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Van Blois Law Specialists in Catastrophic Personal Injury

Oakland Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Could magnetic stimulation therapy help my brain injury?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) have left numerous individuals with lifelong cognitive, emotional, psychological and physical disabilities. Sometimes, TBI patients are left unconscious and in a coma.

TBIs are difficult to treat. In many cases, doctors admit that the best medicine for a TBI is rest and time. However, medical advancements are always occurring. For example, one new treatment for TBI involves the stimulation of the brain with magnets.

Broken bones can lead to permanent disability in some cases

When it comes to catastrophic car crashes or workplace injuries, people often think of broken bones as less severe injuries. While a broken bone may impact your life less than a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury, it doesn't mean that the consequences of a broken bone are negligible.

Even a simple fracture can leave you with months of recovery time when you are unable to work. Fractures in young children could cause growth plate issues, which could result in the slowing or termination of the growth process in that particular limb.

Children may 'grow into' brain injuries

You get in a car accident when an 18-wheeler does not stop in time and rear-ends your vehicle in a construction zone. Your child is in the back seat during the crash. You both get airlifted to a nearby hospital.

Immediately after the wreck, your child does not seem to have any serious injuries. Everything turns out far better than the emergency crews anticipated. You count yourself lucky on the way home, knowing you could have gotten killed.

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