orlando-leon-390504-copy-200x300On January 1 around 3:30 pm, a delivery truck drove into a crosswalk in the Richmond District of San Francisco. The truck struck a vehicle carrying a family of five and two pedestrians. The family in the vehicle were treated at the scene for minor injuries. However, two elderly men, 66 and 79 years, were seriously injured. The 66-year-old is recovering from a broken rib and punctured lung while the 79-year-old required surgery for internal bleeding.

According to reports, the truck was driving southbound on 21st Avenue when it entered the crosswalk at Geary Boulevard. It is believed that the truck driver lost control of his vehicle. Law enforcement officials are investigating the crash, including questioning the trucker, and have not released a cause for the accident, though they do know that the trucker attempted to make an illegal turn. It has not been confirmed whether speeding, drugs, alcohol, or any other issue influenced the crash.

Common Causes of Truck Accidents

tim-mossholder-191483-copy-300x200On December 22, SpaceX launched its 18th and final rocket for 2017, known as Falcon 9. The unusual sight in the sky, which many people did not expect, caused curiosity and confusion. In Southern California, it caused drivers on I-10 to slow down and become distracted. Dashboard camera footage shows a white Toyota Corolla being rear-ended by a minivan, which then pushes the Corolla into a Toyota Rav4 SUV. The Corolla and Rav4 spin out of their lane and onto the shoulder of the highway.

While the rocket is a rare sight, driver distraction is not. People become distracted behind the wheel all the time, unfortunately, leading to many accidents, injuries, and fatalities. If you were in a car accident in California and you believe it was caused by the other driver’s distraction or inattention, contact a San Francisco car accident lawyer from Brod Law Firm today. Our experienced attorneys can help you through the insurance claim process, or if necessary, a personal injury lawsuit.

Types of Distracted Driving

bjorn-tore-okland-119009-copy-300x200The Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District responded to an accident at Central Landfill near Petaluma on Friday, December 15 around 6 p.m. A truck driver, Ezekiel Jackson Sumner Jr., was struck and killed by his truck. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office stated Sumner was found underneath his truck on top of a compost pile at the landfill.

Sumner had been working for a subcontractor of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, AshBritt Environmental, removing debris from wildfire sites in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake counties. At the time, he was dropping off debris that he had gathered from wildfire sites and had left the truck idling. Another worker found the truck in gear, which had backed up into its own trailer and pinned Sumner.

The California Highway Patrol, Army Corps of Engineers, and Cal-OSHA are conducting individual investigations into the incident. It has been reported that Ash Britt has violated safety regulations in the past, however it is currently unknown whether any violations took place preceding or during this incident.

marcus-kauffman-408760-copy-300x232California has had a tough year, experiencing a record number of wildfires, some of which began due to natural causes and others that began based on an individual or business’s negligence. In October 2017, there were approximately 250 individual wildfires that began across the northern portion of the state. These burned more than 245,000 acres, destroyed more than 8,900 structures, killed 44 individuals, and hurt hundreds of people. Now, in December, the southern portion of the state is facing significant fires.  

If your home has been damaged or destroyed by a wildfire, you need to be clear on your responsibilities. Going through the insurance claim process can be difficult, particularly if you fight for your maximum possible recovery. However, there is help. You may benefit from working with a public insurance adjuster or contacting an experienced attorney like those from Brod Law Firm.

Current California Fires

wojtek-witkowski-558-copy-300x172Around 5 a.m. on Saturday, December 2, Daniel Berk, 32, collided with a Bay Bridge tollbooth while driving a rented box truck. Berk was seriously injured and remains hospitalized in Oakland. The passenger of the truck and the drivers and passengers of five other vehicles were treated and released from the hospital.

The tollbooth operator, Si Si Han, 46, was killed in the crash. Han had worked as a tollbooth operator for almost a decade. She leaves behind her husband and a 10-year-old daughter.

Authorities determined that Berk was intoxicated at the time of the accident. He appears to have been driving between production jobs as the rented truck contained lighting and sound equipment.

a-l-117960-copy-300x198On Saturday, November 25, four individuals were killed in a hit-and-run accident on I-80 in San Pablo, California. The collision was sizable, involving five vehicles and blocking all westbound lanes off I-80. The four individuals killed were a family from Napa Valley and included Daryl Horn, an active community member. The only Horn family member to survive the accident was Daryl’s eldest son. In addition to the four individuals killed in the crash, six others were injured.

The accident took place when Fred Lowe, 47, hit the Horn family’s Nissan sedan, which flipped over and crashed into oncoming traffic. Lowe was arrested later that night when he was involved in a second crash. Authorities reported that Lowe was intoxicated at the time and was driving on a suspended license due to a previous DUI. Lowe has been charged with four counts of felony hit and run, a felony DUI, and driving on a suspended license.

The Criminal and Civil Aspects of the Accident

miguel-a-ramirez-18261-copy-217x300There are often controversies regarding jail and prison inmates’ rights. However, it is well established that all prisoners in state and federal facilities are entitled to receive adequate physical and mental health care. They are entitled to have their injuries, physical medical conditions, and psychological conditions reviewed by a physician, diagnosed, and treated. However, stories of negligent medical care in California facilities, some of which have led to inmate deaths, have gained more attention in recent years. Now it has come to light that the health care system within California’s prisons may be entirely inadequate to provide appropriate care.

If your loved one is currently incarcerated and is not receiving proper medical attention for a physical or mental condition, contact a San Francisco civil rights lawyer from Brod Law Firm right away.

Major Issues Despite Improvement

ant-rozetsky-444067-copy-300x169If your home was destroyed or significantly damaged during a California wildfire, you now face the difficult task of clearing and cleaning up your land before you can rebuild. Depending on your situation, this can be a significant challenge. Here is what you need to know.

There is Help

You may not be personally responsible for clearing your land. Cleaning up your property after a wildfire takes special equipment and preparation, which is why there is government help. You may not need to rent equipment or a hire a private company to come in. Instead, you need to determine the local agency that is coordinating with the California and federal government to handle both hazardous waste and debris and ash removal. You may need to work with this local agency to ensure that your property is taken care of.

zach-doty-371891-copy-300x201If your family has been displaced by the California wildfires and you do not have financial resources or family to fall back on, you may need a great deal of help. At Brod Law Firm, we want you to have access to all types of assistance. There are many organizations and individuals doing whatever they can to be sure you are safe and healthy so that you can rebuild. Below are a number of links to potential resources.

Living Arrangements

If you are still looking for a temporary or semi-permanent place to stay while you wait for your home to be repaired or rebuilt, go to:

dawn-armfield-66060-copy-300x225Kressa Shepherd, 17, passed away at the end of October due to burns she sustained from the wildfires that swept into Mendocino County, California. Kressa and both of her parents were badly injured by the wildfire, with burns covering a great deal of their bodies. Kressa suffered burns over more than 60% of her body. Her parents, Sara, 40, and Jon, 44, remain hospitalized. They have gone through several surgeries and will require a great deal more medical care in the months to come. Her brother was killed in the wildfire. With Kressa’s passing, the California wildfires in October have taken 43 lives.

Determining Responsibility for the California Wildfires

Responsibility for the California wildfires has yet to be determined. However, major utility company PG&E is under investigation by California’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for the blazes that devastated large portions of the state, including a great deal of the famed Wine Country. PUC is looking into whether PG&E’s maintenance, or lack thereof, of its equipment in Sonoma and Napa counties caused or played a role in the fires. Regulators are particularly interested in whether a lack of vegetation-related maintenance was an issue, such as not cutting back trees, bushes, and other plants.