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5 Causes of Vehicle Rollover Accidents

Vehicle rollover accidents are common in California, and they are devastating. In fact, the risk of fatality is higher for vehicle rollovers than other types of car accidents, including head-on or rear-end collisions. Here are 5 causes of vehicle rollover accidents and how an attorney can help you secure compensation for your injuries if you are injured in an accident.

1. Driver Behavior

An overwhelming amount of vehicle rollover crashes involve only one vehicle — the vehicle that crashed — and drivers were engaging in normal driving, such as going around a curve or driving on a straight road. This suggests that driver behavior, particularly distracted driving, plays a significant role in vehicle rollover accidents.

2. Type of Vehicle

While all vehicles can potentially rollover, some vehicles have a higher tendency to do so in certain conditions. For example, top heavy sports utility vehicles rollover more often than any other type of vehicle.

3. Road and Weather Conditions

Road construction, poorly maintained roads, rain, ice, and snow all contribute to a vehicle rollover accident. When traction is lost, such as when hydroplaning, and a driver over-corrects, the risk of rollover is higher.

4. Alcohol

At least half, if not more, rollover crashes involve alcohol. Another driver may have been drinking, or the driver of the vehicle that rolled may have been drinking. Either way, any impairment behind the wheel increases the likelihood of a devastating rollover accident.

5. Speed

Speed is a significant factor in vehicle rollover accidents. The faster a vehicle is going at the time of a crash, the more likely it is that the vehicle will roll upon impact with another car or with a stationary object, such as a guardrail or tree.

In order to reduce the chances that your vehicle will roll if you get into an accident, pay attention to the road and your surroundings when you drive, never drink and drive, purchase and drive cars that are least likely to rollover, avoid driving in harsh weather conditions or on bad roads, and stay within the recommended speed limits.

When to Contact a Lawyer

If you or a loved one were hurt in a vehicle rollover accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact our office today for a consultation to discuss your case in depth by calling us at (626) 792-1900.

5 Symptoms of Whiplash to Never Ignore

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs frequently in car accidents, but it has a bad reputation for being “faked.” Many people — even people on juries — believe that wearing a neck brace and being treated for whiplash following an accident is a ploy to get more money in a car accident claim. The truth is, whiplash is a real, potentially debilitating injury. Here are 5 symptoms of whiplash you should never ignore.

1. Neck Stiffness/Reduced Mobility

If you were in a car accident and are experiencing stiffness in your neck or a reduced range of motion, it’s important to seek medical care as soon as possible. Stiffness and reduced range of motion are the primary symptoms of whiplash, especially early after the accident.

2. Headaches

Headaches can be present with whiplash and can range from mild to severe. Typically, headaches associated with whiplash originate at the back of the skull and can last for hours, days, and sometimes even weeks.

3. Pins and Needles Sensation

Often, people who have suffered whiplash will feel a sensation of “pins and needles” or tingling in their extremities, typically the shoulders, arms, and hands since those are closer to the area of the injury. This symptom is due to the stress on the soft tissues, nerves, and spinal cord in the neck. The stress occurs when the head is whipped back and forth quickly during an accident.

4. Dizziness

Many people experience dizziness soon after a whiplash injury. Dizziness may be persistent, or be intermittent. Rarely will dizziness last a significant length of time, but may in some cases.

5. Confusion and Lack of Concentration

It is common for people suffering from a whiplash injury to be confused and lack the ability to concentrate on tasks for any significant length of time. As the injury heals, this should dissipate.

Get Help for Whiplash Symptoms Today

Like any car accident injury, whiplash requires medical treatment. Usually this is short lived, because whiplash heals on its own and treatment is largely focused on symptom management. However, in some instances, whiplash symptoms can last for months or even years. Whiplash treatment can be costly. Car accident victims may be eligible for compensation to cover those costs if the other driver is found negligent.

Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson today for more information by calling (626) 792-1900.

What Is In a Car Accident Report?

At the scene of a car accident, law enforcement creates a formal report of the accident. This report includes specific information about the accident and can be very valuable to the victim by providing evidence to support a claim for compensation. Here are a few things included in a car accident report and how to use this document to your advantage if you pursue financial restitution from the negligent party.

Driver Information

The police officer at the scene will obtain the personal information of you, the other driver, and any witnesses who may provide a statement about what they saw before, during, and after the collision. This will include drivers’ license numbers, plate numbers, insurance information, and vehicle information.

Injures

All injuries are recorded. The report will include who was injured, how they were injured, and the severity of their injuries. A law enforcement officer may include whether or not safety devices, such as a seat belt, were used or if the air bags deployed.

Vehicle & Property Damage

The damage each vehicle sustained will be included in the report, as well any additional property damaged. For example, if a vehicle rear-ended another vehicle and propelled it into a mailbox, the damage to the mailbox is recorded.

Other Accident Specifics

The specifics of the accident, including the date and time, is recorded in the formal accident report. Also included are weather conditions, road conditions, events leading up to the collision, the presence of alcohol, and any other pertinent information.

How to Use the Accident Report to Your Advantage

When law enforcement officials finalize the report (which could take several weeks), you should be provided with a copy. Then, you can submit the copy to your accident attorney. Also, facts from the report can be used as evidence to support your claim. For example, if the accident report suggests the other driver was intoxicated, you can use this information to prove negligence.

Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson today for more information about accident reports and filing a car accident claim for compensation. We can help you get the full and fair financial restitution you deserve. Call now at (626) 792-1900.

3 Reasons to Get Help for a Dog Bite Immediately

Few things can be as frightening as when a dog attacks. Dog bites range from mild to severe, and most people with a severe bite will seek treatment immediately. However, in mild to moderate cases, a victim may feel that they’ll be fine with first aid administered at home. Here’s why that’s a misconception and why it’s important to get professional help for a dog bite quickly.

1. The Injury is Probably Worse Than It Looks

A dog’s teeth are sharp and can create deep puncture wounds that may not look bad on the surface. A puncture wound carries a higher risk for tetanus and can damage to the internal muscle and other tissues without doing much damage to the outer skin. This means that what might look like a couple of tiny holes is actually a very serious injury underneath. Depending on where the dog bit you, it may have punctured a vein or artery. This causes excessive bleeding without emergency treatment.

2. You May Need Rabies Treatment

Unless you bring the dog with you to be tested for rabies, or you can verify vaccination records, you will likely need to receive rabies treatment. This consists of a series of small injections in the stomach. It must be started as soon as possible after the potential infection. Rabies is a fatal disease if not treated, and this is one of those “rather be safe than sorry” cases. You need the injections if you aren’t 100% certain that the dog that bit you doesn’t have rabies or is up to date on vaccinations.

3. Dog Bites Can Become Infected Quickly

Even mild to moderate dog bites are at a high risk for infection. It is likely that you will receive antibiotics to keep any potential infections at bay. Any signs of infection need to be assessed immediately before the spread. Home care, such as cleaning the wound with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and dressing with antibiotic ointment, doesn’t cut it in most dog bite cases.

When to Contact an Attorney

If you or a loved one have been attacked or bitten by a dog, don’t wait to seek medical treatment. You may be able to hold the owner of the dog liable for the damages you incurred, including medical bills and lost wages while you were recovering. Contact Matson Injury Law today for more information by calling (626) 792-1900.

What Never to Say at the Scene of a Car Accident

When you’ve been involved in a car accident, human nature often takes over. However, if you’re not careful about what you say, it could come back later to haunt you. It’s important to keep a level head and approach the situation logically, even though your emotions may be running high. Here are some things you should avoid saying at the scene of an accident.

“I’m Sorry!”

It’s natural to apologize for what happened, whether you believe the collision was your fault or not. However, by saying “I’m sorry,” it could be interpreted by the other driver and your insurance company that you are admitting fault. Instead, ask, “Are you okay?” or “Can I call for help?”

“I Was Just . . . “

You never want to speculate about what might have caused the crash — that’s the job of law enforcement, accident re-constructionists, and insurance companies. You may feel compelled to offer up excuses as to what happened, such as you were “just on the phone” or “just turning down the radio” when all of a sudden, the crash occurred. However, this paints a picture of distracted driving. Your safest bet when asked or commenting on what caused the crash is to say “I don’t know,” because truly, you don’t until a full investigation has been completed.

“My Car’s X Wasn’t Working”

It’s normal for people to experience car trouble, but you don’t want to mention it at the scene of an accident. For example, you never want to say anything like “my brakes have been kind of touchy lately and it’s been difficult to stop.” Whether true or not, this suggests that you may be at fault for the accident and may have been negligent in properly maintaining your vehicle.

“I’m Fine”

Many people will ask you how you’re feeling after the accident, and the most common knee-jerk reaction is to say “I’m fine,” even if you’re a little bruised or shook up. Don’t tell paramedics, police officers, or the other driver that you’re fine. Often, the shock of a car accident can prevent people from feeling pain right away. Instead say, “I need a thorough medical examination.”

At the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we can help you navigate the difficult process of dealing with the aftermath of a car accident. Contact us today for a consultation by calling (626) 792-1900.

Top Brain Injuries Caused by Motor Vehicle Accidents

One of the most common injuries to occur in a car accident is a head injury. The head is highly vulnerable during a motor vehicle crash, and these injuries tend to be serious and/or life-changing. In fact, over half of recorded brain injuries occur due to car accidents. Here’s what you need to know about the top brain injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents.

Concussions

A concussion is a milder form of brain injury that often occurs in a crash. The head doesn’t have to hit any other object for a concussion to occur, although if it does, a concussion is more likely. This type of injury occurs when the body stops suddenly and the brain continues to move inside the head. The brain bounces against the inside of the skull, effectively bruising it and causing symptoms like headaches, fatigue, slurred speech and more. Concussions typically resolve on their own, but head injuries should always be checked out to make sure they are not more serious.

Brain Bleeds

If the brain has been severely injured, it may begin to bleed. Like concussions, brain bleeds are usually closed head injuries and may not be noticeable right away. If a brain bleed is left untreated, permanent brain damage can occur. Typically, surgery is required to stop the bleed and prevent it from doing critical damage. In some cases, even a promptly treated bleed can cause changes in behavior, speech, and the ability to complete daily tasks.

Open Head and Brain Injuries

In very severe car accidents, the head can be penetrated with an object, usually debris from the accident, which can then injure the brain. This type of injury is easily noticeable, because you can usually see the object that is penetrating the skull. While this may look alarming, most often, the object is keeping the brain from bleeding. Never remove debris that has penetrated a car accident victim’s head. Instead, get emergency help right away. The object will need to be removed by an experienced neurosurgery team.

Were You or a Loved One Injured in a Car Accident?

If you or a loved one suffered a brain injury as the result of a motor vehicle accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and disability, among other things. Contacting an attorney as soon as you can is imperative to protecting your rights to financial restitution. Call the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson today at (626) 792-1900.

What is Distracted Driving?

Most people know that it’s against the law to text and drive. When texting and driving, the driver is distracted and can easily cause a car accident. But is texting and driving the only dangerous form of distraction? Definitely not. Here are some forms of distracted driving that aren’t necessarily illegal, but can be just as hazardous.

1. Eating and Driving

Many people eat while they drive, simply because they don’t have time to stop for a meal. However, eating and driving can be particularly distracting, no matter what you’re eating. Looking down for a second to wipe up a spill can be enough to rear end someone who stopped suddenly, or to run a stop light that just turned red.

2. Putting on Makeup and Driving

Often, women running late to work or an appointment will attempt to put their makeup on in the car. This can be a definite distraction and keeps you from paying full attention to the road and your surroundings. If you’re putting on mascara and looking in the rear-view mirror, you’re certainly not aware of the traffic in front of you.

3. Adjusting the Radio or the Temperature Controls

Naturally, drivers are going to want to adjust the radio while they’re in the car, or they’ll need to adjust the temperature controls. Drivers should learn their dashboards by feel, so they don’t need to look away from the road while making adjustments to the radio or the heating and air conditioning. Cars that have radio and temperature controls in the steering wheel make this task easier and less distracting.

4. Driving Fatigued

Driving especially fatigued is not all that different from driving while intoxicated. Your reaction time is reduced, your attention span is short, and you may not be able to see the road and the cars around you clearly. Avoid driving fatigued whenever possible.

Were You Injured by a Distracted Driver? Here’s Who to Call

If you were involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, the burden of proof can be significant. You must be able to prove that the driver was doing one or more things that would be considered reasonably distracting while driving and that distraction caused the accident. Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson today to speak with a car accident lawyer to learn more about bringing forward an accident claim against a distracted driver.

What Will a Car Accident Claim Cover?

If you or someone you love were hurt in a car accident, you’re likely facing astronomical expenses ranging from medical bills and lost wages to vehicle repairs and more. If you bring a car accident claim forward, you may be able to recover some or all of those damages. Here’s what you need to know about what a car accident claim could cover.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are one of the easiest things to calculate for a car accident claim because the amount of compensation here is finite. This means the exact cost of medical care is what will be included in the total compensation award.

Vehicle Damage

Vehicle damage, like medical expenses, are also finite. You’ll obtain an estimate of what it would cost for your vehicle to be repaired (and in some cases more than one estimate), and this is the amount that will be included in the settlement.

Lost Wages

Lost wages are a little more difficult to calculate because you have to think about more than just how many hours of work the injured individual missed. For example, you’ll want to include any benefits or bonuses they may have been entitled to if they were working during that period of time and paid time off or vacation pay they would have accrued.

Wrongful Death Expenses

In the event that a loved one died in a car accident, there will be more expenses to cover, including funeral expenses, lost wages and future wages, and loss of consortium. The latter can be more difficult to calculate, since it is hard to say how much someone would have been contributing to the family in the future if they had not passed in the crash.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering can be included in a car accident claim, but is also difficult to calculate. Attorneys use certain formulas to arrive at a number, although it is generally hard to assign a dollar value to how much pain someone has suffered after an accident.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages can be awarded in cases of extreme negligence and are designed to “punish” the careless person and prevent the behavior from occurring again.

At the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we have significant experience working with families after car accidents and can help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve after being injured. Call us today for a consultation at (626) 792-1900.

Types of Head Injuries Caused by Car Accidents

One of the most frequently seen injuries resulting from a car accident is a head injury. There are different types of head injuries, ranging from mild to severe, however, all of them can have a significant impact on your life. If you or a loved one suffered a head injury due to a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation for the damages you suffered.

Open Head Injuries

Open head injuries occur when the scalp and/or skull has been visibly affected by the accident. These may be superficial wounds, or they may be deeper wounds where the skull has been penetrated. A penetrating head wound can be extremely serious and generally requires emergency medical treatment.

Closed Head Injuries

Closed head injuries occur when the brain has been injured inside the skull, but the skull and/or scalp has not been affected. The most common type of closed head injury suffered in a car accident is a concussion. More serious types of brain injuries including bleeding on the brain and severe brain damage can occur due to the force of an accident.

The primary challenge faced by individuals who have experienced a closed injury is diagnosis. Often, a closed head injury will present mild to moderate symptoms like fatigue, headaches, nausea, and other symptoms that may have alternative explanations. An individual who has experienced a head injury may not know they have been injured, and if the injury remains undiagnosed and untreated, it may continue to progress until symptoms become more severe and potentially even life threatening.

The Importance of Immediate Medical Treatment After a Car Accident

It is always recommended that an individual who has been involved in a car accident seeks medical attention as soon as possible, even if they don’t feel as though they have been severely injured. This is particularly important for car accidents versus other types of accidents because the risk of brain injury, even a simple concussion, is so high.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident and have sought medical attention, you may be eligible to receive compensation for the damages you’ve incurred. Contact Matson Injury Law today to learn more about car accidents and head injuries and how you may be able to bring a case forward against any negligent parties that may have caused the accident. Call now for a consultation at (626) 792-1900 or (626) 792-1900.

What Causes California Motorcycle Accidents?

Motorcycle accidents are a common cause of injury and death on California’s roadways. Because a motorcycle rider is completely exposed in a crash, injuries tend to be more severe than those associated with car accidents. Understanding the causes of motorcycle accidents and what to do if you’re in an accident is extremely valuable if you are or know a motorcycle rider.

Motorcycle Crash Statistics

According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report for 2014, 4,586 people died in motorcycle accidents. This number was slightly improved over the year before, by about 2.3%. With 8.4 million motorcycles on the road that year, this may seem like a small number, but related statistics are eye opening:

  • 92,000 motorcycle riders were injured in crashes that same year
  • 39% of people killed in motorcycle accidents in 2014 were not wearing helmets
  • Motorcycle riders are 26 times more likely to die in an accident than people driving cars

What Were the Primary Causes of Motorcycle Accidents?

The causes of motorcycle accidents are similar to those of car accidents; however, the results can be much more devastating:

  • 34% of deadly motorcycle accidents indicated speeding as a factor
  • 25% of deadly motorcycle accidents involved a rider who wasn’t properly licensed
  • 29% of deadly motorcycle accidents included alcohol as a factor

Other causes of motorcycle accidents include roadway defects, defects in the motorcycle, disobeying traffic laws, and negligent car drivers.

What to Do If You or a Loved One Were Hurt in a Motorcycle Accident

If you or a loved one were the victim of a motorcycle accident, or you lost a loved one to a crash, your life has been turned upside down. Having adequate legal and emotional support during this time is critical.

At Matson Injury Law, we have worked with hundreds of families who have been affected by a motorcycle accident and can help you navigate through the complicated processes of getting adequate medical care, dealing with insurance companies, and bringing forward a claim for compensation if your accident was caused by another negligent driver.

When life changes drastically after a motorcycle crash, it’s always in your best interest to get legal advice right away, regardless if you believe you played a part in causing the crash or not. Your motorcycle accident attorney can help you protect your rights and best interests during this complicated situation, and can assist you in getting the insurance coverage and compensation you need to move forward.

Call Matson Injury Law today for a consultation at (626) 792-1900 or (626) 792-1900.

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