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San Mateo Personal Injury Law Blog

Injuries, fatalities on the rise for bikers and pedestrians

Pedestrians and bicyclists are two groups of people that are vulnerable out on the road. When cars collide with them, any pedestrian and/or bicyclist is likely to suffer terrible injuries. These injuries could change their lives forever, or leave them suffering and in immense pain for an extended period of time. And when this happens as a result of negligence on the part of a motor vehicle driver, then the legal consequences must reflect that.

Given all of this, you would rationally think that as we progress as people, things only get better. As such, road safety must be improving, right? Unfortunately, for bicyclists and pedestrians, it does not appear to be that way.

Reports: 90 million dogs in the US, 4.5 million bites per year

According to a survey performed by the American Pet Products Association found that there are roughly 90 million dogs owned in the United States. When you combine that number with a figure from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs every year, it is easy to see the potential problems that can occur as a result of dogs and dog owners. The highest rate for dog bites is for kids aged 5-9.

Many of these dog attacks that occur happen with dogs that the victims are familiar with. Here in California, we see the most dog bites in the country. The estimated number for California dog bite claims in 2016 is 1,934, dwarfing the projected 1,325 claims in Florida, the state with the second most dog bite claims.

Sidewalk accident leads to surgery, civil settlement

A woman sued the city of Santa Monica after she tripped and fell on a sidewalk. The incident occurred in March of 2015, and the city just recently approved a settlement to the tune of $48,000. The woman suffered a dislocated shoulder as a result of the fall, and the injury required surgery.

What was discovered over the course of this lawsuit is that the city of Santa Monica has marked some 3,000 sidewalks that need to be repaired, and yet they have yet to be addressed. The sidewalk in question in this case was one of the 3,000 that had been marked. There was a two-inch differential between slabs of concrete on the sidewalk where the woman fell.

Crash between semi truck, car leaves 1 dead

A fatal crash today on Interstate 680 in Fremont, California left one person dead and the police investigating the crash. It appears that the driver of a smaller car crashed into the back of a semi truck, causing the fatal circumstances that left one dead in the sedan. Few details were released about the crash, probably because the police have not concluded their investigation into the matter. Little else is known about the crash.

Fatal accidents like this are always tragic. When someone dies in a motor vehicle accident, the police report that summarizes the incident and assigns blame, if any is involved, is very important. The report can support a civil claim, and it can also be altered after the fact if new evidence comes to light.

For second time, man's dog attacks his mother

The source article for our post this week may not come from the Bay Area, but the dangerous circumstances involved apply to anyone, anywhere in the United States.

The story comes from Michigan, where a dog owner has been arrested after his dog viciously attacked his mother and her boyfriend. The 28-year-old says the incident isn't his fault because he wasn't home when the attack occurred. Nevertheless, his mother went to a crate that contained the dog and released the pit bull. The dog then attacked his mother and her boyfriend, dealing the 51-year-old boyfriend some serious injuries. The police had to use a stun gun to subdue the dog, which was later euthanized.

'Sick buildings,' safety concerns and premises liability

Slip and falls are common premises liability incidents that garner a lot of attention because the property manager or businesses involved in the case usually exhibits some form of negligence or recklessness. Usually that negligence or recklessness is shocking. But we bring this up not because of the often-shocking nature of slip and falls, but to note that despite the common nature of slip and falls, they actually aren't the only area of premises liability.

Another common issue that comes up under premises liability is the phenomenon of "sick buildings" -- structures that, for a variety of possible reasons, cause inhabitants or visitors to suffer respiratory problems, headaches and other detrimental medical conditions.

On commercial vehicle accidents and you

Whenever you hear the common phrase "car accident," it is understandable to immediately think of a small, compact car. Not many people will think of a truck or a large vehicle when they hear this phrase, but that doesn't mean the possibility is absent from their mind. It is just that the phrase invokes an immediate thought of a smaller vehicle.

Larger vehicles are, of course, involved in accidents all the time. Big trucks can jack-knife on the highway or run wild on the freeway, causing massive, fatal accidents. Limousines and delivery trucks can lose control and cause multi-car pileups. City metro vehicles can become entangled in a wreck, as can commercial carriers. There is a wide variety of motor vehicle accidents that cause serious financial and physical pain to the people involved.

Pedestrian accident report shows alarming numbers

The Governors Highway Safety Association released a report recently that shows a few alarming statistics, as well as place the spotlight on California for fatal pedestrian accidents. The report found that California, New York, Florida and Texas combined to account for 42 percent of pedestrian deaths in the first half of 2016. This is mostly due to the size of these states and the populations they contain.

But if you look deeper at these numbers, there are some alarming trends. For example, from 2010 to 2015, pedestrian deaths increased by 25 percent. The report projects that when all of 2016's data is compiled, that year will mark an 11 percent increase in pedestrian deaths from 2015.

Serious legal implications follow after a dog attack

Owning a dog is a tremendous responsibility, and a privilege when done correctly. A well-trained and obedient dog will reward you with love and affection, and you -- as the dog owner -- can live with the satisfaction that the training and regimen you used successfully raised "a good boy."

However, not every dog owner is like this. Many people go into dog ownership with a misconceived idea for how it will go. Others simply aren't responsible or patient enough to properly train a dog. This leads to some dogs that have unfortunate habits, and even some downright dangerous ones. Such behavior can lead to people needlessly suffering from a dog bite or dog attack, and all because the owner of the dog failed to properly train their pet.

Denied premises liability lawsuit can move forward after appeal

Generally speaking, when you hear about "premises liability" or "slip and fall" cases, you probably think about an icy or wet surface causing problems for an individual. Or you may think about a dangerous condition, such as destroyed or frayed carpeting or a broken staircase, that causes some to injure themselves. These are classic examples of conditions that can spur a premises liability or slip and fall claim.

What you generally don't hear about, though is poor lighting causing someone to slip or fall. But it indeed can be a legitimate cause for a premises liability or slip and fall claim as a story out of New York shows.

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