What Types of Serious Injuries Can I Sustain from a Bicycle Accident?entry-title

Riding a bicycle is an easy and fun way to travel to and from any local destinations. California’s metro areas have many bicyclists who use this form of transportation to get to work and other places. However, riding a bicycle in California can be dangerous. There were over 800 bicycle-related fatalities in 2015 alone. Not all bicycle accidents end in death, but many do result in serious injuries that could affect the bicyclist’s life forever.

What Are the Serious Injuries that Bicyclists Face?

Bicycle injuries can be attributed to rider error, motorist error, environmental hazards, or bicycle mechanical failures. Faster riding speed usually always contributes to serious injuries and fatalities on the road, so the number one rule to protect yourself is to follow a safe riding speed at all times. Common serious injuries that can result from these bicycle accidents are:

  • Head trauma: Head injuries occur in up to 48 percent of serious bicycle accidents, often as a result of a crash with a motor vehicle. They are also responsible for over 60 percent of bicycle-related fatalities and long-term disabilities. Head trauma can include skull fractures, concussions, brain contusions, and hemorrhages.
  • Bone/skeletal injuries: These can include any fractures, dislocations or strains of the arms or legs from a serious bicycle accident.
  • Chest injuries: Rib fractures and lung injuries may result from a bicycle accident.
  • Skin and soft tissue injuries: “Road rash” abrasions, lacerations, contusions, bruises and scrapes are included in these types of injuries.

Serious bicycle injuries can be minimized if the bicyclist is wearing the appropriate head gear and outfit. Also, following all traffic and road rules is very important if you want to reduce your chance of a bicycle accident. Our Murrieta bicycle accident attorneys know what your rights are a cyclist, and we can help you pursue a compensation claim for your injuries caused due to someone’s negligence. Contact Steve Gnau today for more information.

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.

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.

Why Sleeping in Your Car Can Result in a Deadly Injury or Accidententry-title

There are many reasons why you would need to sleep in your vehicle. You could be waiting to “sober up” after drinking, you could be homeless and have nowhere else to temporarily stay, or you could be traveling and taking a quick nap. Whether or not you are sleeping in your car because you need somewhere to live, or if you need somewhere to temporarily sleep, you should know the potential ramifications of this. There are multiple factors that will depend on the circumstances you receive.

How Can I Legally Sleep in my Car?

There are a few tips you should take if you are planning on taking a long road trip or if you have become temporarily displaced.

  • Use rest stops and campsites: If you properly plan ahead, public rest stops are typically places where you can legally sleep in your vehicle. You can’t camp there, but you can park and keep your car in a parking spot for a few hours or potentially overnight. However, if it seems that you are attempting to live there, police who are monitoring the area might charge you for illegal camping. Make sure not to stay in a campground without permission or paying the appropriate fees.
  • Be careful on public and private property: There are state laws and local regulations that apply to sleeping in your vehicle on public property. This will all depend on what type of public property, what time of the day it is, and where you specifically parked. Private property is usually a little more lenient, but make sure you personally check in with whomever owns the property and what their specific regulations are.
  • Turn off your vehicle while you’re sleeping: Keeping your engine running while you’re sleeping is extremely dangerous to yourself and others. Carbon monoxide can build up inside the vehicle if you don’t have any windows open, and you will also run out of gas much faster. If it’s cold, make sure you pack blankets, jackets, or insulated sleeping bags so you won’t have to keep the heat on.
  • Don’t drink and drive: Many people will want to sleep for a short period of time after a night out with too many drinks. If this is your only safe option, don’t hesitate to do this. Some tips are to sleep in the back seat instead of the front, turn off your engine, and keep your car keys out of view. Keep in mind that you could still receive a parking ticket or a DUI charge.

Sleeping in your car is a risky move to make, because you could be putting yourself at risk for arrest or injuries. Steve Gnau can tell you more on the importance of safe driving, contact his office today.