AUTO & TRUCK ACCIDENTS DUE TO DEFECTIVE ROADWAYS

Stockton Auto Accident Attorney Talks About Auto & Truck Accidents Due to Defective Roadways

Accidents can happen for a variety of reasons. Humans are distractible, technology fails, and the unexpected happens. Arguably, one of the only things out of our control is the roads we drive on: what they look like, how they’re maintained, and how safe they are. Truck accidents in these situations are far more severe. When roads are ill maintained, everyone loses, and your life could be altered forever. These are called defective roadways. If you are involved in a car accident due to a defective roadway and injuries are sustained because of it, speak with an experienced Stockton auto accident attorney for legal help.

What is a Defective Roadway?

Dangerous roads can arise from faulty execution (design, construction, maintenance), or failure to adapt to changing conditions. Driving on a defective roadway can reveal itself in many ways, for example:

  • Merging lanes that are not long enough
  • Tight curves that do not comply with posted speed limits
  • Narrow Lanes
  • Trenches
  • Potholes (Poor road maintenance)
  • Improper signage
  • Improper grading
  • Blind intersections

Who is Liable for a Defective Roadway?

California roadways are maintained by either the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) or by a government entity (local, state, etc.). Since these cases are often levied against the government in this situation, it takes a nuanced defense to avoid the loopholes the government creates in order to hold them accountable. These cases are intimidating, and taking on the government can seem impossible, but our experienced attorneys can make sure the law is on your side for your best chance at compensation.

State governments will try to use their immunity from liability however, there are different courses of action you can take to establish liability. A personal injury attorney can help you establish liability by:

  1. proving contractors failed to follow the original approved plan or
  2. the government acted recklessly. Every case is different and only a skilled attorney can find the right defense for your claim.

Legal defense can help to establish liability for governments or government institutions in these cases. These charges are either toward the contractor that the government hired to carry out the job, or negligence on the part of the institution. There is a statute of limitations for bringing claims against the government so reach out to a knowledgeable auto accident attorney who can fight your claim and get you the compensation you deserve.

If you or a loved one has been injured from an auto accident, consultation with a Stockton auto accident attorney is necessary to assess whether any or all road problems contributed to the accident. Please call today to begin building a claim.

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BOATING SAFETY: STAYING SAFE ON THE WATER

Stockton Accident Lawyer Explains How to Stay Safe on The Water While Boating

Everyone looks forward to spending time on the water in the warmer months, especially in the hot California sun shine. But it’s important to practice proper safety procedures while on the water and to remember that not everyone is as smart and careful as you. If you go on the boat often, it may be a good idea to take a boating education course. Statistics from the last five years show that three quarters of California boaters who were involved in fatal crashes had not taken a boating safety course. Often, the individuals who die in boating collisions are not wearing life jackets, which is a very simple way to increase your survival chances. While you may trust the driver of your boat and think it’s unnecessary to wear life jackets, it’s impossible to know the qualifications of others out on the water. In any circumstance, if you have been in a boating accident, make sure to speak to a highly skilled Stockton accident lawyer to learn what legal actions you can take.

California has many laws related to boat safety. If you are involved in a boating accident with another individual who is exhibiting any of the following behavior, it may be possible to show they were at fault and that they are responsible for whatever injuries occurred.

California’s Boating Laws

Below is a small portion of the many laws California has passed regarding what is acceptable and necessary when boating on its waters. Of course, it’s always best to consult with a Stockton accident lawyer as it pertains to your circumstance.

Reckless or Negligent Operation of the Vessel

This is categorized as failure to exercise the necessary care to prevent the endangerment of life, limb, property, or any person. Examples may include but certainly aren’t limited to:

  • Maneuvering towed skiers or other devices in order to “buzz” or spray others
  • To pass the towline over another vessel or skier
  • Navigating a vessel, skis, or any other device between a towing vessel and the items it is towing
  • Jumping or attempting to jump in the wake of another vessel within 100 feet of the towing vessel
  • Operating the vessel at a high speed or erratically in a congested waterway
  • Operating the vessel in a way that it or another vessel must abruptly swerve or abruptly cut speed in order to avoid collision
  • Operating near or through areas being used by swimmers or divers
  • Operating the vessel in such a way that it collides with another vessel, object, or person
  • Chasing or otherwise harassing wildlife with the vessel

Improper Speed or Distance

This is categorized as failing to maintain a proper speed and/or distance from other vessels, objects, or people. Examples include:

  • Excessive speeding. Speed should be based on traffic, weather conditions, visibility, and potential hazards. If there are no speed limit signs, operators must not operate at speeds that may endanger others and that provide the opportunity to stop the vessel in a safe and reasonable manner.
  • Failure to operate at a slow or no wake speed in “No Wake” areas
  • Operating at speeds that cause damage to a person or property within “No Wake” areas
  • Operating at speeds more than 5 miles per hour within: 200 feet of swimming areas, diving platforms, passenger landings, or areas where vessels are moored or 100 feet of swimmers

Riding on the Bow or Gunwales

Permitting individuals to ride on the bow, gunwales, or any other place where there is a danger of falling overboard, or in a position or manner that is obviously dangerous, is prohibited. This provision does not apply to a vessel’s crew when anchoring or mooring, or when required for the management of a sail.

Unsafe Conditions

This category of prohibited behavior is characterized by the operation of a vessel in a condition that causes danger to the occupants or others on the waterways. While this may sound similar to reckless operation, it is more about the actual state of the vessel rather than the maneuvering of its driver. Examples include:

  • Inadequate number of life jackets
  • Inadequate number of fire extinguishers
  • Dangerous objects on board

Law enforcement officers are permitted to require the operator to take immediate corrective action or to return to shore if any such unsafe conditions are present.

There are many more rules and regulations regarding the operation and maintenance of boats on California waters. If you are involved in an incident on a boat that is not following the law or with another vessel that is not following the law, you may be entitled to compensation for any damage or injury you incur. Be sure to contact a qualified Stockton accident lawyer to listen to the details of your case and assist you in legal action, if necessary.

Call a Stockton Accident Lawyer if You’ve Been Involved in a Boating Accident

For over 10 years, Lance V. Friel has been helping victims of accidents all throughout Northern California. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries from any type of accident, including a boating accident, give us a call at (209) 464-800 to speak to an experienced Stockton accident lawyer. We fight hard to get you the legal justice and financial compensation you deserve.

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ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY HIT & RUN DRIVERS

Stockton Accident Lawyer Helps Victims of Accidents Caused by Hit & Run Drivers

Victims of hit and run accidents are likely to feel angry and confused, and it can make the already difficult process of getting the compensation that you deserve seem impossible. This page will outline some general facts about hit and run accidents and procedures for handling these situations to help ensure yourself the best possible outcome.

It is against the law in all 50 states to leave the scene of an accident without following proper procedure. Generally, a hit & run accident is defined as:

“Leaving the scene of an accident without first stopping to render aid”

Rendering aid can include assisting anyone who is injured during the collision, calling the police or emergency services, or leaving your contact information so as to aid in the investigation of the accident. If a driver leaves the scene of an accident without first rendering aid in any form necessary at the time (it is always necessary to aid in the investigation by providing all of your information to other involved parties and/or the police) they can be charged with hit and run. In California, you can be charged with misdemeanor or felony hit and run. Felony hit and run charges can be brought if the incident resulted in injury or death.

Examples of hit and run accidents include:

  • A car or truck hits your vehicle and speeds off
  • An automobile or motorcycle hits your vehicle and the driver leaves the scene of the accident, abandoning their vehicle and returning sometime later or never at all
  • A driver hits your unattended car and leaves no contact information or way of collecting damages
  • A driver hits a pedestrian or bicyclist and leaves the scene without rendering aid
  • A car, truck or motorcycle collide with someone else’s property and does not leave contact information or a way of collecting damages

What to do following a Hit & Run

The most important thing to do is stay calm and collect all the information / evidence that you possibly can. It is an unfortunate truth, but insurance companies and police may treat you as if you are attempting insurance fraud, as falsely claiming a hit and run accident is a common fraud scheme that plagues the insurance industry.  Having more information increases the chance the police will catch the hit and run driver, and the insurance company will fairly pay out your claim. 

Remember, the insurance companies are not on your side. Contact a Stockton accident lawyer at The Friel Law Firm to make sure your rights are protected.

Proper Steps to Take Following a Hit & Run Accident:

  • Get as much information about the vehicle that struck you: model, make, color, unique identifying marks, and of course, the license plate number
  • Record the exact time, date and location of the accident and immediately write down the narrative documenting your recollection of the incident
  • Find any witnesses to the accident and ask for their names and contact information and relay this information to police
  • File an accident report with the proper jurisdiction and follow up

Taking the steps outlined above will give your attorney the best possible chance of recovering compensation for you following a hit and run collision. Even if you have not properly followed the steps above and have no idea who hit you, there is still hope!

California requires drivers to carry uninsured motorist coverage, generally used for accidents caused by another uninsured driver, but also used to cover individuals who have been the victim of a hit and run. This type of coverage generally applies to bodily injury and not property damage, but in California, there is precedent for this coverage to be used for both.

Please give our office a call today for a free consultation with our Stockton accident lawyer – its OK if you didn’t follow the steps and have no idea who hit you, we can help!

In you have been hurt in a car accident, call (209) 464-8000 to speak with a Stockton accident lawyer today.

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