • Long term disability
  • Maiming or Disfigurement

In the event that someone was killed in a truck related crash, the State of California allows family members to sue the responsible party in a wrongful death action.  Whether a trucking accident case involves injuries or death, California law requires victims or family members to prove driver negligence.  This is accomplished by showing that the truck driver who caused one’s injuries breached his or her duty to exercise reasonable case and caution while driving, that there is a significant nexus between the party’s breach of duty and the cause of a person’s injuries, and that the person suffered damages, including financial loss, due to the trucking accident.   In the event that an individual is found partially responsible for the trucking accident, one’s damage award may be reduced.

Additionally, California law limits the timeframe in which a trucking accident can be brought.  Specifically, the statute of limitations, or legal timeframe, for filing a truck related law suit is two years from the date of the crash.  If a person is unable to reach a settlement with the responsible party, they should strongly consider filing a lawsuit before the limitations period runs out.  If you don’t file a suit within the 2 years, you may not be able to recover for your injuries.

For parties that seek to file a lawsuit, the State of California requires truck injury claims worth more than $7,500 to be brought in the appropriate Superior Court located within the individual’s jurisdiction.   If a trucking accident claim is worth less than $7,500, then a party must file their lawsuit in the Small Claims Court of their jurisdiction.

Were You Injured in a Trucking Accident?  Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now!

In order to learn more about the laws governing trucking accidents in California, it is highly recommended that you consult with an attorney experienced in handling these types of accidents.  At the Skolnick Law Group we will advise you of all your legal options and, help maximize your chances of recovering the money you deserve for your injuries.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego.  Contact us today at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.

Carlsbad Personal Injury Attorney Discusses San Diego Back Over Accidents

Back over accidents are serious and can result in life threatening injuries.  A back over accident occurs when a person, typically a child, is struck as a vehicle backs out of a driveway or parking spot. In the United States, tragic back over accidents are more prevalent that you think, with nearly 50 occurring each week nationwide.  In fact, back over accidents kill more than 100 children per year, the majority of whom are between the ages of 1 and 2.

Just this past October, a Ramona toddler was fatally injured when her mother backed the family’s minivan out of the driveway and struck her.  Another child was killed in Normal Heights as his caretaker’s daughter was leaving their home and hit him as he played in the driveway.  According to back over accident experts, in about 70% of these types of accidents, the driver is related to a child, and is either a parent or close relative.  Moreover, minivans are a common culprit in these types of accidents since their blind spots are larger than other vehicles.  Specifically, the average length of a rear view blind spot for the average driver (of 5’8” height) is approximately 12 feet 6 inches for a sedan-sized vehicle, while a driver of a minivan has a blind spot of about 15 feet 4 inches.

The unfortunate part of back over accidents is that all of them could easily have been prevented.  With thousands of children being involved in these accidents across the U.S., it is important for parents and others to take certain life-saving precautions.  These include:

  • Walk around your vehicle and inspect the entire area before getting in.  This critical step helps to ensure that nothing, including pets, toys, and children are in the way when you back your vehicle out of the garage/driveway.
  • Do not let kids play in your driveway.  Driveways are dangerous and as such, are not a proper playground for children.  If you do not have sufficient yard space, consider alternatives such as a park or soccer field that is safe and enables your children to more freely move around. If you do have a backyard, instruct your children to play there instead of the road or driveway.
  • Talk to your children about driveway safety.  Regardless of whether your children play in the driveway or not, it is important for you to advise them of the safety steps they can take to avoid injury.  This includes telling them to find a safe spot when someone is either pulling in or out and waiting to resume play until an arriving vehicle has been completely shut off/a departing vehicle is well on its way down the road.
  • Hold your kids hands.  This is a simple, yet essential step you can take to ensure your kids’ safety.  Teach your kids to assume that cars will not always see them, and that is important to hold your hand when around cars, on a sidewalk, and in a parking lot or driveway.

To learn more about child driveway safety, consult the Safe Kids WorldwideTM (SKWW) website.  SKWW, an international non-profit organization dedicated to preventing childhood injuries, has a significant amount of information regarding driveway safety tips, which we recommend that you review.  Also, contact an experienced San Diego pedestrian attorney if you or someone you love was injured in a back over accident.

Were You Injured in a Pedestrian Accident?  Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now!

If you or a loved one was injured in a pedestrian accident, it is important to take legal action now. At the Skolnick Law Group,we will advise you of all your legal options and, help maximize your chances of recovering the money that you deserve for your losses.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego.  Contact us today at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  We look forward to providing you with superior legal representation.

Skolnick Law Group Discusses The Prevalence of Distracted Driving in California

Texting, talking, or sending emails while driving remains one of the biggest safety concerns on the road.  According California’s 2012 annual “Statewide Traffic Safety Survey,” 60% of drivers in California have been hit or nearly hit by another person who was texting or talking on their cell phone while driving.  Equally alarming is the fact that nearly 45% of California drivers admit to driver error as a result of using a cell phone when behind the wheel.  As a result of these surprising statistics, the State of California has taken significant measures to reduce the prevalence of distracted driving-related accidents. Specifically, the first two laws ban drivers from using handheld cell phones and also, prohibit drivers who are eighteen years or younger from using hands-free devices while operating a vehicle.  The third law prohibits sending text messages while driving.  For additional information on California’s cellular phone laws, you can visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ website.

California Cellular Phone Laws Explained

California, along with several other states, has enacted laws prohibiting the use of handheld cellular phones while driving.  The first law, California Vehicle Code [VC] §23123, specifically forbids people from operating a vehicle while using a handheld phone however, passengers are not subject to said restriction.  Additionally, all drivers, whether they be residents of the State or not, are held to the same standard.  The only exceptions to this law is that people can use their handheld devices to call for emergency assistance, place calls while operating an official emergency vehicle, or, use their phones while operating vehicles on their privately owned land.

If a person is caught violating the handheld cell phone law, the first fine that can be imposed is $76.00, while a second violation costs $190.00.  Although a traffic violation (i.e., moving violation) can amount to points assessed against your driver’s license, a violation of the aforesaid law does not count as a point.  Keep in mind that a California police officer has the right to pull you over and give you a ticket for failing to adhere to the law.

As for California’s second law, California Vehicle Code [VC] §23123.5, it places certain restrictions on the use of hands-free devices, which differ based upon the age of driver. Specifically, for California drivers aged eighteen or older, hands-free devices such as Bluetooth, speakerphones or ear pieces are allowed however, earpieces cannot be used to cover both ears.  Drivers can dial their phones while driving however, they are strongly urged to pull over or stop before doing so.

For drivers less than eighteen, they are not allowed to use a cell phone under any circumstances unless due to an emergency.  If someone under the age of eighteen is caught using a cell phone, the fine for a first offense is $76.00, which a second violation costing $190.00.  Moreover, the prohibition against the use of hands-free devices in minor drivers constitutes a secondary offense, meaning that a police officer must have another independent and legally legitimate reason for pulling you over.  In other words, if a teen is caught driving while using a cell phone, they cannot be pulled over for said infraction unless they violated another law, such as failing to use their turn signal, etc.

Lastly, the third law in California pertains to the prohibition imposed on texting while driving (California Vehicle Code [VC] §23124.  If you are caught texting, writing emails, or reading texts while driving, you can be imposed a $20.00 fine initially, and $50.00 for each subsequently imposed violation.

As evident from the foregoing, the State of California has recognized the importance of restricting people’s usage of cell phones while driving.  With nearly 25% of accidents in the Unites States caused by distracted drivers, the State of California realized that it had to take some serious and proactive measures to protect drivers within its borders.  The hope is that all states follow in California’s footsteps, as the use of cell phones while driving can lead to life threatening and sometimes fatal injuries.

Contact the Skolnick Law Group Now for the Personal Attention You Deserve!

If you or someone you know has been injured by a distracted driver in California, it is crucial that you hire an attorney experienced in handling these types of cases.  At the Skolnick Law Group, we will fight tirelessly for the compensation you deserve.  We will also take the time necessary to answer all of your questions, guide you through the legal process, and assist you in making informed decisions about your case.  We serve clients in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Oceanside, San Marcos and throughout North County San Diego. To learn more about the firm’s comprehensive legal services, contact us at (760) 405-4397, or, feel free to visit us online to schedule your free and completely confidential initial consultation. We have evening and weekend appointments available, and will also visit you at home in the event you can’t come to us.  Don’t wait – give us a call now for the personal attention and aggressive representation you need.