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.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

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.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

DEFECTIVE SEAT BELTS

Stockton Personal Injury Lawyer Helps Victims of Injuries Caused by Defective Seat Belts

There is nothing that can protect you and your passengers in an automobile collision better than a set belt. Every year, thousands of people are saved because they were properly wearing a seat belt. According to the Center for Disease and Control, wearing a seat belt reduces the chance of loss of life by 60 percent.

Often times however, seat belt defects occur, resulting in severe injury and even death. To determine whether a seat belt defect caused your injuries answer two question: Where you properly belted, and would the injury be less severe with a properly designed seat belt? If you answered yes to both questions, you may be a victim of a seat belt defect.

In general, during a collision a properly designed seat belt should remain on the strongest body parts, such as the pelvis and shoulder. An improperly designed seat best usually injures other areas, such as abdomen, upper thighs, lower arms, or face. You may prove that the seat belt malfunctioned if you have marks, abrasions, bruising, or other injuries in these areas. It is vital that you take photographs and even video recode all of your injuries shortly following the vehicle accident. Moreover, in order to build a strong case, you must obtain all available information regarding defect investigations, recall, safety standards, crash testing, technical papers, similar litigation, and internal manufacturer’s documentation. Your attorney will conduct an extensive investigation and obtain all of the relevant information.

You should focus on the following these steps if you believe that you were a victim of a defective seat belt. First, you must secure the evidence, which is your vehicle. Do not allow a third party to store your vehicle for you unless it is in an indoor locked facility, and you obtain written confirmation of this. If you do not receive written confirmation, arrange to store the vehicle yourself. You should also document and keep a record of the chain of custody, including all inspections and transfers of the vehicle even by your own experts. Further, never allow any alterations without agreement from all of the parties involved in the lawsuit.

It is also important that you understand defective belts to a certain degree and are aware of the type of defect that took place in your vehicle. Some seat belt defects you may have experienced are belt failure—inadvertent unlatching, poor coupling—the belt slack may have allowed excessive driver or passenger movement, or poor geometry—the belt may have shifted from your shoulder and pelvis to vulnerable areas. You can possibly determine the seat belt defect based on the injuries you sustained, so it is important that you obtain a copy of your medical record. You medical record will assist in determining which party is liable.

If you believe that you are a victim of a defective seat belt, contact an experienced Stockton personal injury lawyer and have your case evaluated. The initial consultation is usually free. Also, do so before negotiated your case with any of the parties involved including your insurance company and the manufactures. Your attorney will help protect your legal right to all forms of compensation, ensure that you are not taken advantage of, and that you are fairly treated during this process. Contact our law firm today for the best legal representation in Northern California.

If you have been hurt, call (209) 464-8000 to speak with a Stockton personal injury lawyer today.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US

TELL US ABOUT YOUR CASE

REQUEST YOUR FREE, NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION WITH AN ATTORNEY

YOUR PRIVACY IS
IMPORTANT US