Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
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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.

Vacaville Motorcycle Accident Ends Tragically

According to the Contra Costa Times, a Vacaville man has died as the result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident over the weekend.

The specific reasons that caused the man to lose control of the motorcycle and leave the roadway are unknown. He suffered serious injuries as the result of the crash and died shortly thereafter.

Too often, motorcycle crashes end in serious injuries and death. Little protection separates the driver from the road. Whether the man in this tragic accident was wearing a helmet in this instance has not been reported. However, helmets remain one of the top safety precautions a motorcyclist can take to prevent serious head and brain trauma and other life threatening injuries.

Other motorcycle safety tips include:

• Avoid distracted driving

• Be aware of changing road conditions

• Pay attention to your body position on the motorcycle

• Maintain your motorcycle's condition

For more information, or if you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle accident, please contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, a personal injury attorney dedicated to keeping California motorcyclists safe.

California Medical Malpractice On The Rise

According to the SanFrancisco Chronicle, avoidable medical mistakes are on the rise in the Bay Area and throughout California.

A recent report entitled "Events that a never supposed to happen in state hospitals," spells out in frightening detail the frequency of "never" events - i.e. things that are never supposed to happen in California hospitals.

For example, just last year California hospitals reported close to 200 cases of foreign objects left in patents after surgery. At San Francisco General, a 4-by-8-inch piece of surgical sponge was left inside a patient after an eight-hour surgery. The patient had to undergo additional surgeries just to correct the physician's error.

Other alarming statistics include a 100% increase in surgeries performed on the wrong patient, a 78% increase in bedsores acquired after admission, a 36% increase in deaths associated with a fall and a whopping 131% increase in sexual assaults on patients.

Recent studies have shown safety measures are the key to reducing California medical malpractice.

As a California personal injury attorney concerned about medical malpractice, I am hopeful that these studies exposing the problems throughout many California hospitals will finally bring needed changes to the care provided.

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.

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.