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Beverly Hills Personal Injury Law Blog

What do self-driving cars mean for liability insurance?

Beverly Hills is home to some of the world’s most exciting cars. Step outside, and you’ll find Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Bentleys and Rolls Royces rolling down the streets. But these days, the cars driving the most excitement are the ones with the massive sensor arrays mounted on top.

For years, the city has dreamed of a fleet of autonomous vehicles (AVs), and its website asserts it’s only a question of when and how these cars will reshape the nation’s roadways, not if they will. That means we can expect to see more of them on the city’s streets and on streets throughout the nation, and we can expect some larger conversations about insurance and liability.

You shouldn't have to risk your life bicycling in Los Angeles

Of course, a bike is no match for a car or truck in an accident. Cyclists know this when they hit the road. But what they should be able to count on is that drivers of heavy vehicles will follow traffic laws and drive with caution and prudence. Unfortunately, all too often, drivers in Los Angeles are in too much of a hurry or driving while distracted. When one of them hits a bicyclist while driving negligently or recklessly, causing injury or death, that driver will be legally liable for the resulting harm.

Quick Internet searches pull up news stories of several of these accidents recently in the LA area. For example, a cyclist died when the driver of a car pinned him between the vehicle and a pole in the Central-Alameda area near downtown. An allegedly intoxicated, speeding driver hit a Riverside biker in Rialto, who died at the scene.

Multivehicle pileups all too common in Los Angeles traffic

Those who live or work in the LA area know part of life is fighting congestion and traffic. Hearing about yet another pileup on one of our freeways or interstates becomes something that does not raise an eyebrow after a while. But a multicar crash often causes property damage, severe injury and even death.

In March, readers may remember several multivehicle accidents involving about 20 vehicles (and trapping many more) along a four-mile stretch when thick fog covered the Grapevine area on Interstate 5 on a Saturday afternoon. According to an article in the Sacramento Bee, in addition to the foggy conditions, other factors that could have contributed to the crashes included smoke from two burning vehicles, drivers not engaging their headlights and excessive speed for the condition.

LA traffic headaches no excuse for negligent or reckless driving

People who live or work in the Los Angeles metro area know all too well what it is like to drive anywhere, especially in rush hour or in bad weather. In 2018, LA drivers sat stuck in traffic jams almost 130 hours each, on average, according to a study by INRIX as reported by Curbed Los Angeles.

Santa Monica, California-area e-scooter injuries subject of study

One of the first venues for an electric scooter sharing service was in 2017 in Santa Monica, right down the road from our law firm in Beverly Hills. Scooters as an ingredient in the soup of public transportation are positive from convenience, cost and air-quality viewpoints.

However, introducing an unfamiliar mode of travel into famously heavy California traffic in which the driver’s body is unprotected — think bicycles and motorcycles — opens up scooter drivers to collisions with larger vehicles, standing objects and pedestrians as well as to other kinds of mishaps, all of which can potentially cause serious injury to vulnerable scooter drivers.

What to do if a loved one suffers a catastrophic brain injury?

brain-Catastrophic.jpgIn 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that there were 2.87 million traumatic brain injury-emergency department visits, hospitalizations and deaths (TBI-EDHD) in the United States. They also reported:

  • 2.53 million TBI-related emergency department visits
  • 288,000 TBI-related hospitalizations
  • 56,800 TBI-related deaths

Pedestrian death serves as safety reminder

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle March 17 in West Los Angeles, police said.

The accident occurred in the 1100 block of South Robertson Boulevard between Olympic and Pico boulevards at about 8:30 p.m. The pedestrian was declared dead at the scene.

Fatigued port truckers put Los Angeles drivers at risk

The trucking industry has regulations about how much rest truckers are supposed to get between shifts. Usually that means that truckers are supposed to take a 10-hour break for every 14 hours of driving. 

But research shows that drivers around ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach often violate those rules, raising questions about whether port trucking companies are skirting rules as a matter of course, fatiguing drivers and making dangerous drowsy-driver accidents more likely on California's roads. 

What to do if hit by an uninsured motorist

Recent figures put the number of uninsured motorists on California highways at about 15 percent. That means that even if you are fully insured, you stand the very real chance of getting in to an accident with an uninsured driver.

When that happens, what do you do?

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