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Alhambra CA Personal Injury Law Blog

New trucking study planned by FMCSA

Motorists in California may be interested in a new study being conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The proposed study is going to look at different distractions that could be causing trucking accidents. The study will be the first of its kind done in 15 years.

The last study of tractor-trailer accidents was done between 2001 and 2003. At the time, the study concluded that the majority of trucking accidents occurred due to driver inaction or action. The previous study was done before cell phones and other technology became prominent in vehicles.

Families file wrongful death suit over deadly diving boat fire

Attorneys representing the families of four victims who died in a dive boat fire in Southern California in September have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the boat's owners. The tragedy claimed the lives of 34 people.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in federal court, negligence on the part of the boat's owners and captain caused the deaths of the passengers and crew when the vessel began burning at approximately 3:15 a.m. on Sept. 2, 2019. All of the victims were trapped in the sleeping quarters below deck. Five crew members, including the captain, were sleeping on the top deck and survived.

Employers may be liable for car accidents

An employee running an errand for the boss can expose the employer to liability for a car crash. In addition to the driver, employers may need to pay compensation for car accident injuries even if the employees drove their own vehicles.

An employer is not liable for accidents caused by an employee commuting to and from work. Their personal insurance covers this accident. But, employers may be financially responsible if the employee made a trip in the scope and course of their employment, even if such a trip happens only occasionally. A worker is acting upon the scope and course of their job if they deviated from their normal commute at their employer's request. This includes tasks such as making deliveries for their employer, picking up and transporting clients, getting food for an office party and picking up mail from the post office, for example.

Alleged fatal frat hazing leads to wrongful death lawsuit

Fraternities are expected to provide social and charitable opportunities to college students. Unfortunately, however, hazing and physical humiliation of pledges and other students has tarnished their luster and has even led to deaths. The parents of a 20-year-old UC Riverside student, in fact, filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Alpha Phi fraternity, which it holds is responsible for his death in an alleged hazing.

The family filed the cause of action against the fraternity in December. According to the victim's parents, the student died on September 16, 2018 after a hike on Mt. Rubidoux. They charge that this was part of a death march hazing ritual.

Truck crash causes unveiled

Trucks are considered masters of the highway, but crashes involving these vehicles may be catastrophic and involve serious injuries or death. This risk multiplies with California's extensive highway network. After studying truck accidents, government researchers have disclosed the three major causes of these accidents.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration studied a sampling of fatal and injury accidents involving 141,000 trucks and 120,000 fatal and serious injuries in the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS). In two-vehicle accidents, according to the LTCCS findings, truck driving error was the critical reason for 44 percent of the accidents. Even though this is less than half of the causes, these errors document accidents where truck drivers should have been driving safer.

Governors' agency seek action on repeat DUI offenders

Drunk driving was involved in 29 percent of all car accident fatalities in 2018. Although this was the lowest percentage in 26 years, the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) is seeking action on dealing with the threat posed by high risk drivers. The GHSA holds these motorists responsible for a disproportionate number of these deadly auto accidents.

Wrongful death claim filed for police pursuit

Deadly car crashes are not limited to the actions of a reckless, distracted or drunk driver. The family of a women who was killed in a car accident by a driver fleeing police filed a legal action against the Long Beach police. The victim's family held police partially responsible for her death.

The victim's mother filed a wrongful death claim against Long Beach on behalf of the victim's 11-year-old daughter. Compensation was not specified. These actions are usually a forerunner to a lawsuit.

Distraction blamed for self-driving Uber crash

The future of self-driving vehicles partially stalled after a report from the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) report of a deadly 2018 Arizona collision of an Uber vehicle and a pedestrian. The NTSB's report criticized the lack of federal and state regulation of autonomous vehicles in its investigation of this car accident.

In March 2018, a self-driving Uber Volvo SUV hit a 49-year-old pedestrian on a dark street in Tempe and killed her. The NTSB said that Uber did not continue to monitor its operations and turned off the Volvo's automatic braking system. Because the vehicle's system could not bake automatically, a human backup driver had to do the braking.

Bias can lead to medical malpractice

Doctors, like the rest of us, are not 100 percent objective. In fact, 12 million patients in this country were misdiagnosed because of bad judgment. Implicit bias was, according to research, involved in many claims for wrongful death or disability.

Judgment errors were responsible for 86 percent of the 55,377 medical claims involving wrongful death or disability, according to research from the director of the John Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality's Center for Diagnostic Excellence. Bad judgment includes assorted gaps in knowledge, inattention and misinterpretation, along with implicit bias.

Ship owners sued for fire death

A boating trip off the coast of Santa Barbara on Labor Day turned deadly after a fire broke out and caused 34 fatalities. The first wrongful death lawsuit for this fire was filed in federal court in Los Angeles earlier this month.

The vessel, the Conception, caught fire in the predawn on Sept. 2. All 33 passengers and one crew member who was sleeping below deck were killed. The cause of the fire remains undetermined but federal authorities are continuing criminal and safety investigations.

  • Consumer Attorneys, California
  • Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, Attorney Member
  • Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2012
  • AVVO, Ratings, Guidance, The Right Lawyer
  • American Association for Justice, Formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA)
  • Public Citizen
  • Public Justice, Americas Public Interest Law Firm
  • Pasadena Bar Association, Founded 1917
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum