What Are Common Spinal Cord Injuries Resulting from a Serious Car Crash?entry-title

Car accidents can result in a variety of different injuries, depending on the circumstances of the crash. For example, a rear-end collision from a car accident will result in injuries that are different from a roll over car accident. One of the most common catastrophic injuries that drivers can sustain from a serious car accident is a spinal cord injury. Airbags and seat belts are designed to keep your body from absorbing a full impact, but sometimes this force will shift to your spine and cause spinal cord injuries.

What Are the Different Spinal Cord Injuries That I Could Sustain From a Car Accident?

  • Whiplash. This is a very common injury that results from rear-end collisions, which send the driver’s head snapping backwards. Whiplash usually affects the upper section of your spine near the neck, and symptoms can include stiffness, headaches, dizziness, soreness and blurred vision. Physical therapy and rest are two ways to manage whiplash symptoms.
  • Spinal fracture. This injury can occur during a car accident because the seat belt doesn’t always properly keep your body in one place. Your chest and head can move a lot more than the lower half of your body. This extreme force can leave a compression fracture on the spine, which can result in pain, numbness and muscle weakness. Some fractures might have to be treated with surgery, and others with physical therapy and rest over time.
  • Disc herniation. Your spinal discs between your spine vertebrae absorb a lot of force during a car accident. One or more of these discs can shift, and when this shift happens it can compress surrounding nerves, which causes extreme pain or numbness. Surgery can fix a herniated disc or any nearby damaged structures.
  • Vertebrae shifts. Also known as “spondylolisthesis,” this happens when a vertebra shifts due to a stress fracture in the backbone. This injury is similar to a herniated disc, and the displaced bone can also compress surrounding nerves or the spinal canal. This may cause weakness, numbness and radiating pain.

If you have suffered a spinal injury in a car accident due to someone else’s negligence, you could possibly receive compensation for your injuries. Contact Steve Gnau today for a free case evaluation.

Who Is Liable for Injuries From an Autonomous Vehicle Accident?entry-title

Photo of wreck involving sedans

If you have read any recent technology news in our country, then you are probably familiar with the term “autonomous vehicle,” or AV. An autonomous vehicle is also known as a self-driving vehicle. Ridesharing companies such as Uber want to start incorporating this new technology into their services in certain states. However, in the past few years since AVs have been introduced, there have been a few deadly accidents involving these special cars. Experts are now asking who is liable if there are injuries or fatalities in an autonomous vehicle accident.

How Can Liability Be Determined in an Autonomous Vehicle Accident?

When a human is not behind the wheel of a car involved in an accident, it is difficult to determine who is at fault if that car caused an injury or fatality. Since this technology is still being developed, and since there are only a few accidents to base facts and evidence off of, the answer is still not clear.

In March, a pedestrian was fatally hit by an autonomous vehicle in Arizona. After seeing a video of the crash, the city’s law enforcement claimed that it would have been difficult to avoid the collision based on the specific circumstances of the event. Volvo, who has manufactured and supplied many of these self-driving vehicles, could be potentially liable for the accident if litigation occurred. Volvo admitted that its vehicle was involved in this crash, but that the software controlling the vehicle was not its own. In 2015, Volvo stated that they would accept full liability when one of its AVs, equipped with the company’s own self-driving system, crashed while in autonomous mode.

Car accident litigation for autonomous vehicles could involve design or manufacturing defects. A plaintiff would have to prove that a defect directly caused the injury or fatality. Besides this claim, however, any other litigation involving AVs so far have been handled behind closed doors. Accidents like the Arizona tragedy are still being investigated. Litigation will depend on the certain circumstances of the event.

If you have been involved in an accident with an autonomous vehicle, then you will want an attorney to help you answer questions you might have about recovering compensation. Contact Steve Gnau today for a free consultation.

How Can I Stay Safe During the 100 Deadliest Days of Driving?entry-title

Talking On Phone And Crashing

The 100 deadliest days for teenage drivers are the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. In 2016, more than 1,050 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving a teen driver during this period. This is an average of 10 deaths per day and a 14 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety warns drivers of the dangers during this 100-day period since school is out for the summer and more inexperienced drivers are now on the streets. There are certain safety tips that parents and teens can utilize to avoid deadly accidents this summer.

Safety Tips For the 100 Deadliest Days of Driving For Teenage Drivers?

  • Avoid nighttime driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 36 percent of all teenage motor vehicle fatalities in 2016 occurred between 9 pm and 5 am. NHTSA data also shows a 22 percent increase in the average number of nighttime accidents per day involving teen drivers during the 100 deadliest days compared to the rest of the year. Nighttime driving can involve more dangerous factors that result in increased accidents, such as intoxication, sleep deprivation, distractions and poor visibility.
  • Don’t speed. One in ten of all speed-related car accident fatalities involve teen drivers. Speeding is another huge risk that teenagers take. Parents can install devices in their teen’s car to monitor and track their speeds throughout the day.
  • Provide education. As summer takes full swing, it is crucial that parents discuss the dangers of risky driving situations with their teenagers. Education can include teaching by example, creating a parent-teen driving agreement that sets family rules for driving and generally enforcing stricter limits on when your teen can drive and how long he or she can be out at night.

If your teen does become involved in a car accident this summer, then you might want to seek compensation for injuries or damage sustained from the crash. Contact Steve Gnau to schedule a free consultation.

Who Is Liable for My Injuries on California Public Transportation?entry-title

bus accident

If you ever get injured on public transportation, such as on a bus, train or subway, you could possibly be entitled to file a lawsuit against the public transportation company that was running the transport line at the time. However, every situation is different, and there are multiple circumstances that could affect this decision.

How Can I Determine Liability for an Injury on Public Transportation?

Most personal injury cases are based on negligence, or rather, whose action caused the accident and why. Public transportation injuries are still based on negligence, but the public transportation companies in some states are subject to “common carrier” law. A common carrier is a legal term that applies to people and businesses which provide transportation. Examples are public buses, trains, trolleys, and taxis. For states like California, common carriers owe their passengers a high degree of care, and they are held responsible for providing safety over and above what is considered “reasonable.” However, an injured passenger must still prove that the public transportation company was negligent in order to win his or her case.

How Do I Bring a Claim Against a Public Transportation Company?

Public transportation companies are usually owned by the state, so there are special state laws that apply to any claims brought against them. There is almost always a time deadline for filing any injury claims against a government agency, such as a public transportation company. If you or a family member were injured by a public transportation vehicle, or received injuries as a passenger on public transportation, you will need to speak to an attorney. Steve Gnau is an experienced personal injury attorney who can help obtain compensation for your injuries, so contact our firm today.

How to Know That You’re Driving Next to a Reckless Driverentry-title

Photo Of Auto Collision

You have probably been caught in a situation where you were driving on the freeway or a local road, and someone was driving “recklessly” next to you, in front of you, or behind you. The definition of reckless driving is different for everyone, so it’s difficult to give one solution to this problem. However, if you believe that you are witnessing reckless driving, it’s important that you take some sort of action. This person could be a danger to the public or create a risk to you and others, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry, and to report this to the police.

So, What is the “True” Definition of Reckless Driving?

Any law enforcement official would say that you should report reckless driving, but only if you feel it’s “truly a dangerous situation.” Reckless can be dangerous, as in driving in a way that presents a potential danger to human life. Reckless can also just simply mean careless, as in the reckless driver in question is departing from the care that a reasonable person would exercise in a similar circumstance. Reckless can additionally mean to act with “reckless disregard,” which would mean to proceed to do something while consciously being aware of and ignoring possible consequences. If any of these definitions can apply to the situation you’re witnessing, you should call 911.

What Are Some Examples of Dangerous Reckless Driving?

These are signs of dangerous driving:

  • Weaving or swerving in and out of driving lanes
  • Passing quickly on curves and double yellow lines
  • Driving extremely slowly as to impede other traffic
  • Tailgating
  • Extreme speeding
  • Road rage
  • Disobeying and disregarding traffic signs and road rules
  • Accelerating and braking suddenly

If you were involved in a car accident that was a result of reckless and dangerous driving of another, you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and damages. Contact Steve Gnau today to get experienced representation for your case.