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Three Things Your Should Know After A Public Transportation Accident

Orange County CA Wrongful Death Law Blog

Representing victims of accidents caused by truck driver fatigue

A previous post on this blog talked about how state and, in particular, federal regulations require truck drivers to pull over and take an extended break after a certain number of hours on the road. The reason for these rules is that drivers who do not take adequate breaks can easily get exhausted while trying to make their next shipment quickly. Because they are so tired, they can wind up making critical mistakes that can leave other Californians dead or permanently disabled.

Our law office, which is located in Orange County, has successfully represented victims of a truck driver's bad decision to drive when too tired to do so. When investigating such accidents, we focus in particular on whether or not the truck driver was violating any rules he or she was required to follow. In cases of suspected truck driver fatigue, for instance, we will obtain the trucker's log to make sure the driver was taking breaks at the appropriate times, or, alternatively, prove he or she was not following the hours of service rules.

Federal rules limit how long truckers can stay on the road

Many of the truck drivers who pass through Costa Mesa, California, are subject to the rules and regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Among those regulations, some of the most important are the FMCSA's so-called rest rules, which are also referred to as Hours of Services regulations.

Basically, a truck driver must take a 10-hour break after actually driving for 11 hours. Moreover, because these 11 hours driving do not account for short breaks like gas and bathroom stops, the rules also specify that a truck driver cannot be on the clock for more than 14 hours without stopping for a 10-hour break. Depending on the circumstances, a trucker also has to take at least 34 hours, one and one-half days, off after driving either 60 or 70 hours in about a week.

The ways an intoxicated driver could jeopardize your safety

A motor vehicle accident can happen at any time and any place, and under a variety of circumstances. To reduce your chances of involvement in such a potentially dangerous incident, you might choose to strictly adhere to California traffic laws and stay sober and alert when out on the road.

Unfortunately, others may not make such sound decisions, and drunk driving continues to be one of the most prevalent causes of serious or fatal collisions. Chances are, you probably consider your safety to be of the utmost importance, which might leave you wondering what you can do to protect yourself against such negligence.

Daylight saving time's end increases risks to bicyclists

Protecting bicyclists and pedestrians is an important priority in all California communities. The end of daylight saving time brings additional dangers to both bicyclists and pedestrians. The National Traffic Safety Administration notes that drivers must adjust to low-light environments with earlier sunsets and other changes that the end of daylight saving time brings.

In addition, the end of daylight saving time presents dangers that fatigued and sleep-deprived drivers may be on the road and may create a risk for those they share the roadways with including bicycle riders and pedestrians. Drowsy Driving Awareness Week is during the week daylight saving time ends to bring awareness to the risks of driving without enough sleep. During 2013, there were 4,284 car accidents in California that involved sleepy or fatigued drivers. In 2015, that figure increased to 5,551 car accidents and 45 deaths involving sleepy or fatigued drivers.

Addressing the potential hazards of walking near traffic

With the ever-increasing number of vehicles on California roads each day, like many others, you may prefer to do most of your traveling on your own two feet. Aside from helping you avoid traffic, walking may offer a variety of benefits that make it your preferred means of transportation.

However, you might also have some concerns about choosing the sidewalk over the road, many of which likely pertain to your safety. Although any car accident can be a dangerous event, those involving pedestrians run a much higher risk of ending in catastrophe.

Are in-car features more distracting than cell phones?

Drivers in California know that distraction is a major problem, and it is one that does not seem to be going away. In fact, the number of things that can cause distraction for a driver at any given time seems to only be increasing, and researchers have found that even the features that are now coming as standard with newer vehicles can be dangerously distracting.

If you suffered an injury in a car accident, there is a significant chance that some form of distraction played a role in what happened to you. Victims of distracted driving accidents have the right to hold liable parties accountable. You may have grounds to seek compensation through a personal injury claim.

Auto maker settles lawsuit with Orange County

Victims of dangerous and defective products are protected on the roadways and elsewhere. A settlement was recently reached between General Motors and Orange County related to auto defects. The automaker was accused of concealing safety defects including faulty ignition switches that have been tied to nearly 400 injuries and deaths. A settlement was recently reached for violations of unfair competition and false advertising for vehicles that were recalled in 2014, including for the ignition switch recall.

In a statement, a representative for Orange County noted that the car manufacturer failed to disclose power steering, airbag and braking system defects. The car manufacturer previously paid $2.5 billion in settlements and penalties related to faulty ignition switches. The defect was linked to 275 injuries and 124 deaths and led to a recall of 2.6 million vehicles in 2014. A representative for the auto manufacturer stated that the company had taken steps to improve safety.

Wrongful death claims provide protections after fatal accidents

Wrongful death claims provide important protections for surviving family members of loved ones killed in a fatal accident such as a fatal motorcycle accident. A claim for wrongful death damages can help family members following the wrongful death of a motorcyclist. Wrongful death claims provide important protections in circumstances of unexpected losses and the financial and emotional challenges family members may be left facing in their wake.

When a motorcycle rider or other accident victim has been killed because of the negligence of another party, such as a negligent driver, wrongful death legal options can step in to help surviving family members of victims recover compensation for the financial and emotional damages they are likely to suffer as a result. Damages that may be available to surviving family members include compensation for medical expenses, funeral expenses, loss of support and services and lost prospect of inheritance.

How safe are bicyclists on the roadways?

As more and more people enjoy bicycling, bicycle riders and their families may wonder how safe they are on the roadways. While bicycling is a relatively safe activity, Costa Mesa families might not be quite as safe as they feel when they are out on a ride.

During 2015, a total of 818 bicyclists were killed in motor vehicle accidents in the United States, which was an increase from 729 bicyclists killed in bicycle versus motor vehicle accidents in the U.S. during 2014. Additionally, approximately 45,000 bicyclists were injured in motor vehicle versus bicycle accidents during 2015, which was similar to the number of bicycle accident victims injured during 2014.

The numerous forms and dangers of distraction among drivers

Operating a motor vehicle inherently requires you to give your full attention to the task at hand. You likely consider your safety to be a top priority out on the road, potentially leading you to avoid distractions while driving at all costs.

Unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of others, and you may even notice drivers nearby paying attention to something other than the road from time to time. Whether you spot them or not may make little difference, and their negligence could pose a significant threat to your health.

Firm Awards and Accolades

  • best lawyers | Best law firms | US news | 2016 Easton & Easton is honored to have been chosen anew each year since 2014 by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers as one of the "Best Law Firms" for the Southern California Metro Area.
    The National trial lawyers | top 100 trial lawyers Doug and Brian Easton have been selected as Top 100 Trial Lawyers for California each year since 2014 — honors given to less than 1% of attorneys.
    10 best 2015 Client satisfaction | 10 best law firms | American institute of personal injury attorneys Easton & Easton is honored to have been chosen as one of the "10 Best Personal Injury Law Firms” in all of Southern California" for 2015 based on client satisfaction — one of the highest honors we could ever hope to achieve.
    American academy of trial attorneys | Premier 100 2015 | AATA Doug and Matt Easton have each been featured as Premier 100 Trial Attorneys for California since 2015 — honors given to less than 1% of attorneys.
    super lawyers Doug Easton has been selected as a Southern California Super Lawyer each year since 2009, an honor given to less than 5% of attorneys. Matt Easton has been selected as a Super Lawyers Rising Star each year since 2014, an honor given to less than 2.5% of attorneys under 40 years old.
  • Multi million dollar advocates forum Brian and Matt Easton have each earned lifetime appointment to the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum — The Top Trial Lawyers in AmericaTM through the results achieved for their clients. This is an honor given to less than 1% of attorneys in the United States.
    Top rated lawyers AV | Av preeminent Martindale hubbell lawyer ratings Doug Easton has held the “AV Preeminent” Rating for over 30 years and Matt Easton received this prestigious distinction in 2015. The "AV Preeminent" rating is the highest possible rating for both legal ability and ethical standards, and is based on the legal profession’s oldest peer review rating system, dating back to 1887.
    10 best 2015 client satisfaction | American institute of personal injury attorneys Doug and Matt Easton were each chosen as one of the “10 Best” Personal Injury Attorneys in Southern California for 2015 based on client satisfaction, an honor given to less than 1% of personal injury attorneys — and Easton & Easton houses two of them.
    American board of trial advocate | Orange county chapter Brian Easton was selected to the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2015. ABOTA is one of the most premier associations of trial attorneys and judges, requiring a certain number of jury trials as lead counsel and approval by a majority vote of the ABOTA board.
    The National trial lawyers | top 40 under 40 Matt Easton has been selected each year since 2014 as one of the Top 40 Trial Lawyers Under 40 for California by The National Trial Lawyers — an honor given to less than 1% of attorneys.
  • The best lawyers in America Doug Easton has been featured as one of The Best Lawyers in America each year since 2007. Best Lawyers lists attorneys who have earned selection through exemplary legal work that attracts the notice of their colleagues. Lawyers cannot buy their way onto this list.
    Avvo rating 10.0 superb | top attorney Personal Injury Both Doug and Matt Easton have been selected as Top Personal Injury Attorneys by Avvo with scores of 10 out of 10 based on their skill, experience, results, peer evaluations, and client reviews.
    Nations premier | NAOPIA | Top ten attorney | Personal Injury Matt Easton has been selected as one of the Top 10 Personal Injury Attorneys Under 40 in California for 2015 by the National Association of Personal Injury Attorneys — an honor given to less than 1% of personal injury attorneys under the age of 40.
    Avvo rating 10.0 superb | top attorney wrongful death Both Doug and Matt Easton have been selected as Top Wrongful Death Attorneys by Avvo with scores of 10 out of 10 based on their skill, experience, results, peer evaluations, and client reviews.
    National association of distinguished counsel | Nations top one percent | NADC Doug Easton was selected by the National Association of Distinguished Counsel as part of the Nation’s Top One Percent of Attorneys in 2015.
  • Attorney Cover Feature | Law firm of the month | 2015 Easton & Easton was featured in 2015 on the cover of Orange County Attorney Journal with an in-depth 5 page article about the Easton family’s success fighting for justice for their clients. Click here to read the article.
    Avvo Clients choice 2015 | Personal Injury Avvo Client’s Choice Award Avvo Client’s Choice Award (2015) — Based on client reviews and satisfaction, Matt Easton has received the Avvo Client’s Choice Award for 2015.
    W. Douglas Easton W. Douglas Easton Doug, the Managing Partner of Easton & Easton, has practiced law for more than 40 years and is chosen each year as one of the Best Lawyers in America and a Top 100 Trial Lawyer.
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    Matthew D. Easton Matthew D. Easton Matt, a Partner at Easton & Easton, has been selected as one of the "10 Best” Personal Injury Attorneys in California and the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 40 Under 40.
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    Brian W. Easton Brian W. Easton Brian, a Partner at Easton & Easton, is a member of ABOTA and one of the National Trial Lawyers’ Top 100 Trial Lawyers for California.
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