Multiple news agencies have reported that in April, law enforcement agencies in California were enforcing distracted driving laws in the state to promote the “Distracted Driver” campaign.
According to the news, the Newport Beach police handed out 510 citations concerning distracted driving during the month of April. Texting while driving and distracted driving laws were being enforced during the month-long crackdown. Other 225 local law enforcement agencies were also cracking down on distracted drivers. The act of becoming distracted by a phone or other devices while behind the wheel has turned into an epidemic in the country.
To prevent further accidents, officers are urging drivers to stay focused and safe by putting their phones down while behind the wheel.
To learn more about this story, follow this link for the article.
As of Thursday June 10th, Washington State Patrol Officers will enforce a zero tolerance policy towards driving while holding your cell phone. Hands-free devices are okay, but if you're caught holding a phone up your ear, you'll be busted. At the Law Offices of Kirk Bernard, we're all for anything that will help reduce accidents caused by distracted drivers.
Washington State passed legislation two years ago which made the act a secondary violation, meaning that law officers had to have a primary offense to pull them over. Speeding, running a red light, or illegal lane changes were all things that would give them a reason to stop you. They could then issue an additional fee if they found you were talking on your cell phone.
On May 13th, 2010 bicycle manufacturer Niner Bikes issued a voluntary recall of their bicycles. This recall is based on the issue that the bicycle's frame can potentially crack and thus result in the rider loosing control and crashing. A bicycle crash can result in serious injuries, particularly if the rider isn't wearing a proper safety helmet. Sometimes these injuries are so severe that it's necessary for the victim to hire a Personal Injury Attorney Seattle in order to recover their damages from the accident.
The bicycle frames susceptibility to cracking results from a welding deficiency along the front triangle of the bicycle structure. If a bike was to fracture while the riders was going high speeds or traveling in close proximity to a car, the injuries could be catastrophic. Luckily, no reports of anyone getting hurt have been issued thus far. However, Niner Bikes has received reports that 53 of their products have experienced cracking along that particular weld while someone was riding the bicycle.
Educators at Yucca Valley High School have developed an extremely effective program to dissuade teenagers from drinking and driving. Each year, the school holds a two-day assembly right before prom, called "Every 15 Minutes" which is aptly named after the statistic that someone is killed in a alcohol-related auto accident every 15 minutes in this country.
The program's effectiveness hinges on student's involvement in acting out the scenario of a drunk driving accident in front of the school. In the skit, one student drinks heavily at a party and then gets behind the wheel to go buy more alcohol. Though friends try to convince her not to drive, she convinces them that she is fine and not drunk. On the way, she races at 75mph on a local road, swerves into oncoming traffic, and crashes into a car driven by another student.
One passenger was thrown through the windshield and was killed instantly. Another passenger had to be airlifted from the scene and subsequently died from their injuries. Another passenger was found dead at the scene by paramedics who participated in the skit. The "deceased" students were zipped up in body bags and carted away. The young teenagers who were killed in the skit even spent the night at a hotel and weren't allowed to communicate with any friends or family members.
The following morning, a mock-funeral was held at the school. Family members and teachers delivered realistic eulogies eliciting emotional responses from the audience. Many students were surprised at how much it affected them, knowing very well that they're friends weren't actually dead. Police Officers spoke about the reality and frequency of the situation played-out, while parents of real-life accident victims killed by drinking or drugs shared their stories.
We would love to see these kinds of educational programs at every school around the country. If there's something that can be done to reduce the rates of drinking and driving, especially among teenagers, then it's our responsibility to deliver that message. As a Personal Injury Lawyer Seattle at the Law Offices of Kirk Bernard, we see the devastating effects of alcohol-related car accidents frequently. We applaud the educators at Yucca Valley High School for finding an effective way to get the message through to teenage drivers. You can find the original article here.
Staged car accidents are becoming more and more frequent across the country, especially in the wake of our country's recent financial crisis and economic downturn. Desperate people are turning to desperate measures that go so far as to stage a car accident resulting in fake injuries and exaggerated car damage.
Florida tops the chart with more than twice as many fraudulent insurance claims than the next two states on the list, New York and California, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau. In less than a year's time, over 260 people have been arrested on accounts of auto insurance fraud. Unfortunately, these bogus claims, often lead to skyrocketing insurance rates for the rest of us.
Crooks have crafted a few different ways to take advantage of you and your insurance company. As an attorney at the Law Offices of Kirk Bernard, it's heartbreaking to hear stories of people's lives destroyed by an accident that was caused intentionally. Government agencies need to ramp up their efforts to crack down on these criminals. Here are just a few examples to watch out for:
At least Louise Robbins, a Wisconsin librarian, can attest to that fact. She and her husband traveled to China in the summer of 2009 when her husband suffered injuries brought about by slipping on the wet marble floor in their hotel lobby and hitting his head. He seemed okay at the time so they continued up into the mountains for a sightseeing trip. Symptoms began to appear once they reached an altitude and it became apparent that he was suffering from bleeding in his brain.
He made multiple flights to receive treatment before finally make it home to the States. Because of the severity of his injuries, it was necessary that he be transported in a plane specially equipped to transport patients in critical condition with medical equipment and personnel. Louise spent $250 for their travelers insurance policy which saved them from having to pay over $100,000 for all the treatment and transport her husband received.
Many Americans believe that when they travel outside of the country, their health insurance follows them. This couldn't be farther from the truth though. Rarely do domestic health insurance policies cover emergency evacuations which are often the most expensive cost of an injury abroad.
The US Travel Insurance Association states that Americans spent $1 billion on supplemental insurance in 2008. Many people make this purchase to protect themselves against canceled flights, or disruption to their plans due to natural disasters (remember how many flights were canceled due to the Icelandic volcano eruption this year?) but the benefits these polices provide in an emergency far outweigh those advantages.
On average, travelers insurance will run you about 5% of the cost of your trip, which is a complete bargain if you end up using it. The two most common reason travelers are medically evacuated are from heart attacks and car accidents. So even when you're out of the country trying to relax, the reality of being involved in a car accident is still very present.
As a personal injury lawyer Seattle, I can warn you about how costly a car accident can be if you're not covered by insurance. At the Law Offices of Kirk Bernard, we've seen many unfortunate people whose lives have been destroyed financially by a lack of insurance. Do yourself a favor, don't travel without it. For tips on how to pick the right traveler's insurance policy, click here.
New York safety inspector has pleaded guilty to allegations of false statements, mail fraud and violated the Toxic Substances Control Act. The inspector tampered with or faked the readings of hundreds of asbestos tests over the last decade. Typically, he wouldn't conduct any asbestos tests at all and would merely submit reports that buildings were free of asbestos and lead. Now free on bail, the Queens inspector is facing between 51 and 63 months in jail for his crimes.
Investigators are trying to determine whether Saverio Todaro acting independently or whether accomplices were involved. All in all, they've found over 200 buildings implicated in his fraudulent reports, and investigators fear it may be just the tip of the iceberg. In many of these instances, the buildings have been demolished to make way for the city's affordable-housing program. It's impossible to determine whether the workers involved in the demolition were exposed to asbestos and other toxic substances.
Asbestos is linked to deadly diseases such as lung cancer and mesothelioma which is a form of cancer that attacks the protective lining surrounding one's internal organs. Mesothelioma is almost always fatal and often goes undetected for many years or even decades. This toxic substance is most dangerous when in it's airborne state, which would have been the case if it was released during a demolition project. These cases often go to court where the victim is rewarded a lump sum for their injuries. However, this is a small consolation when the victim ultimately loses his life.
At the law offices of Kirk Bernard, we've seen many tragic cases of mesothelioma caused by exposure to asbestos. The worst part is that it can almost always be avoided with proper testing and abatement. If you worry that you may have suffered injuries as a result of asbestos exposure, we urge you to consult with a Seattle Personal Injury Lawyer immediately so you can protect your legal rights.
It's nothing new for criminals to try and gain money with fraudulent insurance claims. As the economy continues to fluctuate, people begin to worry about money and how they're going to get it. Many times this opens the door to criminal thought and behavior.
Now criminals are using methods that could target you as a victim during a car accident. Many of these schemes involve an orchestrated whole team of people with multiple cars involved. The scenarios are very detailed and usually involve trying to take advantage of the insurance companies.
It's really a shame what criminals will try and do to scam the system and it only makes things more difficult for the real victims in accidents and injury claims. Here's a short list of a few ways you can protect yourself from falling victim to these car accident frauds: