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California Car Accident Guide

Presented by, GJEL Accident Attorneys
A collection of articles that will help you take the proper steps following a California car accident. If you have been involved in an auto accident in California we invite you to contact us for a free case review.

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Timeline & Flowchart of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In this document, we’ll address some of the more common things you can expect when filing a lawsuit. While we can’t tell you everything that might happen in any particular case, the steps below provide an overview of what you may generally expect. Keep in mind that each lawsuit takes a different path, and those paths are not always predictable.

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GJEL Legal Dictionary

3rd Party Insurance: An agreement to cover a loss resulting from the insured’s liability to a third party, such as a loss incurred by a driver who injures a pedestrian.  The insured’s claim under the policy arises once the insured’s liability to a third party has been asserted. In Plain English: A 3rd party insurance […]

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California Motorcycle Summer Safety Information & Resources

Summer is the best season for motorcycle riders. The unusually consistent sunny weather enables longer rides with better conditions throughout California. Of course, more motorcycles on the road increases the likelihood of a motorcycle accident, but there are a few simple steps that riders can take to improve motorcycle safety by avoiding unnecessary risks. These actions involve wearing all appropriate safety equipment, attending summer motorcycle events that stress safe rides, and encouraging teens to stay safe on their motorcycles. We’ve developed this motorcycle safety resource to address each of these issues for the summer and fall months.

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California Teen Driver Summer Safety Statistics & Resources

Teen drivers throughout the country are faced with countless dangers on city streets and highways. Teens are the demographic most likely to cause car a accident, technology poses the temptation for distracted driving, and scientific studies have even shown that the teen brain may not have developed the motor skills and emotional maturity to drive safely. As California teens hit the road more during the summer holiday, they should take precautions to stay safe and aware at all times. And since California teens receive their restricted license at 16 and their unrestricted license at 18, they can take the summer to boost their knowledge of state driver laws and practice safe driving techniques.

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Senior Driver Safety Checklist & Self Assessment

There are many factors senior drivers should consider before getting behind the wheel. The topic areas below are subject to each individual and may not apply to everyone. But for most people, age comes with an inevitable decline in eyesight and motor skills. With these concerns in mind, we've developed this safety checklist to be referenced by senior drivers prior to operating a motor vehicle. If any of these items portray your current health or situation, then speak with a family member or personal physician to learn more about safety options.

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Traffic Deaths by Vehicle Type in California and Nationwide

We’re reminded every day that city streets and highways are dangerous for all drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. Hearing constant stories about traffic deaths involving distracted driving or drunk driving makes it difficult for any parent to trust that the roads will be safe for teen drivers. Fortunately, the number of traffic deaths has been falling in recent years. For example, the last year with reliable information, 2009, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System reported 33,800 deaths. This may sound like a lot, but it was the best year on record since 1950, and nearly 18 percent lower than 2007. Take a look at our interactive graph of those 2009 figures, broken up by vehicle type.

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State-By-State Drunk Driving Laws and Driving Fatality Statistics

While there is currently no federal law against drunk driving, it is illegal in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. But each state varies in its enforcement of DUI laws. Some states, for example, automatically suspend the driver’s license after he or she is first convicted for driving under the influence while some require no suspension at all. In addition, some states require ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving after the first DUI offense while others never require the breathalyzers. For more state-by-state information on DUI laws and statistics, check out our interactive map.

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Teen Brain Development and Impact on Safe Driving

Although the brain is 80 percent developed at adolescence, new research indicates that brain signals essential for motor skills and emotional maturity are the last to extend to the brain’s frontal lobe, which is responsible for many of the skills essential for driving. This research suggests that emotional immaturity, not inexperience, is the primary reason that teenage drivers are responsible for far more car accidents than any other age demographic. Click through for our animated brain development infographic.

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Seniority Behind the Wheel: Managing Safety Risks for Older Drivers

Teenagers are notoriously the most dangerous demographic of drivers. But there are dozens of factors that can influence car accidents that have nothing to do with inexperience and immaturity. In fact, older drivers can become a hazard as their eyesight, motor skills, and spatial recognition begins to fade, and a set of safety advocates are beginning to suggest laws to ensure that drivers stay safe on the road as they grow older. This guide lists some of the dangers associated with driving for older adults, and some possible alternatives to help drivers maintain their freedom once they put away the keys.

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State-by-State: Driving Laws Across the Nation

The details of your state’s driving laws might not be a major influence on the events of your daily life, but if you or your teenager is getting a license, you want to make calls or text while behind the wheel, or your elderly parents are losing their motor skills, knowledge of the relevant regulations becomes essential. Looking at driver laws nationwide, the trend is moving toward stricter graduated license laws for teen drivers, and heightened regulations against distracted driving. Scroll over this interactive map to see the details of your state’s driving laws and how they compare to others.

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The Techie’s Guide to Preventing a Car Accident

Slowly but surely, technology has become an unavoidable part of our day. But fidgeting with cell phones and other technological devices while driving is enormously dangerous, contributing to more than 500,000 injuries and 6,000 deaths last year alone, according to the .National Highway Traffic Administration. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of devices that will help avoid the temptation to text, email, or dial friends while on the road. These devices can help make yourself and your teenager tech gurus, but more importantly, a safer drivers.

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Checklist: What to Do in a Car Accident

Getting into a car accident is scary, confusing, and complicated. It's even scarier to think about your teenager getting into a car accident. But it's important that if you or your teenager is in that situation, everyone knows what to do. So while we hope you never have to use this form, we encourage you to download our Car Accident Preparedness PDF, and keep it in your glovebox, along with your insurance and vehicle registration info. Key pieces of the PDF include emergency supplies, the parties involved, witnesses, documenting the scene, and a step-by-step checklist.

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Free Legal Aid Resources in the Bay Area

Every partner at GJEL (that's Andy, Ralph, Luke, Jim, and Kristin) started his or her career at a Legal Aid clinic. The spirit of "fighting for the little guy" remains with us today in earnest.We understand that not everyone needs a personal injury attorney, and although we offer free consultations and take cases on a contingency basis only--meaning we don't get paid until we win or settle a case--many times people need attorneys in different fields who do charge by the hour. Legal Aid clinics can be great resources in these situations.

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Map of Bay Area Bicycle Paths and Trails

On the GJEL news center and blog, we have been urging bicycle commuters to take extra caution to be safe while commuting to work. This involves wearing appropriate safety equipment, obeying all traffic signs, and sharing the road with other vehicles. But safety is also the most important consideration when it comes to recreational bicycling. In these cases, it can be safest to bike on streets that make bicycle safety a priority. The Google Map below shows many if the major bicycle trails and paths throughout the Bay Area. Click on each path for more information, and if we have missed any must-bike paths, please email benb[at]gjel[dot]com and we will add it to the list.

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Where to File Insurance Complaints: All 50 States

Every day, GJEL attorneys assist clients and prospective clients with their insurance claims regarding car accidents and other personal injury cases. In over 30 years of practicing personal injury law, we've seen just about every "trick in the book" from insurance companies, including asking people unfair or manipulative questions during a recorded conversation, requesting medical records that infringe on people's privacy, and biased examinations by company doctors.If you think your insurance company--or the insurance company of the person who injured you--may be using deceptive, fraudulent, or manipulative tactics against you or a loved one, we encourage you to file a complaint with the Insurance Department of your home state.

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