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San Mateo Personal Injury Law Blog

Pedestrian struck by police car last month dies from his injuries

A man who was struck and seriously injured by a Redwood City police officer last month has died. The San Mateo County Coroner's Office released news of the 25-year-old man's death, but did not say specifically what day he passed away. He had been hospitalized in critical condition since the crash on Sept. 16.

The officer was responding to a call that morning regarding a home invasion robbery on Poplar Avenue. He reportedly lost control of his patrol car on El Camino Real because the road was wet. He hit the median where the man was standing. The car continued moving into oncoming traffic and struck two vehicles. It eventually stopped on a sidewalk.

Dealing safely with an off-leash dog

You're a responsible dog owner. You always have your dog on a leash when you go for a walk. Unfortunately, many other people aren't so responsible. People walk their dogs off-leash all the time -- particularly in townhome and condominium complexes.

They're convinced that their dogs will remain by their side no matter what. Unfortunately, that's simply not true. Too often, the sight of another dog is too irresistible to pass up. Maybe the dog who's on a leash starts barking at them, and they take that as an invitation to fight.

Seeking compensation for subway and train injuries

Many San Mateo residents rely on Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) to get to and from San Francisco, Oakland and other destinations around the area. Fortunately, derailments and crashes are rare. Unfortunately, when they occur, they can result in multiple serious injuries and fatalities. You're more likely to be injured by something more mundane (yet painful and potentially debilitating) like a fall caused by missing floor tile or a sudden jolt of the train.

If you suffer an injury in a subway, train or light rail vehicle or station that could or should have been prevented by those responsible for it, whom can you hold liable? It can be a bit complicated because public transportation systems are usually managed and owned by government entities.

Know what to do when you encounter a service dog

Those of us who love dogs often find it hard to resist talking to or petting service dogs when we see them out in public. However, it's essential to remember that these dogs are working. They have to focus on what they've been trained to do. If they lose that focus -- even for a second -- they can put their owner in serious danger.

Even if you encounter a service dog who's in training or "off duty," it's still imperative that you ask their handler or owner if you may interact with them. To summarize: Never interact in any way with a service dog without first getting the permission of the person they're with.

Making a car insurance claim? Do these things

If you're involved in any type of car accident, there's a good chance you'll need to file an insurance claim.

While this sounds as simple as contacting your agent, there's more to it than that. If you don't take the right steps, it could hinder your ability to obtain compensation for your injuries and related damages.

What should you do if a driver is using their high beams?

If you're driving down a dark, two-lane road, the last thing you need is a vehicle driving in the opposite direction with their high beams on. High beams should be used cautiously. However, many drivers use them whenever they're on a poorly lit road, regardless of their blinding effect on oncoming traffic.

The initial reaction to seeing someone with their high beams on is to flash their headlights to try to alert the other driver to switch to their low beams. Unfortunately, that can be dangerous.

When is a sidewalk defect illegal?

California's cities are not famous for being accessible to pedestrians. Many of the roads in northern California have tight curves and no sidewalks, while the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles cover so much territory that walking does not often feel like an option. But the rights of pedestrians to expect a clear path cannot be ignored.

  • Who is responsible for sidewalks and other passages?

Pathways from streets to homes or within institutions like universities are often privately owned and therefore the responsibility of the private owners to maintain them. They may be liable for damage or injury if a badly maintained walkway is open to the general public.

  • When is a public sidewalk a problem?

A known aggressive dog attacks a Half Moon Bay woman

A dog attacked and seriously injured another canine and its owner while they were walking in their Half Moon Bay neighborhood on June 28.

The victim and her son were walking their own canine that fateful evening when their neighbor's dog suddenly came barreling toward them. She initially took her phone out as she saw the canine fast approaching, but she dropped it as it as the dog began attacking her. She can be heard screaming in the background once the video footage ceases.

Medications could harm seniors' ability to drive safely

Almost half of older drivers on the road take seven or more medications each day, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. And among those drivers, nearly 20 percent of them take medicine that either has limited benefit or could cause harm, the organization said.

And some of these drugs - they're known as potentially inappropriate medications, or PIMs - carry risks of blurred vision, fatigue, confusion or a loss of coordination. With that, comes an increased risk of a crash - a 300 percent increase, the foundation reported.

Puncture wounds are more likely to get infected

Any type of cut or abrasion can get infected. You absolutely want to clean any wound thoroughly and keep an eye out for swelling and redness, which can both be signs of infection. The same is true for a wound that will not heal, that fills with pus or that seems tender and painful long after it should have healed.

That said, medical experts note that puncture wounds are more likely to get infected than common scrapes and bruises. There are a few reasons, the first of which is that it's very difficult to fully clean a puncture wound. While running it under soap and water may clean the surface, it may not do much for the deeper damage below the skin.