Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving The Greater Sacramento California Region
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Serious California Motorcycle Accidents Underscore Need For Rider Safety

According to the SanFrancisco Examiner, a major-injury motorcycle accident earlier this week disrupted traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge during morning rush hour.

A southbound motorcyclist rear-ended a Toyota 4Runner just north of the toll-plaza.

Further, according to Nevada Highway Patrol reports, last night a 49-year-old Landers, California woman died after being struck by a car traveling in the wrong direction.

When motorcycles and cars collide, the potential for injury to the motorcyclist is great. Unlike cars, motorcycles have no shell protecting the rider from the full force of an impact when an accident occurs. As a result, crashes often lead to serious, even fatal, injuries.

Although motorcycle fatalities are down, these accidents serve as a reminder of rider and motorist safety. These safety tips include the following:

• Wear a helmet and other safety gear

• Don't drink and ride

• Pay attention to speed and roadway conditions

• Try to avoid motorists blind spots

• Assume people in cars can't, or don't, see you.

Recently, the California Highway Patrol has launched several campaigns to raise public awareness about motorcycle safety.

For more information, or if you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.

Court Allows Metrolink Accident Case To Proceed Against Los Angeles

On August 30, the California Court of Appeals ruled that the lower court erred in throwing out a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles based on negligence arising from the fatal Blue Line Metro accident. The metro train ran into a car, driven by Sara Tovar, crossing the tracks. Tovar died from her injuries.

According to testimony, Tovar failed to see the flashing lights or hear the train's bells as it approached. Experts testified that inadequate signage existed at the intersection. Charges were dismissed by the court against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but allowed to continue against the city. At issue - whether the city maintained a dangerous condition on public property.

When accidents occur on another's property, potential claims for negligence exist if the owner is aware, or shown have been aware of unreasonably dangerous conditions that contributed to or caused an accident. A dangerous condition is one that "creates a substantial risk of injury when such property or adjacent property is used with due care in a manner is which it is reasonably foreseeable that it will be used." Where municipalities or other public entities are involved, the analysis may be more complex, however public entities may still be found liable for injuries caused by a dangerous condition on public property.

For more information, or if you or a loved one has been injured as the result of a dangerous condition, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping those injured by the negligence of others for more than 15 years.

Schwarzenegger Signs California Teen Alcohol Safety Act

Earlier this week, Governor Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 2486, the Teen Alcohol Safety Act. AB 2486 allows for civil litigation against "social hosts" who serve alcohol to underage individuals. Social hosts include parents, homeowners, or other individuals over 21 who furnish alcohol to underage drinkers who are in their homes.

A Redding, California couple spearheaded AB 2486 after their daughter died from alcohol poisoning at a friend's house. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), over 10% of drunk driving fatalities are caused by teen drinking and driving. In many cases, those teenagers were served alcohol at a home where an adult was present before getting behind the wheel.

Although the new bill removes immunity previously afforded to social hosts, it does not automatically establish liability. Rather, families of those injured or killed must establish negligence occurred. Specifically, those injured must show that the adult or "social host" knowingly furnished alcoholic beverages at his or her residence to a person under 21 years of age.

In a press release Schwarzenegger stated that he was pleased to sign AB 2486 because "parents and adults have a responsibility to protect children and underage youth from alcohol."

As a California personal injury attorney concerned about the safety of California roadways and protecting consumers from harm, I believe this law is necessary and am hopeful that it will help prevent more tragic alcohol-related accidents and deaths.

For more information, please contact the Law Offices of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.

Sacramento County Sets Up Checkpoint To Eliminate Boating Accidents

The Sacramento Bee reports that in order to decrease the number of boating accidents in Lake County and throughout the Sacramento County area, the Lake County Sheriff's Marine Patrol will set up a boating under the influence (BUI) checkpoint this Saturday, July 24 on Clear Lake.

The Marine Patrol aims to reduce alcohol -related accidents and enforce boating laws on Clear Lake. At the checkpoint, boaters will be asked some brief questions. Boat operators will be detained longer for testing if they show signs of intoxication or impairment.

The U.S. Coast Guard reports that in 2008, alcohol use was the leading contributor to boating accidents, and the leading factor in 17% of fatalities.

Alcohol has been shown to seriously impair boater's vision, which in turn may lead to serious accidents. Recreational boaters are often less experienced on the water than drivers on the highway, and their lack of experience is exacerbated by alcohol use.

The USCG suggests bringing non-alcoholic beverages on board, keeping plenty of food and snacks and avoiding excessive fatigue.

Although alcohol is a leading contributor to boating accidents, other factors play a role including excessive speed, driver distractions and reckless conduct. 

For more information on boating safety, or if you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, please contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette.

Millions Approved To Improve Sacramento's Roadways - Including "Blood Alley" - And To Prevent California Car Accidents

According to the Central Valley Business Times, the Sacramento area will receive close to $250 million to improve its roadways. Significantly, the California Transportation Commission (CTC) has approved $45 million to widen Highway 46, a dangerous two-lane highway that serves as a major link to the Central Coast.

Highway 46 has received much notoriety as a deadly stretch of highway. Dubbed "blood alley," since April 2005 there have been 391 car accidents, with 130 injuries and 24 deaths on that stretch of road.

Most recently, on April 6 three people were killed and two seriously injured in a head-on collision, about 2 miles west of Lost Hills.

Other improvements include substantial rehabilitation of Highway 99 and resurfacing of Interstate 5 from Florin Road to the Sacramento/San Joaquin County line.

The projects are a welcome improvement for Sacramento's roadways. As a Sacramento personal injury attorney, I understand the impact dangerous and poorly maintain roadways can have on a driver's safety. Too often, even the best drivers are caught off guard - and injury accidents occur - when dangerous road conditions obscure their vision or require quick reflexes.

Hopefully, as a result of these changes and improvements, Highway 46 will lose its reputation as one of California's most dangerous roads.

Marin County Head Injury May Lead To Metal Bat Ban

On Wednesday, California lawmakers advanced a bill that would ban the use of metal bats in high school for two years.

This ban comes after a teenager was hospitalized and remains in critical condition with a severe head injury after he was hit by a line drive. Principals from the 10 highschools in the Marin County Athletic League have already banned the use of metal bats at games.

The accident has spurred discussions throughout Marin County, and now the legislature, regarding what is safe for highschool sports. Because metals bats can hit harder than wooden bats, the risk of head and brain injuries is greater. Despite the Marin County ban, the North Coast Section (which governs highschool sports from the Bay Area up the coast) did not pass a ban for their teams - arguing that using wooden bats would put their teams at a competitive disadvantage.

The dialogue surrounding the use of metal bats is similar to many discussions throughout the years pitting sports safety against fun, comfort, convenience and competition. Sporting event safety - both for players and spectators - is often not a concern until a highly publicized event calls people into action.

As an avid sports fan and California personal injury attorney, I believe the time to act on safety measures is before serious accidents occur.

Safety Measures Key To Reducing California Medical Malpractice

Although it seems obvious, the first study with conclusive empirical evidence that the best way to reduce medical malpractice litigation is to reduce medical malpractice, was just released by the Rand Institute for Civil Justice. The number of malpractice cases is directly correlated to the number of mistakes and bad outcomes at hospitals throughout California.

Experienced California medical malpractice attorneys are needed in order to represent those who suffer injuries as the result of hospital and physician malpractice.

The Rand report concluded that by making improvements in safety, both patients and insurance providers would benefit. Further, although these findings were based on studies of California medical malpractice, including practices in Sacramento and throughout the Central Valley, these findings are applicable nationwide.

The Rand study noted the following:

• A significantly high correlation between adverse events and malpractice claims

• A decrease of 10 adverse events would lead to a decrease of 3.7 claims

• Decreasing malpractice claims reduces pressure on malpractice insurance providers to increase premiums

Although these seem like common sense findings, the Rand study is the first to set forth empirical evidence validating these claim. As a California personal injury attorney concerned about medical malpractice and the possibility of wrongful death, I hope this study encourages policymakers to focus on improved safety performance rather than so called "tort reform." As a result, health care costs and malpractice claims could be lowered significantly, not to mention the greatest benefit of all - improving the quality of patient care.

Bicycling Now Legal On Sacramento's K Street Mall

After a 23-year ban, bicyclists were allowed back on the K Street Mall this week. Bicyclists can now legally ride on the Mall from 7th to 13th Streets and in the tunnel connecting 2d and 4th Streets.

Bicyclists were originally banned from the K Street Mall in 1987 to avoid bicycle accidents after light-rail tracks were installed.

The Department of Transportation stated in a news release that lifting the ban on bicycles on K Street Mall is "another important accomplishment toward creating and maintaining a safe and reliable multi-modal transportation for the city and the region."

Bicycling is an increasingly popular mode of transportation in Sacramento and throughout the area including the cities of San Francisco, Davis and Palo Alto which rank among the Top Ten Best bicycling cities the United States.

Keeping in mind a few simple safety tips will help prevent bicycling accidents and limit their severity if they occur. These include:

• Wearing your helmet. Wearing a helmet significantly decreases the possibility of sustaining a brain injury if you're in an accident.

• Obey speed limits and rules of the road. In crowded areas such as K Street it's important to be alert, not exceed the speed limit (10 mph) and use appropriate hand signals.

• Yield to Pedestrians. Not only can bicycle/car collisions lead to injuries, so can bicycle/pedestrians collisions.

As a Sacramento bicycling accident attorney and biking enthusiast, I applaud Sacramento's efforts to be a bike friendly city. If you have any questions regarding bicycle safety, or if you or a loved one has been in bicycling accident, please contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette.

Honda Recalls Thousands of California Minivans

Earlier this week Honda announced a recall of over 410,000 Odyssey minivans and Elements due to braking problems that could create problems stopping. According to NHTSA, at least three car crashes have been linked to the defect causing minor injuries.

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury and wrongful death in California.

The defect is linked to Honda's electronic stability control system, which brakes all of the car's wheels in an emergency and allows some air to enter the hydraulic brake line. As a result, drivers are forced to apply excessive pressure while braking.

According the California New Car Dealers Association in Sacramento, the Odyssey was rated as the best-selling minivan California.

The Honda recall follows the massive recalls issued in recent months by Toyota for accelerator defects and Ford Motor Company for power steering defects.

As a Sacramento personal injury attorney concerned about automobile safety and consumer protection, if you're driving a Honda, I urge you to contact this office or Honda for more information regarding the affected vehicles.