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18Jun/13Off

Areas of 405 Freeway Closing Tuesday through Friday

Interstate 110 and State Route 110 (California)

Interstate 110 and State Route 110 (California) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Los Angeles is about to experience more inconvenient driving this week, beginning Tuesday evening. Parts of the 405 Freeway through the Sepulveda Pass will be closed in order to address the work that needs to be done on the Skirball Bridge.

Freeway ramps will begin closing at 7:00 p.m., and some lanes will be closed by 10:00 p.m. The full closure is expected to be completed by midnight and will reopen at approximately 5:00 a.m.

The working crews will install girders during the closure, beginning in stages for the southbound lanes.

On the northbound side, the same areas will be closed beginning Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. Those closures will be in effect Wednesday and Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. as well on Friday morning from 1:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m.

The Skirball Bridge will be closed each night from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., but Sepulveda Boulevard will remain open for the duration of the work.

The 405 Freeway is a major highway for Los Angeles travelers, so it is important to know how this may affect you. Find alternate routes, such as Sepulveda Boulevard; and allow yourself extra time for commuting.

It is also vital to remain alert and safe as you may be driving new routes with which you are not familiar. If you happen to be involved in an accident, contact a Los Angeles injury attorney who will assist you with identifying negligence, filing claims; and can ensure that you receive the highest possible compensation for the damages that you have suffered, which is a major step toward your recovery.

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7Jun/13Off

Federal Plan to Decrease Distracted Driving

Distracted driving

Distracted driving (Photo credits: www.smartsign.com)

Texting while driving is illegal in California, as well as other states; however, people are continuing to fiddle with their phones while stopped at a red light or worse, while in motion. The federal government has a plan to eliminate the distraction to increase general safety for drivers, but it will take a really great technology development and time.

More than 3,000 people are killed each in year in America from distracted drivers. That accounts for about ten percent of the fatalities caused by vehicular collisions. Though states can pass laws and police officers can issue tickets, there is no way to ensure that drivers keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road; but the government is working hard to get there.

The ultimate solution would be to make it impossible to send a text message or update social media while driving. The government is working with automobile manufacturers to create a technological obstruction, one that would deactivate the mobile device upon attempted usage in a car. The vehicle would sense the driver attempting to text or browse Facebook and would immediately shut it down. Though this idea seems outlandish and maybe impossible to some critics, advances thus far in the technology world have already proven that so many ideas can realistically be executed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has made a proposition that outlines its ideas for restricting distracted driving. The key objective is to limit the amount of time a driver removes his/her hands from the wheel or his/her eyes from the road. The Administration wants car manufacturers to make it impossible to enter text for messaging and browsing while the car is in motion; and to disable video and social media content from being displayed.

A large issue that the NHTSA will face is that the change will require full participation from drivers; and if the pairing is not done easily, then drivers will opt out of it and continue to use their handhelds illegally. This is why it is looking for an innovative technological idea that will embed it within the car requiring compliance beyond being aware of it at the time of purchase.

This change may be inconvenient for some drivers; however, it could also save thousands of lives each year. Though distractions come in more forms than cell phones, it is likely that removing this specific diversion will reduce the amount of accidents that occur in the country.

Accidents are an unfortunate part of our lives. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, whether it was caused by a distracted driver or something else; contact an Orange County Accident Attorney today. A lawyer can assist you in identifying negligence, filing claims; and can ensure that you receive the highest possible compensation for the damages that you have suffered, including punitive damages in the event of a fatality.

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5Jun/13Off

Chrysler Refuses to Recall

1993-1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee photographed in ...

1993-1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee photographed in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. Category:Jeep ZJ Grand Cherokee (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The federal government has issued a warning to Chrysler and Chrysler car owners that certain models have defective properties that make them incredibly dangerous; however, the carmaker is declining to officially recall the models.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has asked Chrysler to recall 2.7 million Jeep vehicles. The 1993-2004 Grand Cherokee models and the 2002-2007 Liberty models are all at risk to cause deadly fires.

At this point, fifty-one people have died in these models after being rear-ended and then trapped in a burning vehicle. These specific cars have fuel tanks that are behind the rear axle; and a collision from behind can cause a leak in the tank, which then creates a fire that quickly engulfs the Jeeps.

NHTSA has confronted Chrysler with the problem, but the company has not complied with establishing a recall or a solution. It has until June 18 to issue a formal response to NHTSA explaining why it will not recall the vehicles.

Chrysler stands by its models, claiming that safety is a top priority when manufacturing each vehicle. According to its CEO, Sergio Machionne, “[Chrysler] stands behind the quality of its vehicles.” The company supposedly rejects the recall because the dangers of any rear-end collision are high, and its Jeeps are not to blame specifically for the fatalities.

Though the millions of Jeeps that are under question passed original safety standards, NHTSA does not feel that that is enough to ignore an overlooked defect that it causing dozens of deaths. NHTSA has not provided a way to fix the issue at this point; however, alerting drivers of the dangers and getting the vehicles off of the road officially is a good first step.

Whether you have been injured in an accident due to a defect or something else, contact a Los Angeles accident attorney. A lawyer can assist you in finding negligence, filing claims and can award to you the highest possible compensation for the damages that you have suffered.

The post Chrysler Refuses to Recall appeared first on Accident Attorneys' Group.

17May/13Off

Drunk Driver Not Given Any Legal Breaks

On December 12, 2008, Ashley Schultz drove her 2001 BMW up the off ramp of the I-5 Northbound freeway and collided with an Acura. The crash left her paralyzed, and since then Schultz has been attempting to place blame on someone else.

The accident caused serious bodily injury to Schultz. She broke many bones, including her C4 and C5 vertebrae, and she became a quadriplegic. The other driver was left unharmed for the most part, so she was not faced with criminal charges regarding a third party injury; but she was convicted of drunk driving and fourth degree assault. She was sentenced to two days in jail and one year probation.

After leaving the restaurant, Schultz went to drive home. She turned onto the off ramp at Southwest River Parkway and Harbor Drive and crashed into the Acura immediately. Her blood alcohol content was recorded at .24% on site – three times the legal limit.

Schultz explains that on the evening of her accident, she was having dinner and drinks with work associates. She felt pressured to join in on the drinking and felt that the restaurant over served her and failed to call her taxi. Because of those factors, she has attempted to sue her employer and the restaurant at which she ate the night of her accident for compensation due to her injuries.

Schultz originally filed a lawsuit against her company for denying her worker’s compensation; but the courts ruled in favor of O’Brien Constructors because her injuries did not arise out of her employment. She explains that she was at a work function when she consumed the drinks, but she was really just out with coworkers and the situation was not work-related.

In 2010, she filed a lawsuit against La Costita Mexican Restaurant claiming that it did not act responsibly as it did not stop serving her drinks or call her a cab when it was evident that she had drunk to inebriation. She requested $18.7 million in her claim.

Schultz’s medical bills in 2010 had already totaled to about $900,000, and her future care costs were estimated to be an additional $5 million.

The courts ruled in favor of the restaurant though, and she lost once more. The ruling was partially based on a previous decision made in 2001 where the law then banned customers who voluntarily drink to collect money from restaurants/bars after being injured. Schultz claims that she didn’t voluntarily drink and that her boss was buying her too many drinks, but the court still found her at fault.

She is still seeking money in any way that she can. Though the restaurant is out of the case and she cannot receive worker’s compensation, she is still going after her employers and the coworkers that were with her that night because they supplied the alcohol for her. Schultz expresses how she only went out that night because she did not want to lose her job and felt pressured for them to like her.

It is unknown currently what will happen, but based on her record it is likely that she will not receive the compensation for which she is hoping. It is very rare that a person who was the drunk driver in an accident files lawsuits for damages, so the outcome of this will be interesting. Though everyone, including the restaurant, feels bad for Schultz and her injuries; it cannot be denied that the fault lies with her.

If you or someone you know has been in accident, contact AAG today.

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19Apr/13Off

Ways to Beat Gas Prices

Los Angeles View 2011

Los Angeles View 2011 (Photo credit: █ Slices of Light █▀ ▀ ▀)

Living in Los Angeles puts a car through torture. The basic maintenance is required but additionally Los Angeles drivers must repair tires and axles more frequently due to the latest pothole; replace brake pads at twice as often as recommended because they are filed down to the rotors weekly by daily traffic jams; and change oil before 3,000 miles from fear of a burned up engine caused by the hour-long drives for eight-mile trips. Since you’re already dealing with these issues and extra costs, saving some cash on filling up could be quite helpful.

Out here, regular maintenance is automatic as we rely on our cars so heavily; however, simply changing the oil as needed is not the only upkeep that you can do to save money on gas. Factors that affect miles per gallon are engine tune-ups, wheel alignments, tire pressure, and filter replacements. If you keep your car maintained in these areas, your gas will be consumed correctly rather than wasted.

It is hard to avoid this type of driving on Los Angeles freeways; however, the constant and immediate stop-and-goes burn up gas as well. In traffic, by stopping leisurely rather than slamming on the brakes then immediately accelerating once more only to skid to a halt again will conserve fuel. This is also an excellent way to avoid car accidents, which in turn would alleviate traffic.

Driving at high speeds and high RPMs destroy gas conservation as well. Though it’s tempting to rev the engine and go from zero to eighty the moment you get a break in traffic, driving like that uses up a large amount of gas. Going from zero to sixty-five in a span of a few more seconds will be appreciated by your gas tank and your wallet.

Towing obviously eats up fuel, but also simply carrying large items can decrease your miles per gallon. Bikes, tools, even roof racks can cause an increase in the fuel required. If you don’t need these items in or on your car every day, remove them.

There are other tips for drivers to save money on gas, but their results are debatable. For one, it has been suggested that filling up in the morning is better because the gas is stored cooler, and hot gas expands. This way you are getting a full gallon’s worth rather than expanded gas that may not be an entire gallon. However, the gas that comes to the station is expected to already be hot and the time spent in the cool underground is likely too short to change enough to make an impact. However, filling up in the cool morning always will not take anything away: you could be getting more gas (awesome), or you’ll be getting the same amount that would be received later in the day.

It could also be helpful to refuel when you are not on empty. This could decrease the amount of air that goes into you tank, but again it may not make a real difference.

Saving gas is important, as is being a safe driver. If you think filling up your car is expensive, try being involved in a car accident. The expenses can get out of hand and without an attorney there to help file insurance claims and determine damages, you may pay more than you should. Read more about Accident Attorneys’ Group to see if we are the right fit for your legal needs.

The post Ways to Beat Gas Prices appeared first on Accident Attorneys' Group.

18Apr/13Off

Being Prepared for an Automobile Accident

English: Car accident near Dammsjön, Säter Mun...

English: Car accident near Dammsjön, Säter Municipality, Sweden. Svenska: Trafikolycka nära Dammsjön, Säters kommun, Sverige. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late Tuesday evening, Los Angeles witnessed a horrific automobile accident. Three victims were declared dead at the scene and one was rushed to the hospital – his situation unknown.

In South Los Angeles, a vehicle crashed into a pole and then burned from the resulting fire. Four people were involved in the accident, three of whom were impossible to save as the fire was too impenetrable, and one who had been ejected from the car and free from the flames’ grasp.

It is unclear currently what caused the accident, but evidence seems to point to the driver moving at high speeds. There also may have been a second car that fled the scene.

Tragic accidents like this remind people how easy it is to lose control of a vehicle. Sometimes the accidents that cause the most damage to the car will leave the driver and passengers unharmed; and sometimes hitting a pole can result in a much more destructive ending than expected.

Cars and car accidents are unpredictable. Other drivers are also unpredictable. Collisions can happen to anyone, so it is important to know what to do after one has occurred.

First, never leave the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident is a criminal offense. If Tuesday night’s accident did involve another driver, he/she will be criminally prosecuted if found. The police should be contacted immediately to assess the accident, damages, and injuries. Filing a police report is essential, especially if a trial arises from the crash.

It is crucial to take notes or pictures if possible. Having physical proof of what happened is one-hundred-percent reliable compared to memories. This is also why filing a police report is helpful as it’s an immediate recount of what just occurred. During the couple of days following the incident, write down details remembered and any injuries suffered, as they may not become apparent until then.

After that, filing an insurance claim is required. Whether at fault or not, each driver must file a claim to cover damages suffered. Having an attorney can be very helpful during this time, especially if the damages suffered are severe. Read more about how a great lawyer can help in any accident.

The post Being Prepared for an Automobile Accident appeared first on Accident Attorneys' Group.

17Apr/13Off

The Importance of Driving with Sufficient Insurance

St. Patrick's Day Collision  3 of 4

St. Patrick’s Day Collision 3 of 4 (Photo credit: 7mary3)

Sometimes it may seem like a good idea to drive without insurance. It’s expensive, confusing and a person only needs it when he/she gets pulled over or is in accident. Most people are unaware of how much driving uninsured can hurt themselves and others.

In California, fifteen percent of the population is uninsured and driving. Perhaps they are driving safely and abiding every street law, but that is unlikely. If a car accident occurs and the uninsured driver is not at fault, it is possible to file a claim and receive compensation; however, it usually requires an attorney and the compensation has potential to be incomplete. It is also protocol that the driver loses his/her license for a period of time.

If that same driver got into a car accident where he/she was at fault, then it would be his/her responsibility to cover damages for the other driver. This could mean out-of-pocket payment for medical bills, lost wages and property damage.

Many times it is not the uninsured driver that suffers the most. When insured drivers are hit by those who are uninsured, they become monetarily responsible for the accident. Either they must have the proper underinsured motorist coverage on their own plan; or they have to rely on out-of-pocket payment, assets that can be liquidated into compensation, or the financial cooperation of hospitals and auto repair shops.

Uninsured drivers affect the lives of others with their irresponsible driving. A small fender-bender may not seem like much for which to not get compensated or for which to pay someone else, but a major collision with serious injuries or even death can bankrupt the uninsured driver at fault as well as prohibit appropriate damages for the victim.

It is always a better choice to drive with insurance for you and for others. If you have been in an accident, whether you are insured or not, contact one of our great accident attorneys for a free consultation and help figuring out your next move.

The post The Importance of Driving with Sufficient Insurance appeared first on Accident Attorneys' Group.

16Apr/13Off

How Weather Affects Driving Conditions

Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam

Driving Cars in a Traffic Jam (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Everyone knows that rain and snow cause more accidents, so people have become more cautious when driving in those conditions; however, there are dangers that can occur while driving on the best of days, when people are not as responsive.

An interesting condition to consider the next time it’s warm is humidity levels and their effects on the road. Changes in moisture alter asphalt, melting and remolding it. The roads then become cracked, raveled and full of holes. Mixing all of that with the constant amount of vehicles zooming atop it creates a very hazardous street or highway. But most drivers do not think of that when it’s a good day for the beach.

Wind speed is also a major culprit in car accidents. Heavy gusts can occur in any weather and when it is sunny outside, drivers will not notice the wind until it has almost forced them into another lane. Depending on the location and surrounding lands, wind can impair visibility by blowing dirt or trash around the freeways. There is also the added risk of larger items being carried into the driving lanes.

Rain and snow obstruct a driver’s vision as well as the roads on which he/she is driving. The cement or asphalt beneath the vehicle is now covered with a slippery coat that does not stabilize car tires well. People also decrease their speed (which is recommended) and that causes sudden changes in traffic flow. The easiest way to get rear-ended is by someone who did not immediately notice the stopped car in front of him/her.

Fog can be just as dangerous and as unpredictable as rain or snow. Light fog is manageable, though irritating; heavy fog is chaotic. Brake lights are barely visible from feet away and each driver drives at a different speed, unaware of what’s ahead. Accidents are very likely in these conditions and traffic flow decreases to a stop.

Weather plays a major role in shaping drivers’ commutes. Whether it simply affects the speed of traffic or momentarily blinds people, it can be very dangerous. Traffic collisions can happen at any time and during any forecast, and finding the right car accident attorney is important.

The post How Weather Affects Driving Conditions appeared first on Accident Attorneys' Group.

15Apr/13Off

Takata Recalls Millions of Faulty Airbags for Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda Models

The driver and passenger front airbags, after ...

The driver and passenger front airbags, after having been deployed, in a Peugeot 306 car. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Japanese corporation Takata, which has been manufacturing seatbelts, airbags, child restraint systems and other interior parts for automobiles for over 70 years, has forced automobile manufacturers to recall 3.4 million vehicles due to its faulty airbags. These airbags distributed to popular models, including Toyota Corollas and Honda Civics can cause fires or metal shrapnel to hit the driver because they may not inflate correctly.

It has been reported that Toyota has recalled approximately 580,000 North American vehicles and 490,000 European vehicles assembled between November 2000 and March 2004 (1.73 million total); Honda has recalled about 1.14 million vehicles; Nissan may recall 480,000 vehicles; and Mazda has recalled 45,463 cars.

Takata Corporation is the second largest global manufacturer of airbags. It first learned of the airbag issues in October 2011, but has not been able to figure out which cars were affected until now. Vice President of communications for Takata, Alby Berman explains how narrowing down how many vehicles house the faulty airbags is difficult because there have been so few incidents in the world thus far, but he states that, “[E]ven one (malfunctioning) airbag out there is a problem for our customer and for Takata.”

This is the largest recall for Takata since the 8 million vehicles equipped with defective seatbelts in 1995. And in 2011 when the first airbag malfunction was reported, the shares in Takata fell almost 10 percent in Tokyo trading. But Takata is working hard to fix the issue before anyone is hurt, because currently there have been zero injuries.

Takata is not the only company feeling the sting of the recall. Toyota is receiving most of the negative attention because it is involved in another recall. In late 2009, Toyota began the recall of nearly 19 million vehicles globally for the unintended acceleration issues. Though these airbags aren’t the fault of Toyota, the rebuilding of its reputation will certainly remain stagnant until this problem is resolved.

Whether you’ve experienced a faulty airbag, or have simply been injured by one during a car accident, contact one of our accident attorneys for legal consultation.

The post Takata Recalls Millions of Faulty Airbags for Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda Models appeared first on Accident Attorneys' Group.

25Mar/13Off

Honda Recalling 75,000 Acura’s

2004-2005 Acura TSX photographed in College Pa...

2004-2005 Acura TSX photographed in College Park, Maryland, USA. Category:Acura TSX CL9 Category:Red sedans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Honda is being forced to recall 76,253 model-year 2004-08 versions of the Acura TSX. The TSX is a compact sedan sold by Acura. The main reason these vehicles are being recalled is due to electrical problems, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Only cars originally sold in or currently registered in Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin and the District of Columbia are affected. In these states, corrosive materials (like salt) are used to de-ice roads. If the material enters the car through a driver’s shoe and saturates the carpet over time, it could come in contact with the car’s electronic control unit and cause it to corrode. This could lead to the engine stalling.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident due to a recalled vehicle it is necessary to speak with an injury lawyer. Our attorneys will make sure you are treated correctly and given the necessary compensation for your pain and suffering. You must act quickly to ensure the highest settlement possible. For more information or evaluation on your case, please do not hesitate to call us or visit AAG.

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