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Van Blois Law Specialists in Catastrophic Personal Injury

Oakland Personal Injury Law Blog

Life-threatening car accident injuries may not cause pain

The injuries a person can suffer in a car accident are often extremely painful and life-threatening. Unfortunately, some life-threatening injuries are not easy to identify, and may not cause any pain at all until they worsen. In some cases, by the time that a victim feels pain from an injury, their life is already in great danger.

If you recently experienced a car accident and have not received a complete medical examination from a qualified medical professional, you may be in danger. It is never wise to skip a medical examination after any car accident, because you may have delayed pain injuries you cannot feel. While many of these injuries are not life-threatening, some of them are potentially fatal. Be sure to protect your rights and future quality of life after any car accident with proper medical care and a strong legal strategy to compensate you for losses and suffering, if some other party caused the accident.

R. Lewis Van Blois named Lawyer of the Year

The firm Van Blois Law is proud to announce that founding partner R. Lewis Van Blois was named Lawyer of the Year Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs in Oakland by BestLawyers.com. The web site is a peer-reviewed and recommended lawyers guide designed to capture a consensus opinion of the top attorneys in each field. Colleagues choose the winners with additional analysis and confirmation by Best Lawyer. The Lawyer of the Year award is given to individuals who have the highest overall peer-feedback for specific practice areas. Only one attorney in each practice area is recognized in a geographic region.

This is the latest award for Van Blois, who has practiced law for 45 years and is certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a civil trial specialist for more than 25 years. Over his career, he has tried over 150 jury trials here in California, often representing clients who were severely injured. He is also a frequent lecturer of trial practice as well as personal injury law and medicine. Van Blois handles complicated cases involving construction accidents, trucking accidents, brain injuries, wrongful deaths, as well as premises liability, product liability and motor vehicle defects.

Watch out for these workplace hazards

Working on a construction site in Oakland can be very dangerous, even for the most experienced construction worker. In fact, the construction industry typically has one of the highest rates of workplace injuries when compared to other industries. This is why workplace safety is incredibly important.

The next time you are working a construction job, remember to put your safety and the safety of your coworkers first. Here are some common hazards to watch out for the next time you are on the job.

California Crime Victim Right to Restitution Expanded by Recent Case

Criminal restitution is an underused but effective remedy expanded by recent case law. Crime victims are entitled to recover restitution. Unlike civil cases which allow victims to recover both general and special damages, crime victims are limited to recovery of Restitution or economic loss, also known as special damages. While this recovery is more narrow, the impact on a civil case cannot be understated. 

Brain injury recovery: What to expect after a serious injury

A brain injury has life-changing effects on a person from the moment they suffer it. Initially, it will potentially be less serious than it can become, since swelling and changes in brain chemistry can take a few hours or days to completely settle. After this, patients begin the recovery phase. That's why it's so essential for people to seek medical care right away. Early intervention can reduce swelling and pressure on the brain. Reducing pressure and swelling can result in fewer symptoms and a less severe injury moving forward.

In the first several weeks following a brain injury, the brain chemistry will not be normal. The brain may still be swollen to a degree, and the individual's eyes may not yet be open. In severe cases, the patient may not yet show signs of awareness. After this time of healing, the person is likely to awaken, first showing signs of life through opening their eyes and trying to respond to family, friends or medical providers. It's at this point that you can begin to see how serious the injury is.

Traffic Fatalities in Bay Area Soar

San Francisco traffic fatalities continue to increase at an alarming rate. Fourteen people have died in 2019 in the first five months, including eight pedestrians, a skateboarder and a cyclist. At this rate, the City could have as many as 37 deaths by the end of December. In 2016, 50 people died in San Jose. Los Angeles suffers more than 200 fatalities each year.

Crash Avoidance Technology Can Prevent Deadly Trucking Crashes

The Deadly Problem

Truck crashes continue to be a major hazard for motorists. In 2016 there were 475,000 crashes involving large trucks. There were 12 fatal large truck crashes per million people in the U.S., an increase from 10.6 in 2010. Large truck crashes cause one out of every 10 motor vehicle crash deaths. A large number of these deadly accidents involved distracted or fatigued truck drivers crashing into other motorists.

Traumatic brain injuries: The quiet crisis

If you ask a medical professional how much of an impact a traumatic brain injury can have on someone's life, they'll quickly point out that it can be one of the most disruptive and problematic injuries a person can suffer. The symptoms may last for the rest of their life.

The ramifications are even greater, some argue, than a spinal injury or a burn injury -- two other catastrophic events. With a brain injury, it feels like who you actually are is fundamentally altered, perhaps forever.

Pedestrian Deaths Hit a 28-Year High in 2018

Pedestrian deaths in the U.S. hit a 28 year high in 2018 according to the Governor's Highway Safety Association. The number of pedestrian deaths involving SUVs increased by 50 percent from 2013 through 2017 and the number of pedestrian deaths caused by passenger cars increased by 30 percent over the same period.

The increased sales of SUVs and the fact that pedestrians are less likely to survive when struck by an SUV are a factor in the increase of fatalities. Pedestrian deaths now make up 16 percent of all road deaths, up from 12 percent in 2009. Distracted driving and distracted walking are factors leading to the increase. More people walk to work, insufficient pedestrian road crossings, and speeding driving are additional factors causing this increase. 

Flaws in Self-driving Vehicles

The first fatality involving a "self-driving" vehicle occurred in a pedestrian accident in Tempe, Arizona on March 18, 2018. A pedestrian, walking a bicycle across a 4-lane roadway at night was struck by a self-driving UBER traveling at 38 MPH. Although the pedestrian had walked across three roadway lanes in front of the UBER neither the vehicle nor the human safety driver detected the pedestrian prior to impact. The UBER was approximately 450 feet from the point of impact when the pedestrian started to cross the road. The operator of the car did not have her eyes on the road or hands on the steering wheel before the crash occurred.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reported that the radar and LIDAR systems registered the pedestrian 6 seconds before impact. The system first classified the pedestrian as an unknown object, then as a vehicle, then as a bicycle. The system waited until 1.3 seconds before impact to determine that an emergency breaking maneuver was needed.

  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2019
  • Bar Register Preeminent Lawyers 2015
  • Brain Association of California
  • Super Lawyers
  • National Lawyer of Trial Advocacy
  • National Board Of Legal Speciality
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Top Listed in Best Lawyers The worlds Premier Guide
  • AV | Preeminent | 2019
  • Apitlamerica Association Of Plaintiff Trucking Lawyers Of America
  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms US News 2020
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Van Blois Law
7677 Oakport St., Suite 565
Oakland, CA 94621

Phone: 510-635-1284
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