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

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.

What Kind of Injuries Can Result from Drunk Driving Accidents?entry-title

photo of keys next to whiskey in glasses

It is not shocking news that alcohol is the leading cause of motor vehicle fatalities and severe injuries in the United States. Thousands of people are killed in drunk driving accidents every year, despite strict DUI and DWI laws. The risk of a driver being killed in a drunk driving accident with a BAC of .08 is at least 11 times that of sober drivers. With fatalities at an alarming high, drunk driving accidents also cause severe injuries that physically and mentally incapacitate people.

What Are the Main Injuries Sustained After Drunk Driving Accidents?

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI): Your head and brain can sustain serious damage upon impact in a severe car accident. Traumatic brain injuries can cause coma, motor function and cognition issues, and can also lead to thousands of dollars in medical bills. Symptoms of a TBI can be subtle and hard to point out.
  • Broken bones: Broken and crushed bone injuries can occur after a car accident. These injuries can require multiple surgeries as well as lead to physical disabilities or even the loss of a limb.
  • Back and spine injuries: These injuries can include spine fractures, spinal disc injuries, back strains and sprains and any other serious spinal cord injuries.
  • Skin injuries: Car accidents can result in lacerations or burns, which can cause serious skin damage, pain, and/or permanent scarring and disfigurement.
  • Psychological injuries: Drunk driving accidents can cause depression anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorders in victims.

Head injuries, spine injuries, and other serious bodily and mental injuries can all result from a drunk driving accident. Steve Gnau has more than 20 years of experience as an attorney advocating for victims of drunk driving accidents in California. Contact him today if you are a victim of a drunk driving accident and would like to seek damages for your serious injuries.

What Damages Are Available for Me from a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?entry-title

Overcoming Relentless Emotional Turmoil After A Loved One's Death

When a loved one dies, emotional trauma can arrive and affect an entire family and each of its members. A death in the family can also cause extreme financial hardship, and it can leave family members at a loss for what to do next. California laws have been enacted in order to decrease these struggles for families, especially when a person or other party is found legally responsible for your loved one’s death. It’s crucial that you and your family know the different types of compensation (also known as damages) that are available in wrongful death lawsuits.

What Are the Different Categories of Damages in a Wrongful Death Suit?

There are two general categories of damages in a wrongful death case.  The two categories are called economic damages and non-economic damages.

The first category involves the loss of financial support, household services and loss of benefits or gifts that the deceased would have provided.  This category also involves burial expenses paid by the family.

The second category of damages involves the loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, moral support and affection that the family member suffered.  This category also involves the loss of training and guidance that the deceased would have provided to the family.

These categories of damages are designed to compensate the family for any financial losses, and they are intended to replace the value of money the deceased would have earned were it not for his or her death (lost wages). Loss of consortium can also be included in this damages category, which is where a spouse or immediate family member is deprived of the deceased’s love and companionship.

Most of the time, wrongful death damages are rewarded to spouses, children or parents of the deceased. If you are interested in filing a wrongful death lawsuit and would like to recover damages, we can help. Steve Gnau has extensive wrongful death case experience, and he will help represent you in court. Just contact our office today for a free consultation.

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

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.

Ways to Avoid a Serious Accident While Travelingentry-title

Spring break is just around the corner, which means many families, friends and couples will be traveling to new and exciting places. Vacation time is usually a relaxing and fun getaway that many people need, and after months of physically and financially planning, you’ll be ready to hit the road. However, with so many people on the highways traveling at the same time, there is bound to be an increase in auto accidents. In any situation, getting into a car accident can be an overwhelming and confusing experience, but this is even more the case when you’re visiting a foreign city or state. Here’s what to do to prepare for this, and how you can protect yourself legally.

Know how your insurance operates in another state/country

 Depending on your auto insurance policy, you can determine your individual rights in a car accident, and most of the time your first-party medical benefits coverage will follow you to another city, state, or country. To know for sure, review your insurance policy before you leave, and ask your insurance agent any questions you have about out-of-state coverage.

Practice safe driving

No matter where you are or where you’re vacationing, you should always drive as safe as possible and follow all driving laws that apply. Avoid a lot of in-car distractions in order to stay alert, ensure that everyone is wearing their seat belts, obey speed limits and construction zone regulations, and don’t drink and drive.

Protect your legal rights

If you are involved in an accident, call 911 immediately in order to seek immediate medical attention. Keep any evidence from the accident scene, and take any photographs of the scene itself, injuries, or damages. Collect all information from the other driver and be careful of anything you say or sign. People will try to take advantage of you if they notice you’re a tourist and are unaware of the system.

Steven Gnau has expertise in representing tourists who were injured in a car accident, or if they were injured in a rental car during their travels. Contact him today if you need to discuss your case.