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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.

Reducing the Chances of Being Bitten by a Dog

By Kelly Balamuth on January 14, 2013

Dog ownership is both a privilege and a responsibility. Although dogs can be loving companions for children and adults, they may become dangerous when not properly trained and supervised. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 800,000 people obtain medical care for dog bites each year in the U.S. The saddest part of this fact is that approximately half of these dog-bite victims are children. Children ages 5-9 are most at risk. Injuries are often in the neck and head region.

California Dog-Bite Statute

Under California Civil Code 3342, knowledge of the viciousness of a dog is not required for the dog’s owner to be held liable for damages suffered by anyone bitten by the dog. This applies so long as the person attacked is lawfully on the private property of the dog’s owner or in a public area. Code 3342.5 further states that dog owners, once a bite has occurred, have a duty to take the necessary steps to eliminate further danger/bites from the animal.

Before You Get a Dog

Your son or daughter is begging for a dog, and you are sure he or she is ready for the responsibility. What should you consider first?

  • Which breed is appropriate for your family? Consider space. Consider the animal’s temperament around children. A local veterinarian will have suggestions.
  • Are your children at ease around dogs or fearful of them?
  • Are there toddlers in the home?
  • Has the animal been spayed or neutered? Spayed or neutered dogs are tyipically less aggressive.
  • Do you have time to train the dog properly and teach the dog submissive behaviors?

While there are certain steps you can take to make sure you, your children and others are safe around your dog, this may not be the case when it comes to other dog owners.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a dog, at Balamuth Law, we have experience with dog bite attacks in the East Bay Area and can help you take the steps necessary for the best possible recovery. Call (888) 254-1234 to schedule a free consultation.

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

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Moraga, California 94556
Phone: (925) 254-1234
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