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San Mateo Personal Injury Law Blog

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.

Drivers who are more likely to fall asleep at the wheel

A driver who falls asleep at the wheel, or even one who just drives under extreme fatigue, is really no better -- from a risk standpoint -- than a drunk driver. That person's reaction times tend to get worse, they make more mistakes and they could pass out and send the car careening into oncoming traffic. These are the same issues that make drunk driving so dangerous.

Even so, many people do drive when they're tired. Some of those who are most likely to do this include:

  • Those who are on medicines that create fatigue
  • Those who try to function on too little sleep
  • Those who work extra-long shifts, like hospital workers or those who work night shifts
  • Those who drive for a living, such as bus drivers, taxi drivers, rideshare drivers and truck drivers
  • Those who have sleep disorders, especially if they have never gotten treatment

Tesla faces lawsuit after man dies in fiery crash

A 38-year-old man recently passed away when the 2017 Tesla Model X he was driving allegedly steered itself into a median near Mountain View, which is about 20 minutes from San Mateo, on U.S. Highway 101. According to the man's wife, the vehicle's autopilot malfunctioned right before the March 23 crash, causing the vehicle to speed up and slam into the concrete barrier.

The family has filed a lawsuit against Tesla in Santa Clara County court. Caltrans is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. The suit states that Caltrans did not repair the median that was damaged. The family alleges that if the median had been repaired, then the impact of the car into the median would have been less.

Could your teen's after-prom party leave you liable for damages?

If your teenager is in the late stages of "senioritis," about the only thing that might rouse them from their state of lassitude is the anticipation of prom. However, along with selecting the perfect outfit and making nail and hair appointments, there are also bound to be plenty of plans for the after-prom festivities.

Many parents, seeking some semblance of control over their child's activities on prom night, offer to host after-prom parties for their teenagers and the teens' friends. While that is certainly an option, parents must also realize the potential liability they undertake when there are young people celebrating in their homes.

Baby delivered 3 months early after alleged DUI crash

A woman was six months pregnant when she was involved in an accident with a driver who is suspected of having been under the influence at the time of the crash. She had to deliver her baby three months early as a result.

Per reports, the woman was standing next to a Chevy Impala at the time. It was parked, and she was in front of it. At about 8:05 p.m., on Monday, April 8, a 23-year-old man came down the street in his Jeep. He drove off the road and hit the car. That impact smashed the car into the woman.