Apr 14 by Andy Gillin

What is a Cycle Track?

Recently we discussed the ongoing battle between California cities and Caltrans over street design, most notably cycle tracks. As it turns out, Caltrans just announced its official endorsement…

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Jan 10 by Andy Gillin

San Francisco Pedestrian Fatalities

2013 saw the highest number of pedestrian fatalities in San Francisco since 2007. 21 pedestrians were killed last year and 3 pedestrians have already been killed since New…

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Oct 30 by Ralph L. Jacobson

Wrongful death recovery by divorced parents

This article explores a problem of statutory interpretation that arises in California when divorced parents are entitled to wrongful death recovery for the death of their child: i.e.,…

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Nov 16 by Andy Gillin

Top 5 Bikeshare Myths

In the last three years, bike share programs have exploded in cities like Minneapolis, Washington, D.C. and Boston, and New York City and San Francisco are poised to…

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Aug 08 by Andy Gillin

6 Important California Bike Accident Lawsuits

Getting hit by a car while walking or riding your bicycle is an awful thought. So the image of a pack of cyclists being run over by a SUV is nothing short of terrifying. Last year, four cyclists were injured in San Francisco’s Mission District after a man in an SUV allegedly ran them down in what the San Francisco Chronicle calls a “six-minute rampage.” The driver, David Mark Clark, now faces four counts of attempted murder, and his attorney has unofficially said Clark will seek an insanity plea. Click through for five more important California bike accident lawsuits.

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Jul 18 by Andy Gillin

Autism Linked to SSRI Antidepressants Prozac & Zoloft Taken During Pregnancy

For decades, pregnant mothers were told that the best way to avoid developmental complications were to take vitamins during pregnancy, avoid alcohol and smoking, and obstain from strenuous activity. But in a set of studies published this month in the Archives of General Psychiatry, scientists have indicated that other environmental factors can lead to the development of child autism, and has suggested a link between the use of antidepressants during pregnancy and autism.

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Jun 29 by Andy Gillin

Marin County California Still Vulnerable to Bike Accidents

California’s Marin County has rightly earned a reputation as a mecca for cyclists. The cluster of San Francisco suburbs is consistently sunny, has mostly flat riding surfaces, and has fostered a culture that promotes cycling in cities and on bike paths. And in 2005, Marin County was one of four jurisdictions nationwide to receive $25 million in federal funds to improve bicycle infrastructure and increase ridership. The program was successful, and contributed to the fact that Marin County only had one bike accident death between 2005 and 2010, the lowest total throughout the Bay Area.

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Jun 28 by Andy Gillin

San Francisco Wrongful Death Lawsuit Brings Record Muni Settlement

A string of high-profile multi-million dollar settlements against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency indicates that the city would save millions in the long run by putting forward funds to improve street safety for cyclists and pedestrians. This point was underscored last week by a record $5.36 million Muni settlement for a 2008 Muni accident that killed cyclist David Wheeler near Ocean Beach in San Francisco.

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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 06 by Andy Gillin

Lionel Hutz Lawsuits In The Simpsons

On the air for more than 20 years, the iconic family cartoon sitcom “The Simpsons” has covered just about every topic you can think of. So it’s no surprise that the show has addressed – and mocked – many legal issues. In fact, The Simpsons has managed to cover personal injury law, sexual harassment, false advertising, criminal law, food safety, copyright law, and more. While the plots of these episodes themselves are hilarious, they wouldn’t be quite as great without shuckster attorney Lionel Hutz (Phil Hartman). We’ve compiled a list of our favorite lawsuits in the Simpsons, in chronological order.

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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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May 09 by Andy Gillin

5 Great Bicycle Safety Technologies for National Bike Month

Cars seem destined for distracted driving. Though it’s essential to pay attention to the road and traffic signs, most cars come equipped with a navigation screen, complicated control panel, or at the very least, a radio. So driver safety technology has a lot to compete with. But the matter is different for bicyclists, who aren’t protected by a metal and glass shield and must always be aware of their surroundings. But that doesn’t mean technology can’t help reduce bicycle accident injuries. In honor of National Bike Month we’ve compiled a list of five of the most interesting technologies designed to improve bicycle safety. Take a look, and let us know of others in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

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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 12 by Andy Gillin

Safety Group Targets Distracted Driving Motorcycle Accidents

As we enter the second full week of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, most of the focus thus far has been on distracted driving for motorists. But while distracted driving led to 6,000 driver deaths and 500,000 driver injuries in 2009, it is a dangerous practice for all types of vehicles, including busses, bicycles, and motorcycles. So to cut down on distracted driving motorcycle accidents, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has announced its full support for Distracted Driving Awareness Month with a list of “10 Things All Car and Truck Drivers Should Know About Motorcycles and Motorcyclists.”

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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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Mar 22 by Andy Gillin

Attorney Rating Site Reviews

Before massive layoffs at the country’s major law firms, before major cuts to the funding of free legal aid clinics, and before before the meteoric rise of Google, consumers relied on lawyer referrals for legal representation. Once search engines took over, however, and we grew used to accessing the world from our desktops, consumers turned to the web. So we’ve compiled some information about the four major legal raters, their differences, and their main qualities.

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Jan 18 by Andy Gillin

Are Lawsuit Loans a Good Idea?

Even after a personal injury lawsuit is settled, it can take a long time for plaintiffs to receive their settlement or award. Often, this presents major problems for the plaintiff, who may have been seriously injured in the accident and is having trouble paying the bills. These plaintiffs face the difficult question of whether to accept loans from high-interest legal financing companies, the subject of a major New York Times story this weekend. While the companies provide much-needed funds in difficult times, they are mostly unregulated by state and federal agencies, meaning they are not bound by financial ethics rules that govern banks.

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Dec 29 by Andy Gillin

Courts Still Unclear on Social Media Discovery for Personal Injury Lawsuits

Over the past five years, Facebook has evolved from a scrappy web upstart to a worldwide phenomenon with more than 500 million members. Even outside the social sphere, Facebook has also become a force in professional communities, and was the subject of the year’s most engaging film, The Social Network. But when it comes to law, the jury is still out on Facebook, as state courts continue to debate whether information gathered on Facebook should be admissible during the discovery process leading up to a legal showdown.

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Sep 16 by Ralph L. Jacobson

Injured In A Gym? California Gym Injury Attorneys

Joining the gym gives many of us the motivation we need to stay fit. It’s so much easier to exercise surrounded by others doing the same thing — and who knows, you might make a few new friends! But consumers need to be careful while joining health clubs, and make sure all contracts represent their best interests.

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Aug 24 by Andy Gillin

Legal Ethics Expert Diane Karpman: Social Media Regulations for Lawyers a Violation of Free Speech

No matter what your profession, web culture and social media has become a major force over the past decade and promises to continue it’s influence in the future. But lawyers have been, on average, more resistant to new technologies than professionals in other fields. There are many reasons for this, one of which includes restrictions on legal advertising that have not stayed current with the tech zeitgeist. I spoke with legal ethics expert Diane Karpman about these regulations, the distinction between social media and advertising, and the importance of lawyers interacting with clients online.

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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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Jul 01 by Andy Gillin

4 Real and 5 Fictional Seinfeld Lawsuits

Gearing up for the holiday weekend, we thought it necessary to revive GJEL Accident Attorneys’ legal humor category. With that, we’ve compiled 9 Seinfeld-related lawsuits, five fictional and four real, to commemorate the 9 years the 90’s mega-sitcom fantastically mocked most aspects, significant and mundane, of real life. And the show’s take on the legal industry was no different. Check out our list.

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Jun 30 by Andy Gillin

How to Safely Cycle In The Easy Bay

Moving to the East Bay reminded your humble blogger about some basic bike safety concerns, and now I’m sharing the information and resources I found with my loyal readers.

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Jun 25 by Andy Gillin

Legal Humor—Some Seriously Funny Stuff

Every so often I hear about something that someone in the legal profession did that is so laughable that I just have to post it for the world to see. For example, when an attorney blames his car speeding. Read on for more legal humor!

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May 03 by Ralph L. Jacobson

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

Most states don’t have special certification programs for personal injury lawyers which can make the selection process hard. One result of that fact is that any attorney can…

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