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Los Angeles Fire Causing Traffic Mayhem

/ Uncategorized /

Los Angeles Wildfire

LOS ANGELES – A Los Angeles car accident attorney is warning drivers to expect more traffic – and accidents – as wildfires continue to encroach on Southern California communities, towns and the city of Los Angeles.

Officials ordered more evacuations on Wednesday as a handful of wildfires blaze across the LA-area. The biggest of which is the Thomas Fire, a 450-acre blaze that is threatening homes and businesses in Ventura County. As of Thursday afternoon, the wildfire was only 5% contained.

Another fire has already destroyed a handful of Bel-Air mansions and threatened the priceless Getty Center arts gallery. In addition to the physical damage, some of the wildfires threatened roadways, causing several street and highway closures.

The Skirball fire forced officials to close down part of Interstate 405, a major Los Angeles artery, causing a cascade effect on traffic in the area.

“Closing major routes force more trucks and cars onto smaller routes they usually don’t take,” Los Angeles car accident attorney John Sheehan said. “Accidents always rise when traffic gets congested; add unfamiliarity and frustration to the mix, and mistakes can happen.”

Los Angeles car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm are now urging commuters in the LA-area to be mindful of changing traffic patterns and plan their route before getting on the road.

“It’s always important to know where you’re going,” Sheehan said. “Even the added confidence can make you a safer and more alert driver.”

Of course, not all drivers are prepared. Since the fires have grown, there have been several accidents on major routes. On the 405, drivers were even spotted using their phones to take pictures and/or video of the wildfire — while driving (distracted driving is the top cause of accidents in LA).

With tensions high and distractions up, drivers could easily find themselves in a car accident. While most accidents are minor, some can cause serious bodily damage, including neck pains, back pains, leg pains, or severe injuries such as concussions and broken bones.

If you or a family member has recently been injured in a car crash, it’s important to talk to a Los Angeles car accident lawyer for FREE. At The Barnes Firm, our experienced attorneys will take your call and answer any legal questions you may have for FREE. Available 24/7.

The Barnes Firm

1-(800) 800-0000


Despite Safety Tech, Crashes Are Up

/ Car Accident /

LOS ANGELES – As automakers begin rolling-out their 2018 models, new safety tech is one of the prominent selling points. More cars will come with back-up cameras as a standard option, automatic braking systems will be more prevalent and carmakers will continue to release automated features that promise to improve road safety.

Despite the new tech, safety advocates are concerned and some are predicting that Labor Day weekend could be the deadliest since 2008. An analysis conducted by the National Safety Council determined that crash death rates have been increasing since 2014 and if their predictions are correct, more than 400 people could fall victim to deadly car crashes over the three-day holiday weekend.

According to a car accident attorney Los Angeles traffic accidents impact hundreds of people each day, and about 2.2 million Americans have already been seriously injured in a crash this year. Why? It’s likely due to a traffic boom.

“With an improved economy, people are driving more in Los Angeles,” car accident lawyer John Sheehan said. “With more people on the road, the risk of a crash goes up.”

Some states, like Florida, have recorded a 43 percent jump in the number of deadly car crashes. And collisions in at least six other states have increased by more than 20 percent, according to the council.

L.A. car accident lawyers say most safety features are functioning properly in the newest models but crashes are increasing because of other technology that usually doesn’t come with your car purchase.

“Many cars are now being equipped with blind spot warnings, more cameras and more airbags but despite these safety features, crash numbers continue to rise,” Sheehan said. “Distracted driving is a major reason for that and when drivers aren’t paying attention, they’re not just putting their own lives at risk, they’re putting the lives of others at risk too.”

Ten years ago, people were just being introduced to smartphones and each year, more and more Americans purchase a handheld communications device. Everyone knows it’s dangerous to use a mobile device while driving but millions of drivers do it anyway. As a result, injuries stemming from car crashes have spiked.

If you’ve been injured by a negligent or distracted driver, you could be entitled to significant compensation. As one of the largest personal injury law firms in the nation, the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm have the resources and experience to help victims receive the best result possible.

Call 1-(800) 800-0000 or Contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney online for a free case evaluation.

The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000


Most Drivers Drive Angry

/ Car Accident /

LOS ANGELES – This may come as a surprise to you (but it might not if you’re constantly battling traffic on the I-10 in Santa Monica): 80 percent of drivers have expressed anger behind the wheel in the last year.

This information stems from a new AAA study that analyzed driver behavior across the nation. The study also found that a whopping eight million drivers exhibit what’s known as “road rage behavior,” which can include getting out of a vehicle to confront another driver.

A car crash lawyer in Los Angeles says road rage is one of the most dangerous behaviors on the road today.

“Road rage can not only be the cause of car crashes – it can lead to more serious and possibly criminal charges in Los Angeles,” car accident lawyer John Sheehan said. “Traffic can be frustrating but your life and lives of others are on the line every time you put the car in drive, so it’s important to keep your cool.”

The AAA study found that more than half of the drivers on the road have admitted to ‘purposefully tailgating’ another vehicle. When you crunch the numbers, it adds up to around 104 million drivers nationwide.

The survey discovered that drivers willingly admitted to a cluster of other dangerous behaviors:

  • Yelling at another driver: 47 percent (95 million drivers)
  • Honking to show annoyance or anger: 45 percent (91 million drivers)
  • Making angry gestures: 33 percent (67 million drivers)
  • Trying to block another vehicle from changing lanes: 24 percent (49 million drivers)
  • Cutting off another vehicle on purpose: 12 percent (24 million drivers)
  • Getting out of the vehicle to confront another driver: 4 percent (7.6 million drivers)
  • Bumping or ramming another vehicle on purpose: 3 percent (5.7 million drivers)

Roughly 2,700 drivers were surveyed for the study and the most aggressive drivers were found to be between the ages of 19 and 39. Los Angeles car accident lawyers say that age group also drives the most in Southern California.

“Road rage is a serious problem on Los Angeles streets and we’re urging drivers not to let their emotions take the wheel,” Sheehan said. “Almost every driver has made a mistake or two and that one mistake isn’t worth causing an accident.”

At The Barnes Firm, a car crash lawyer in Los Angeles can help injured victims file an injury claim – they’ve been helping victims recover from crashes in Southern California since 2013, including road rage incidents. To avoid a car accident or possible legal action against you, the lawyers at The Barnes Firm offer these simple tips:

  • Try not to be offended by other drivers or their habits
  • Be tolerant of other drivers
  • Avoid engaging with angry drivers
  • If a crash does occur, take deep breaths and call 911 if anyone has been injured

The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000


Take 5

/ Construction Accidents /

LOS ANGELES – It’s all about putting in your time and collecting that paycheck. Just ask Rihanna and Drake; everything seems to be about work, work, work, work, work, work.

Putting in overtime could be great for your wallet but a new study says it’s terrible for your health. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen teamed up with Purdue researchers to create the largest study of work production and its health effects. It found that when workload increases, so do injuries and illnesses.

According to a construction accident lawyer Los Angeles has many overworked employees, who often suffer injuries that can put them out of work for weeks, months and sometimes indefinitely.

“Some of the most severe workplace injuries are the result of overexertion in Los Angeles,” construction accident lawyer John Sheehan said. “These injuries not only grind production to halt – they put workers’ lives at risk and they can easily be prevented when employers put safety first on the job site.”

The joint study analyzed Danish production companies that experienced a surge in business from 1996 to 2006. Researchers found that employees suffered more illnesses and injuries after production increased just 10 percent.

As employees worked longer hours, their risk of injury skyrocketed. Companies with huge demands also found that workers were taking more sick time.

Economists and safety experts agree: taking breaks and staying refreshed is an important safety element in every workplace.

“Stress is a common factor in every job and that stress can sometimes lead to serious illnesses or injuries when a worker is overwhelmed,” Sheehan said. “Muscles fatigue over time and that can lead to falls or other serious accidents and it’s up to supervisors to make sure everyone remains safe at work.”

The Los Angeles construction accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm have fought to improve safety for all of California’s workers and the fight continues today. If you’ve been injured on a work site, The Barnes Firm can help.

With offices across the west coast, our lawyers have helped workers get the best results possible. Contact Us today for a free case evaluation.

The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000


BAC: How Many Beverages it Takes

/ Car Accident /

OAKLAND, Calif. – As personal injury lawyers, we see the dangerous and sometimes deadly effects of drunk driving. The guilty party often tells their friends, family and even the police that they are okay to drive… but they usually aren’t.

Not only do they risk being taken to jail; drunk drivers also risk the lives of innocent people whom they share the road with. An Oakland car accident attorney at The Barnes Firm represents those innocent lives that have drastically changed because they’ve been injured by drunk driver.

“Police reports often detail how a driver is in disbelief or denial about their level of impairment after they cause a crash in Oakland,” car accident lawyer Landon Vivian said. “The same driver is often drunker than they think they are.”

The measurement of choice is called the blood-alcohol level; and no matter how ‘sober’ a person feels, the BAC consistently impacts that person’s ability to drive.

Reflexes and judgment can be impaired after just a couple drinks and the more a person drinks, the harder it is to do a self-diagnostic to determine their level of drunkenness.

In 2000, Congress made 0.08 the national standard for impaired driving. But what does that really mean? Your BAC is determined by multiple factors including height, weight and the amount of alcoholic beverages you’ve consumed. Although it differs from person-to-person, many safety advocates say 0.08 is still high.

According to the CDC (chart above), a BAC of 0.08 generally equals about four drinks but most people will start experiencing major side effects after just two drinks.

In fact, many other countries have stricter standards than the United States. In places like Australia, France, Germany, and Italy, the BAC limit for drivers is set at 0.05. Japan currently has the lowest tolerance for drunk drivers, keeping them in check at 0.03.

The reason other countries have a lower tolerance is clear: drunk drivers continue to cause preventable traffic deaths.

“It doesn’t take that many drinks to slow your reaction time and distort your judgment, which can make you a dangerous driver,” Vivian said. “Although it doesn’t seem like much, ‘one more drink’ could be the difference between getting home safely or going to jail.”

After about three alcoholic beverages, a person’s BAC is approximately 0.05 percent. At that level, they can experience decreased coordination and that person begins to lose their focus and alertness. Add just one drink to the mix (0.08) and the same person has difficulty identifying road hazards. Their balance, vision and reaction time are severely hampered. Their risk of causing a car crash rises exponentially every time they have another drink.

If you’ve been injured by a drunk driver, the Oakland car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm have experience helping victims like yourself. Contact Us today for a free case evaluation.

For more information about road safety and legal news, follow The Barnes Firm on Facebook.

The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000


This is Probably the Worst Freeway in the US

/ Car Accident /

LOS ANGELES – Clearly, you’ve read the title of this article. Is it such a surprise that the location is Los Angeles? Nah.

If you’ve ever been in L.A. you know traffic dictates your life. Every Los Angeleno plans their days, weeks and years around traffic. According to TIME, drivers spend a whopping 90 hours in traffic every year in the Southland. So let’s be honest, is it really surprising that the worst freeway in America is located in California? Nope.

Ask almost anyone who lives in the greater L.A. area and they will tell you that their daily commute is the absolute worst. Some of those people might be right, according to this analysis conducted by the Auto Insurance Center which found that one major Los Angeles freeway is indeed worse than the others.

The U.S. 101 between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and DTLA is the pits. It truly is ‘highway hell’ for the thousands of drivers who travel the nation’s most crowded roadway every single day. This stretch of the 101 is only 30 miles long but it can take drivers over an hour to traverse as cars creep along the dotted pavement at an average speed of 17 mph.

A Los Angeles car crash law firm. The Barnes Firm, says the 101 is not just a slow highway; it can also be a dangerous one if drivers are not careful.

“There are dangerous and deadly accidents on the 101 every day in Los Angeles,” car accident lawyer John Sheehan said. “Even though the traffic may not be moving fast, it’s important for all drivers to be alert and pay attention when they’re at the wheel.”

According to recent news reports, accidents occur just about everywhere on the 101. While some sections are certainly more dangerous than others, drivers can quickly become victims of the 101 freeway at any time.

Researchers at the Auto Insurance Center also found that the traffic in L.A. is very costly. Even if accidents are removed from the equation, a driver in Los Angeles, Anaheim or Long Beach could spend an extra $2,000 on gas each year just by sitting in traffic.

One of the cheapest communities in the country however, is just five hours north of Hollywood in Turlock, California. Drivers there only lose $31 each year in traffic.

For more driving tips and to discover new ways to ease your commute, Like The Barnes Firm on Facebook.

The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000


Saving Skateboarders from Cars

/ Car Accident /

SAN JOSE, Calif. – When the average person walks by a skate park, their first thought might be something like, “wow, that looks dangerous!” But the majority of those seriously injured while riding on skateboards are hit by a car.

Drivers are notorious for hogging the road despite laws requiring traffic to be shared amongst cars, bikes, pedestrians, and others including skateboarders. In San Jose alone, there are dozens of incidents every year where a skateboarder is stuck by a vehicle.

A San Jose car crash lawyer at The Barnes Firm says some motorists are aggressive and they have little care to watch for skateboarders riding near the roadways.

“People of all ages enjoy riding skateboards and it’s a popular means of transportation in San Jose,” car accident lawyer John Sheehan said. “Skateboarders have little protection when they’re struck by a car and the injuries are often severe so it’s important for drivers to not only obey the traffic laws but also be aware of those outside, sharing the road.”

According to SkatePark.org, 28 skateboarders were killed in 2014, including eight in California. More than 80 percent of those skateboarders were struck by a car or truck.

Thousands more were injured by motor vehicles. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons estimated that skateboarders under the age of 19 account for more than 78,000 emergency room visits every year.

At skate parks, minor injuries are common: scrapes, cuts and bruises. However, when a skateboarder is struck by a car, the injuries can be more serious.

“Spinal cord injuries, fractured bones and severe brain injuries are common in car accidents,” Sheehan said. “If you’re behind the wheel of a car, you have a responsibility to be aware of your surroundings so these accidents can be avoided but drivers are more distracted than ever and we’re seeing a spike in skateboarding injuries as a result.”

Many car crashes can be attributed to driver error – which makes it difficult for a skateboarder to avoid a collision. But San Jose car accident lawyers say there are several ways for skateboarders to reduce their risk of injury.

In California, all skateboarders under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets, and for obvious reasons: proper fitting helmets have proven to reduce the risk of head injuries in most accidents.

If you or your child has been injured while on a skateboard, you may be entitled to compensation. The San Jose car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm have helped many Californians recover from devastating crashes and with offices in downtown L.A., our attorneys are happy to answer any legal questions you may have.

The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000


Compromising on Safety

/ Car Accident /

LOS ANGELES – Everyone wants to have the safest car. After all, we aren’t just putting ourselves in that vehicle; we’re also hauling our families and children. Safety is important.

Until it costs extra.

Some newer safety features like automatic brakes do not come standard in most 2017 models, despite numerous studies that claim the new features will save lives. Instead, consumers usually have to tack-on thousands of dollars to the sticker price to receive these safety features and more often than not, they opt-out.

It’s a worldwide problem.

A recent study found that only 37 percent of buyers will “opt-in” for the safety package. A LA car accident lawyer at The Barnes Firm says it’s not because consumers don’t want safety, it’s because it’s unaffordable.

“If all vehicles were equipped with automatic brakes and other new safety systems, thousands of car crashes would’ve been avoided in Los Angeles,” car accident attorney John Sheehan said. “Every new car is equipped with air bags, so there’s no reason for other safety features to be left out.”

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, cars with automatic brakes reduced rear-end collisions by 40 percent. Warning systems, alerting drivers of an imminent crash, cut car wrecks by 23 percent; and both were designed to significantly reduce the severity of injuries.

The safety systems are being hailed as the most significant strides in automotive safety since seat belts. Automakers have even received pressure from Congress to implement them as standard features. But it appears it will take time.

More than 20 car manufacturers who represent 99 percent of the U.S. motor vehicle market struck a deal with the U.S. Department of Transportation this year. Automatic brakes will indeed be standard but not until the fall of 2022.

“The technology to save lives is available now,” Sheehan said. “Backup cameras will be standard on all 2018 models and we can expect more safety features as the auto industry drives toward automation.”

Although the new features are expected to eventually roll-out as standard options, safety advocates warn drivers that the safety systems won’t prevent every car crash. Drivers are still responsible for their actions behind the wheel and they have to avoid distractions.

The Los Angeles car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firms estimate that four out of every five car crashes are caused by distracted drivers. If you’ve believe you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, The Barnes Firm has the resources to help you obtain the best result possible.

Call 1-(800) 800-0000 to speak to an attorney today or contact The Barnes Firm online for a free case evaluation.

The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000


How to Make Your Baby’s Room Safe

/ Dangerous Products, Defective Products /

SAN DIEGO – Many companies continue to sell dangerous baby products, including bumper pads and sleep positioners know there are risks associated with their products but they keep selling them… and parents keep buying them.

In fact, a new study conducted by the Penn State College of Medicine found that 91 percent of babies are sleeping in cribs lined with unsafe bedding. Only one observation concerned safety advocates more: 14 percent of babies were placed on their stomachs or on their sides instead of on their backs.

A San Diego defective product attorney at The Barnes Firm says children face the highest risk of suffocation and they can easily be injured by faulty or unsafe merchandise.

“Sleep-related infant death is the most common cause of newborn deaths in San Diego,” defective product lawyer John Sheehan said. “Many of the baby products that are marketed as ‘safe’ items for your child can actually be very dangerous and they have, in the past, contributed to several cases of suffocation.”

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS, has declined over the past 25 years thanks to increased awareness. Over the same period of time however, instances of Accidental Suffocation and Strangulation in Bed (ASSB) have skyrocketed. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, America recorded its highest rate of ASSB in 2014 with 21.4 deaths per 100,000 live births.

There are plenty of warnings reminding parents about unsafe bedding and there are several safer alternatives but Los Angeles defective product lawyers say parents often ignore the warning signs.

“Many parents simply don’t believe it will happen to them or to their child but unsafe bedding impacts thousands of families every year and not only can crib liners and bedding be dangerous for your child, the crib itself can be defective,” Sheehan said. “While there are safe alternatives out there, the best way to prevent a tragic injury is with adult supervision.”

Safety advocates recommend choosing a crib that adheres to all standards recommended by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and equipping the crib with minimal bedding. It may sound uncomfortable but pediatricians say your baby will sleep find without the stuffed animals and fluffy pillows. In fact, soft bedding and bumper pads increase the risk of injury.

The Barnes Firm strongly supports the best safety practices and represents victims who have suffered a tragic and unnecessary injury or loss. For more safety information and updates on the latest product recalls, follow The Barnes Firm on Twitter.

The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000


Distractions Behind Surge in Crashes

/ Car Accident /

LOS ANGELES – If you text, browse the web, talk to passengers, read, or even use a navigation system while driving, you’re considered a dangerous driver.

Those are just a few of the most common distractions outlined by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. According to transportation officials, those same distractions are major factors that contributed to a sudden rise in the number of traffic deaths.

After years of progress, the number of fatal car crashes spiked last year by 7.2 percent. The outlook for 2016 isn’t any better. Through the first six months of the year, deadly crashes went up by over 10 percent.

A Los Angeles car accident lawyer at The Barnes Firm says the increase is due, in part, to more crashes in urban areas where traffic congestion is getting worse.

“We all know how busy the roads and highways are during rush hour in Los Angeles,” car accident attorney John Sheehan said. “The stop and go traffic in particular can quickly become deadly when drivers are distracted by something else like a smartphone.”

Federal statistics show that fatal collisions actually dropped in rural areas: Alaska has enjoyed an 11.3 percent drop. Minnesota and North Dakota also enjoyed safer roads with 10.7 percent and 9.7 percent drops, respectively.

The national spike is most noticeable in urbanized states like Florida, Georgia and Nevada, all of which experienced more than a 9 percent spike in deadly car crashes.

Los Angeles car accident lawyers say these crashes can often be traced back to distractions.

“When traffic slows down due to congestion, many drivers get bored and pick up their handheld devices to text or use an app,” Sheehan said. “These are dangerous habits drivers need to be aware of.”

A study by True Motion found that the 10 most distracting phone apps don’t necessarily involve texting and in many cases, some drivers are even more distracted than you might expect:

10. Netflix. In the study that analyzed usage habits of nearly 300 drivers, some were caught watching movies or shows while behind the wheel.

9. Pandora. Music and cars have complimented each other for over 50 years but skipping ahead to your favorite song can take your eyes – and your mind – off the road.

8. Chrome. The popular web browser can provide users answers to many questions – but it can also take a driver’s attention away from their main task: driving.

7. Amazon Music. Yes, some drivers were found to not only be skipping to their favorite songs; some were purchasing songs behind the wheel.

6. Waze. This popular app helps drivers navigate around hazards on city streets but it relies on user input – and in many cases, it’s the driver inputting information.

5. YouTube. Aside from watching movies and shows, drivers are also addicted to watching clips on YouTube – and it puts their safety at risk.

4. Facebook. The driver’s seat isn’t the place or time to be updating your status but it happens too often. Almost as often as:

3. Texting. It’s estimated that 71 percent of all drivers have sent text messages behind the wheel. If that’s not concerning, check out number 2:

2. Pokemon Go. This handheld game often requires your complete focus and attention on the smartphone screen. Since its Summer 2016 release, dozens of crashes have been linked to this app.

1. Maps. Perhaps this is obvious: drivers have places to go. Unfortunately, many of them don’t input their directions before putting the car in drive. Although it may only take a few seconds to find your destination on your GPS device, this distraction has been linked to thousands of accidents.

If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, the Los Angeles car accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm will do what it takes to get you the best result possible. A The Barnes Firm crash investigator can analyze all the possible distractions and collect evidence including cell phone records and app usage rates to help clients maximize their case values.

Contact a Los Angeles car accident lawyer today to get started on a free consultation.

The Barnes Firm 1-(800) 800-0000