Category Archives: Car Accidents

Are Small Cars Safe?

The answer to this question — like most questions in life — is “it depends.” In some cases, larger cars are safer and in other cases, smaller cars are safer. Understanding how the car industry has progressed over the years will help you determine whether your small car is a safe vehicle.

New Car Comparison

Physics has the ultimate authority over the debate between large versus small cars. When comparing larger versus smaller, newer vehicles, the larger, heavier vehicles will always be safer than smaller, lighter vehicles. This comparison strictly relates to newer vehicles. Larger vehicles that are new not only weigh more but have longer hoods and larger crash zones which gives them an advantage in a crash. Again, physics dictates that larger cars will push a lighter one backward in a crash, and therefore the smaller, lighter car will suffer more damage than the larger one. In fact, a 2015 study showed that motor vehicle accidents resulted in 13 deaths per million in SUVs compared to 64 deaths per million in mini cars.

Newer Smaller Cars versus Older Larger Cars

Important in the analysis of whether small cars are safe, is the fact that as technology has improved, so has safety in smaller cars. Therefore, when making a comparison between older cars that are large versus newer cars that are small, the statistics are surprising. Many people believe that an older “tank” type car would be sturdier and safer in a crash compared to a newer smaller car, however, the statistics paint a different picture.

Older cars are typically not equipped with side airbags or electronic stability control features (mandatory in all vehicles after 2012), which prevent serious and severe injuries of passengers in accidents. Additionally, with modern safety equipment installed in smaller cars along with automatic emergency braking and collision avoidance technology, smaller cars are more adept at avoiding collisions in the first place, making them even safer than older, larger cars.

Small Cars Today

Advances in engineering and improved safety features have led to smaller cars increasing their crashworthiness standards. Many small cars now receive exemplary crash-test scores from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As evidence of this, in 2015, the top vehicle choices for safety from the IIHS included over 20 small cars, including subcompact cars such as the Chevrolet Spark and Honda Fit.

While newer larger cars will have physics on their side in a crash, the technology and crash avoidance systems installed in smaller cars can make them even safer, by preventing crashes in the first place. Unless a smaller car is going up against a semi-truck, a large “tank” type car, or a brick wall, the smaller car will likely hold up similarly to a larger one.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one were in a car accident in a small car, you may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose as soon as possible, and our experienced accident lawyers will help you build your personal injury case. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.

How to Avoid Sun Glare Accidents

Brilliant summer days, as well as snowy winter ones, can bring more sunlight and sun glare. Driving in direct sunlight is a major cause of automobile accidents due to the inability to clearly see traffic or traffic signals. Here are some of the best ways to avoid sun glare accidents.

Top Ways to Avoid Sun Glare

Avoiding sun glare can be the difference between a safe drive and one that results in an accident. Consider implementing the following safety measure to avoid sun glare accidents.

  • Use your sun visor. Sun visors are an easy and quick way to block direct light from coming into your car and obstructing your vision. Instead of using this feature to hold notes, business cards or receipts, use it to protect your vision and help you to drive safely.
  • Wear sunglasses. Not only will sunglasses protect your vision from UV light, but many sunglasses are actually created specifically to reduce sun glare. Some of these sunglasses are more expensive, but worth it to prevent an accident due to sun glare.
  • Clean your car windows. Dirty windows will make sun glare worse. The dirt amplifies and spreads the glare making visibility worse. Make sure to always keep your windows clean (both inside and out) to prevent accidents due to sun glare, or simply being unable to see.
  • Keep a safe distance. Keeping a safe distance from other cars is always a good idea, however, when there is a bright sun out, the distance you have between you and the car ahead of you could make the difference between safety and an accident. If sun glare is particularly bright on a specific day, make sure to keep extra distance between you and the car in front of you, as you may not be able to see their brake lights as easily.
  • Pull over. If the sun is causing you to lose the ability to see well, simply pull over until your eyes can adjust. Always make sure you are driving under conditions where you feel safe to operate your vehicle.
  • Turn your headlights on. This particular piece of advice may seem counterintuitive. However, with bright sun glare, turning on your headlights may be able to help oncoming traffic actually see your vehicle better and prevent accidents.
  • Avoid high-gloss vinyl cleaner on dashboards. These cleaners can make the inside of your dashboards shiny and pretty but can actually increase the amount of sun glare in your vehicle, making it harder to drive.
  • Find alternative routes. If it is possible, try to find alternative routes where you will not be driving directly into sunlight.
  • Avoid driving at sunrise or sunset. Sun glare can be a problem during the middle of the day but can also be a problem at sunrise or sunset. Try to avoid driving at these particular times to avoid sun glare accidents.

Contact a Car Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one were in a car accident due to sun glare, you may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose as soon as possible, and our experienced accident lawyers will help you build your personal injury case. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.

Biggest Mistakes Victims Make After a Car Accident

If you’ve been in a car accident, you are likely overwhelmed, scared, and possibly injured. How you respond to the situation can strongly determine your ability to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage in a future lawsuit. Understanding the most common mistakes people make after a car accident can help ensure that you learn from their experiences.

1. Not Calling the Police

Always call the police. Having an official police report will provide an official public record of your accident and the circumstances surrounding it. The police will describe the scene, relevant traffic lights and signs, speak with witnesses, take down pertinent information, determine liability, and collect evidence that others typically would overlook.

2. Admission of Guilt

Oftentimes, when people are in car accidents, they are shaken up emotionally. They may immediately start saying to the other driver or passengers, “I’m so sorry!” It is highly inadvisable to never admit any kind of guilt after a car accident, even if the entire crash was your fault. Anything you say can be used against you in a court case.

3. Failing to Seek Medical Care

Many people fail to immediately seek medical care if an ambulance does not arrive on the scene. This is the one time you should not “tough it out.” Injuries suffered from car accidents can take hours or days to present themselves and can still be serious or even life-threatening. Some of your injuries may be diagnosed by a medical professional only. Additionally, any medical reports or testing you have done after an accident only goes to bolster your case that you suffered from physical injuries due to the car accident and deserve compensation. In fact, a jury or judge will almost certainly require that you submit medical records to prove the nature and extent of your injuries.

4. Failing to Negotiate with Insurance Companies

Insurance adjusters are trained to be calm and kind on the phone. However, they may attempt to record your answers, or twist your words to imply that you are not as seriously injured as you claim or that you were responsible for causing the accident. Negotiating with insurance companies can be a daunting task, and some people simply do not want to participate in the adversarial process. Never agree to a quick settlement or sign any legal documents that you do not understand with your insurance company.

5. Discussing Your Accident on Social Media

Everyone discusses everything on social media. However, insurance companies have investigators that will scour social media sites to attempt to disprove your claim and settle for less than you deserve. Make sure to never admit guilt or discuss your medical condition on social media, as it can be used against you.

6. Waiting Too Long to File a Claim in Court

The State of California requires that personal injury victims file a claim in court within three years from the date of the accident. While that may sound like a long period of time, after your medical treatment is over and the insurance company has stalled your settlement talks, this time can run out quickly. Always make sure to file your claim in a timely manner, or you will lose your right to receive compensation that you deserve for your injuries.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

If you were in a car accident, caused by the negligence of someone else, you may have the right to receive compensation for your injuries. Contact the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 for your free consultation, and to help you with your next steps.

When A Car Accident Becomes a Crime

When most people think of a car accident, criminal charges typically do not come to mind. However, there are circumstances in which the State of California may impose criminal charges on a driver for a car accident. Learning when a car accident becomes a crime can help you determine the charges you may be facing, and what your next steps should be.

Vehicular Manslaughter

Under California law, if a driver kills or permanently injures another person due to their recklessness, illegal activity, or complete disregard for another’s safety, it may be possible for the state to file criminal charges. The California Penal Code has three categories of vehicular manslaughter as follows:

  • A driver drives with gross negligence while either committing a misdemeanor offense or while driving in such a way that might kill someone (Penal Code 192(c)(1))
  • A driver drives with ordinary negligence while committing a misdemeanor offense or while driving in such a way that might kill someone (Penal Code 192(c)(2))
  • A driver intentionally causes an accident for financial gain (Penal Code 192(c)(3))

Vehicular manslaughter can be either a misdemeanor charge or a felony charge, depending on the facts and circumstances of the case.

Gross Negligence

Driving with gross negligence can lead to either misdemeanor or felony charges. Gross negligence occurs when a driver acts far outside the normal bounds of responsible driving. Texting while driving and swerving in between lanes, speeding down a two-lane road with limited control of a car, or passing multiple cars at once could all be considered grossly negligent driving. Some other examples of gross negligence include the following:

  • Driving excessively fast for the roadway or conditions present
  • Swerving in and out of traffic
  • Illegally passing another vehicle
  • Intentionally running stop signs or red lights

Reckless Driving

If you are charged with reckless driving, it means that there was willful and wanton disregard for safety, making the chances of an accident likely. There are no exact guidelines to determine reckless driving, and most of the decisions to charge an individual with reckless driving are based on the facts and totality of the circumstances of the incident or accident. Some considerations may include where the accident occurred, who was near the accident, the weather conditions, whether there was construction on the roadway, if the accident was near a school zone, or if there were extenuating circumstances at the time, such as an emergency.

Other Criminal Offenses

Other criminal offenses that a driver can be charged with include driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, not obeying law enforcement and not pulling over when signaled to do, so or leaving the scene of an accident.

Contact a Criminal Defense Attorney

If you were arrested and charged with a criminal charge for your driving related to a car accident, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately to help you understand your rights, build a strong defense strategy, and represent you in court. Contact the Law Office of Daniel H. Rose at 415-946-8900 for your free consultation.

5 Post Car Accident Symptoms to Watch Out For

Modern car accident involving two cars on the road, Dan Rose Law, Car accident attorney

If you were involved in a car accident, you may have felt fine at the scene of the crash. Even immediately after, you may have felt that you suffered only minor injuries or no injuries at all. However, adrenaline can mask serious and life-threatening injuries, and after a car accident, it’s important to watch out for these five common symptoms that are not always immediately discovered or identified.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are one of the most common injuries suffered in car accidents.   Traumatic brain injuries are serious medical issues and can cause everything from mild to serious concussions. While brain injuries are oftentimes not felt immediately after an accident, days (or even weeks) later, a victim of a car accident will notice serious cognitive dysfunction. Traumatic brain injuries can leave victims with the inability to think clearly, motor skill issues, balance issues, confusion, nausea, personality changes, disorientation and more, for months or years.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are very serious and can result in partial or complete paralysis.  In most cases, these types of injuries will be evident immediately, however, in other cases, they can take days to present themselves. Backs can feel sore after a car accident, and some people may consider that their pain is just muscular, and not a true spinal cord injury. However, spinal cord injuries can cause someone to become a paraplegic, quadriplegic or tetraplegic. These injuries often are permanent and can be life-altering requiring physical therapy.

Whiplash

Everyone has heard about whiplash after a car accident and some mistakenly regard it as a minor injury. However, whiplash can be a serious and severe injury. Adrenaline can mask a lot of pain and damage. Also, people may just feel slightly sore the day after the accident, and it is only until a few days have passed that they realize how serious their injury may be. Whiplash, if left untreated, can cause permanent damage. It can cause excruciating pain and easily take months of therapy to resolve.

Internal Injuries

After a car accident, a victim may notice some minor scrapes and bruises. It is important to watch for other more serious internal injuries, as these minor scrapes and/or bruises can be a warning sign that serious internal injuries have occurred in the traumatic impact of a car accident. Typically, internal injuries are never visible to the naked eye and diagnostic testing and imaging is necessary to determine the nature and extent of the injury. A doctor or medical professional should give you a complete medical evaluation following an accident to determine if there are any internal injuries.

Bone Breaks and Fractures

Similar to internal injuries and traumatic brain injuries, a car accident victim often does not notice that they have broken or fractured bones until days or weeks after the accident. While substantial bone breaks are easy to identify, smaller hairline breaks or fractures can present as minor pain, and a victim may dismiss this pain as an unimportant health concern. Always seek the medical advice of a professional for any pain you have after a car accident.

Contact an Experienced Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were a victim in a car accident and suffered injuries, it is always important to seek the medical attention of a doctor or other medical professional as soon as possible. To determine your legal options to recover compensation for your injuries, contact The Law Office of Daniel A. Rose and our experienced accident lawyers will be happy to assess the strength of your claim. Call for a free consultation today at 415-946-8900 or visit us online.

What is the Timeline for a Car Accident Case in San Francisco?

If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, your main concern may be how long a car accident case in San Francisco will take in order to receive compensation for your medical or physical therapy bills, loss of wages and possible pain and suffering.

The statute of limitations in California to either settle your case or file a complaint regarding your claim is approximately two years. If you have a claim against a state or local government, you have only six months to file a claim.

While each car accident and injuries are unique, there are two periods of time within your case that are the most significant.

Two Months After Medical Treatments Are Finished

While you should file your complaint with insurance companies immediately, oftentimes, if you have serious injuries, you will require ongoing medical care. Determining an exact timeline for a car accident case is challenging as each person’s medical needs and treatment will be different. However, approximately two months after your medical treatment is complete, a majority of personal injury cases are settled.

Typically, personal injury cases related to a car accident are settled in this window of time if the personal injury case meets the following criteria:

  • A person was diagnosed with a specific and identifiable injury
  • The injury is not permanent, substantial, or long-lasting
  • No future medical treatment is required
  • No pre-existing conditions existed in that part of the body
  • The person with injuries had private health insurance
  • The person with injuries was not responsible or at-fault for the accident
  • The party being sued is not a government entity or employee

Six Months After Filing a Lawsuit

Insurance companies are notoriously known for refusing to compensate victims with personal injuries for their claims. In these instances, the victim should contact an experienced car accident attorney to help strengthen their case, and file a lawsuit on their behalf.

The process of a lawsuit typically involves a formal, written discovery of all documents and information regarding the car accident. Depositions need to be taken by attorneys, and all evidence needs to be accounted for and presented. This process typically takes approximately six months.

At this point, the insurance company may see that the personal injuries and damages related to the car accident are valid and pay the compensation due for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. If the insurance company refuses, then the case will go to trial.

Consult an Experienced San Francisco Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been the victim of a car accident and suffered personal injuries, negotiating with insurance companies can drastically extend the timeline for you to receive compensation for your injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

The Law Office of Daniel H. Rose is a car accident law firm that has experience handling car accidents involving serious injury or death. We have a sincere commitment to victims of car accidents and will work on your behalf to ensure that insurance companies will pay the full compensation you deserve. Contact our experienced car accident attorneys today at 415-946-8900 or online today.

A Primary Cause of Injury and Death to Pedestrians and Bicyclists Traveling on Sidewalks is Vehicles Exiting Parking Lots and Driveways

One of the primary ways in which pedestrians and bicyclists traveling on sidewalks are injured or killed is by motor vehicles exiting parking lots or driveways. A recent example is the Bay Area case of an 84-year-old woman killed by a vehicle exiting a parking lot on W. El Camino Real in Sunnyvale. Based upon my experience as a pedestrian and bicycle accident lawyer, it appears that the most common way this occurs is when the pedestrian or bicyclist is traveling on the sidewalk in the opposite direction that the cars on the adjacent road are traveling.

Because the driver of the vehicle exiting the parking lot is most concerned with entering the traffic traveling in the direction the driver wishes to go, the driver quite often neglects to look for potential sidewalk traffic coming from the opposite direction. Sometimes contributing to the failure of the driver to notice pedestrians and bicyclists is the presence of things which obstruct the driver’s vision such as hedges, walls or commercial signs. Pedestrians and bicyclists injured in such collisions often report that they mistakenly believed that the driver acknowledged or noticed them before driving into them or across their path. While drivers under these circumstances are almost always held to be negligent, it would appear to be safe practice for pedestrians and bicyclists to be aware of this potential driver behavior when approaching driveways and exits.

Study Shows Hit-And-Run collisions injuries and deaths at highest levels

A recently released AAA study reveals a record amount of hit-and-run injuries and deaths, the majority of which are to bicyclists and pedestrians. This raises a confluence of issues related to a lack of adequate bicycling and pedestrian safety infrastructure, the prevention of DUI driving, public video surveillance, and uninsured motorist coverage.  According to AAA, there were 2,049 hit-and-run related fatalities in the United States in 2016, and 65% of those were bicyclists or pedestrians.  Twenty percent of all pedestrian deaths were hit-and-run related. The reasons that a driver may flee the scene often relate to the fact that many of the drivers are intoxicated with prior DUI records. The study notes that a large percentage of hit-and-run collisions occur in the hours between midnight and 4 a.m. when drivers are more likely to be intoxicated, it is easier to flee the scene due to lighter traffic, and there are fewer witnesses out at that hour.

The Reason NHTSA Released 2016 Traffic Fatality Data but Not 2016 Injury Data

In past years, the NHTSA has released annually an overview of motor vehicle crashes for the prior calendar year which includes both injury and fatality data. However, the NHTSA recently released its overview of 2016 fatality data without including the 2016 non-fatal injury data. I contacted the NHTSA to find out whether the 2016 non-fatal injury data is currently available and if not when it will become available. The response from NHTSA was as follows:

In a nut shell, there is no 2016 injury data at this time. NHTSA’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) redesigned the nationally representative sample of police-reported traffic crashes, which estimates the number of police-reported injury and property–damage-only crashes in the United States. The new system, called the Crash Report Sampling System (CRSS), replaced the National Automotive Sampling System (NASS) General Estimates System (GES) in 2016. However, the 2016 estimates are not currently available. NHTSA is currently processing the file to ensure the data is accurate and complete and is finalizing the new weighting and calibration procedures to produce national estimates. Once completed, NHTSA will release the data and publish the estimated number of police-reported injury and property-damage-only crashes that occurred during 2016.