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Encinitas Legal Blog

Sleep-deprived drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers

If you are like most California residents, you wouldn't consider getting behind the wheel after drinking. You know that doing so puts lives in danger. Drunk drivers' abilities diminish to the point where they may not even realize they have crossed over into oncoming traffic, run a red light or stopped in the middle of the street.

You already know this about driving drunk, but it may surprise you to know that you could end up doing the same things if you get behind the wheel when sleep-deprived. The fact of the matter is that drowsy driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Child brain injury sufferers may develop neurological issues

Car accidents and sporting accidents can leave a child in Encinitas with serious injuries, including those that affect the brain and the spine. While these injuries can leave a victim with significant physical deficiencies, they can also cause long-term neurological problems.

A recent study found that children who suffer traumatic brain injuries have an increased risk of developing neuropsychiatric disorders. According to that study, these children are more likely to develop headaches, depression and intellectual and emotional disorders when compared to children who don't suffer a traumatic brain injury. The risk increase can be significant, too, including 16 percent of participants to the study developing intellectual disorders. In fact, only about approximately 60 percent of all children who suffer from a traumatic brain injury are expected to be symptom-free after five years.

Researchers replicate brain injuries to further treatment options

Suffering a blow to the head can leave an individual dazed and confused. Some people in California who experience this sensation shrug the matter off as symptoms fade, but in reality they may have suffered a brain injury. Statistics show that 2.5 million people suffered a brain injury in 2010, but experts suggest the number of actual brain injuries suffered per year may be much higher, because many people who suffer a blow to the head fail to seek medical treatment.

One reason people may be hesitant to seek treatment for a brain injury is because medical interventions in this area have stalled over the last decade and a half. Why? Simply put, it has been challenging for medical researches to figure out how best to study brain injuries without posing a risk of further harm to those who have suffered a brain injury. The difficulty has been that, until now, researchers have been unable to replicate brain injuries outside of the human body. Now, though, medical researchers in Georgia have found a way to take stem cells from mice and apply a chemical that replicates changes to the brain similar to those seen in brain injuries.

Rail industry slow to put safety measures in place

When you think about train crashes, you likely remember the same news stories others in California hear. Those accidents make compelling news, with miles of cars toppled across the tracks and hundreds of victims hospitalized or dead. What you may not realize is that train accidents occur across the U.S. every week, but only the most traumatic receive media coverage.

If you are one of the millions of riders who use trains for either business or pleasure, you may feel relatively safe inside the heavy, solid cars that carry you to your destination. However, any train is vulnerable to the most common cause of accidents on the rails: human error.

Kia and Hyundai vehicles may have dangerous auto defects

There are numerous components that make a motor vehicle function effectively. A defect in any one of these component parts can pose a serious safety risk. As a result, unsuspecting motorists can be injured in accidents or fires. It is for the protection of consumers that the law allows individuals to pursue an auto product liability lawsuit when their injuries are directly linked to a defective auto product.

Some may be able take such legal action if they have been injured by fires started in certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles. The Center for Auto Safety has urged the recall of more than three million Kia Sorrentos, Optimas and Souls, as well as Hyundai Sonatas and Santa Fes. The group claims that non-collision fires have started in these vehicles, with 220 already having been reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yet, the NHSTA has failed to issue a recall. It claims that the matter is under investigation.

Encinitas pedestrian accident leaves one dead

Those who find themselves walking near roadways or in crosswalks can be put in danger when motorists drive negligently. Negligent drivers who fail to yield, swerve off the road or fail to properly share the road can strike a pedestrian, leaving him or her with injuries. Since pedestrians don't have the protections afforded by those driving some sort of vehicle, they often wind up with injuries that are quite severe. In the worst cases, death results.

One recent pedestrian accident is leaving investigators questioning exactly what happened. The wreck occurred when a Toyota Prius struck and killed a 76-year-old woman outside of an Encinitas fire station. Reports indicate that the woman was crossing the street toward a senior center when she was hit. The police do not believe that drug or alcohol played a part in the crash, but the exact cause of the accident remains under investigation.

Is it safe to drive yet? It depends on the amount of alcohol

Alcohol affects everyone differently. True, there are commonalities among people who drink alcohol. For instance, the more you drink the more drunk you get.

However, the similarities tend to end there. You may know someone who gets a buzz from one drink while someone else you know could have a few drinks before reaching the same point. Even so, alcohol tends to behave in the same manner in everybody.

Poor truck maintenance can cause serious car accidents

Semi-trucks, when driven improperly, can be extremely dangerous. A fatigued, intoxicated or distracted trucker can swerve into oncoming traffic or fail to stop at a traffic light, slamming into another vehicle. Because of their sheer size, these vehicles can cause an enormous amount of damage, leaving other motorists in California with serious injuries. In the worst cases, when semi trucks collide with other motorists it can result in loss of life.

Yet, negligent operation isn't the only way that semi-trucks can pose a risk. Federal regulations seek to ensure that these massive vehicles are properly maintained. However, truck companies don't always live up to the expectation. Generally speaking, truck companies should routinely inspect their fleet and make necessary repairs. Trucks should be maintained in safe working condition at all times.

Ford trucks recalled over fire hazard

Californians expect the vehicles they drive to be safe. In order to ensure this safety, a motor vehicle needs to be well-thought out and executed, starting with its initial design. Unfortunately, many times there are design or manufacturing defects that cause vehicles to pose a risk to unsuspecting motorists. This can lead to an auto product recall, but sometimes those recalls come far too late.

Ford recently issued one of these recalls, and it has affected two million of its pickup trucks from its F-series. Reports indicate that Ford's F-150 models from 2015 through 2018 have a malfunction in a seatbelt component part that could cause a fire. The part, known as a pretensioner, automatically tightens a seatbelt when there is sudden acceleration or deceleration, such as occurs in an accident. Yet, in the defective devices, sparks can be generated when the pretensioners are utilized.

Seeking relief of chronic pain after a spinal cord injury

Once, you may have heard someone say that pain is a good thing because it lets you know when something is wrong. Without pain, you may not realize that you need to slow down, give up certain foods or see a doctor. However, since your accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury, you are experiencing pain in parts of your body where you have no other sensations. This pain, called neuropathic pain, is not useful.

A spinal cord injury that left you partially or completely paralyzed may also have damaged the nerves that send the pain messages to your brain. Because of this damage, those nerves continually fire pain messages even in the areas of your body where you have no feeling or mobility. Dealing with neuropathic pain is one more element of life with a spinal cord injury.

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