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Santa Barbara Personal Injury Law Blog

Putting air jets on motorcycles to prevent accidents

For California motorcycle riders, staying safe and avoiding becoming involved in crashes is essential. Due to the lack of protection even a minor accident could have a major impact on motorcycle riders. Bosch, an auto industry supplier, believes that adding air jets to a motorcycle could make it safer.

Bosch said that the air jets would help prevent a motorcyclist from losing control of the vehicle when the wheel slips. A sensor would be installed on the motorcycle to detect wheel slip. When the sensor senses that the motorcycle is beginning to slide sideways, gas would be released from an accumulator, providing just enough force to prevent the motorcycle from completely slipping. The motorcyclist would be able to regain control of the bike and prevent a potential spill.

How To Choose the Best Personal Injury Attorney

A personal injury occurs when you are physically or emotionally hurt by someone else's actions.  In order to protect yourself and get proper compensation, you may need to hire a personal injury attorney to be by your side. It is important that you look for someone who has experience handling your personal injury claim and with whom you feel you can trust.  Here are some tips to help you find the best attorney to support you.

Before you meet with anyone, identify your needs. The type of case you have will change the type of attorney you will need to hire. For example, a straightforward car accident with minor injuries can be handled by most personal injury attorneys. However, more complex cases with serious physical/emotional injuries or death will require the attention of an experienced trial attorney. Even if your intention is to settle your case, insurance companies take into account an attorney's reputation when they decide how much to offer.  Attorney's who try cases are generally able to secure more for their clients than attorney's who do not tend to try cases.

Next, research several attorneys. You can gather a list by asking friends and acquaintances who have been represented by a lawyer in their own personal injury claims or know someone who has.  The internet is another place to gather information and names. Be sure to look at the actual attorney profiles. How long have they been in practice? Have they help leadership positions? Do they have a track record of trial results? Do they have a track record of settlement results? Do they have positive testimonials on their website?  Do they handle a bit of everything or are they more focused on personal injury. Once you have your list, take time to interview with more than one lawyer. First consultations are always free.

When meeting with attorneys, notice if you have a positive connection.  Are they focused on you without other interruptions? Do they make eye contact with you? Do they remember what you are saying? Do they keep you waiting without an apology? Do you feel like this is someone you can trust? When you ask questions, are they able to answer them without beating around bush? Are they able to answer all of your technical questions with knowledge?  

Tyrone Maho and Chad Prentice of Maho and Prentice LLP take pride in their ability to care and advocate for their clients. An example of testimonials which back this behavior are shown on their website as follows:

"Settling a case can be a long, stressful procedure.  Tyrone was there guiding and supporting me at all critical times."  Previous Client, Santa Barbara

"Chad is a true professional, kept me up to date on how things were going, gave me realistic advice on how everything would go, made his staff readily available when I had questions and really just made a literally painful situation kind of just go away." Joel Perez, Santa Barbara

Finally, be sure to bring any documentation you have from your accident such as copies of police reports, medical records and bills, income loss information, and all correspondence with the insurance company. When you finish your first visit, you should be able to walk away with an immediate action plan. If you feel confident with a lawyer's experience, and comfortable with his or her idea of how to proceed with your case, chances are good that you have found a lawyer with whom you can work.  

Pedestrian fatalities remain worryingly high

Road safety experts in California and around the country are extremely concerned about a recent and alarming rise in pedestrian fatalities. Pedestrian deaths in the United States increased by 9.5 percent in 2015 and another 9 percent in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and a report released in February by the Governors Highway Safety Association reveals that they remained high in 2017.

Many experts believe that distraction lies at the root of the problem. That's why some jurisdictions, including the city of Montclair, have introduced regulations that ban pedestrians from using their cellphones while crossing the street. Car manufacturers have also been accused of not doing enough to address the issue. While automatic braking systems that could save pedestrian lives have been introduced in recent years, simple headlight improvements that could yield far more impressive safety dividends are being ignored, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Statistics link daydreaming to car accidents

Although regulations are in force for penalizing those who use cell phones while driving cars in California, governmental agencies do not seem to recognize statistics about daydreamers who cause accidents. A national database dedicated to studying statistics related to car crashes discovered that an astounding 61 percent of distracted driving car crashes relate to daydreaming. Meditation and deep thinking are not activities worth pondering while driving a car. People who think about other things while driving could be a major threat to others on the road.

Those who are too relaxed may not focus on the task of driving. Instead, they could ruminate about bank statements, tax return filing, grocery lists and work schedules. Research shows that daydreamers cause more accidents than those who persist in using their cell phones while driving. Drivers should make sure that they are responsible as soon as they turn on their ignition switches. Long trips demand even more attention, especially during bad weather conditions.

College Scholarships

There are many online resources to help begin the college scholarship process. Simply search college scholarships. However, beware, the number of scholarships available may overwhelmed you. The key is to first, narrow down the opportunities to a list of scholarships which apply to your strengths and interests.  Next, create a well-reasoned, well-written and informative scholarship essay.

How autonomous car programming might be improved

California is one of the states where testing of autonomous vehicles has been occurring, but according to one professor, there is a flaw in the way these vehicles learn to drive. He says that self-driving cars should not be taught to drive like humans because they then make the same errors that humans do.

The professor, who teaches at Arizona State University, says this is the reason an autonomous car killed a pedestrian in March. The car was traveling on a dark stretch of road, and the pedestrian stepped in front of it in an area where there was not a crosswalk. However, the professor says that self-driving cars should not travel at a speed that exceeds their ability to stop if an obstacle appears in front of them. In this case, he points out, the car was behaving like a human driver, assuming that there were no obstructions in the road ahead despite the lack of visual confirmation. He says that autonomous vehicles must proceed as if there are obstacles in the areas it cannot see.

Helping Clients Recover From the Devastating Effects of Sexual Assault or Abuse

Victims of sexual assault or abuse can suffer a lifetime of emotional and physical damages.  Oftentimes, the criminal justice system lets these victims down by failing to prosecute the sex offenders or failing to obtain a conviction against these offenders. Many sexual assault incidents are not prosecuted because of the difficulty of overcoming the burden of proof required by the criminal justice system. Civil sexual assault cases have a lower burden of proof, which may allow victims to recover damages and to hold the defendants liable for their wrongful acts even if the defendants are never criminally prosecuted. This is where an experienced civil attorney can step in to achieve justice for the victims by prosecuting a civil claim against the perpetrator(s) which may be found liable for money damages. The legal issues in a civil trial for sexual assault and battery are, whether the assault occurred, whether there was consent and the damages.

How conversation can distract drivers

Drivers in California may not be aware of the state's laws regarding cell phone use; for example, it prohibits all drivers from texting and has a ban on cellphone use for school bus drivers and for drivers under 18. The reason is that using cellphones while driving is a form of distracted driving. A recent analysis shows that any conversation can take drivers' attention away from the road.

The meta-analysis was published in the journal Human Factors and focused on experimental studies of how drivers performed in traffic situations while talking. It found that cellphone conversations significantly impact a driver's ability to scan the environment, such as looking left and right and glancing at the rearview mirror to identify hazards. Reaction times also slowed down. Drivers failed to maintain their lane, slow down when appropriate and give the cars ahead of them plenty of distance.

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