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blog home Auto Collision | Northern California Personal Injury Blog - Part 2

Auto Collision | Northern California Personal Injury Blog - Part 2

High-Speed Chase Ends with a Crash in Walnut Creek

By Kelly Balamuth on July 23, 2015

Shortly before 10 pm on July 16th, law enforcement authorities in the city of San Lorenzo attempted to make a routine traffic stop of a Land Rover with two men inside. As reported by KPIX 5, the driver failed to yield on Hesperian Boulevard and Grant Avenue, beginning a chase that continued onto Interstate 680. The SUV led law enforcement at speeds of up to 100 mph at times, with the California Patrol Highway taking up the pursuit. The chase ended in Walnut Creek where the SUV sideswiped two cars and slammed into a parked vehicle near the intersection of North Main and Pine streets, shutting down North Main Street for more than two hours. Read the rest »

Posted in: Auto Collision

Fatal Hit-and-Run in East Oakland

By Kelly Balamuth on January 29, 2015

On January 23, 2015, an 84-year-old woman was struck and killed in a hit-and-run accident in East Oakland. She was found at the intersection of 18th Avenue and East 15th Street at 8:08 a.m. Friday morning and transported to a local hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

A home security camera captured the accident, which showed the victim crossing the street when the car failed to slow down, hitting her in the middle of the road, which threw her several yards away. The car only paused for two seconds before simply taking off. The driver, a 30-year-old woman from Oakland, was arrested later that day at 9:40 p.m. after her car was found abandoned near where the crash occurred. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor, according to authorities. Read the rest »

Posted in: Auto Collision

Accident on Highway 70 after Driver Falls Asleep

By Kelly Balamuth on January 13, 2015

On January 6 at 5:40 a.m., a two-vehicle collision occurred when a 37-year-old woman fell asleep while driving her Mazda 6, allegedly crashing into the SUV in front of her. The 37-year-old driver of the Explorer then lost control, crashing his Explorer into the center divider. Both suffered only minor injuries.

All drivers have a legal obligation to drive safely while looking out for the safety and well-being of others. Unfortunately, falling asleep while driving is an all too common occurrence, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 2.5 percent of fatal crashes and 2 percent of injury crashes involve drowsy driving. In addition, the AAA Foundation’s most recent survey for Traffic Safety shows that 21 percent of fatal crashes involve tired drivers. Read the rest »

Posted in: Auto Collision

Multi-Vehicle Accident on Highway 880

By Kelly Balamuth on November 7, 2014

On September 15, 2014, nine people were injured when an SUV lost control and hit the center divider on Highway 880 near San Leandro, according to local NBC news.  A big rig loaded with concrete that was driving nearby could not stop in time when the accident occurred and hit the center divider as well, sending the concrete flying.

Over ten cars were involved in the domino effect that followed.  Many of the cars were badly crumpled and some caught on fire.  Three people were critically injured and one had to be air-lifted from the scene. Read the rest »

Posted in: Auto Collision

California Highway Patrol Posts Rules for Legal Lane Splitting

By Kelly Balamuth on February 27, 2013

Have you ever been traveling in your car along a Northern California highway, when a motorcyclist shoots out ahead of you by cutting between you and the car in the adjacent lane? This practice is called lane splitting or white lining. Motorcycles drive between slower moving vehicles in adjacent lanes in order to pass them. The practice tends to startle and terrify car drivers.

You may be surprised to learn that this practice is legal in California. Yes, legal. California is the only state in the U.S. where lane splitting is legal. As reported in The Sacramento Bee, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials have just posted a set of guidelines for lane splitting. This confirms the legality of the practice but at the same time makes the point that only in certain situations is it considered safe. The California Highway Patrol is hoping their guidelines will clarify the controversial practice.

Northern California Lane SplittingAccording to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Mark Pope, the practice of lane splitting needed to be acknowledged, and guidelines needed to be issued explaining how to lane split safely. The guidelines state that a motorcyclist can legally ride between two adjacent cars, but their speed can be no more than ten miles per hour faster than the two vehicles they are maneuvering in between. Never should the maneuver be made at freeway speeds. The highest safe speed for white lining is 39 miles per hour.

Since there is nothing in the state vehicle code specifically prohibiting lane splitting, the California Highway Patrol have always viewed it as legal so long as it is done safely and at a slow speed. CHP officers issue citations for lane splitting only if the rider is traveling too fast or changing lanes unsafely.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a car crash caused by the negligence of another, contact Northern California car accident attorney Kelly Balamuth as soon as possible. She will listen to the details of your particular situation and evaluate your case. Call (888) 254-1234 for a free initial consultation.

Know the Ideal Position for Seat Belts during Pregnancy

By Kelly Balamuth on January 24, 2013

The purpose of seat belts is to serve as a harness to hold the vehicle’s occupants in place during a collision or rollover accident. Holding in place also means inside the vehicle. Far too many lives are lost when occupants are thrown from their vehicles, thereby losing the protection the steel cage of their vehicle provides. Personal injury lawyers who represent clients who have been seriously injured in car crashes understand how important seat belt use is.

Should Pregnant Women Use Seatbelts?

Seatbelt Use for Pregnant WomenMany may believe that the pressure of a seat belt against a pregnant woman’s abdomen would cause the unborn baby harm. This is untrue. According to smartmotorist.com, a pregnant woman’s body contains the muscles, bones, organs and amniotic fluid which provide a cushion for the fetus. Pregnant women can best protect themselves and their unborn babies by using seat belts. Research shows that women who do not use seatbelts while pregnant were less likely to understand the benefits of maternal seat belt use.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists urges medical personnel to counsel pregnant women on the proper seat belt fit. They offer the following advice:

  • Pregnant women should position the lap belt under the abdomen as low on the hips as possible and across the upper thighs.
  • The shoulder belt should be positioned between the breasts.
  • The seat belt should have as little slack as possible. It should fit snugly.

If pregnant women are not driving, the safest place for them to sit is in the rear seat where seat belts should still be worn.

If your loved one has been injured in a Bay Area car crash, the personal injury attorneys at Balamuth Law want to help. We understand the difficulties that an injury accident can cause. Lives can be forever changed. If someone you care about has been hurt due to another’s negligence, call (888) 254-1234 for a free consultation.

Buying a Safe Used Car in Northern California

By Kelly Balamuth on January 22, 2013

The average American car has been on the road for eleven years. Living and working in Northern California without a car is not a viable option. If your old car is approaching its last miles, it may be costing you more in repairs than it is worth. Newer model cars have additional safety features such as anti-lock brakes and air bags. Personal injury attorneys who help clients every day get compensation for their injuries in car crashes understand the safer the car the better.

In today’s economy, many choose to replace their old clunkers with “newer” cars, not new ones. If you are in the market for one of these, consumer-car-reviews.com advises you to learn from the following seven common used car buying mistakes:

  1. Buyers shop for a used car unaware of their credit rating. Buyers can shop ahead of time for a car loan so they know the amount they will be comfortable borrowing.
  2. Buyers shop without knowing how much they can afford. Taxes, license fees, transfer fees can add seven percent or more to the cost of the car.
  3. Buyers fail to do their homework prior to shopping for a car. Online resources such as cars.com make this process easy today.
  4. Shoppers may not know what they want and so become impulse buyers.
  5. Used car buyers may not know what their trade-in is worth. Again, online resources like NADA.com are available to help.
  6. Buyers owe more on their trade than the car is worth. You will most likely have trade equity twelve months before your old loan is paid.
  7. Shoppers are not ready to commit to a decision to buy.

The Northern California car accident attorneys at Balamuth Law make it their mission to help those who have been injured in car crashes that were caused by the negligence of another. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car crash, call the East Bay personal injury attorneys at (888) 254-1234 or fill out a contact form online.

Flat Tire on Freeway Leads to Fatal Crash in Redwood City

By Kelly Balamuth on December 19, 2012

Three members of a family were tragically killed when their vehicle was pulled over on a California freeway due to a flat tire. As reported by MercuryNews.com, the family was on their way to the San Francisco airport to visit relatives in Dallas for the holidays on December 15 when their Lexus got a flat tire on Interstate 280 in Redwood City. The car had pulled onto the median when it was slammed from behind by a Volkswagen SUV, according to authorities. A California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer reports that the vehicle, driven by an 82-year-old San Jose resident, was traveling at a “high rate of speed” when the crash occurred.

The CHP identified the victims as a 48-year-old mother, her 28-year-old son, and her 21-year-old daughter, all from the city of Santa Clara. The husband of the victim was the only one to survive the crash. The condition of the 82-year-old driver was not immediately available, but the man was hospitalized after undergoing surgery for a number of injuries, including broken ribs. According to the CHP, alcohol does not appear to have been a factor in the collision.

The CHP officer states that presently no arrests have been made and the fatal accident remains under investigation.

The sudden loss of a loved one is an exceptionally difficult thing for any family to cope with, and may leave loved ones wondering if the deadly accident could have been avoided. The wrongful death lawyers in San Mateo County of Balamuth Law understand how difficult the days and weeks following the loss of someone you love can be and are here to help families who have lost someone get the answers they need. Our compassionate legal team will also work to get the compensation your family needs to move forward.

To see how we can assist you during this difficult time, call (888) 254-1234.

Study Reveals More California Motorists are Driving Drugged than Drunk

By Kelly Balamuth on November 30, 2012

A new federally funded survey conducted by the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) showed drugged driving is on the rise in California and has surpassed drunk driving. The statewide impaired driving survey included more than nine cities and concluded that 14 percent of California drivers are driving under the influence of drugs, which is double the 7.3 percent who had alcohol. A member of the OTS states that nearly half of the motorists surveyed in the roadside survey had marijuana alone or combined it with alcohol and other drugs.

San Francisco DUID AccidentIn addition to illegal drugs, the study also found that drivers had prescription and over-the-counter drugs, which can also impair driving. As a number of drivers tested positive for illegal or prescriptions drugs, officials say it points to a growing and very serious threat.

Overall, the survey involved more than 1,300 drivers who voluntarily provided breath and/or saliva samples at roadside locations in different California cities, including Modesto, Fresno, Gardena, Ontario, Redding, Anaheim, Eureka, San Rafael, and Chula Vista. The study came as the California Highway Patrol prepared for its “maximum enforcement campaign” during the recently celebrated Thanksgiving holiday, largely in part to target drivers who may be under the influence.

The most recent statewide accident statistics from 2010 show that more individuals lose their lives on the road during Thanksgiving than any other major holiday besides New Year’s. The state has been trying to put more of a focus on drugged driving, not just drunk driving, which officials say is an emerging problem that has “often gone under-reported and under-recognized.”

A traffic accident can be caused by a number of things, but when a driver chooses to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the safety of every person on the road is in danger. If you or someone you love has been injured in such an accident, please call a traffic accident attorney at Balamuth Law for help in getting the compensation you need to recover after a crash. To schedule a no-cost consultation, call (888) 254-1234 or use our online Contact Form.

Traveling this Holiday Season? Stay Safe by Recognizing the Signs of Drowsy Driving

By Kelly Balamuth on November 19, 2012

As the weather begins to cool across Northern California and the mercury continues to drop, residents of the Golden State are reminded that the holiday season is quickly approaching. Beginning with the food-filled celebration that is the Thanksgiving holiday, a number of Californians may have plans to travel during the holidays and hit the road to join friends and family to celebrate. A holiday road trip can be fun and memorable for your nearest and dearest, but long trips can also present unique hazards for drivers, such as drowsy driving.

Bay Area Holiday Driving Safety TipsDriving while drowsy or fatigued is a very dangerous practice and can lower your ability to safely operate your vehicle. As such, the National Sleep Foundation has joined AAA in educating motorists across the nation about sleep safety during Drowsy Driving Prevention Week, and both groups offer the following tips to recognize the signs of drowsy driving in order to prevent a serious accident. If you are doing or experiencing any of the following behind the wheel, it is a sign you need to rest, take a break, or allow another driver to take over:

  • Drifting from your lane, swerving, hitting rumble strips, or tailgating;
  • Inability to clearly remember the last few miles driven or missing exits or traffic signs;
  • Yawning repeatedly or feeling restless, irritable, or aggressive; and
  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or difficulty keeping daydreams at bay.

If traveling is a part of your holiday plans this season, the Walnut Creek traffic accident lawyers of Balamuth Law wish you and your loved ones a very safe trip! Our legal team also knows that though you may be safe when behind the wheel, another careless driver may endanger your safety and the safety of others on the road. In the event you are involved in an auto accident, please call (925) 254-1234 to speak with a member of our legal team and see how we can help you get back on your feet.

Attorney Kelly Balamuth was profiled in the
September 2013 Issue of Plaintiff Magazine.

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Moraga, California 94556
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