Category Archives: Car Accidents

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.


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.



Noteworthy Items from NHTSA’s 2016 Fatal Motor Vehicle Crash Data

The NHTSA recently released its 2016 fatal motor vehicle crash data.  Noteworthy among the data are the following:

Nationally, there were 37,461 fatalities during 2016, a 5.6 increase from 2015. Pedestrian fatalities increased by 492, a 9.0% increase from 2015 and the highest number since 1990. The fatality rate per 100 million Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) increased by 2.6% from 1.15 in 2015 to 1.18 in 2016. Fatalities in distraction related crashes were 9.2% of total fatalities in 2016. Approximately 28% of all fatalities were in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes (29% in California). There were 11.5 times as many un-helmeted motorcyclist fatalities in States without universal helmet laws (1,923 un-helmeted fatalities) as in States with universal helmet laws (166 un-helmeted fatalities).

We Mourn Pedestrian Konstaninos “Gus” Vardakastanis killed by Hit-And-Run Driver

Our office mourns the death of Konstaninos “Gus” Vardakastanis, the owner of a number of San Francisco markets, who was killed this morning by a speeding hit-and-run driver as he walked across Jerrold Ave near the SF Produce Market.  As one of his numerous admiring customers, I knew Gus as extremely hard working, family-loving, and forever wanting to please his customers in any way he could.  Our family and entire neighborhood are saddened.  He will be missed very much.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists Injured in Hit And Run – Insurance Coverage And Reporting Requirements