San Francisco Injury Lawyer Blog

Articles Posted in Rollovers

While cars are responsible for a strong majority of vehicle-related accidents, they are not the only culprit in the fatal or injury-causing accidents we see in our Northern California injury practice. All-terrain vehicle accidents (“ATVs” or “ATV accidents”), can cause serious injury or even death. When someone other than the injured is at fault, our Sonoma County ATV accident lawyer can help the injured victim or surviving family members obtain financial compensation from those responsible.

ATV Overturns, Seriously Injuring Petaluma Teen The Press Democrat reported on an ATV accident that occurred in Petaluma on Saturday and left a teenager seriously injured. Three teens were riding an ATV on private property when the vehicle overturned and rolled over onto one of the passengers, leaving him with a severely broken arm, a broken vertebra in his neck, and a severed artery. An uninjured rider called 911 and used his own shirt to staunch his long-time friend’s bleeding. The injured teen underwent emergency surgery and is expected to make a strong recovery.

ATV Accident Statistics ATV.jpgIn April 2014, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) released its 2012 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries. Through the end of 2012, the CPSC had received 12,391 reports of ATV-related fatalities between 1982 and 2012, including 353 in 2012 and 554 in 2011. Notably, accident numbers for the years 2009 to 2012 are expected to increase as reporting is finalized; in 2008, the last year for which reporting is deemed complete, there were 755 ATV deaths. Of the 12,391 reported deaths in the study period, 24% involved victims aged less than 16 years. CPSC statistics also show an estimated 107,900 ATV-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2012, with 25% involving children under 16.

A related state-by-state report dated August 2013 shows California saw 628 reported ATV deaths from 1982 to 2011. Again, the most recent years’ numbers are considered incomplete. Focusing on the years for which reporting is deemed complete, there were 548 deaths from 1982 through 2008. Using either figure, California had more ATV fatalities than any other state
ATV Safety Tips In addition to reporting accident statistics, the CPSC’s ATV Safety Information Center provides several safety tips for ATV riders. The agency recommends wearing safety gear, including a helmet and eye protection, and avoiding paved roads. They suggest children under age 16 not be allowed to drive/ride adult ATVs. The CPSC recommends against allowing passengers on ATVs that are intended for only one rider. Additional safety tips not specifically mentioned include obeying suggested maximum speeds and never riding while drunk or under the influence of drugs.

A Detail-Oriented Northern California Law Firm for ATV Accidents
Our Northern California ATV accident attorney represents victims in both personal injury and wrongful death suits. We conduct a close investigation of each accident to determine who bears factual and legal responsibility. In some cases, a company that made/sold/rented a defective vehicle is responsible. In others, responsibility lies with an individual who drove recklessly/negligently. Another scenario involves negligent maintenance of a road or path. Sometimes more than one party is at fault. A victim may have a legal claim even if his/her own negligence was a factor.

If you, your child, or another family member has been involved in an ATV accident in Santa Rosa, San Francisco, Oakland, or neighboring communities, please call. We can help you recover money from those at fault, compensation that can help you and your family move forward after tragedy.

See Related Blog Posts:
Golf Cart Accident Spurs Family to File Product Liability Suit on Behalf of Victim
Representing the Victims of Motorized Scooter Accidents in Northern California

(Image by Damien Coeffard)

Car accidents are often frightening, but rollovers are downright terrifying. Disrupting one’s sense of equilibrium can be exhilarating and fun (for the right people!) when on a roller coaster, but the same feeling is petrifying on the highway. Rollovers epitomize the lack of control driver’s experience in almost any accident. They are among the most dangerous and most deadly vehicle accidents and our Bay Area accident attorney is committed to helping the victims and ensuring their rights are protected.

Two Recent Accidents in Vallejo Show the Threat of Rollover Accidents
The Times Herald reports that an accident on Sonoma Boulevard in North Vallejo sent three people to the hospital on Monday morning. Witnesses say a Nissan pick-up truck was heading north on Broadway when it ran a traffic light, struck a curb, and passed through a Chevron station and the McDonald’s parking lot. Before rolling over and coming to a stop driver’s side down in the drive-thru lane, the truck hit two cars, one of which struck a third vehicle. Two of the other drivers reported pain and were taken to the hospital. The truck driver was hospitalized for possible seizures, which may have sparked the chain of events. An investigation is underway.

Last week, 28 year-old Nicole Allen lost her life in another Vallejo rollover accident. Per the Times Herald, she was traveling west on State Route 37 when she “made an unsafe turning movement” causing her to fishtail and lose control. She hit a concrete divider and her 2009 Infiniti began to roll. Allen, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.

Rollover Statistics & Causes
Rollover crashes are one of the deadliest forms of vehicle accidents, according to Safercar.Gov, a webpage produced by the Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”). Only 2.1% of the nearly 9.1 million collisions in 2010 involved a rollover, but rollovers still claimed more than 7,600 lives and accounted for almost 35% of the year’s traffic deaths.

roll.jpgAny vehicle can roll, but the higher center of gravity in tall, narrow vehicles makes them more susceptible to a rollover. When looking at rollovers, the NHTSA divides them into tripped and un-tripped events. Tripped rollovers, which include 95% of all single-vehicle rollovers, occur when a vehicle leaves the road, slide, and either digs into the dirt or strikes a guardrail or curb. The events cause a high tripping force that leads to the roll. A smaller group of un-tripped single-vehicle rollovers usually occur during high-speed accident avoidance attempts and typically involve top-heavy vehicles.

Noting that 85% of fatal rollovers are single-vehicle events, the NHTSA suggests that driver behavior is a major factor in rollovers and that these accidents are about the interaction between the driver, the vehicle, the road, and environmental elements. This means that, while it is certainly often the case, one cannot simply assume the driver of the rolled vehicle was at fault. For example, a major pothole, faulty control systems, or even an attempt to avoid a swerving drunk driver are all potential causes.

California Rollover Lawyer
Whether they were the driver of the rolled vehicle, a bystander hit by the rolling vehicle, or other involved party, we serve victims of rollover accidents. If someone else caused a rollover crash in Northern California that left you injured or killed a loved one, call our Vallejo injury attorney. We have offices throughout Northern California to serve your needs and protect your legal rights.

See Related Blog Posts:
Statistics and Law in Northern California Ejection Accidents

San Francisco Accident Attorney on Danger of Rollover Accidents

One of the first and most important parts of working with a new client in our injury law firm is listening to the client’s story. We recognize that this can be difficult and that telling the story often means reliving some of the most terrifying moments in the individual’s life. In other cases, telling the story means relating (and imagining) the final moments of a loved one’s life. Some of the scariest car accident stories we hear involve crashes where one or more of a vehicle’s occupants is ejected from the automobile. Ejection accidents are always serious and often fatal. Our San Francisco ejection accident law firm is committed to representing the victims of these crashes. This includes helping our client win money for the pain and suffering caused by these terrifying collisions whether the client is the injured victim or a loved one imagining the final moments of a deceased relative.

Vacaville Accident Leaves One Dead, One Seriously Injured
In the early morning hours of Saturday July 13, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, an accident claimed a life in Vacaville, a city is located on I-80 between Sacramento and San Francisco. According to Officer James Evans of the California Highway Patrol, the accident occurred shortly before 5 A.M. at the intersection of Foothill Drive and Pleasants Valley Road. Responding officers found an overturned 1994 Chevy Camaro with one person trapped inside and another partially ejected from the vehicles. Evans noted that one victim was pronounced dead at the scene while the other, he did not know which, was transported to UC Davis Medical Center with major injuries.

Ejection Statistics flip.jpg
While discussing data on seat belt use, the Center for Disease Control also comments on the danger of ejection. Looking at crash data, the agency found that victims who were unbelted were 30 times more likely than to be ejected during a collision than those wearing seat belts. Another figure makes this statistic even more meaningful – more than 75% of those who are ejected from a vehicle during a crash die from their injuries.

A report by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis (“NCSA”) titled “Passenger Vehicle Occupant Fatalities by Restraint Use and Ejection Status, 2003” further examines the link between fatal accidents, restraint use, and ejection. The study notes that being unrestrained leads to a greater risk of serious injuries and also a greater risk of ejection. Examining fatal accidents, the NCSA found that only 6% of belted passenger vehicle occupants were ejected (either partially or totally) while 44% of the fatally injured unbelted occupants were ejected (again, either partially or completely). Looking at vehicle types, SUVs had the highest rate of fatally injured unrestrained victims who experienced ejection.

The CDC and NCSA data make two points clear: 1) Ejection crashes are dangerous and often fatal; 2) Seatbelts provide protection against ejection. Using a seatbelt to prevent ejection is particularly key for occupants of SUVs because those vehicles have a greater ejection risk. The fact that seatbelts save lives is not new information, but the risk of ejection is one additional reason to buckle up during every vehicle trip.

A Reminder About the Law: Real Plaintiffs May Not Be Perfect
We always encourage safety. However, we know that none of us our perfect; the law does not expect us to be. In both personal injury and wrongful death cases, we can help clients recover money damages even if the victim was not wearing a seat belt. Call our San Francisco car accident law firm to discuss your ejection case or any other serious car accident case where the victim was injured due to someone else’s negligent or wrongful acts in Northern California.

See Related Blog Posts:
San Francisco Accident Attorney on Danger of Rollover Accidents

Head-On Collisions: Less Common, But More Dangerous, Than Many Imagine

(Photo by “infinity” via stock.xchng)

delivery_van_1.jpg The U.S. Department of Transportation is urging owners of 15 passenger vans to exercise extra care in the maintenance and driving of their vehicles. Organizations like student groups, tour groups, and companies that provide transportation to commuters and the elderly may use 15 passenger vans to carry groups of people from one place to another. 15 passenger vans may not be used by schools or day care providers because of their inherent dangers.

Such organizations should take the Department of Transportation’s recommendations in earnest, as van rollovers are more common than car rollovers and result in more fatalities. The National Center for Statistics and Analysis found that in 2002 38% of 15 passenger vans crashes involved a rollover.

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a brochure on van safety, which reminds van operators to regularly check large passenger vans for common trouble areas. One main cause of van crashes is improper maintenance of tires. Inexperienced drivers may not be aware of the difference between standard tires and tires made for vans, which could lead to improper inflation and dangerous driving conditions. Tires on a typical sedan require about 30psi of air pressure on all four tires. However, vans require about 50 psi on the front wheels and 80 psi on the back wheels. Large van tires wear out more quickly than tires on other types of passenger vehicles because they are carrying a heavier load.

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Yesterday a crash at 19th and Valencia Street in the Mission District in San Francisco sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries. The crash occurred at 7:15 a.m. and involved three vehicles, according to sfexaminer.com. One car actually overturned, trapping the driver inside. The driver was taken to San Francisco General Hospital to be treated for minor injuries. The other two drivers were not hurt. Today a big-rig overturned on an off-ramp from southbound U.S. Highway 101 in San Francisco, also according to sfexaminer.com. The big-rig overturned at around 9:40 a.m. on the eastbound Cesar Chavez Street off-ramp from southbound Highway 101. No other vehicles were involved, and the driver of the overturned 16-wheeler was not injured.

Many accidents are caused because vehicles are driven in unsafe ways or in unsuitable conditions. In general if vehicle is overloaded and drives to fast around a corner, then it will more than likely overturn. A driver who does not wear a seatbelt and overturns in an accident is more likely to suffer an injury than drivers who do. In order to avoid overturning, drivers should remember to follow the speed limit and with caution on wet, slippery roads, when driving down steep slopes, or when approaching curbs and sharp turns. Also, drivers should make sure the loads they carry are appropriate for their vehicle, as overloaded or unevenly distributed loads can make a vehicle unstable, making it difficult to steer and brake.

Relatively speaking, it can be common for a serious accident to result in a vehicle overturning. When a vehicle overturns, it can cause serious injuries, such as head trauma, brain injury, neck and spinal injuries, and broken bones. Even vehicles driving at low speeds can experience a rollover and incur serious damage to both the vehicle and driver. Sometimes the drivers are at fault and sometimes the vehicle manufacturer is responsible. If you or a loved suffered an injuries due to a rollover accident, please contact our experienced rollover accident attorney today.

A 48-year-old Oakland man driving to Reno with his family was killed when he crashed and rolled over on eastbound interstate highway 80 in Albany yesterday morning, according to SFGate.com. The man was driving a white Ford Explorer when he suddenly veered to the left, overcorrected, and then lost control. The SUV rolled multiple times before coming to rest. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, while his wife had a broken leg and his children, ages 10 and 12, suffered minor to moderate injuries. The wife was on the phone of the time of the crash. She was talking to family members who were also heading up to Reno. The family members told the CHP that the line went dead and when they called back, there was no answer. When they did get through after a few minutes, they heard sirens and commotion. The CHP are not sure if he was distracted at the time of the crash. They did say, however, there was no indication that alcohol was a factor.

This story brings up an important and forgotten fact about SUV’s: they are not vehicles built for safety. What is more, people die just as often in SUV’s as they do in cars, and people who drive SUV’s are more likely to die in a rollover than someone in a car. The simple truth is that the biggest SUV’s doesn’t make you safer than if you were in a large car or minivan. SUV’s make people feel they are in control and in charge, but that is just an illusion. Even though many more safety features are being built into vehicles today, many can’t afford them. Perhaps some of the newer models are safer, but it is hard to know for sure, as we still don’t see car companies making SUV’s safe in all foreseeable types of crashes, especially rollovers. Here at the Brod Law Firm, we believe the real and only way for a consumer to stay safe is to be an informed consumer. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in a rollover crash, contact our firm for a free consultation. We have over 10 years experience representing clients involved in violent SUV rollovers and can help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Spride, a provider of personal vehicle sharing services, and City CarShare, a Bay Area nonprofit car sharing organization have announced the availability of the first personal vehicle share program within a car sharing fleet. The new Spride Share pilot program enables car owners to loan their vehicles to members of City CarShare, which has more than 13,000 members, by equipping their cars with City CarShare’s access and tracking technology. The launch of the program is directly related to Assembly Bil 1871, a bill that Governor Schwarzenegger recently signed into law. The new law establishes that personal vehicle sharing does not constitute a commercial use of the automobile, eliminating the primary barrier to broad adoption of personal car sharing opportunities. Prior to the law, car owners ran the risk of losing their personal auto insurance if they received compensation for sharing their cars.

Now car owners can make their cars available for hourly reservations, and members can conveniently locate, reserve, and gain access to a car using their phone. What is more, car owners can make money by sharing something they already own, while the cost for borrowers is only about $7 dollars an hour. Because choosing reliable transportation in the bay area is always a challenge, car sharing may prove to be bay area resident’s greatest option. The program allows residents to collectively share the responsibility of reducing carbon emissions and eliminating some of the hassle their daily commuting routines, and it may just make commuters feel less harried and frantic, which may, in turn, lead to fewer accidents. Here at the Brod Law Firm we believe the creation of such program proves that citizens can band together to make up for the failures of public transportation, and the dissatisfaction and burden many people feel owning a car.

In 2007, very near Thanksgiving Day, an Illinois State trooper was driving over 100 miles per hour, responding to an accident. The former officer, Matt Mitchell, was reportedly talking on his cell phone to his girlfriend, and sending e-mails on the police car computer, while driving at outrageous speeds. It was estimated that Mitchell was driving approximately 126 miles per hour, and drove across the highway median, where he ran into an oncoming vehicle, and killed two, teenage sisters, aged 18 and 13. The police officer, who pled guilty in criminal court, but did not serve any jail time, has now denied any fault or responsibility in the civil action. In fact, the former police officer has applied for workers compensation benefits to receive payment for injuries he suffered as a result of the crash in which he killed two innocent girls.

Police officers and other law enforcement personnel are not above the law, and must be mindful of the safety of the general public, who they are sworn to serve and protect. In the horrible tragedy in Illinois, the accident that the former police officer was heading towards at the time of the crash, had already been responded to. Undoubtedly, the Illinois State Police are ashamed by this incident, which should have been avoided, and could have been prevented. Ideally, law enforcement agencies around the country will learn from incidents like this, and properly train their police officers to respect the safety of the public when in pursuit, or when responding to an emergency.

At the Brod Law Firm, we fight for people who have been injured due to the fault of others, including police officers driving in a high speed chase, in pursuit, or in response to an emergency. To learn more, please contact us at info@brodfirm.com.

Last night, on July 22, 2010, a Greyhound bus heading from Los Angeles to Sacramento hit an overturned SUV, killing six people, including three passengers in the SUV, and injuring many more. The CHP (California Highway Patrol) has not determined what caused the SUV, a Chevy Trailblazer, to turn over, and it is unclear as to whether or not the headlights were on, which would have affected the Greyhound bus driver’s ability to see it.

There were more than 30 people on the bus, which was not equipped with seatbelts for its passengers. California Vehicle Code Section 23715 requires taxicabs to install seatbelts in their vehicles, which addresses the policy to reduce highway deaths and injuries by encouraging the use of seatbelts. While the cause of this tragedy has yet to be determined, if the Greyhound bus involved had seatbelts available to its passengers, the number of serious injuries, and possibly some fatalities, would almost certainly have been reduced.

If you or a member of your family has been involved in a bus accident or a vehicle rollover, please call the Brod Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation.

Apropo our last blog, there is some addition information we would like to share. But before we do that, the following is a quick recap. Last week, according to AOL news, a Greyhound bus carrying 47 people on its way to Sacramento from Los Angeles crashed on a highway in California’s Central Valley on Thursday, killing six and injuring many others. The California Highway Patrol Officer at the scene said the bus driver swerved to try and avoid another crash involving an overturned SUV and slammed into a concrete center divider and then struck another vehicle shortly after 2am. The bus then went down an embankment, hit a eucalyptus tree and came to rest on a freeway off-ramp. 47 people were on board, six people died, and the driver was among the dead. This story brings to light two issues: SUV safety and bus safety.

First, this accident happened because the driver of the bus swerved to avoid an overturned SUV and could have been avoided if the SUV had not rolled over and obstructed the path of traffic, which forces the question–Why are some people are still under the impression that bigger is safer? Even though there is plenty evidence showing that SUV’s have a propensity for rollovers and instability at high speeds due their high center of gravity, plenty of people are still buying/driving them. Second, the accident resulted in serious injuries and 6 deaths, which forces the question–Can buses be made safer so that accidents such as this don’t have such catastrophic results? It turns out that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA) is making it a priority to improve motor coach safety. In a meeting held in June 2010 they announced specific ways in which they will go about doing that. They will begin by addressing the root causes of motor coach crashes, such as driver fatigue, inattention, medical conditions and the oversight of unsafe carriers. Then they plan to address the root causes of fatalities and injuries in motor coaches by developing requirements for seatbelts for all seating positions to prevent ejections, strengthening the bus structure surrounding the windows to improve their crashworthiness, conducting verification rollover testing, develop performance requirements for motor coach structural integrity, leasing and testing Electronic Stability Controls to decide if they should be standard, upgrading the performance of tires used on motor coaches, and developing more stringent flammability and fire countermeasures and detection requirements. Here at the Brod Law Firm, we believe that consumers decisions about what form of travel they purchase should be tempered by their own research into the risks involved-which may, or may not, give them a better chance of staying safe than if they had not.