As the result of numerous fatal and serious California car accidents, Corte Madera has started the Start Smart safe driving program designed to teach teen drivers about road safety and the dangers of drunk driving. One person attending was from Novato High School where a drunk driving accident recently claimed the life of a classmate.
One method the Smart Start program uses to teach about the effects of drinking on your driving skills is to provide goggles that simulate the effects of being intoxicated. Wearing the goggles, students are instructed to try to complete common field sobriety tests. They also shown instructional - and frightening - films such as "Red Asphalt" designed to warn teens about the dangers of drink and driving, as well as distracted driving.
According to the Novato Patch, teens account for 14% of traffic deaths in California, with the most common reasons being drunk driving and distracted driving. Statistically distracted driving has been shown to be more dangerous than drunk driving due in large part to the frequency teens text and drive and the misguided belief that you can send "a quick text" without losing focus on the road.
As a California personal injury attorney I support classes such as these that educate teens about the real dangers associated with driving and try to prevent future serious accidents and deaths.
For more information, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.
A 23-year-old California woman now faces a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of a car crash that killed CHP Officer Brett Oswald. Kaylee Ann Weisenberg was speeding and high on methamphetamine when the crash occurred. She was driving too fast when she turned a corner and lost control of her car. Oswald was out of his vehicle at the time, and was struck by his own patrol car after Weisenberg crashed into it. Oswald was a 21-year veteran of the CHP.
As a result of the fatal car accident, Weisenberg faces four criminal charges, including murder. Oswald's family has now filed a civil suit for personal injury, wrongful death and property damage. A wrongful death lawsuit can be brought by the family of a victim killed by the negligent, careless, intentional or reckless acts of another.
Under California law, the families of those killed in a wrongful death lawsuit are entitled to compensation including medical costs, funeral expenses, loss of love and companionship, lost financial support and in some cases, punitive damages. An experienced California personal injury attorney can advise you concerning your options.
A representative for the family states that any compensation they receive as the result of a lawsuit will go to a memorial fund to help other young people become members of law enforcement.
For more information, or if your family has experienced the wrongful death of a loved one, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, helping victims of negligence and their families for more than 15 years.
The Santa Cruz Patch reports that this past week the California Highway Patrol (CHP) began cracking down on distracted drivers. As part of a zero-tolerance enforcement campaign, the CHP will seek out and ticket those drivers who violate the state's hands-free cell-phone law. Reports indicate that in 2008, more than 30,000 California drivers had car accidents due to distraction. The leading cause of distraction - cell phone usage.
Other forms of distraction include eating, drinking, applying make-up, using a GPS, and adjusting the radio. As stated by a CHP officer, when California drivers are multi-tasking, they put both themselves at risk as well as increasing the risk of "injuring or killing their passengers, bicyclists, pedestrians or innocent victims traveling in another vehicle."
Put bluntly - no phone call or text message is worth a human life.
As a Sacramento car accident attorney, I agree. Whenever drivers takes their eyes off the road for just a moment, serious accidents and injuries can occur. Rather than take a chance, its always best to pull over or wait if you need to make a call or text. The risk of injury is far too great.
For more information, or if you have been in accident as the result of a distracted or otherwise careless, reckless or negligent driver, contact Attorney Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.
According to the Silicon Valley Mercury News, a military veteran has resolved his medical negligence claim against a Northern California Veterans Administration hospital for $250,000. David W. Woodward Sr. alleged that he became legally blind as the result of negligent care he received at the hospital.
Woodward is one of eight patients who were treated for eye problems at the Palo Alto hospital, only to be informed later that improper care may have caused their loss of vision.
Medical malpractice occurs where a medical professional's inadequate, negligent or reckless conduct causes harm. When doctors, nurses or other hospital staff fail to provide the standard of care required, they may be found negligent and required to compensate patients for their injuries. Here, Woodward was informed by the hospital's chief of staff that his glaucoma may have been prevented if his eye treatment had been overseen and reviewed by an eye care specialist.
Although physicians and other health care professionals cannot guarantee results, when we go to the doctor we expect to be treated adequate care and skill. Here, although the government did not admit responsibility the chief of staff revealed there may have been "improper care."
If you have believe you have been harmed by the wrongful or negligent conduct of a health care professional, contact The Law Offices of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping victims of negligence for more than 15 years.
Last week's stand-off at the Roseville Galleria luckily ended with no injuries. According to the Sacramento Bee, a man walked into the mall's Gamestop, began talking incoherently, then ordered the employees out. The man subsequently set fire to the mall.
The fire garnered national attention as police and fire fighters mounted a massive response, surrounding the building and assisting shoppers out of the mall. The mall sustained significant water damage and the roof collapsed over two shops. Fortunately no one was harmed in the incident.
When large-scale accidents causing significant damage occur - several issues are raised. First, what is the primary cause of the accident? Here, a man suspected of arson has been arrested for the crime. Next, did those charged with responding to the accident and putting out the fire act with reasonable care? Police and employees are paid to perform their duties to an established standard of care - if their conduct falls below this threshold, liability may exist. In such instances, individuals, their employers and even local governments may be held responsible.
Finally, did the owner of the building in some way contribute to the damage by failing to protect themselves from fires? Reports have surfaced indicating that the sprinkler system failed to work properly, either as the result of a police officer or firefighter turning off the system or due to a failure of the system itself.
As the investigation into the fire continues, questions of liability will undoubtedly surface. When injuries occur, a victims' compensation depends on the answers to these questions.
For more information, or if you have been harmed in a California accident, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, helping the injured for more than 15 years.
Governor Schwarzenegger has signed a new law - AB 1942 - into effect that will allow carmakers and owners to install video recording devices on their windshields. The monitors will save video and audio information if there is unusual movement or a crash. It also will record how fast, the direction of travel, a history of where your car has been, steering and brake performance and seat belt usage.
The purpose of the law is to promote safe driving habits and reduce car accidents. Although the bill received much support from companies who hire drivers and want to ensure they are driving safely, critics fear the devices could be used to secretly record conversations. Other concerns include who will control the device and whether it can be remotely activated by third parties such as the note holder, the DMV, or insurance company.
Click here for the entire text of the bill.
As a California personal injury attorney, I am hopeful that this law will have its intended purpose - ensuring and improving California roadway safety.
For more information, or if you have been injured in a car accident, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, dedicated to helping the injured for more than 15 years.
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.
A Ridgecrest, California woman was sentenced to two years and $2000 for a DUI accident in Nevada causing substantial physical injury to a woman from Rocklin. Constance Marie Forrest was nearly three times the legal limit when she ran into Sandra LeCompte and her husband.
Forrest was arrested after the Nevada Highway Patrol saw her vehicle going the wrong-way on I-80. By the time the NHP caught up to her, she had already collided with LeCompte's vehicle and caused the vehicle to rollover. Sandra LeCompte suffered a fractured wrist and wore a cast for weeks.
Although recent statistics point to the incidence of DUIs decreasing, driver intoxication is the lead cause of car accidents in the United States. Further, nearly 40% of traffic fatalities can be attributed to drunk driving.
Often victims injured by negligent drunk drivers face medical bills, lost wages, physical pain and emotional distress. Although the injuries in this accident were not life threatening, both physical and emotional injuries from any accident may linger, creating future damages and costs.
For more information, or if you or a loved one has bee injured by a drunk driver, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette. For more than 15 years we've been helping those injured by the wrongful conduct of others.
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.
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.