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Increased Threat of Sacramento Car Accident Injuries

Here’s a new headline our Sacramento personal injury attorneys were not pleased to read: “Traffic deaths rise as drivers, dangers grows.” The Sept. 28 Sacramento Bee ran a disturbing story about national trends that should concern us all in Sacramento. Car crash injury and death rose across the nation and by extension, Sacramento. Increased car accident injuries were traced to a few specific causes by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and in this Blog our Sacramento car crash and injury attorneys will look at what we can do locally to buck this troubling trend.

Four Sources of Concern for Sacramento
Car crash injury and deaths may have naturally risen as more people took to the roads post-recession, according to NHTSA. With a 10 percent increase in traffic deaths nationwide and 13 percent in California over the past three years, Sacramento car accident injuries and deaths have also dominated local headlines. Wrong-way drivers were faulted in several major Sacramento car accidents. Injuries and deaths in these incidents brought attention to the plague of drunk driving. In addition, we experienced the result of distracted driving in a tragic Sacramento car accident. Critical injuries were suffer by a young boy and his father died when a texting driver swerved into the pair on their bicycles in a suburb of Sacramento.

Car crash injuries due to distracted driving and to driving while inebriated are two of the causes of increased traffic deaths cited by traffic agencies in California and Sacramento. Personal injury lawyers at Sette have previously written about the scourge of distracted driving due to the ubiquitous nature of cell phones and their alluring apps that take attention away from the all-important task of safely driving in Sacramento. Car accident injuries are the rise across the nation as distracted driving permeates daily life. In addition, our Sacramento car crash injury attorneys note that distracted driving laws are not routinely enforced throughout the state, and some related traffic fines are too low to be a real deterrent. Government surveys show a definite increase in smart phone use in California and in Sacramento. Car accident injuries and deaths will only continue to rise if law enforcement, traffic officials and the driving public do not attack distracted driving as an urgent problem.

An increasing number of Sacramento car crash injuries may be related to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. State safety officials say that while alcohol DUIs continue to be a plague, marijuana use is rising and becoming a bigger factor in Sacramento car accident injuries and traffic violations. In addition, prescription drug use is also concern.

Sacramento car crash injuries have also been impacted by the increasing number of motorcycles on the roadway. Post-recession purchase of motor bikes is up, particularly among older riders in Sacramento, increasing car crash injury threat. The heavier bikes favored by these riders are more difficult to control. In a Sacramento car accident, injuries to the motorcyclist are usually the most severe. State safety officials report a concerning rise in incidents since 2010.

Sacramento car crash injuries also reflect accidents involving pedestrians and bicyclists. Clearly, bicyclists are an important part of the commuter and recreation community in Sacramento. Car accident injuries to people on bicycles and pedestrians are often very severe. There have been a number of high profile accidents in Sacramento causing personal injury. Our attorneys all recognize that bicyclists and pedestrians face the most severe dangers in a car accident in Sacramento.

Car Crash Trends Suffer Reversal in Sacramento
That car crash injuries and deaths are climbing throughout the state is very concerning to state officials. Over the five years previous to 2010, there was a significant decrease in traffic deaths due to car accident injury. According to the Sacramento Bee article the period marked the fewest California traffic deaths since WWII.  Sacramento car crash injuries and deaths were likely minimized, in part, because of the adoption of seat belt use. In addition, the introduction of safety technology such as airbags have helped keep drivers safer in Sacramento.

Car accident injury and death, however, is arcing upward again, inspiring our personal injury attorneys to wonder how to keep people safe in Sacramento. Clearly, car crash injury is adversely impacted by the use of our newest technology – smart phones and accessible apps. Just as technology has made it safer for drivers, it’s currently creating an enhanced threat to drivers in Sacramento. Our car accident injury and death rates are surely affected by the heightened incidence of distracted driving that leads to Sacramento car crash injuries. Traffic officials cannot be certain about distracted driving statistics because drivers often deny cell phone use after a Sacramento car accident. Injuries and deaths will continue to increase until laws are consistently enforced and fines are meaningful to distracted drivers in Sacramento. Car accident injuries due to the use of electronic devices may decrease if the makers of the technologies also participate in creating safety solutions to prevent car crash injuries and death. Thus far, blocking technology and other potential solutions have met with public opposition.

In Sacramento, car crash injuries won’t diminish until drivers take complete responsibility for public safety. In a survey, the Office of traffic Safety reports that 9.2 percent of drivers admit to being distracted while driving throughout the state and in Sacramento. Still, car accident injuries due to distracted driving do not reflect the true number of motorists violating the law in Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys and traffic officials bemoan the fact that every day, there’s a new app on the market tempting drivers and threatening a Sacramento Car accident.

Injuries and deaths on the roadways won’t vanish from Sacramento. Car crash injury increase, however, can be reversed throughout California and certainly in Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys at Sette Law support enforcement of traffic laws and urge our residents to make our roadways safer for families in Sacramento. Car crash injuries are, unfortunately, becoming a daily occurrence in our Sacramento. Our personal injury attorneys want to see a turn-around in the troubling statistics we see in the recent statistical rise and promote driving habits that keep friends and neighbors safe from Sacramento car accident injuries.

Weather Implicated In Fatal West Sacramento Bike Accident

Sacramento news reports that a Sacramento man died following a fatal car vs. bicycle accident on West Capitol Avenue in West Sacramento early last week. According to reports, both the vehicle and the bicyclist were travelling eastbound along the 2000 block of West Capitol when the collision occurred. The bicyclist swerved to avoid a large puddle and veered into the number two lane of traffic. The Sacramento man was then hit by a car. The bicyclist suffered major head trauma and was pronounced dead at the scene. Although the accident remains under investigation, weather conditions have been cited as a possible contributing factor whereas speed and alcohol do not appear to be involved.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a Sacramento bicycle accident, it is important to seek the advice of a Sacramento bicycle accident lawyer right away. Many times, it may be possible to recover compensation for your injuries. Types of damages include medical expenses, lost past and future wages, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced Sacramento bike attorney can review your case and provide critical advice concerning your next steps.

While not all bicycle accidents and injuries from bicycle accidents can be avoided, several tips exists that may help improved the safety of California's roadways.

Some of these tips include:

For Bicyclists

• Always wear a helmet. Your chances of sustaining a life threatening injury or serious brain injury significantly decrease if your head is protected.

• Obey the rules of the road. Light signals and traffic signs apply to bicyclists as well as motorists. Use signals to alert motorists to your movements.

• Be on the look out for cars in driveways, cross streets and parking lots.

• Ride as if you're invisible. In other words, ride in such a way that motorists won't hit you even if they don't see you. By riding in such a way that a car has to see you to take action to avoid hitting you (e.g., by their slowing down or changing lanes), then that means they will definitely hit you if they don't see you. But if you stay out of their way, then you won't get hit even if they didn't notice you were there.

For Motorists

For their part, motorists need to learn to share the road with bicyclists and to do their best to anticipate bicyclist's movements. In car v. bicycle accidents, generally bicyclists sustain the most significant injuries. To avoid substantial injuries, drivers must use common sense and provide sufficient room for bicyclists to maneuver.

While not all car/bike accidents can be prevented, with care on the part of motorists and bicyclists California's roads can become safer for all.

For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a Sacramento bike accident, contact the top Sacramento bike attorneys at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.

Drug Counselor Accused Of Drunk Driving In Fatal Pedestrian Accident

California news reports that a the driver responsible for killing a pedestrian in a California drunk driving accident was a drug counselor at a Torrance treatment center. The suspect, Sherri Wilkins, tried to help others deal with the addiction she had "tried to put behind her."

According to the Los Angeles Times, the pedestrian accident occurred when Wilkins allegedly hit a man while she was driving under the influence on Torrance Boulevard. After she struck man, she continued to drive for more than two miles with the victim embedded on her windshield.

The victim, Philip Moreno, still had a pulse when the police officers arrived, but died shortly thereafter at a nearby hospital. Wilkins' blood alcohol content was more than double the legal limit of 0.08. She was subsequently arrested on the suspicion of driving under the influence and manslaughter.

This accident is a tragedy for all involved.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, its important to seek the advice of an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney at once. Where a drunk driving accident leads to an injury, the driver may face at least two separate and distinct legal proceedings. First, the driver may face criminal charges and penalties as the result of a DUI. Additionally, in a personal injury accident the victim may be able to recover damages in a civil lawsuit. Where a wrongful death occurs, the victim's family may be able to recover compensation in a negligence lawsuit. Talking to a skilled Sacramento injury lawyer as soon as possible after an accident is important to determine your rights and protect your interests in the event you are interesting in pursuing a civil lawsuit for damages.

While filing a lawsuit after a tragedy may be the furthest thing from your mind - often the costs associated with a significant personal injury or death can be substantial.

In many situations it may be possible to recover substantial compensation to offset these costs such as:

• Medical expenses

• Current and future wages

• Pain and suffering

• Emotional distress

Sometimes where the negligent actions are particularly reckless it may be possible to recover punitive damages.

Here details from the pedestrian accident are slow to emerge. Wilkins allegedly panicked after hitting Moreno and kept driving. Other drivers somehow managed to stop Wilkins and grab her keys several blocks later at 182nd Street and Crenshaw Boulevard. Wilkins told police she was on her way home from work at the time of the crash however officials from the treatment facility said they were closed at the time of the incident.

Sadly, Wilkins had been on the road to recovery when the accident occurred.

For more information or if you or a loved one has been injured in a drunk driving accident, contact a top Sacramento personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate appointment.

Every 46 Minutes A Child Suffers A Bounce House Injury

A new study published in the most recent issue of Pediatrics reveals an alarming statistic: Bounce houses injure a child every 46 minutes. The number of injuries from inflatable bouncers - including moonwalks, castles and bounce houses - has increased by 15 times since 1995, causing 5+ injuries per every 100,000 American children.

Just a few months ago a similar warning was issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) concerning at home trampoline use. In September, AAP issued a statement discouraging the recreational use of trampolines, stating the activity "poses a major injury risk for kids and there's no clear way to reduce chances of getting hurt."

If you or a loved one has been injured on while on a trampoline or bounce house, it's a good idea to consult with an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Depending on the circumstances of your matter it may be possible to recover compensation for your injuries through a negligence lawsuit based on product liability, premises liability or other theory of recovery.

Like bounce house injuries, trampoline injuries occur far more frequently than many people imagine. According to the study in 2009, the last year of available data, trampoline injury rates were 70 injuries per 100,000 children ages 0- to 4-years-old and 160 injuries per 100,000 5- to 14-year-olds, for a total of 98,000 injuries that year. Older kids were more likely to use a bicycle or other unsafe equipment on the trampoline, while young children under the age of 6 were most likely to get hurt. Between three percent and 14 percent of the injuries required hospitalization.

"Unfortunately, the very forces that make trampoline use fun for many children also lead to unique injury mechanisms and patterns of injury," the statement's authors write.

Trampoline and bounce house injuries include:

• Fractures 

• Dislocations

• Sprains and strains

• Broken bones

• Head and neck injuries

• Spinal cord injuries

The most serious injuries often result from failed attempts at somersaults and flips while bouncing, sometimes resulting in lifelong injuries.

A director of the bounce house study noted: "It is time for us to take action to prevent these injuries ... Ensuring that parents are aware of the potential risks, improving surveillance of the injuries, developing national safety guidelines and improving bouncer design are the first steps."

"Because children are the end users and because companies typically do not provide the supervision on rented inflatable bouncers, the burden of safety falls ultimately on the parents' shoulders." Further while bouncers can be fun and safe when used properly, "Parents should be familiar with the risks and dangers and should receive proper supervision instruction."

For more information about bounce house or trampoline safety, or if you or a loved one has been injured while on a trampoline or bounce house, please contact an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.

Zoo Reportedly Followed All Precautions In Tragic Wild Dog Mauling Accident

A preliminary investigation into the accident that claimed the life of a young boy reveals that the zoo met or exceeded all safety requirements for animals and visitors, proving that no exhibit is "fail-proof" as explained by the zoo's president. The horrific accident occurred after the boy fell into an African wild dog exhibit. Although nearby staff responded "within seconds," it was too late to save the boy.

The zoo has been open since 1898 and this was the first time there's been a "visitor incident of this magnitude." The incident occurred after the boy's mother put him on a wooden railing on the edge of a viewing deck. The boy fell and bounced of the netting intended to catch him. He then dropped into the enclosure holding the dogs.

Initial reports reveal no signs of negligence - the Pittsburgh Zoo had successfully completed its five-year review in September and the U.S. Department of Agriculture had inspected zoo recently and found it safe.

Fortunately, incidents like these are rare and show the need to follow strict safety precautions on both the part of the owner/operator of the zoo as well as the patrons. Many times attending an event - whether going to the zoo where there are dangerous animals, spending the day at an amusement park riding rollercoasters or attending a baseball game with the hopes of catching a foul ball - involves a certain amount of risk taking and danger.

Whether the amount of risk you are exposed to is "reasonable" is often a legal question. If you or a loved one has been hurt as a patron, it's important to consult with an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney. Often, determining whether you may be entitled to compensation involves a complicated analysis of the risks involved, the warnings provided and other factors.

Where an unreasonably dangerous condition exists that an owner or operator knew of or should have known of but failed to either correct or provide sufficient warning, they may be held liable for damages in a "premises liability" lawsuit.

However, in many situations the "danger" is part of the fun - such as amusement park rides where you expect to be frightened and thrilled, just not hurt. California law continues to grapple with the scope of the "assumption of risk" defense - that is where a patron "assumes the risk" of injuries from the inherent risks of an activity.

Where an owner/operator takes steps to eliminate dangers and warn of potential risks, the injured party may face challenges recovering compensation for injuries resulting from a dangerous activity. Alternatively, where an owner/operator allows an unreasonably dangerous condition to exist, they may be held responsible for harm that occurs and required to pay damages.

In the zoo instance, initial reports suggest that this was simply a tragic accident. Other zoos and exhibits are sure to examine just what happened in an effort to prevent other such incidents from occurring again.

For more information about premises liability or dangerous conditions lawsuit, contact the top Sacramento negligence attorneys at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.

California Roll Over Accident Leads To The Death Of Two Teens

Sacramento news reports that two California teens died over the weekend as the result of a rollover car crash. According to reports, three teens were riding in a 203 Acura when they approached a roadway curve. The driver could not control the car as he maneuvered around the bend. The car left the roadway, hitting a utility and tree before flipping over. Two passengers were killed, and the driver sustained moderate personal injuries. Alcohol was not considered to be a factor in the car accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, it's important to seek the advice of an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer right away. Although the severity of car accidents varies - rollovers are some of the most serious. Rollovers typically occur as the result of drivers trying to over-correct to avoid a roadway hazard, or adjust to the curve of a roadway. However, when a driver maneuvers too quickly he or she may cause the car to flip. This may be a result of driver error, or in some cases roadway design. A roadway design like the angle of a decline, the absence of appropriate barriers or improperly designed shoulders may create a condition that makes rollovers more likely. If an entity designed a road that is unreasonably dangerous, it may be held liable for negligence.

Other times, rollovers occur due to negligence in the manufacture of a car or its parts. This may be due to a defective auto-part or tire manufacturer design. In some cases, the type of vehicle may make it more likely that a vehicle will flip - such as an SUV. Many times, it may be possible to file a negligence lawsuit where the design of a vehicle is unreasonably dangerous or has a defective design or part.

Rollover accidents lead to many different types of injuries including, but not limited to:

 • Neck injuries

 • Head injuries

 • Traumatic brain injuries

 • Broken bones

 For more information or if you or a loved one have been injured in a California car accident, please contact a top Sacramento personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.



Fatal Hit-And-Run Accident Kills Sacramento Man

Sacramento news reports that a California man died after being struck by a hit-and-run driver and then being run over by another car. The California Highway Patrol reports that the Sacramento hit-and-run car accident happened near the intersection of Fulton Avenue and Hurley Way.

The unknown vehicle struck a 60-year-old man, Phillip Dale Jensen who lives close to the area, and left him lying in the roadway. He was then struck a second time by a taxi driver who was making a u-turn and did not see the body. Jensen was taken to UC Davis Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The CHP is now requesting help from the public for information relating to this accident.

With help, it is often possible to identify drivers responsible for California hit and run car accidents. A California HP sergeant notes, "It's a serious crime...these cases stay open for up to 20 years. We don't ever get rid of the physical evidence. We keep actively investigating as long as we can."

If you or a family member has been injured in a hit and run accident, it is also important to seek the advice of an experienced Sacramento personal injury attorney.

Pursuant to California's hit and run laws, individuals in car accidents are required to stop and exchange identifying information as soon as is safely possible. The failure to stop where property damage occurs is a misdemeanor. Failing to stop where a personal injury or wrongful death results, is a felony. In addition to criminal charges, those drivers who fail to stop may also face a California civil personal injury lawsuit.

Despite laws requiring an individual stop, drivers may still flee the scene of an accident for a variety of reasons. In some situations, they may simply panic. Other times, the accident may be the result of drunk driving and a driver may fear arrest. Whatever the motivation, drivers who flee the scene face stiff penalties.

What Type Of Damages Can I Recover In a Hit-and-Run Accident?

Injuries from hit and run accidents may include serious personal injuries such as:

• head and neck injuries

• brain injuries

• spinal cord injuries

• lacerations

• cuts and bruises

As with other types of California car accidents, drivers injured in hit-and-run collisions may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and other legal costs.

Even where it isn't possible to locate the culprit, an injured party or his or her surviving family members may be able to file an accident claim against his or her own insurance policy either as an uninsured motorist claim or a "hit and run" claim.

Hopefully, in this instance the culprit will be caught and justice served.

For more information, please contact the top Sacramento hit-and-run accident lawyers at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against City Of Oakland Based On Roadway Negligence

The family of a bicyclist who died after being hit by a car on Grizzly Peak Boulevard has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of Oakland. The negligence suit alleged that the condition of the roadway contributed to the death of Allen Lee, 53, due to its poor maintenance.

According to the lawsuit, the city should be held responsible in Lee's death because it knew that the roadway was in bad repair but failed to make the necessary improvements despite repeated complaints.

Accidents may happen for any number of reasons. While driver error, driver distraction or drunk driving may be the leading causes of car accidents, bike accidents and other roadway injuries, many times the seriousness of an accident is contributed to or exacerbated by the condition of the roadway.

Where the condition of the road - how it is designed or maintained - contributes to a bicycle accident or car accident, it may be possible to bring a roadway negligence lawsuit. By filing a roadway negligence lawsuit you may be able to recover compensation for various types of damages including medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost past and future wages.

Seeking the advice of a top Sacramento personal injury lawyer is important to determine all possible factors that may have caused or contributed to an accident to ensure you may recover all the compensation you deserve.

Here the personal injury complaint alleges that Lee was thrown over the front handlebars of his bike after his bike's front tire became caught in a two inch deep rut in the middle of the road that caused to bike to stop suddenly. The abrupt stop threw him into the path of an oncoming car that was unable to stop in time.

The complaint seeks damages from the city for its failure to keep the roadway in good repair. According to the lawsuit Oakland is responsible for ensuring its roadways are safely maintained. A representative of the family notes, "As recently as four or five months before this happened, there were local organizations that were communicating with the city about this particular roadway and all the cracks in it ...If the roadway poses a danger to either motorists or bicyclists and the public agency has notice of that danger, it is required to fix it."

The wrongful death lawsuit is seeking unspecified monetary damages from the city including costs associated with funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and punitive damages.

For more information about roadway negligence or wrongful death lawsuits contact an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation. 

Family of Vacaville Teen Killed On Jet Ski Sues For Negligence

News reports that the family of a 16-year-old killed in Hawaii while riding a jet-ski has filed a negligence lawsuit against both the Australian tourist who ran into her and the Jet Ski Rental company, Aloha Jet Ski, for its role in contributing to her death.

Kristen Fonseca had rented a jet-ski in Hawaii from Aloha Jet and was touring Hawaii's Keehi Small Boat Harbor when she was hit by the Australian man from behind. Fonseca subsequently died from her injuries. The cause of her death has been listed as "intracranial hemorrhage."

According to the wrongful death lawsuit, employees of the jet-ski company did nothing to prevent the accident from occurring. The accident allegedly occurred as the result of the man failing to pay attention to where he was going while he was riding the jet-ski. He was apparently standing on his jet-ski and became distracted by his girlfriend who was taking video and photos and did not pay attention to other boat traffic in the bay. 

Dagley is expected to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charge Tuesday.

Wrongful death lawsuits can arise in any type of personal injury accident where an individual dies as the result of another's reckless or negligent conduct. Negligence refers to the breach of a legal duty to act reasonably or to protect another from foreseeable dangers. Many factors go into determining whether a specific action may be considered negligent and whether that action led to a person's harm. In these instances, it may be possible to recover for your damages. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the surviving family members may bring a lawsuit on behalf of the deceased. Speaking to a skilled Sacramento personal injury lawyer right away is an important first step to determine your rights in the event of any injury accident.

Here, if Fonseca is found to be reckless or careless (i.e. negligent) in his actions, then he may be held responsible for the "wrongful death" of Fonseca in a civil court and be required to pay damages such as medical costs, lost wages and emotional distress. The family is also suing the Jet-Ski company for their negligence. While all of the details of the lawsuit are unknown, whether the company took the necessary safety precautions to avoid accidents or whether the actions it took where an accident occurred were sufficient will be under review. Although the company did not specifically harm Fonseca, if their actions were such that led to foreseeable harm, they may be found responsible and be required to pay damages as well.

Whenever a tragic accident occurs, it's of upmost importance to speak to an experienced Sacramento personal injury lawyer right away. Even though filing a lawsuit may be the furthest thing from your mind, it is critical to determine all factors that may have led to an accident and ensure you protect your right to future compensation. For more information, please contact the top Sacramento wrongful death attorneys at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.

Wave Of Red Bluff Bicycle Accidents Leads To Stricter Enforcement Of Bike Laws

A recent surge in California bike accidents has led law enforcement in Red Bluff to crack down on bicycle lawbreakers. According to Red Bluff news, five police officers rushed to the Sacramento River Bridge to help an alleged stabbing victim. When they arrived it turned out that the man had suffered a bicycle accident after stealing a bottle of vodka, and losing control of his bicycle. Alcohol was a factor in the rash.

Two other bike accidents occurred, one involved a car turning in front of a bike and causing a crash, while the other was the result of a bicyclist riding on the wrong side of the road.

These accidents, along with several recent highly publicized San Francisco bike accidents underscore the need for motorists and bicyclists to pay greater mind to the rules of the road in an effort to improve safety.

Some tips include:

• Always wear a bike helmet. Wearing a helmet can prevent serious injuries and even death to riders in collisions. Wearing a helmet is required for individuals under the age of 18.

• Obey the rules of the road, including all traffic signals

• Look out for cars at driveways, cross streets and parking places

• Yield to pedestrians

• Never riding "double," i.e. carrying another person on your handle bars or seat

• Use appropriate hand signals

• Maintain your bicycle in good condition

For more information regarding the operation and use of bicycles and equipment requirements, please see California Vehicle Code (CVC) 231 and 21200-21205, 21208, 21210-21212, 21650.1, 21960, 22111, 23330, 27400, 39002, 23111 and 23112.

If you have questions about California bike accidents, or have been involved in a collision, please contact an experienced Sacramento bike accident lawyer at the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette for an immediate consultation.