May 24 by Andy Gillin

How much auto insurance do you need in California?

When an accident occurs in California, whether an automobile accident or an accident such as a slip and fall on someone else’s property, the way that injuries are almost always paid for is through liability insurance. Because California is an at-fault state, the insurance company of the person whose negligence caused the accident and related injuries is responsible for paying for the injured party’s damages.

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Oct 30 by Andy Gillin

Safest Cars for Teenage Drivers

There are so many safety factors to consider when your teenager begins driving. When it comes to teen brain development, distracted driving, and graduated license laws, parents have a strong role in assuring that their children stay safe behind the wheel. Great safety strategies include educating your teen about the dangers of distracted driving, and creating a teen-parent safe driving contract that rewards safe driving behavior. But there’s one aspect for new teen drivers that parents have complete control over: what car (if any) they will drive.

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Jun 08 by Andy Gillin

Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents in the U.S.

The U.S. sees approximately six million car accidents each year. That breaks down to approximately 15,000 accidents each day. There are about 37,000 crash fatalities each year, or…

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Jan 24 by Andy Gillin

The Top Causes of Distracted Driving

These 15 Driving Distractions Could Ruin Your Day. Wouldn’t it be nice to settle in to your morning commute in total relaxation, catching up with a friend in the passenger seat next to you, or with hundreds of friends all at once on social media?

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Nov 22 by Andy Gillin

The Most Common Holiday Injuries

Each year, the holiday season brings excitement about seeing family, eating delicious meals, and even opening a few presents. For some, the season marks a series of events complete with dinner parties and elaborate decorations. In addition to this seasonal mirth, families must consider safety issues related to driving long distances in rough conditions, the potential for shopping mall mishaps, and dangers associated with holiday decorations and lights. To help navigate those additional considerations, we’ve developed a list of some of the most common holiday-related injuries and some precautions families can take to avoid trips to the emergency room this winter.

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May 24 by Andy Gillin

What if I don’t feel the insurance company is making a fair offer on my car?

When you are involved in a crash in California, you will either turn to your own insurance company, or the insurance company of the other driver, in order to seek compensation for the damage to your vehicle. If the other driver was at fault – their insurance is responsible for paying; if you were at fault – you can file a claim through your own insurance company’s collision coverage policy (assuming you carry this coverage type). In some cases, you may have to file an uninsured motorist claim to recover compensation.

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May 24 by Andy Gillin

If I’m rear-ended, is it always the other person’s fault?

Rear end collisions are one of the most common – but luckily one of the least serious – accident types. What is often most complex about these accidents, however, is not the extent of the injuries that they cause, but is determining who is to be held liable for damages. Because California is an at-fault, or tort liability state for car accidents, determining fault in all crashes that result in damages, even if those damages are minor, is important. It should also be noted, of course, that while most rear-end collisions are not serious, those that occur at high speeds have the potential to be very severe, and could even be fatal.

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May 24 by Andy Gillin

If I make an uninsured motorist claim, will my insurance rates go up?

Despite the requirement that all drivers in the state of California have liability insurance or show proof of financial responsibility, many people in the state do not carry insurance for various reason. In fact, a lack of insurance is so common that one source suggests that 4.1 million California drivers are uninsured. The fact that there are some many people driving around without proper insurance coverage is one of the primary reasons that carrying uninsured motorist coverage is a very wise idea.

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May 24 by Andy Gillin

What is uninsured motorist coverage?

If you live in California and you are involved in a car accident, the driver who caused the accident is responsible for paying for it. However, drivers rarely pay for accidents that they cause out of pocket – instead, they turn to their auto insurance liability policies to pay for damages.

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May 24 by Andy Gillin

If I’m in an accident, does it affect my health insurance coverage?

Were you injured recently in a car crash or another accident in Northern California? You might be asking yourself: who will pay for my medical bills, and will using my health insurance cause my coverage to go up? Nobody who gets hurt in an accident resulting from another party’s negligence should have to pay for the costs of care.

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May 24 by Andy Gillin

What if there’s no police report for my accident?

Anytime that you are involved in a car accident, or any other serious accident type that necessitates emergency medical care, you should make sure that an accident report is filed with the police (in fact, in the event of a car accident, California law requires that you report the accident if anyone is injured or killed, or damages total more than $750).

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May 01 by Andy Gillin

The Most Dangerous & Deadliest Roads In San Jose

Searching for the most dangerous roads in San Jose isn’t easy. You can focus on roads with the highest numbers of collisions and wind up overlooking the roads where the most serious injuries have occurred. Or you could just as easily do the opposite.

Any way you slice it, the danger on San Jose streets is alarming.

Highway 17, connecting San Jose and Santa Cruz, has among the highest number of collisions.

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Apr 25 by Andy Gillin

San Jose bicycling is more dangerous than we thought

The latest annual report on motor vehicle collisions from the California Highway Patrol has a ton of information about what’s happening on California roads and highways, with extensive datasets on alcohol- and truck-involved collisions and more tightly focused summaries of collisions involving pedestrians, motorcycles, and bicycles.

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Mar 28 by Andy Gillin

Key collision factors in San Jose are getting worse

Last week, we looked at the number of motor vehicle injuries occurring in the San Jose area and concluded that traffic safety around GJEL’s San Jose office is getting worse. According to California’s latest traffic records, the number of collisions leading to injury increased each year from 2013 to 2015 and was trending up again through the first half of 2016. Full-year results for 2016 should be available in August.

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Mar 13 by Andy Gillin

Avoid these San Jose intersections on St. Patrick’s Day

Whether driving or riding in a passenger seat, there’s no way to guarantee your safety in a car, on any day of the year. But you can educate yourself about local traffic safety risks. If everybody knew when and where collisions occur, we would all have a better chance to stay out of harm’s way.

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Mar 07 by Andy Gillin

Introducing San Jose by the Numbers, a GJEL traffic safety series

Through nearly 40 years of representing accident victims and families, GJEL has shown that many injuries suffered on the roads are preventable. Our efforts to improve traffic safety extend far beyond the legal process. We sponsor organizations such as the California Bicycle Coalition to advocate for safe and viable transportation alternatives. When we learn about traffic safety risks, we encourage friends and neighbors to stay out of harm’s way.

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Sep 13 by Andy Gillin

The complicated story behind widening Highway 1 in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz County is in the midst of a debate over how to relieve gridlock along Highway 1. Traffic congestion has continued to worsen in recent years along the four lane freeway, to the point that an 18 mile one-way commute to or from Watsonville can take in excess of an hour each way.

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Jun 08 by Andy Gillin

Should self-driving cars still have steering wheels and brake pedals?

Earlier this week, GM CEO Mary Barra said she believes self-driving vehicles should continue to include steering wheels, brake pedals and accelerators as the technology develops. The state of California has already taken this position, requiring a licensed driver at the helm of all self-driving cars.

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Aug 17 by Andy Gillin

Caltrans’ zombie highways

Last week, we examined the I-80 Smart Corridor project and its highway-like approach to San Pablo Avenue. To recap, Caltrans has exercized its jurisdiction over San Pablo Avenue…

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Jul 20 by Andy Gillin

What is a protected intersection?

As protected bike lanes become more common across the U.S., the way in which we design intersections is also evolving. American cities are on the cusp of implementing…

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Jun 15 by Andy Gillin

California Motorcycle Helmet Law Debate

On Monday, we posted the results of a bike helmet safety survey we ran through May is National Bike Month. According to the survey, although nearly 70 percent of cyclists in California say they wear bike helmets most of the time, few think that state law should require them to do so. This holds true for media anecdotes about bike helmets. Last year, for example, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was booed at a bike conference when he announced his support for a statewide law requiring helmets for all cyclists. California’s motorcycle community faces a similar helmet debate that pits safety advocates against riders who demand the right to ride without a helmet, regardless of the risks.

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Jun 07 by Andy Gillin

California Teen Motorcycle Safety Information

Now that summer is here to stay, along with warmer weather and safer road conditions, you can expect to see more motorcyclists taking to the streets for long rides throughout California and across the country. Though a relatively small proportion of motorcyclists are under the age of 18, teens are often the most susceptible to motorcycle injuries and fatalities. If you’re a parent or a teen thinking of getting a motorcycle, it’s important to review the safety statistics related to teens on motorcycles. In addition to taking the safety courses required to get a motorcycle permit, all teens should obey all laws and wear the appropriate safety equipment. Most states, for example, have passed motorcycle helmet laws for all teen riders.

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Jun 01 by Andy Gillin

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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Apr 14 by Andy Gillin

Distracted Driving & Inexperience Are Top Causes of Teen Car Accidents

Now that I’ve written the above headline, it seems to confirm what I already suspected about teen driver car accidents. But regardless, a new study by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia confirms that distracted driving and inexperience, and not reckless driving, are the leading causes of fatal car accidents involving teen drivers. The study found that of nearly 800 serious accidents 76% were the result of teen driving errors that likely could have been prevented with the help of additional training and distracted driving awareness programs.

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Apr 11 by Andy Gillin

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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Apr 04 by Andy Gillin

5 Most Dangerous Distracted Driving Technologies

When people talk about technology related to distracted driving, they usually mean gadgets that make the roads safer by making distracted driving more difficult. But thanks to the tech “arms race” among car manufacturers, these companies have a economic interest in providing high-tech solutions to distracted driving laws, even if they don’t make you safer. So as we enter into the second annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight some of the most dangerous technologies designed to address distracted driving. Click through to take a look.

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Jul 27 by Andy Gillin

A Look at Serious Greyhound Bus Accidents Since 2000

Early Thursday morning, a tragic Greyhound bus accident in Fresno, California caused six deaths and more than 30 injuries. Accidents this tragic are rare but not rare enough. Taking a look at bus accidents over the last decade, Greyhound has consistently been involved in major accidents that led to multiple deaths and dozens of injuries. In the last two years alone, Greyhound busses have been involved in nearly 140 bus accidents that led to injuries, deaths, or towed vehicles, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Take a look at ten notable Greyhound accidents over the past decade.

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Jul 21 by Andy Gillin

Are Marked Crosswalks More Dangerous for Pedestrians?

If you need to cross the street a busy intersection, you’re likely to wait for the traffic light to indicate when crossing is safe. But many busy multi-lane intersections marked with crosswalks throughout California don’t have such a traffic light. As a result, a San Mateo jury ruled this month that such marked crosswalks are often more dangerous than unmarked intersection because they give pedestrians a false sense of safety while crossing at busy intersections.

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