| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Personal Injury Attorney | Occupant Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has kicked off its annual Click It or Ticket campaign, aimed at increasing the rate of seatbelt use in the United States.  The campaign started on Monday, May 19, 2014 and ran through June 1,2014. Occupant safety is critical during an automobile accident. The seatbelt remains an effective means of reducing injury and avoiding fatality.  In January, NHTSA released its latest figures on seatbelt use. The data, covering 2013, shows seatbelt use remained stable across the United States, hovering at about 87 percent. Points of the report include: Seatbelt use increased for motorists traveling in heavy traffic. Motorists are more likely to use seat belts in states where primary enforcement laws are in effect. As seatbelt rates increase, rates of unrestrained passenger fatalities decline. In 2013, NHTSA took aim once again at seatbelt interlock as part of its Significant and Seamless initiative. In this campaign, NHTSA seeks to partner with automobile manufacturers to introduce life-saving technologies in cars. Seatbelt interlock mechanisms disable a car from being driven if passengers are not wearing restraints. While the measure would improve seatbelt use, it is unclear how motorists might react to a technological requirement to buckle up. This year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) also placed a focus on occupant protection. From creating survivable vehicle space in an accident, to developing rules that require restraints for infants on airplanes, the NTSB supports the use of restraints across all modes of transportation in this country. Seatbelts are an easy way to help yourself, and your family, in the event of an accident. Though you cannot stop others from negligent behavior, you may help loved ones survive an accident by using seatbelts. If you or a loved one is injured in an automobile accident in Bakersfield, speak with experienced personal injury attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP. A personal injury attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information. Photo Credit: Drewwh via Flickr Creative Commons  

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Live-Saving App | Personal Injury Attorney

Live-Saving App | Personal Injury Attorney Personal Injury Attorney | Saving Lives with One Smart App Choosing a designated driver before you head out on the town is simply smart. It means your friends or family can have a great time without putting anyone else in danger. As a designated driver, you’re taking on an important role. Shouldn’t you be rewarded for it? In California, the answer is yes. The DDVIP app from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) boasts discounts and offers for sober, designated drivers at a variety of restaurants and bars in the state. It’s a way of recognizing designated drivers for their vital role in protecting everyone on the road. Enjoy VIP Status as the Designated Driver When you fielded sober driver duties in the past, did you ever think of yourself as a VIP? It’s more likely that you felt as if you were missing out on some of the fun. The DDVIP app, available for Android and iOS, aims to change that by rewarding designated drivers. Why is that so important? Almost 900 people were killed in accidents caused by drunk drivers in California in 2014. The OTS is working hard to bring these numbers down by making driving sober an appealing choice. Free non-alcoholic drinks, snacks and great deals mean that everyone can enjoy the party without having to worry that they’ll be calling personal injury attorneys as a result of one night’s fun. Of course, the DDVIP app goes beyond rewarding designated drivers and helps them find great local venues via a mapping function. It’s the easiest way to find participating businesses whether you’re planning ahead or on the fly. DDVIP is an all-in-one application that promotes safety while supporting local businesses too. It’s a win-win for everyone. Find a Sober Ride Anytime The creators of the DDVIP app understood that sometimes things go wrong and designated drivers shirk their duties. When that happens, you can find a safe ride using the app too. The Find a Ride page offers connections to Uber, Lyft and Curb drivers in one convenient place. You can download the app from the California Department of Technology. Keeping your family and friends safe by acting as the designated driver is the sane, responsible choice. Unfortunately, you can only control your own behavior. If you’ve been involved in an accident caused by a drunk driver, know that you can work with personal injury attorneys to get just compensation. A personal injury attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.

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Lane-Splitting Eliminated | Personal Injury Lawyer

Lane-Splitting Eliminated | Personal Injury Lawyer California Highway Patrol Eliminates Lane-Splitting Rules from Website Personal Injury Lawyer | In a move that upset motorcyclists and raised questions about attitudes toward the practice, the California Highway Patrol removed the guidelines for lane splitting from its website in July. The rules had only been posted since last year, when they were created as a reference for drivers of all vehicles as part of an effort to set standards regarding the practice. The CHP, under orders from the state’s Office of Administrative Law, removed the guidelines to avoid their being mistaken for enforceable laws. Lane splitting is the practice of maneuvering a motorcycle between two stopped or very slow-moving lanes of traffic. This generally occurs during traffic jams on freeways. California is the only state that specifically permits lane splitting, although the requirement that it only be done in a “safe and prudent” manner leaves the rules open to considerable interpretation. Because the practice is somewhat controversial and can be dangerous, motorcyclists should take precautions to avoid accidents while lane splitting. Among the most important is not speeding through stopped or slow-moving traffic. Proceeding too quickly raises the risk of an accident in the event that a car switches lanes unexpectedly, or if cars in adjacent lanes happen to be too close together. A good rule of thumb is to travel at about 10 miles per hour faster than the other traffic, and to return to a lane once traffic is moving at about 30 miles per hour. Basic safety practices such as being alert and aware of their surroundings, using headlights, and wearing reflective clothing also apply. Car and truck drivers also need to exercise caution in situations where lane splitting is likely to occur. Again, basic safety measures such as checking mirrors and blind spots prior to changing lanes are necessary, but recognizing that a motorcycle can approach especially quickly while lane splitting means that drivers should be extra cautious. Because different judges may interpret the rules around lane splitting very differently, it’s important to speak with a knowledgeable Bakersfield personal injury lawyer from Young Wooldridge, LLP. If you suffered serious injury in a Bakersfield accident, rely on Young Wooldridge, LLP with the resources necessary to prove fault and protect your rights. For more information on this issue, speak with a compassionate Bakersfield personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.  

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Estate Planning

Lack of Will Can Cause Hardship | Estate Planning

Lack of Will Can Cause Hardship | Estate Planning Lack of Will May Cause Hardships for Loved Ones Estate Planning | After a lifetime of providing and caring for them, one of the last things you probably want to happen to your family is subjecting them to the stress and expense of settling your estate. Yet too many people fail to adequately and thoroughly put plans in place to account for the distribution of their property and assets. Putting a will together can ease your family of considerable pressure and allow them to focus their energies more productively. There are a number of problems associated with failing to have an estate plan, including a will, in place when you die. Most obviously, you will have zero control over whom your property goes to. It’s possible that you don’t want your property to go to certain family members, or that you want to leave certain property to a charitable organization. Without documentation in place, these decisions are left up to state law. Leaving the settling of your estate up to the law may also mean your family is left to make difficult choices. Depending on family dynamics, this can lead to stress and conflict, and the after-effects of the experience can stay with your family members for years. As California is a community property state, a spouse will generally inherit all of the property you jointly owned during your marriage. But states have different laws regarding intestate succession, and the only way you can feel secure about what happens to your assets and who benefits from them is by having a strong estate plan outlined before your death. Having a proper estate plan in place is a crucial final step in a lifetime of caring for your family. If you have questions or concerns about your existing plan, or if you need to begin drafting a will or other documents related to estate planning, an experienced Kern County attorney from Young Wooldridge, LLP can offer the guidance you need. The compassionate estate planning attorneys at Young Wooldridge, LLP have the resources of an experienced litigation firm and will make sure that your wishes are fully carried out.  Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

Defective Product | Personal Injury Attorney

Defective Product | Personal Injury Attorney Personal Injury Attorney | How Does a Typical Defective Product Claim Play Out? According to statistics from top personal injury attorneys, thousands of people every year are injured or killed because of dangerous or defective products. In California and throughout the United States, manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers may be held liable for any damages incurred by others through defective products they make, distribute or sell. However, receiving proper compensation in a timely manner often requires the help of a reliable personal injury attorney. Gather Information If you have been injured by a defective product, it is recommended that you seek a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. However, before you do so, you must prepare by gathering all of the pertinent information that personal injury attorneys will need. This information includes a receipt or proof of your purchase and paperwork from your doctor about your injuries and any treatment performed. You will also want to write down as many facts as you know, including all of the following: Product and price paid for the product Date and place of purchase Date and time the injury occurred How the injury occurred How the product is defective Damages sustained from the injury Personal Injury Attorney Once you have all of your facts and documentation, find an experienced attorney. Personal injury attorneys will be able to take care of the entire process for you. If you have a good case, then it may be accepted on a contingency basis, which means you won’t have to pay your lawyer out of your own pocket in advance. The attorney will file a claim with all entities in the supply chain with a notice that you are seeking damages and that a lawsuit will be filed in court. The liable parties will have a chance to settle the case out of court, but if it goes to court, your lawyer will have to prove the following four points: You suffered an injury. The product is defective. The defective product caused the injury. The product was used as intended or alternatively, the product was used in a way that could have been foreseen. Even if the product was misused, you still might have a claim. Once these four points can be proved, an amount for compensation can be negotiated between you, those liable and the court. It’s best if you have an experienced and honest personal injury attorney during these proceedings. If you need a personal injury attorney, the experienced professionals at Young Wooldridge, LLP are ready to help. For more information on this issue, speak with a compassionate Bakersfield personal injury attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Call 661.327.9661 to schedule a free initial consultation.  Like us on Facebook for more information.  

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Brain Injury on Playing Field | Personal Injury Lawyer

Brain Injury on Playing Field | Personal Injury Lawyer Heads Up: The Danger of Brain Injury on the Playing Field Personal Injury Lawyer | In autumn of 2013, the National Football League (NFL) settled a lawsuit brought by retired players for $765 million. In the suit, the players allege the NFL had knowledge of the dangers of suffering repetitive concussion and failed to inform players. Now retired, many players suffer conditions including: Parkinson’s disease Alzheimer’s disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) The Boston University (BU) Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center recently released the results of post-mortem studies on two athletes. CTE is a degenerative, progressive brain disorder caused by repetitive trauma to the brain. CTE can underpin diseases like ALS and Alzheimer’s disease. In their studies, BU researchers found a 29-year old soccer player who died of ALS, and a 36-year old major league baseball player who committed suicide, both suffered from Stage Two CTE. These findings underscore the need to evaluate contact sports at every age. In March 2014, the NFL announced a $45 million donation to USA Football to fund Heads Up, a national program offering support and education to coaches and families to avoid and treat concussive trauma. In California, the Concussion Coalition also partners with agencies and local sports groups to help children play safe and stay safe. A federal judge rejected the damage settlement proposed by the NFL in January, 2014. The judge cited concern that the settlement could not appropriately serve the approximately 4,500 disabled players who are parties to the action. If you suffer traumatic brain injury due to the negligence of others, speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP. For more information on this issue, speak with a compassionate Bakersfield personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.  

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Black Boxes & Accident Reconstruction | Personal Injury Lawyer

Black Boxes & Accident Reconstruction | Personal Injury Lawyer Personal Injury Lawyer | In addition to being flight recorders, “black boxes” also refer to onboard data recorders used in motor vehicles. A more technical name for a black box is electronic data recorder (EDR). As reported by USA Today, trucking companies are divided on the issue of installing EDRs in their fleets. The American Trucking Associations (ATA), the largest trucking industry trade association in the United States, reported that EDRs reduce hours of service violations. The trucking firm, Schneider National, required EDRs for all trucks in its 13,000 fleet. It claims EDRs considerably reduced crash incidents. The company’s internal study revealed driver fatigue as the major cause of crashes in 2010 where the trucking company or driver was at fault. Today, many automobiles also contain black boxes. To address privacy issues, California passed its own EDR legislation. Vehicles owners’ manuals must disclose whether the vehicle is equipped with an EDR. What does an EDR record? Vehicle speed and direction History of where the vehicle traveled Steering performance Brake performance, including whether brakes were applied before an accident Driver’s seatbelt use EDRs transmit accident information to a central communications system. State law prohibits information from being downloaded or retrieved by anyone except the vehicle owner ─ unless the owner gives consent, a court orders it, or for motor vehicle safety or medical research reasons related to accidents the data is used without identifying the owner. The other exception would be use for a dealer to diagnose, service or repair a vehicle. Whenever appropriate, lawyers can request EDR information as part of discovery and establish a chain of custody. EDR information is valuable for reconstructing accidents and can become evidence in a case. Expert witnesses analyze black box data during accident reconstruction to determine causation. Depending on the skills and reputations of expert witnesses, courts often regard their professional opinions given during testimony as fact. If you suffered serious injury in a Bakersfield accident, rely on Young Wooldridge, LLP with the resources necessary to prove fault and protect your rights. For more information on this issue, speak with a compassionate Bakersfield personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.  

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Safety Tips for Motorcyclists | Personal Injury Lawyer

Personal Injury Lawyer | Safety Tips for Motorcyclists Personal Injury Lawyer | Motorcycles are fun to ride, and they are extremely efficient on fuel, but they can also be very dangerous if you are not following all of the safety rules recommended by national insurance companies, state departments of highway safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). Motorcyclists stand a chance in court with the help of a personal injury lawyer but not so much against the pavement, which is why the following safety tips are so vital. Complete a motorcycle safety course. Nearly every state requires motorcyclists to pass a skills test before receiving a license, and many also require the successful completion of a safety class. If you live in a state that does not require a safety course, you should enroll in one anyway. You will learn all of the traffic laws pertinent to motorcycles in your state, and you will be taught how to handle emergency situations as they arise. If you become injured, your safety certification may help a personal injury lawyer prove your case. Always wear a helmet. A strong helmet made specifically for motorcyclists is the best way to protect yourself from a head injury, which is the leading cause of fatalities among motorcycle riders. The helmet should only be purchased brand new, and it must be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation to ensure it meets the minimum safety specifications. In addition, your helmet should fit properly and not obstruct your vision. Don’t forget protective clothing. As a motorcyclist, you have to recognize that your body has no protection other than what you are wearing. Therefore, you must always wear protective clothing, which includes long pants, a jacket, gloves and boots. The best material to reduce the risk of injury from accidents is leather, but some companies offer armored motorcycle gear made from other strong, lightweight materials that work just as well or better. You will also want to protect your feet by wearing sturdy shoes or boots with adequate ankle support. Never wear flip-flops, sandals or any other type of open-toed shoes. Perform a pre-ride safety check. Always perform a safety check before setting off on any ride. The safety check should include the following points at a minimum: Tire pressure Oil, gas or other fluid leaks Fluid levels Headlights, taillights and turn signals Once the above checks are made, mount the motorcycle and perform these additional safety checks: Adjust mirrors Check clutch and throttle Test brakes Honk horn The personal injury lawyers at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.

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Reasons for Motorcycle Accidents | Personal Injury Lawyer

Reasons for Motorcycle Accidents | Personal Injury Lawyer Personal Injury Lawyer | While motorcycles are fun to ride and very economical, personal injury lawyers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) state that they are much riskier to operate than cars and trucks are. In 2012, approximately 93,000 motorcyclists were injured and nearly 5,000 were killed on U.S. roads, an increase of 7 percent over the previous year. If you are involved in an accident, a personal injury lawyer may be able to help you receive compensation for your damages, but the best case scenario is to prevent accidents rather than recover from them. The first step in motorcycle safety and avoiding a meeting with a personal injury lawyer is to understand the top reasons for accidents. Not Paying Attention or Not Being Seen at Intersections Intersections, whether controlled or uncontrolled, are the most dangerous part of any road for motorcyclists. In some cases, this is because the motorcyclist is not paying attention to the road and surrounding traffic, but most of the time, accidents occur because the motorcycle is not seen by other drivers. In fact, 42 percent of all motorcycle collisions occur when cars are making left-hand turns. When on a motorcycle, always approach lights and stop signs with caution, and do everything possible to ensure you are easy to spot while on the road. Ignoring Weather and Road Conditions Motorcycles are not the most stable vehicles to drive. It does not take much interference to lose control. Small objects, cracks or loose gravel in the road is sometimes all that stands between a safe excursion and a fatal accident. In addition, most personal injury lawyers experienced with motorcycle injuries ask bikers to avoid riding during inclement weather. If you are already on the road, pull off to the side or seek shelter under an overpass until the weather eases or clears. Splitting Lanes Splitting lanes is the act of driving between two cars in adjacent lanes. This brings the motorcycle into close proximity of two moving vehicles, reducing the safety cushion to practically nil. Splitting lanes is also dangerous because other drivers are not anticipating this maneuver and may not see the motorcyclist. Sometimes, accidents happen even when riders take every available precaution. A personal injury lawyer at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have. If you or someone you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident, contact the Personal Injury lawyers at Young Wooldridge, LLP for a free initial consultation.  Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.

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Motorcycle Accident | Personal Injury Lawyer

Motorcycle Accident | Personal Injury Lawyer Your Rights, If You Are Injured In A Motorcycle Accident If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, it is very important to seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer. All too often, victims of a motorcycle accident receive unfair treatment from the insurance company. Insurers feel that people that drive motorcycles are placing themselves at risk and therefore are not entitled to the same fair treatment as other accident victims. Sadly, a personal injury lawyer battles this stigma against motorcycle drivers every day. As any personal injury lawyer will tell you, a person who drives a motorcycle has the exact same rights as any other accident victim, and is entitled to the same forms of compensation. Statistics Show That A Majority Of Motorcycle Accidents Are Caused By The Other Driver Personal injury lawyers have seen the statistics issued by the Department of Highway Safety and know that a large majority of motorcycle accidents are caused by the person driving the other vehicle. Because of this a personal injury lawyer will fight aggressively to protect the rights of the accident victim. Motorcycle Accidents Often Involve Catastrophic Injuries Injuries that occur during a motorcycle accident are often catastrophic. The blunt force of a large vehicle hitting a motorcycle can throw the rider a long distance and cause significant harm. These type of accidents often involve the following types of injuries: • Head, neck and back injuries • Broken or fractured bones • Severe lacerations • Traumatic brain injuries • Internal organ injuries or damage These injuries can take an extensive time to recovery from, if recovery is possible. It is important that the driver of the motorcycle receive the compensation to which they are entitled to cover the costs of recovery. In addition to the medical care costs, many states allow victims of accidents to seek other types of compensation, such as lost wages or pain and suffering. Your personal injury lawyer will explain to you all of the forms of compensation you can receive in accordance with your state law. How Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help By seeking the services of a personal injury lawyer, a motorcycle accident victim will protect their rights as a victim. This type of legal representation ensures that the insurance provider does not overlook the rights of the victim simply because they were legally riding a motorcycle. The personal injury lawyers at Young Wooldridge, LLP can inform you of legal options you may not know you have. If you or a loved one has experienced an injury or wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence, contact The Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP. Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.

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