| Read Time: 3 minutes | Personal Injury

Tips for a Happy and Safe Fourth of July

It’s safe to say that the Fourth of July is one of America’s favorite holidays.  And how could it not be?  Each year, we celebrate America’s birthday with great food, fireworks, and plenty of red, white and blue.  However, while you are busy celebrating with family and friends, fire and law enforcement officials are busy responding to the increase in incidents that will occur during the holiday. Don’t forget to keep these important safety tips in mind to keep your festivities fun and accident-free. The American Red Cross has provided the following safety tips to protect you and your loved ones for a happy – and safe – Fourth of July! HIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. Here are five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling: Do not drink and drive. Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits. Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text. Use caution in work zones. Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather. FIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home: Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.” Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. GRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue: Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use. Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire. Use the long-handled tools specially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe. WATER SAFETY If your holiday plans include water fun, follow these tips to help stay safe: Do your part, be water smart! Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Adults: actively supervise children; stay within arm’s reach of young children and newer swimmers. And kids follow the rules. Don’t fool with a pool: fence it in. Enclose your pool and spa with four-sided, four-foot fencing and use self-closing, self-latching gates. Don’t just pack it; wear your U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket – always when on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level. Inflatable children’s toys and water wings can be fun, but they are no substitute for a life jacket and adult supervision. Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair – everyone, including experienced swimmers, should swim with a buddy in areas protected by lifeguards. Reach or throw, don’t go! Know what to do to help someone in trouble, without endangering yourself; know how and when to call 9-1-1, and know CPR. Follow these general safety tips to ensure you and your loved ones enjoy the holiday under safe conditions. Even when practicing safety and care during your celebration, it is still possible for accidents to happen. If you or a loved one is injured due to the negligence of another, contact the Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP for a free initial consultation to learn your options.   

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May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

The month of May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.  This month is a reminder to motorists to safely “share the road” with motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.  Motorcyclists are also reminded to make themselves visible to all motorists.  While the rate of automobile fatalities has slowed or declined in recent years, the number of motorcyclists and their passengers injured and killed each year continues to climb. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motorcyclists killed in California has increased steadily for the past four years. In 2012, there were 435 motorcycle fatalities. Motorcycles, like bicycles, are a unique and popular form of transportation in California. Still, the unprotected nature of these vehicles leaves their drivers and riders vulnerable to disabling injury and death. If you ride a motorcycle, consider these points before you head out: Be seen: Wear bright, reflective clothing at all times of the day and night. Drive safe: Make sure your bike is properly maintained. If you are under 21, you must complete a motorcycle rider training course. If you are over 21, consider taking the course to refresh your safety skills. Do not drive impaired or distracted: Statistics show that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads. All motorists, regardless of vehicle, are at risk if driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, fatigue or distraction. Drive defensively: Assume cars and trucks do not see you. Give yourself extra time and space and approach intersections with caution. Regardless of your driving skill, serious accidents happen. If you are injured in a motorcycle accident, speak with an experienced injury attorney at Young Wooldridge, LLP.   Photo Credit: James Mann via Flickr Creative Commons

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| Read Time: 2 minutes | Personal Injury

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. In fact in 2013 alone, 3,154 people were killed and an estimated 424,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes that attributed to distracted driving. Over 400,000 Injuries Per Year Due To Distracted Driving Unfortunately, many drivers engage in a number of distracting activities from talking and texting on their cell phones, to eating, grooming, and even reading. While those distractions are completely avoidable, some distractions are nearly impossible to prevent and instead must be managed. Here are some tips from the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) that will help you avoid distracting activity while driving.   Turn it off and stow it. Turn your phone off or switch it to silent mode before you get in the car. Then stow it away so that it’s out of reach. Spread the word. Record a message on your phone that tells callers you’re driving and will get back to them when you’re off the road, or sign up for a service that offers this feature. Pull over. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe area first. Use your passengers. Ask a passenger to make the call or respond to a text for you. X the Text. Don’t ever text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving. It’s dangerous and against the law in most state. Even voice-to-text isn’t risk-free. Know the law. Familiarize yourself with state and local laws before you get in the car. Some states and localities prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones in addition to texting. Destination then drive. If using a GPS device, enter your destination before you start to drive. If you prefer a map or written directions, review them in advance. If you need help while driving, ask a passenger to assist you or pull over to a safe location to change your GPS or review your map/directions. Secure your pets. Unsecured pets can be a big distraction in the car. Mind the kids. Pull over to a safe place to address situations involving children in the car. Focus on driving. Multi-tasking behind the wheel is dangerous. Refrain from eating, drinking, reading, grooming, smoking, and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road. Every time you get behind the wheel, you are at risk of an accident.  Following these guidelines will help you minimize the risk of being distracted while driving and keep your full attention on the road. Personal Injury Attorneys Keeping Distracted Drivers Accountable If you or a loved one has been injured due to a distracted driver, it is important to learn your options from an experienced Bakersfield personal injury attorney. Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Young Wooldridge, LLP for a free initial consultation. Photo Credit: NHTSA Traffic Safety Marketing

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Personal Injury Attorney | The Importance of Consultations

The legal process requires injured plaintiffs to prove their damages within a certain degree of certainty which means you could use a personal injury attorney. This means that juries cannot simply pick a number they think is fair. It also means they cannot simply guess what happened when the facts are in dispute. In many cases, expert witnesses are necessary to fill these gaps. By extension, this means that expert personal injury attorney consultations are an essential tool during pretrial negotiations to demonstrate to the defense what can be expected at trial and promote a settlement. California’s evidence code allows individuals with demonstrable knowledge, skill, experience, training or education to provide opinion testimony on matters relevant to a particular case. In the context of personal injury, this can include several types of testimony: Medical professionals can testify as to any injuries or illnesses the plaintiff suffered, the disabilities such conditions would cause and whether such condition can be linked to the accident. Accident reconstructionists can testify as to how an accident was likely to have occurred, especially when eyewitness testimony is unavailable, conflicted or inconclusive. Construction and safety experts can testify in premises liability cases as to the presence of unsafe conditions. Vocational experts can testify as to how a plaintiff’s injuries affect earning capacity. Economists can testify as to the long-term losses an injury could cause. Knowing what personal injury attorney experts are best suited to address the issues of a particular case is an important skill for attorneys. Likewise, having a professional network of experts who are respected in their fields and are known for thorough work and sound analysis is crucial to the success of a Bakersfield personal injury law firm. If you have questions after you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, contact the Personal Injury Department at Young Wooldridge, LLP for a free initial consultation. Schedule a free initial consultation with the knowledgeable Bakersfield personal injury attorneys at Young Wooldridge, LLP to learn more. Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.

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Risks of Texting & Driving | Personal Injury Attorney

Risks of Texting & Driving | Personal Injury Attorney Personal Injury Attorney | There is universal agreement that texting and driving is a deadly activity. A recent study released by Car and Driver Magazine shows that texting while driving is actually a far riskier activity than drunk driving. To study this, the magazine rigged a car with a light that alerted drivers of when to brake. It then tested them under a variety of conditions, including when fully alert and sober, when drunk and when engaged with their cell phones. The safest activity was, unsurprisingly, the sober and alert driving. However, the texting drivers performed far worse than their drunk counterparts. On average, it took drivers an additional 70 feet to brake when they were texting and driving as compared to those who were sober and cell-phone free. The results of the study are in line with findings by the National Traffic Safety Administration, which has found that texting while driving is upwards of six times more dangerous than drunk driving. When a driver is texting, he or she takes his or her eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. If traveling at 55 mph, this is the amount of time it takes to travel the length of a football field. Texting and driving kills and injures people every year. On average, 3,000 people die and an additional 333,000 are injured from this activity. Victims are not just those who are using their phones, but also the innocent people with whom they share the road. It is important for everyone to be careful behind the wheel. If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, such as texting and driving, you may have the right to legal compensation. Schedule a free initial consultation with the knowledgeable Bakersfield personal injury attorneys at Young Wooldridge, LLP to learn more. Call today for a confidential consultation – 661.327.9661 Like us on Facebook for more information.

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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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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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