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Los Angeles Intersection Accident Attorney

Any number of situations can lead to an auto accident. Distracted driving, speeding, and equipment failure are just a few of the reasons car crashes occur. Sometimes, the design of an intersection also plays a part in auto accidents.

Using 2017 statistics gathered from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 854 of the crashes in that state occurred in intersections. Left turns in an intersection are the most common crash. Incorrectly judging another driver’s plans, misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic, and turning with an obstructed view are the common reasons driver’s ended up crashing.

Take a Closer Look at the Five Most Dangerous Intersections in California

The dangerous intersections in California have multiple lanes for traffic going straight, some have right turn lanes, and there are also left turn lanes. Add crosswalks and sometimes parallel parking spaces to the mix, and it’s not hard to see why the intersections are filled with hazards. The five intersections on the list have seen dozens of crashes per year and some of them have been fatal.

#5 – Los Angeles: Lindley Avenue and Roscoe Boulevard

Situated on main roads between Northridge Middle School and Cantara Street Elementary School, this dangerous intersection in California sees a lot of traffic. Van Nuys Airport and a hospital are just a few blocks away, too.

In 2015, two fatalities occurred at this intersection. In one of them, a 19-year-old college student was driving her Ford Mustang when a Honda Civic crashed into her vehicle. The driver of the Civic was arrested for DUI. She didn’t survive her injuries.

#4 – Downey: Firestone Boulevard and Lakewood Boulevard

All around this dangerous Downey intersection are stores, banks, restaurants, and hotels. Stonewood center is on one corner, a hospital is nearby, and lots of residences are within a block or two, which increases the number of cars going through the multi-lane intersection.

This intersection made it to fourth place due to NHTSA records showing there were 36 crashes. Of those crashes, there were 32 injuries received at that intersection during 2015.

#3 – Northridge: Balboa Boulevard and Nordhoff Street

Northridge has several dangerous intersections. Balboa and Nordhoff are surrounded by fast food establishments, entertainment venues, banks, gas stations, and the Balboa Nordhoff Shopping Center. In 2017, the intersection was the site of a fatal crash. Also, additional fatalities happened near the intersection in 2015 and 2017.

The 2017 fatal crash occurred when the driver of a vehicle crashed into an 18-wheeler. The passenger in the car was taken to the hospital in critical condition but survived. Tera Wilson died at the scene.

#2 – Playa Del Rey: Imperial Highway and Vista Del Mar

This end of the Imperial Highway meets Vista Del Mar, a highway that hugs the Californian coastline. With Los Angeles International Airport, Hyperion Treatment Plant, and Dockweiler Beach right there, the amount of traffic that intersection sees is tremendous. Between 2015 and 2017, three fatal crashes have taken place near this intersection.

To try to prevent some of these accidents, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation added another travel lane in areas and put in angled parking areas to help people parking to go to the beach avoid opening car doors into traffic.

#1 – Northridge: Devonshire Street and Reseda Boulevard

The most dangerous intersection in all of California is in Northridge. Devonshire Street and Reseda Boulevard meet at an intersection surrounded by the Devonshire-Reseda Shopping Center, Northridge Shopping Center, fast food establishments, and gas/service stations. With a load of traffic passing through, the posted speed limit of 40 doesn’t help prevent accidents. In a 10-year span, researchers found records of 108 crashes.

What Do You Do If You’re in a Crash?

When you’re in a crash, try to stay calm. Fear and panic can make it hard to think clearly. It’s important that you do three things: File a police report, seek medical care and call an attorney who specializes in auto accidents. If you can, get photos of the scene, damage to your car, and record or jot down notes regarding what happened.

Insurance companies are going to offer a settlement that’s in their best interests. KJT Law Group protects your interests. You don’t have to negotiate a settlement on your own. Get a free case evaluation from an experienced attorney.

Sources:

https://cdan.nhtsa.gov/STSI.htm

https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/811366

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2018/01/31/northridge-calif-most-dangerous-intersection/

https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/california/most-dangerous-intersections-in-california/351775385

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/06/21/police-investigating-fatal-northridge-crash/

https://www.safestreetspdr.org/vdm/

https://abc7.com/1-killed-1-critically-hurt-in-northridge-crash/2439124/

https://mynewsla.com/crime/2017/06/12/driver-killed-after-rear-ending-big-rig-on-nordhoff-in-northridge-a-van-nuys-woman/

http://www.thedowneypatriot.com/articles/firestone-and-lakewood-fourth-most-dangerous-intersection-study-says

Statute of Limitations in California

Between 2015 and 2016, many statistics for car accidents in California saw increases. The number of fatalities related to accidents went up by 7 percent. Fatalities involving impaired drivers, motorcyclists, and passengers not using seat belts all increased. Even fatalities involving cars vs. bicycles, cars vs. pedestrians, and teen drivers increased.

That’s just fatal accidents. The number of injuries also saw increases. In just Los Angeles County, the total number of injuries, including fatal injuries, increased by more than 9,000 people between those years.

When you’re in a car accident, you have certain responsibilities. You need to stay at the scene. You should call police if there is significant damage. Even an accident that seems minor can be costly, so it’s often best to get an accident report filed. You should see a doctor to make sure you don’t have bone fractures, muscle injuries, head injuries, or internal injuries.

It’s also important to know what your legal requirements are. These are the deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. In California, there are statutes of limitations you need to know and adhere to.

What Are the Statutes of Limitations Regarding Car Accidents?

Continue reading “What is the Statute of Limitations for Car Accidents in California?”

Drunk Driver Accident

Drunk driving is still a leading cause of death in vehicle crashes. Per National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, every 48 minutes a person dies as a result of a crash involving a drunk driver. If you’re involved in a crash with a drunk driver, call the police and seek medical care. You might feel fine, but adrenaline can mask the pain and discomfort for a few hours.

In California, a DUI is charged if a urine, blood, or breathalyzer test finds a BAC of 0.08% or higher and a person is 21 or older. For underage drivers, the BAC needs to be 0.01% or higher. Urine tests are typically only used if drugs are suspected.

Calling police is your first goal. Getting checked out at the hospital is second. What do you do after that? Don’t take the amount of damages the other driver’s insurance offers. They will offer the lowest amount they feel is acceptable. You are not obligated to agree. You have every right to fight for more. Here’s a quick guide into the steps you need to take after a crash with a drunk driver.

Continue reading “I Was Injured by a Drunk Driver. What Should I Do?”

Trial

Black’s Law Dictionary estimates that only four to five percent of personal injury cases ever make it to trial. Very few cases ever do make it into a courtroom. Most reach an out-of-court settlement. This is due to two things. First, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), about half of all civil cases lead to a positive outcome for the plaintiff. Second, it’s time-consuming. It can take months or even years to battle a personal injury case in the courts.

Even if you do go to court, it’s uncommon to win a large amount of money. The BJS estimates that about 4 out of 100 trials actually result in compensation of more than $1 million. The median award is around $28,000. Personal injury cases involving products tend to have better outcomes.

Does this mean you shouldn’t bother filing a personal injury lawsuit? Not at all. If you’ve been injured or harmed and it’s clearly someone else’s fault, you should never have to suffer financially. It’s important to talk to an experienced attorney about your situation and see what the attorney has to say.

Continue reading “Will My Personal Injury Case Go to Trial?”

Bike Accident

When you’re in an accident on your bicycle, call the police. Of course, if you’re badly injured, you’ll have to rely on a witness to do this for you. If you feel fine, you still must call the police. You might find more damage to your bicycle than you first thought. You don’t want the driver to leave without having a way to get hold of that driver down the road.

That said, the very second thing that should be done is to be checked by paramedics. Remember that you’re going to be filled with adrenaline following an accident. You could have serious injuries and not realize it because the adrenaline is masking the pain.

Bicycle and vehicle collisions are not uncommon. In just Los Angeles County, 4,139 bicyclists were injured or killed in traffic collisions in 2016. That’s just one county. If you look at a few other counties and cities, Orange County had 1,156 injuries and deaths, Sacramento County had 665, and San Francisco had 597. If it happens to you, there are steps you should follow immediately after the accident.

Continue reading “What Should I Do After a Bicycle Accident?”

Motorcycle Accident

In 2015, approximately 8.6 million motorcycles were registered in the U.S. That same year, motorcycle riders suffered 88,000 reported injuries, and 5,029 fatalities were reported. When you’re on a motorcycle, there is very little protecting you from serious injury during a crash. Cars have a harder time seeing you. If there’s a crash, the clothing and helmet you wear are the only protection you have between the ground and other solid surfaces. Here are five shocking statistics about motorcycles and motorcycle accidents.

#5 – 35% of Riders Don’t Use a Helmet

Since 2000, protective helmet use has declined. In that year 7 out of 10 riders wore a motorcycle helmet. In 2016 and 2017, 65% of motorcycle drivers have worn a helmet. The year with the lowest usage was 2005 when only 48% wore one. This is shocking as the NHTSA and General Accounting Office report that riders wearing a helmet decrease the chances of dying in a crash by more than 70 percent.

Helmet usage is essential to your safety when riding a motorcycle. That helmet has to meet safety criteria and needs to be certified for safety. Many riders purchase novelty helmets thinking it will protect them from traumatic brain injury in a crash. That’s not the case.

If possible, look for helmets that have been certified by the Snell Memorial Foundation. While it’s not required of a helmet company, Snell Memorial Foundation tests look at:

  • How well a helmet performs when it hits different types of surfaces at varying speeds.
  • How much force is needed to damage the helmet’s outer shell?
  • If the helmet stays in place when it hits the ground or another surface.
  • If the helmet’s jaw piece stays in place when it’s impacted.
  • If the visor/face shield remains intact when an air pellet is fired at the visor from different distances.

Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) helmets must pass similar tests in order to gain the FMVSS218 certification. The difference is the levels at which pass/fail criteria are met. Snell requires helmets to withstand more force than the D.O.T. does. If your helmet doesn’t have certification from either of these agencies, your helmet is not safe enough.

After dropping your helmet or being in a crash, you need a new helmet. It’s recommended that you replace your motorcycle helmet at least every five years. This is to avoid normal wear and tear that can reduce a helmet’s ability to protect you. It’s also ideal as helmets continue to improve thanks to new safety features and technological advancements.

#4 – The Majority of Accidents Happen Between 3 and 9 p.m.

Just under 22% of fatal motorcycle accidents take place between 6 and 9 p.m. It’s dusk or dark at those hours, which can make motorcycles harder to see. Alcohol usage is also a reason for more crashes and fatalities at night.

For non-fatal motorcycle accidents, the hours of 3 to 6 p.m. are the riskiest with 23.1% of all accidents taking place. Busier roadways during rush hour and glare from the setting sun can impact driving in the late afternoon.

#3 – Most Crashes Occur in Intersections or on Curves

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation asked 100 motorcycle riders to record their mileage driven and accidents that occurred over a period of 2 months to 2 years. Of those 100 riders, 30 of the motorcycle accidents occurred on a curve. In multi-vehicle crashes, 37 of them involved being rear-ended.

Intersections and curves are the most common site for a motorcycle accident. A car coming around a curve that’s over the line is one issue. Motorcycles are better off avoiding being near the center of the lane when approaching and going around a curve.

Intersections are also problematic. Drivers may not notice you and start to make a turn in front of you. Make sure you’re visible to the car ahead of you by being in a visible location and not in a blind spot. Bright colors and reflective clothing will improve your visibility.

#2 – Older Riders Are More Likely to Be in a Fatal Motorcycle Accident

You might think of motorcycle accidents as being most common in younger riders. That’s not the case. Of the 4,976 fatalities in 2016, 36% of them were 50 or older. Riders 29 or younger were the second highest group and accounted for 29% of fatal accidents.

One belief is that older riders are more likely to have other health issues that increase the risk of complications following a motorcycle crash. Older riders are more likely to have high blood pressure, thinner bones related to aging, and less muscle mass.

#1 – Lower Extremities Are the Most Common Body Injury After a Motorcycle Crash

Whether a crash involving a motorcycle involves another vehicle or not, injuries to the lower extremities (legs, knees, feet, and ankles) are the most common area of injury. The upper extremities and neck take second and third place.

We hope you’re never in a motorcycle crash, but if you are, hire an experienced personal injury attorney. If the accident was the result of another driver’s error or poor road conditions that should have been repaired, KJT Law Group can help you get compensation for your motorcycle repairs or replacement and medical bills. Contact us for a free case evaluation today!

Pedestrian Accident

Did you know that most pedestrian accidents occur between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m.? About 3 out of 4 accidents where a car hits a pedestrian take place in the dark. This is why it’s so important to wear bright, reflective clothing. If possible, wear flashing lights that can be seen from different angles.

Children only account for 21 percent of fatalities and 9 percent of pedestrian injuries. People in the age range of 20 to 24 have the highest rate of pedestrian injuries. Fatalities happen the most in pedestrians between the ages of 50 to 54.

These are all statistics, but it’s become personal. You or someone you care about has been hit by a car while crossing the street. You need advice on what to do next.

Continue reading “Hit By A Car Crossing The Street? Here’s What To Do Next”

Personal Injury California

If you’ve been injured in an accident, or on someone else’s property, you may be entitled to compensation. But US personal injury law is not consistent across all states. In fact, there’s nothing whatsoever in federal law about personal injury. Personal injury cases are decided on the basis of tort law, which varies by state.

So, what if you’ve been injured in the state of California? Or what if you’re being sued for personal injury? Here’s a quick guide to what you should expect.

California Tort Law is Based on Comparative Fault

In most states, tort law falls into two different categories: fault, and no fault. In a fault state, the person who is directly responsible for the accident is responsible for paying all related bills. For example, if someone is injured on your property in a fault state, you have to pay all their medical bills. Conversely, in a no-fault estate, a person’s insurance company is responsible for paying the bills.

California is a bit of an oddball. It’s a comparative fault state, which means that a judge or jury must decide what percentage of fault each person is responsible for. So, for example, if you’re in an accident, and the judge finds you 25 percent at fault, you will pay 25 percent of your medical bills, and the balance will be paid by the other driver’s insurance company.

California Insurance Companies Have Generous Deadlines

When you’re injured in an accident, you need to notify the other person’s insurance company. In the most common case, an auto accident, this would be an auto insurance company. The company will then have 15 days to acknowledge your claim. Within this period, expect to get a call from an actuary who will ask you questions about your claim. They will ask to record your answers, but California is a two-party consent state. You don’t have to let them record if you don’t want to.

The company will then have 40 days to either accept your claim or deny it. Most likely, they will offer you a settlement for less than your actual damages. To get a more fair payment, you should contact an attorney. The attorney can negotiate on your half to get a better deal. Either way, once a settlement has been reached, the company will have 30 days to pay you. In the event that you can’t reach an acceptable settlement, you’ll need to proceed with a lawsuit.

The California Statute of Limitations is Three Years

Not all injuries are immediately apparent. For example, a back injury such as a slipped disk can take months or even years to fully manifest. In California, you have up to three years to file a personal injury claim. A court can waive this requirement under certain circumstances, but you’ll need a qualified attorney to get that done.

Your Odds are Better With an Attorney

Regardless of whether you’re filing a claim or being sued, it’s a good idea to hire an attorney. The fact is that insurance companies have staffs of high-powered corporate lawyers who know insurance law like the back of their hands.

Odds are, you don’t have the legal expertise to take on this challenge by yourself. You need a professional attorney, someone who knows tort law just as well as the insurance company’s team. By hiring the right law firm, like the KJT Law Group, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any challenge the big corporate teams can throw at you.

If you’re in need of assistance, contact us online for a free consultation. Alternatively, you can email us at info@KJTLawGroup.com, or call us at (818)-507-8525. Our team is ready and willing to help you can get the justice you deserve.

Personal Injury in California

Being injured, even relatively mild injuries can cause serious disruption to your life and overall wellbeing. Personal injury laws exist to help people make a claim against the costs and disruption caused by an injury when that injury was caused by someone else’s carelessness, negligence, or recklessness.

In some cases, omitting critical information that causes someone to be injured, or even come kinds of intentional acts that cause someone to be injured, can both fall under personal injury law.

Personal Injury cases aren’t criminal cases in California. Instead, Personal Injury laws provide a way for victims to press civil liability to recoup financial, physical, and emotional losses.

While a personal injury suit can’t help you heal faster or undo the damage, successfully pressing a personal injury case can help you get the resources you need for medical bills, and may also cover lost income and assign a monetary compensation for pain and suffering.

What Falls Under Personal Injury Law in California?

One of the most important things you need to know about personal injury law is what kinds of situations qualify for personal injury cases. There are many situations that might justify a personal injury case, and it’s likely that many people don’t receive adequate compensation because they don’t know that they have a good case.

Of course, every case depends on the details, which can be best evaluated by a lawyer. But if you find yourself in one of these situations, or a similar situation, it’s a good idea to contact us for a consultation to see if you have a good case.

Common Personal Injury Claims:

  • Auto Accidents
  • Bike Accidents
  • Dog bite cases
  • Medical Malpractice (may also fall under other legal categories, depending on the case)
    • Medical malpractice suits also have strict reporting requirements. If you suspect you might have been a victim of medical malpractice, you must contact a lawyer as quickly as possible.
  • Manufacturing defects that caused injury to the consumer
  • Negligence directly resulting in injury
  • Slip and Fall accidents (in public and private spaces)
  • Construction accidents
  • Etc…

These kinds of claims aren’t cut and dry. While you might have a situation that looks like a personal injury case, there might be mitigating circumstances that change the situation.

For instance, dog bite cases might be harder to pursue if the victim was actively antagonizing the dog immediately before being bitten. If you’re bitten by a dog on a property with guard dog signs or other warnings of a potentially aggressive or anti-intruder trained animal, that may also affect your case.

Here’s another example. Your friend is renovating their house and knows that one area of the floor is weak and can’t be walked across yet. You come over to visit, walk across the damaged section of floor, and it gives way. You fall and are injured in the process. Your friend might be liable if they didn’t tell you the floor was weak.

But if your friend told you, and you walked across the floor anyway, they probably aren’t liable for the injury.

That’s because your friend might be considered negligent if they didn’t tell you, but if they did, it’s likely that they would be considered to have taken reasonable precautions to prevent the injury from happening.

Understanding Negligence:

California uses a pure comparative system of negligence. That’s because there are different levels of fault in different personal injury cases. Sometimes the defendant may be deemed 100% liable for the injury.

But if multiple parties were negligent, liability is spread between them according to how responsible each individual was for the injury.

The person who is injured in a personal injury suit can also be considered partially liable if they didn’t listen to warnings or posted signage or ignored obvious indicators of risk.

The Statute of Limitations:

California has a 2-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims. Some, like medical malpractice claims, have much shorter periods, and you’ll need to move faster in those cases.

Also, if the defendant is a government entity, under California state law you only have six months to file an injury claim and may have to follow additional procedures to press your claim.

California also protects you if you don’t immediately realize that you’re injured. If you discover an injury later, and that delay makes it difficult to file your injury claim within the statute of limitations, you may qualify for an extended statute of limitations. In that situation, you have up to 1 year after discovering the injury to file your claim.

Getting a Trusted Opinion:

Personal injury cases are many and varied, and if you don’t have the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer it can be almost impossible to know if you have a good claim. KTJ Law Group offers free case evaluations specifically to help you decide if you want to move forward with a case.

Having an experienced and professional team will help ensure you get the compensation you deserve and help clear the roadblocks along the way. Call us at (818) 507-8525, or email info@KJTLawGroup.com to get started with a case evaluation.

The sooner you reach out, the sooner we can help.

Wrongful Death

The wrongful death of a family member can feel debilitating, scary, and stressful. The comfort of your loved one is gone and so is their financial and emotional support.

However, in your case fits the criteria for wrongful death under California law, you may be entitled to compensation.

The California wrongful death law, (under Civil Code of Procedure 377.60,) allows particular family members of the deceased to collect damages in the case that the deceased passed due to someone else’s wrongful actions.

This law is similar to that of action taken due to “loss of consortium,” which is an action taken when a spouse or legal domestic partner is left without the intimacy, companionship, and livelihood of a partner who is still living, but unable to provide those features due to someone else’s wrongful act.

In case of a wrongful death action, the surviving family can request to have damages recovered. These damages can include funeral expenses, income the deceased would have provided the surviving, and compensation for loss of companionship to the surviving.

Who Can Sue For Wrongful Death Under California Law?

Continue reading “California Wrongful Death Law”

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