Jan 05 by GJEL

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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Oct 24 by GJEL

Personal Injury Lawsuit Timeline

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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Apr 29 by GJEL

GJEL Legal Dictionary

Below you will find the GJEL Personal Injury Legal Dictionary sorted in alphabetical order. These are common terms you might here used in a personal injury case. 3rd…

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Jul 05 by GJEL

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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May 31 by GJEL

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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Mar 10 by GJEL

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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Feb 15 by GJEL

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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Jan 21 by GJEL

Report Links High School Football to Undiagnosed Head Injuries

It’s no surprise that high-school football is a dangerous sport. Allowing your child to play means accepting the increased risk of torn ligaments, broken bones, and head injuries. But most recently, child safety experts have suggested that the risk of head injuries could be much higher than originally thought. First, a New York Times report found that while helmets are adequate to protect against skull fractures, they often fail to prevent concussions. Now, Slate reports that a team from Purdue University has found that high-schoolers can suffer concussions without showing physical symptoms, meaning they could keep playing and potentially make the head injury worse.

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Jan 03 by GJEL

“Glee” Star Jane Lynch Joins LG in Fight to Reduce Distracted Driving Accidents

Did you make any new years resolutions this winter? For the driving safety parent, cutting down on your child’s use of cell phones behind the wheel is a great resolution option. Each year, more than 6,000 teenagers are killed and nearly half a million are injured in accidents related to distracted driving. And safety advocates have said that many of these accidents can be avoided simply by raising awareness. Now, Glee star Jane Lynch has joined the fight against cell phone misuse in a series of videos produced by LG designed to help parents boost cell phone safety for their teens.

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Dec 27 by GJEL

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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Nov 24 by GJEL

Remember the Faces of Distracted Driving Car Accidents

We spend a lot of time on the GJEL blog discussing distracted driving and the implications of the dangerous practice on a large scale. Since distracted driving contributes to the death of more than 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries each year, discussion about state laws to curb cell phone use behind the wheel is important. But such discussion can have the unintended effect of blurring the stories of those who have witnessed the most horrific impacts of distracted driving firsthand. So in honor of Thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to emphasize some of those stories, and memorialize some individuals who cannot celebrate the holidays this year because people continue to drive distracted.

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Nov 04 by GJEL

Teen Brain Development – The Frontal Lobe of the Brain is Essential for 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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Aug 30 by GJEL

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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Jul 30 by Ben

Car Technology that Can Prevent Accidents

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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Feb 10 by Ben

What to do after a car accident: Free Checklist

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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Jan 12 by Ben

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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Jan 11 by GJEL

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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Jan 05 by Ben

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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