Nov 12 by Ralph L. Jacobson

Seeking punitive damages in California drunk driving accident cases

In motor vehicle personal injury or wrongful death cases where the responsible driver was allegedly intoxicated, the injured plaintiff may want to consider seeking an award of punitive (or exemplary) damages against that driver. While the defendant’s insurer bears no obligation to pay such damages, sometimes the presence of such a claim can create a…

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Apr 09 by jason

Is traffic violence sufficiently prosecuted?

A year ago, 17 year old Hanren Chang was hit and killed by a drunk driver while crossing Sloat Boulevard in San Francisco. Hanren, a student at Lowell High School, was walking home after celebrating her birthday earlier that night. Her death was one of 21 tragic fatalities by pedestrians in San Francisco in 2013,…

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Jan 23 by guestauthor

What types of driver behavior constitute negligence?

If you’ve been involved in a car accident and one party is suing the other party for injuries that were sustained during the accident then it’s most likely the suit is based on the legal theory of negligence. Negligence is when a person fails to exercise the reasonable care that an ordinary person would have…

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Mar 06 by jason

New study shows interlock devices reduce alcohol-related fatal crashes

A study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has determined that requiring an interlock device for people convicted of driving under the influence helps reduce the rate of repeat offenses. In Washington State, one of just 15 states in which anyone convicted of drunk driving is required to install an interlock device if they…

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Aug 10 by GJEL

San Francisco Hit-Run Accident Victim Ryan White’s Condition Improving

By now, you’ve likely heard the story about 9 year-old Ryan White, a Philadelphia tourist visiting San Francisco to see the Phillies play the Giants. After the game, White was hit by an alleged drunk driver in San Francisco. White suffered bone injuries to his pelvis, left leg, and ankle, as well as internal injuries and a serious brain condition. But it looks like White has turned a corner following this tragic car accident. On Tuesday morning, doctors downgraded his condition from critical to serious, following White’s first spoken words since the accident.

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Jun 01 by GJEL

Drunk Driving and Car Accident Statistics

As part of GJEL’s state-by-state drunk driving laws and driving fatality research, Steve Gursten, a partner at Michigan Auto Law, recently shared these updated statistics about drunk driving and auto accidents in Michigan. Steve has been very active in promoting efforts to reduce drunk driving and car accidents in Michigan. This guest blog post analyzes car accidents and wrongful deaths from 2009, the latest year with available data.

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May 10 by GJEL

San Francisco Pedestrian Accident Death Proves Need for Masonic Avenue Safety Plan

Last Friday, 61 year-old James Hudson was killed by a drunk driver while crossing San Francisco’s Masonic Avenue, one of the city’s busiest and most dangerous arteries. The suspect, 23 year-old Jose Jimenez, who was driving over 50 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone, is expected to be charged this week with vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol. Masonic Avenue is one of San Francisco’s most notorious pedestrian accident hot spots, and last week’s death indicates the city’s obligation to make significant steps to make it safer to reduce future deaths.

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Apr 11 by GJEL

Distracted Driving Awareness Month: 5 Worst Road Safety States

The GJEL Blog has always kept a close eye on the driver safety laws of each state, with a particular interest in California. Fortunately, the “Golden State” has maintained a record of progressive safety laws, including strict distracted driving laws and penalties for drunk drivers. Other states have been less receptive to driver safety laws, and some have even openly opposed legislation that would save lives and reduce car accident injuries. So in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we thought it would be useful to highlight the five worst states for road safety based on our research on teen driver and distracted driving laws, drunk driving penalties and statistics, and bicycle safety laws.

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Mar 15 by GJEL

Avoid Drunk Driving with St. Patrick’s Day Free Public Transportation

For many, St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate Irish heritage and the legend of St. Patrick. For many others, it’s a time to get drunk on green beer and (potentially) drive drunk. Clearly, driving drunk is incredibly dangerous and friends should be vigilant year-round, preventing their friends from getting behind the wheel after drinking. But as a day so infamous for binge drinking, people should be especially careful while on city streets and highways this Thursday. Some cities are helping, with free public transportation this St. Patrick’s Day.

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