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.

Proving Damages in a California Car Accident Lawsuitentry-title

Photo of a car accident

Our Murrieta Car Accident Lawyers Explain How Damages Work

Car accidents injure more than 2 million U.S. drivers each year and kill an additional 35,000. Some car accident injuries are relatively minor, meaning the individuals involved will not suffer extensive damages.

Roughly 200,000 auto accident victims require extensive treatment in a hospital after a crash. Some of these individuals suffered major injuries, some of which are catastrophic and last the rest of their lives.

Damages in a Car Accident Lawsuit

There are three types of damages in a California car accident lawsuit. Economic damages encompass your medical bills, lost income, transportation costs and other direct expenses that are quantifiable. Noneconomic damages cover the pain and suffering caused by your injury. Finally, there are punitive damages, also called punishment damages. These are damages that can only be awarded by a jury.

We can look at this concept further by using a specific type of injury to illustrate how damages could work during a car accident case. Let’s say for example that your average 25-year-old healthy male suffers a complete C1 spinal cord injury during a car crash. This type of catastrophic injury would likely incur extensive economic and noneconomic damages. A complete C1 spinal cord injury could result in tetraplegia, or a loss of function below the neck. 

The person would need around-the-clock care, therapeutic care, home medical equipment, coverage for a loss of current and future income, and money for transportation costs. These are examples of economic damages that a person with a complete C1 spinal cord injury might suffer.

A person with this type of injury would also suffer noneconomic damages, such as a loss of enjoyment in life, mental anguish, or loss of companionship. While noneconomic damages are more difficult to quantify, an experienced attorney can help maximize your compensation.

Insurance companies are much more likely to put up an extensive fight if claims involve noneconomic damages. For this reason, it is important to pick an experienced attorney who has experience with jury trials involving car accident and catastrophic injury cases.

Damages for Wrongful Death Lawsuits

Some car accident victims lose their lives. Family members suffer damages as a result of a loss or losses. This is especially true in cases where the decedent (the deceased person) was the sole source of income for the family.

Damages in a wrongful death case are similar to damages in a case involving injuries. You may be able to obtain compensation for funeral expenses from a wrongful death lawsuit.

Our attorneys can personally answer any questions you have about seeking compensation for the death of a loved one.

Proving Damages in a Car Accident Lawsuit

There are a couple of ways to prove economic damages in a car accident case. For instance, it would be necessary to analyze and estimate the cost of your current and future medical bills. It would also be important to take a look at how much money you were making or could have made if you had not suffered an injury.

With noneconomic damages, the process is more difficult because you are attempting to quantify the impact your injury has on your quality of life. The amount you can recover depends on the extent and severity of your injury, and possibly other factors. An attorney will need to successfully argue for compensation for these damages.

Punitive damages are only possible if your case proceeds to a trial, as a jury can only award punitive damages in California.

About Our Murrieta Car Accident Lawyers

The Murrieta car accident lawyers at Gnau & Tamez Law Group, LLP can help you determine if you have options to file a lawsuit against another driver. We have experience with car accident injury and wrongful death cases in California.

You can learn more about how damages could apply to your case by calling us for a free consultation. To reach our firm, dial (951)370-1111 or use the online case review form on our website.

Posting About An Accident On Social Mediaentry-title

Photo Of Auto Collision

If you have been hit by a drunk driver or someone who was recklessly operating their vehicle, you may be going through a wide variety of problems. Whether you have physical pain, financial difficulties, or mental trauma, you may feel as if nobody understands the situation you are in or have no idea how to address these challenges. For some victims, social networking platforms are a good way to reach out to others and find some support from family members, friends, and even strangers. However, the sharing of certain types of sensitive information online can lead to problems down the road, so it is important to be mindful when it comes to online posts.

Whether you record yourself and upload a video to the internet or write about certain aspects of the accident in a brief message, this information could potentially be used against you if you are heading to court or decide to file an accident claim with your insurance. As a result, it is pivotal to avoid posting anything that could hurt your case, which could make your life and path to recovery even more difficult. Unfortunately, some people have shared information by accident or without giving too much thought to the content of their message only to have the post create problems when they attempt to pursue benefits they need.

If a negligent driver has turned your life into turmoil, you should do all you can to obtain benefits you need. Visit the auto accidents page on our site for extra motor vehicle crash material.

How to Avoid Drunk Driving Accidents on the Fourth of Julyentry-title

Photo of a Fourth of July Celebration

Drunk driving is one of the top causes of auto accidents in our country, leading to around a third of all traffic collisions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 29 people in the U.S. die every day due to impaired driving. These numbers tend to go up on holidays, especially July Fourth. Independence Day is one of the deadliest holidays when it comes to drunk driving accidents, and our Murrieta drunk driving accident lawyers want to help your family prepare.

How to Defend Yourself from July Fourth Drunk Driving Accidents

Independence Day is here, which means parties, celebrations and fireworks. However, some of these celebrations include alcohol and can lead to tragedy on the road. Here are a few ways you can protect yourself from this danger.

  1. Avoid Driving Late at Night – In order to get the best view of July Fourth fireworks, many parties will last into the night. When these fireworks are over, many drivers will be hitting the road, and some may have been drinking. Choose a fireworks show that is either in the early evening or near your home to avoid these late-night drunk drivers.
  2. Buckle Up – One of the best defenses you have in the event of any traffic accident is your seatbelt. It reduces the probability of injuries and fatalities in almost every crash situation.
  3. Be Careful at Intersections – Drunk driving accidents often happen at intersections due to the slow reaction times and blurred or double vision experienced by intoxicated drivers. Be extra cautious, look both ways, yield to oncoming traffic and never assume someone will stop for a light or sign. Make sure your path is clear before you proceed.
  4. Maintain a Safe Following Distance – Putting several car lengths between you and other drivers will help you spot erratic driving and give you time to respond to it. If a drunk driver is swerving, speeding up then slowing down, or just acting strange, it’s better to have distance between you and them while also keeping an eye on them. Don’t try to pass a vehicle you suspect is being operated by an impaired driver. Instead, try to find a safe place to pull over and contact the authorities.

Our Murrieta Drunk Driving Lawyers Are Also Here to Help

These tips should help you stay safe for your July Fourth holiday, but even the best preparations can’t prevent every tragedy. If a drunk driver injures you or a family member, our attorneys are here to help. At SD Injury Attorneys, Steven Gnau works hard to help families put their lives back together. He not only has the experience to help, his clients enjoy the quality legal representation and care he provides. Call our Murrieta law firm at (951)370-1111 or fill out our online contact form for a free consultation.

Ten Defensive Driving Tips You Should Always Practiceentry-title

Photos of Cars Stuck in Traffic

Did you know that traumatic injury is the number one cause of death in people under the age of 45? A report from CNN revealed not only that unintentional injury was the top cause of death for younger people, but that cars were responsible for most of those injuries. That means getting into the car and driving to the grocery store may be the most dangerous thing you do all day. So, how do we protect ourselves when driving our cars? Our Murrieta auto accident attorneys know some defensive driving techniques that could help.

1. Focus on Driving

The first step in learning how to become a defensive driver is learning to stay focused when you are driving. Many people don’t realize that driving is a very thought-intensive activity. You have to think about road conditions, traffic signals, traffic laws, checking mirrors and many other tasks. Talking on the phone, sending a text, eating or paying too much attention to a passenger can result in a crash.

2. Watch Out for Other Drivers

We all make mistakes, and this applies on the road as well. Don’t assume that another driver saw you signal and will let you merge into a lane. Don’t assume that another driver saw the light turn red and will stop. Be cautious, and don’t take another driver’s actions for granted.

3. Maintain a Buffer

Rear-end collisions are a common type of car accident. To help prevent this type of crash, always travel with a buffer of three seconds between you and the car ahead of you. This will allow you to react fast enough to stop your car if someone suddenly slams on their brakes.

4. Be Predictable

When you are driving, you want other drivers to be able to tell what you are going to do. That means moving at a steady pace, avoiding sudden increases and decreases in speed, no unexpected lane changes and using your turn signals.

5. Practice Situational Awareness

Are you using your mirrors and checking your blind spots? How far are you looking ahead of where you are driving? Using your mirrors and looking ahead will help you recognize potential dangers before they get to you.

6. Plan an Escape Route

Always plan two paths to get out of harm’s way while you are driving. If you need to pass a commercial truck, do you have enough room to get out of the way if the truck comes into your lane? If a car suddenly stops in front of you, could you steer into the courtesy lane instead of stopping? Have a backup route planned in your head in case traffic conditions become dangerous.

7. Be Willing to Yield

One of the best ways to ensure your driving safety is to be willing to give up your right of way. If you have the right of way through an intersection, but the cross traffic is not yielding, don’t keep going. It may slow you down a bit, but it will help you avoid crashing. Also, if you are confused about who has the right of way, err on the side of caution and let the other vehicle go.

8. Mind the Speed Limit

A good defensive driver should always pay attention to the speed limit and avoid exceeding it. The faster you drive, the harder it is to maintain full control of your vehicle. Your car will also sustain more damage the faster it is going when a collision occurs. So, slow down and get home safely.

9. Do Not Drive Under the Influence

Law enforcement strives to remind drivers to never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. However, did you realize that even over-the-counter or prescription drugs can affect your driving? Before you get behind the wheel, honestly assess your ability to drive. If you have any doubts, do not drive.

10. Use Your Seatbelt

Utilizing the safety features of your car is a great way to drive defensively. Automatic braking and collision detectors are awesome devices to help you avoid collisions, and they come on many modern vehicles. However, there is one simple, effective device that comes equipped in every car—a seatbelt. This simple belt saves thousands of lives every year. So, please buckle up.

There are even more ways to help ensure your safety while driving on the roadways of California. To learn more, keep following our Murrieta auto accident attorneys on Twitter and Facebook. You can also catch more tips on our Murrieta personal injury blog.