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Top Causes of Deadly Car Accidents in California

While many car accidents are little more than a fender bender, some accidents are devastating and downright deadly. When a car accident kills, the victim’s family is often left with medical expenses, funeral bills, and the lost future wages of their loved one — in addition to the emotional trauma that they’re facing. Learn more about the top causes of fatal California car accidents and what you can do if you’ve lost a loved one in a crash.

Drunk Driving

It’s no real surprise that drunk driving is a primary cause of fatal car crashes in California. Although Business Insider reported in 2015 that drunk driving fatalities were lower than many other states at 1.19 deaths per 100,000 people, this is still a shocking number considering that 39,144,818 people are living in the state. That means in 2015, nearly 466 people died as a result of a car accident caused by a drunk driver.

Improper Turns

Although it’s predictable that drunk driving would cause numerous fatal car accidents, what many people don’t know is that improper turns are actually one of the top causes of car crashes that result in the death of one or more people inside the vehicle. Business Insider reported that in 2015, California had more deaths caused by improper turns than any other state in the United States. The majority of other states reported that failure to stay in the proper lane was the top cause of fatal car accidents that year.

What to Do If Your Loved One Was Killed in a Car Accident

Although the examples above are the primary causes of deadly car accidents, almost any type of car accident can turn deadly when certain factors are present. Speeding makes it more likely that an accident will result in a fatality, and even simple rear end collisions can cause a death if the circumstances are right. If your loved one has been killed in a car crash, you need someone on your side who can provide you with compassionate and aggressive legal representation against the party who is responsible for the collision.

At Matson Injury Law, we understand how difficult it can be to lose a loved one suddenly after a car crash. Contact us today for a consultation to learn more about your rights as the family of a deceased loved one and how you may be able to seek justice for your loved one’s untimely death. Call now at (626) 792-1900.

What to Do At the Scene of a Car Accident

What you do at the scene of a car accident in California can significantly impact your ability to successfully submit a claim for compensation. Here are the steps you should take at the scene of a car crash, and who can help you after you or a loved one have been injured in an accident.

1. Contact the Authorities

The first thing you must do, if you are able, is contact the authorities. If you suspect or know that people have been injured, call 911 as soon as possible. If the accident was minor and everyone appears to be fine, you can simply call your local police. Either way, it’s critical that you make the authorities in your area aware of the accident.

2. Take Photographs

Photographs are arguably the most important piece of evidence you can have after an accident. Take as many photographs of the scene of the accident, the damage to your vehicle, and the injuries to you and/or your passengers as you can.

3. Get the Information of Everyone on the Scene

While most people already know to get the contact and insurance information of the other driver after an accident, many people don’t think about getting the information of witnesses who may have seen what happened. If you notice anyone standing around, or if you see someone who may have witnessed the accident, get their contact information as well. The police may be able to reach out to them and take a formal witness statement, which may greatly help your case.

4. Go to the Hospital

Like photographs, medical records are a crucial piece of evidence in any car accident claim. It is important that you go to the hospital as soon as possible after the accident, even if you don’t feel like you have been hurt. You’ll need testing to determine if there are any underlying injuries that you may not be feeling due to shock, and you’ll need to show that you sought medical advice immediately in the event that you discover later on that you were, in fact, injured.

Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson Today

Collecting evidence after a car crash is one thing, but only an experienced car accident attorney will know what to do with it. At the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we’ll help you file a claim that seeks the maximum amount of compensation available in your case. Call now at (626) 792-1900 or (626) 773-6965.

What You Need to Know About Defective Tires

The tires on your car are one of its most important features — it’s what is between you and the road. However, tire defects are common and can cause serious car accidents and critical injuries. Here’s what you need to know about defective tires.

Tire Defects Defined

Simply put, a tire defect is an imperfection in the design or manufacture of the tire that causes it to malfunction during its performance on the road.

Types of Tire Defects

Tire defects can generally be sorted into the following categories:

  • Design defects. When a new tire is designed by a tire company, a defect can occur if the design does not take into account what the tire will do during its lifetime. Failure to design a tire properly can lead to blowouts, tread separation, and other problems.
  • Manufacturing defects. If the design of a tire is acceptable, but the assembly of the tire does not occur properly, this is what is known as a manufacturing defect. If a mistake is made during the manufacture of a tire, the same type of problems can occur.
  • Failure to warn. Tires must come with proper warnings. If a consumer is not adequately informed about safety information and an accident occurs, the tire may be treated as a defective product.

Tire Defect Liability

When a crash occurs, it must be determined that the tire defect caused the crash in order for the tire company to be held legally liable for the accident. This is not an easy task, especially if there were other factors at play, such as another driver who was acting negligently at the time of the accident. However, if it can be determined that a design flaw or manufacturing defect caused the driver to lose control of the vehicle, the driver may have the right to bring a case forward against the tire company.

Contact an Attorney as Soon as Possible

If you’ve been in a car accident that you suspect may have been caused by a defective tire, it’s important to contact an attorney. There are several avenues to recover damages including but not limited to a liability suit, and an experienced car accident lawyer can help you determine the best way to obtain maximum compensation for your case. Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson today for more information by calling (626) 792-1900 or (626) 773-6965.

5 Key Factors in a Successful Car Accident Claim

While every car accident case involves different circumstances, there are some common factors between scenarios that make for a strong case. Here are 5 key factors that may make a car accident claim successful.

1. A Police Report

A police report is a critical piece of evidence in a car accident claim. Even if the damage was minor, contacting law enforcement to draw up a police report can help strengthen your case. If, for example, the other party’s insurance company claims they did not cause the accident, a police report written by an officer on the scene that says otherwise has more weight in court.

2. Witness Statements

Before you leave the scene of the accident, attempt to get the contact information of as many witnesses as possible so you can get their statements. Witnesses that can attest to what actually happened at the scene of the accident are crucial to proving your case.

3. A Medical Report That Was Conducted Immediately

One of the most important things you can do after a car crash is go to the hospital or your doctor and get a medical report. This must happen immediately after the accident in order for it to become a strong piece of evidence in your case.

4. Photographs

Photographs of the damage to your vehicle and your injuries immediately after the accident and during the healing process are important pieces of evidence. Being able to illustrate the actual damages in your case goes a long way to getting the full and fair compensation you deserve.

5. Medical & Vehicle Repair Bills

Keep a file with all of your medical and vehicle repair bills. When calculating the total sum of the compensation you are requesting, these bills will make it far easier for your attorney and the court.

Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, P.C. Today

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident in California, don’t wait to take action. At the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson, we have the skills and resources to help you put together a strong case for compensation after you are injured.

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss the specifics of your case and what you can be doing to make your case for restitution as strong as possible. Call now at (626) 792-1900 or (626) 773-6965.

 

 

Teen Car Accidents & How to Prevent Them

Some of the most devastating car accidents in California have occurred with teens behind the wheel. In fact, the CDC reports that car crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths in the United States. In 2013 alone, 2,163 teens were killed in a car accident and a staggering 243,243 required emergency medical treatment. What can you do to help keep your teen safe in the car, and what actions should you take if your teen is hurt or killed in a car accident?

Keep Your Teen Off the Phone

Distracted driving plays a significant role in teen auto accidents, especially now with smartphones with the ability to make calls, get on social media and play music in the car. Talk to your teen about distracted driving and when to put the phone away. Talk about how texting can always wait, and if they must use the phone, to pull over to a safe place and stop the car.

This also means that you should avoid calling them while they’re out. Set up designated check-in times and let your teen know that it’s okay not to answer the phone when you call if they’re driving.

Talk About Drinking and Driving

Many teens choose to experiment with alcohol. However, when combined with driving, drinking becomes much more dangerous than breaking a few house rules and underage drinking laws. Drinking and driving kills, and it’s critical that your teen understands that it is never acceptable to drive after drinking, even if they only had “one or two” drinks.

Talk to your teen about calling you for a ride home if they’ve been drinking. Let your teen know that you’ll always be available to give them a ride if needed, so they aren’t tempted to drive home themselves or ride home with someone else who has been drinking.

What to Do If Your Teen Was in a Car Accident

Many car accidents that involve teens are the result of the negligence or carelessness of someone else on the road. If your teen has been injured or killed in a car accident, it’s important to find out the cause of the accident and determine what options you have for justice. You may be able to hold the person who caused the accident legally responsible for their actions. Contact the Law Offices of Donald J. Matson today to speak with a car accident lawyer at (626) 792-1900 or (626) 773-6965.

Statute of Limitations on California Car Accidents

Being involved in a car accident is a frightening experience, especially if the accident was very serious. Assessing the full amount of damage that was done takes time, and not all injuries are apparent right away. However, you only have so long in which to file a personal injury claim for damages. If you exceed this time limit, known as the statute of limitations, you waive your right to file a lawsuit. Here’s what you need to know about the statute of limitations on California car accidents.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitations

Under Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. § 335.1, the statute of limitations for filing a car accident claim (or any other personal injury claim) is two years. While filing a claim before the full extent of your injuries are known might not be a good idea, it’s critical that you file before the two year time limit is up.

Property Damage Statute of Limitations

Under Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. § 338, the statute of limitations for filing a property damage claim, such as damage to a vehicle that occurred during a car accident, is three years. This means that even if the statute of limitations is up for filing a personal injury claim, you may still be able to file a claim for property damage for the same accident.

Insurance Claims

These statutes do not apply to insurance claims. However, it is in your best interest to file the insurance claim as soon as possible. If the settlement negotiations fall through and you are unable to secure a settlement that is enough to cover the damages you’ve incurred, you’ll want to have plenty of time left to file a personal injury and/or property damage lawsuit. If you wait to file the insurance, you may get a paltry settlement offer and be outside the statute of limitations to file an injury or property damage claim.

When to Contact an Attorney

One of the most important things to do after getting into a car accident is to contact an experienced auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you get the ball rolling when communicating with your insurance company and can help you file a personal injury or property damage claim before the statute of limitations has expired.

Contact Matson Injury Law today for more information about how to file a claim by calling (626) 792-1900 or (626) 773-6965.

Are All Truck Accidents Caused by Driver Error?

Truck accidents are often devastating, and in some cases they can be fatal. The causes of these collisions can be attributed to driver error, inclement weather or faulty manufacturing. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of truck accidents and what steps to take if you or a loved one have been hurt in a collision with a large truck.

Truck Accidents Caused by Manufacturing Defects

Faulty truck components can easily cause an accident, even if the driver is abiding by all laws and regulations. For example, the tread on the truck’s tires could separate, cause a blowout, and collide with another vehicle on the road. In this instance, the manufacturer of the tires may be held legally liable for the accident.

Truck Accidents Caused by Poor Truck Maintenance

In cases where the trucking company’s maintenance team has failed to maintain the truck according to regulations, accidents can occur. For example, the trucking company may be responsible for the crash if the maintenance team did not replace the brakes when they were worn down and the driver is unable to make an emergency stop and causes an accident.

Truck Accidents Caused by Bad Weather

Large commercial trucks are very difficult to maneuver in poor weather conditions. If an accident is caused by rain, snow, ice, or poor visibility, it can be difficult to know where to go in order to obtain compensation for the victim of the crash. However, by working with a seasoned accident lawyer who understands how to investigate the case and ask pertinent questions, you can increase the chances that you will be able to receive the financial restitution you need after an accident.

When to Call a California Truck Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one have been hurt in a truck accident, whether your injuries are minor or severe, it is in your best interest to work with an experienced truck accident lawyer in California as soon as possible. Donald J. Matson can help you and your family recover the financial compensation you deserve from a truck accident, even in cases where the collision was not caused by driver error. Call today for a consultation at (626) 792-1900 or (626) 773-6965.

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