Bay Area Personal Injury Blog - Mary Alexander & Associates

These Are the Three Most Dangerous Intersections in San Francisco

For many years now, San Francisco has sought to be both a walk-friendly and bike-friendly community. Across the city, new bike lanes and crosswalks have been popping up all over the city, but there are still some areas you need to be careful of if you are walking or riding a bicycle.

What Are the Three Most Dangerous Intersections for San Franciscans?

Pedestrian fatalities in California dropped by 11 percent in 2016, however, our state still led the nation in pedestrian deaths. When it comes to bicycle deaths, we rank around 6th per capita, yet still our state averages more bicycle fatalities than any other state. This means we’ve still got a long way to go in order to take a bite out of pedestrian and bicycle accidents. Here are three spots where such efforts could do the most good:

  • Octavia Blvd/Market Street– This intersection is known more for bicycle accidents than pedestrian accidents, but a significant number of pedestrian accidents still happen here. Be on your guard if you are cycling near these streets.
  • Potrero Ave/16th Street– This area is rather prone to pedestrian accidents, but is not the most dangerous location for bike collisions. You should be especially careful if you need to cross this intersection on foot. Take extra precautions like observing far off traffic before approaching the curb.
  • 5th Street/Market Street– This is the most dangerous intersection you can approach in the city. It holds the top spot for vehicle collisions, pedestrian collisions and it holds the number two spot for bicycle involved crashes. If you are near Market and 5th, be sure to put your phone away and pay close attention to your surroundings.

Want to learn more about the areas of San Francisco where collisions most often happen? Check out this report from the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. You can also keep checking in with our Bay Area personal injury attorneys for more ways to make our community safer.

Could Distracted Driving Be Stopped by Smart Cars?

If you’ve been paying attention to the media lately, then you know autonomous vehicles are the future of driving. These new cars will be able to pick you up and take you wherever you need to go without the need of a driver. Experts even claim that autonomous vehicles will be safer and eliminate road hazards like distracted driving. However, the autonomous driving future is still a ways off, are there technological solution that could help drivers fight distraction today?

Are Smart Cars Capable of Stopping Distracted Driving?

Tesla faced a mountain of pressure from government officials when one of its cars crashed into an 18-wheeler, killing its driver while operating in semi-autonomous mode. This led to the company employing its vast technical know-how to make sure drivers continued to pay attention to the road when autopilot was activated. But what if that technology were deployed in all cars, regardless of whether they were in semi-autonomous mode or not?

That’s a question Fakhri Karray of the University of Waterloo’s Center for Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence is trying to find out. Using software and Microsoft Kinect digital cameras, Karray and his team of engineers are developing a system that cars can use to tell if drivers are distracted or not.

The system uses the cameras to watch the driver’s entire body, and uses an algorithm to determine if that driver is distracted or not. Automakers like Cadillac are also developing such systems, but they focus on just the head or eyes. The system at Waterloo observes the entire body. These researchers are also using neural networks instead of pattern recognition to develop a system that makes fewer mistakes when trying to figure out when someone is driving distracted.

How Long Before This Technology Is Available?

According to Karray, if left up to automakers, it could take years before we see systems like this developed for consumer vehicles. However, he believes he could get a system like this running in just a year, which could allow the third-party market to make options available much sooner than automakers can provide.

Regardless, we will still have to exercise self-control and care when out driving. There is all manner of distractions for drivers on modern roads—from cellphones to infotainment systems. It is the responsibility of the driver to keep their focus on the road while behind the wheel.

Public safety officials are launching safety campaigns all over the country to help remind drivers of this responsibility. And personal injury attorneys like the Bay Area lawyers at Mary Alexander & Associates can do their part by helping the victims of distracted driving seek justice against negligent drivers. Contact experienced legal help if you have a legal concern about your motor vehicle accident.

Are San Francisco Bicycle Accidents Common?

San Francisco is known as one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the entire country. However, that doesn’t mean that bike accidents don’t happen in the Bay Area. Medical costs from bicycle accidents are rising, even though there have been fewer biking fatalities in the area. That could mean more cyclists are finding themselves injured in accidents, which means it could be important for you to know what to do if you are involved in a bicycle crash.

Are Bicycle Accidents Common in San Francisco?

A 34-year-old woman from Mission recently shared her bike accident experience with StreetsBlog. She was riding down Valencia between 14th and 15th street, when something struck her from the left. An SUV took a right turn, and the driver failed to notice the woman riding right beside the vehicle. The rider was taken to the hospital, where they concluded that she only had soft tissue damage, but it could have been worse.

Advocacy groups are now pushing for physical barriers between cars and riders along Valencia street. Efforts like these could go a long way toward reducing cyclist injuries and fatalities, but a recent report warns that medical costs resulting from bike accidents are going up. A study published in June said that annual costs for bike injuries rose 137 percent between 1999-2013 study period. Which means you could end up with a stack of medical bills if you find yourself in a collision while riding your bike.

What Do I Need to Do If I Get into a Bicycle Accident in San Francisco?

So, what should you do if you have a bicycle accident in the Bay Area?

  • Call and wait for the authorities. A police report can be critical evidence in any claim you make related to a bike accident.
  • Make sure police get your side of the story, even if you think you might not be injured. Adrenaline does crazy things to the body, and you may have been hurt worse than you think.
  • Get contact info from the vehicle driver and witnesses to the accident. If you are too injured to do so, ask a bystander if they can help.
  • Take pictures and document your experience in writing. Smartphones allow us to do so much now, so take advantage of this technology.
  • Don’t talk to the other party’s insurer, they are not looking out for you.
  • Get medical attention! This is the most important thing you can do, because your personal safety in a crash situation is what matters the most.
  • Contact an experienced professional. A Bay Area bike accident attorney has the experience you need to make sure you aren’t overwhelmed by medical expenses.

Brought to you by the personal injury attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C.—we are dedicated to helping you when catastrophe strikes.

Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C to Investigate Northern California Wildfires

The last two weeks have been among the worst in California’s history. Wildfires have ravaged more than 250,000 acres Northern California. Thousands of homes and businesses in Napa Valley, Sonoma and Santa Rosa are destroyed. Despite the best efforts of firefighters, the wildfires in Northern California are still not contained.

Did Downed PG&E Equipment Cause the Northern California Wildfires?

Californians deserve answers. We deserve to know why these fires broke out in the first place. Mary Alexander & Associates is investigating how the faulty equipment operated by PG&E contributed to this unpresented natural disaster.

In the moments before the fires began, California emergency crews responded to multiple reports of downed PG&E powerlines and transformer explosions. Over the last several years, our state has experienced the worst drought in its history. Sparks from the powerlines or transformers likely ignited nearby brush that had dried out due to a lack of rain.

PG&E claims that its equipment was damaged by “hurricane force winds.” However, there are reasons to doubt these claims. To be considered hurricane-force winds, windspeeds must exceed 75 miles per hour. Reports suggest windspeeds were not this high when the power lines were knocked over. In addition, PG&E has a record of neglecting maintenance on its equipment. PG&E is responsible for four of the 20 largest wildfires in our state’s history.

If PG&E is responsible for this wildfire, they must be held accountable. More than 100,000 Californians have been evacuated from areas affected by the fires, and an estimated 8,400 houses have been destroyed. At the time this blog was published, 42 Californians are dead and dozens more are still missing. The number of casualties is expected to rise in the coming days.

Can I Sue if I Am Affected by the Wildfires?

The San Francisco personal injury and property damage lawyers Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. have a proven record of working tirelessly on behalf of our clients. Our law firm is currently representing victims of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire that occurred earlier this year in Oakland.

You can speak with our San Francisco personal attorneys if you or loved ones were affected by the recent wildfires. Our law firm offers free initial consultations that could explain your legal rights and possible options for compensation. For more information on this wildfire and to determine your eligibility for filing a lawsuit, please call us at 415-966-2626.

Are You Relying on a Defective EpiPen?

EpiPen is one of the most commonly used and purchased allergy products on the market. It delivers a dose of epinephrine to individuals having an acute and often severe allergic reaction. Such intervention often saves lives, but for some, their EpiPen did not respond when they needed it the most. Worse yet, the company that produces these injectables may not have properly responded once it was told about the possible defect.

Did a Manufacturer Ignore Defective EpiPen Lots?

Back in 2016, Meridian Medical Technologies—a division of Pfizer and manufacturer of EpiPen—made an important discovery. A critical component of the EpiPen auto-injector malfunctioned during testing of a sample unit. This led to the rejection of two lots of that component from its manufacturer. However, this didn’t stop Meridian from continuing production on the EpiPen line.

Several months later, the Food and Drug Administration conducted an inspection of Meridian’s Missouri factory. Its inspectors discovered the failed component and rejected sample lots, but they also discovered something more disturbing. Over 100 complaints that the EpiPen auto-injector had failed to operate in emergency situations.

What Did the FDA Do About Its Discovery?

After examining the facts, the government agency found that Meridian’s oversight and control of manufacture were inadequate. This led to Meridian launching a recall of potentially defective units, and the FDA issued a warning letter. The letter outlines how the company failed to properly investigate complaints about EpiPen, and how the company missed associating these complaints with the defects discovered back in 2016.

Meridian responded by saying that complaints about EpiPen were not unusual considering non-medically trained individuals often used the devices. Yet the FDA still identified records of problems dating back all the way to 2014. The agency has now demanded the company submit plans to improve its complaint investigation and quality assurance techniques.

When a product is found to be defective, it is the responsibility of a manufacturer to do something about the potential defect immediately. If that company does nothing, the consequences can be deadly. This is why anyone who was hurt by a pharmaceutical needs to contact a medication liability lawyer immediately. Cases like this can be complex to prove, and an attorney with proven experience is often the best option for those who have been harmed.

Can a Girl Declared Brain Dead File a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Brain Injuries AttorneysIn December of 2013, a family took their 13-year-old daughter to Children’s Hospital in Oakland for a routine tonsillectomy. They couldn’t have imagined that their daughter might not pull through the common surgery, nor did they imagine the legal battle that would result. Now a medical malpractice lawsuit and the funds to continue life support hang on one question. Is their daughter dead or in a “minimally responsive state”?

Will a Declaration of Brain Death Hurt a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit?

Here in California, damages for pain and suffering are capped at $250,000 when it comes to medical malpractice cases. However, if a victim has ongoing medical costs as a result of their injuries, juries can award unlimited economic damages. These unlimited damages cannot be claimed if the plaintiff is dead, which is where trouble begins for this California family.

During a routine surgery, the family’s 13-year-old suffered massive and irreversible brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. She suffered a cardiac arrest and was put on life support. A month later, the girl was declared brain dead and the coroner signed her death certificate, but the girl’s mother refused to take her off life support.

Why Is This Little Girl Still on Life Support?

The religious beliefs of the girl’s mother do not acknowledge brain death as actual death. And though most states do not accommodate such beliefs, New Jersey does. The girl was taken to New Jersey to remain on life support, and now a legal battle is being fought so that her care may continue back in California.

As the girl has been cared for in New Jersey, her parents and family members have claimed she is semi-responsive. They have posted videos online showing the girl twitching and allegedly responding to noxious smells. Though doctors back in California claim that even a brain-dead individual can occasionally twitch, a critic of brain death diagnoses has another opinion.

Doctor Alan Shewmon has examined the girl, and witnessed her reactions to smell, and he does not believe the girl is actually brain dead. He also claims the girl’s body has not deteriorated as it should have if the girl was brain dead. Another doctor who examines the girl every three months has even claimed the girl has reached puberty.

Will This Girl’s Death Certificate Be Overturned?

Based on this evidence and testimony, a judge here in California has ordered this case to trial. If the girl is declared dead, she may not return to California, but if her death certificate is rescinded, California doctors will be compelled to continue her treatment. Now only a jury can decide.

Medical malpractice cases can be complex, and the lives of families as they look to care for injured loved ones hangs in the balance. Experienced representation with a record of success can often be the better solution for these families in need. Don’t be afraid to contact a Bay Area medical malpractice attorney if you suspect your loved one received negligent treatment.

How Did the Nation’s Largest Mass Shooting Happen?

Las Vegas and the entire country are reeling over the horrific mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. At approximately 10 pm on October 1st, this Las Vegas country music festival became the site of America’s largest mass shooting to date.

What Happened the Night of October First?

As Jason Aldean sang for a packed crowd, gunshots rang out. The singer was forced to abandon the stage as bullets began to fly and stage crews shut off lights. Initially, festival goers thought the sounds of gunfire were helicopters or fireworks, but when people started to fall, the crowd ran for cover. Accounts from victims say the shooting lasted for 10-15minutes.

It is estimated that over 500 people were injured during the shooting, and as of this writing, at least 58 people are believed to be dead. That makes this shooting the largest mass shooting incident in our country’s history.

Who Was the Man Suspected of This Shooting?

Paddock was living in a Mesquite, Nevada retirement community about 80 miles north of Las Vegas. He was seemingly well off, owning an apartment complex in Texas with his brother. The man was not known for having any ties to terrorism or extremist groups, however, he was known to be a gambler. His brother described Paddock as a frequent visitor to Vegas, and he often bet large sums at the casinos. One such casino would become the site for his rampage.

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino was where Paddock checked in. Sometime during his stay at the resort, he brought in several guns and a large cache of ammunition, which he used to open fire from a 32nd floor room.

Could This Shooting Have Been Prevented?

Right now, authorities are covering every angle they can to figure out why anyone would commit such a heinous crime. Undoubtedly, the authorities will also be combing through security footage at the Mandalay Bay, and that may hold the key to several very important questions.

Were there any signs that Paddock was preparing for this shooting? Did he have any sort of help? How did he bring so many weapons into the hotel? These questions may prove important for more than just prosecutors and authorities, but for victims of this tragedy.

Hotels and other business establishments have a duty to provide a safe environment and protect guests and victims from foreseeable criminal attacks. In an instance such as this, if the hotel was negligent, then they could potentially be legally responsible, in part, for the wrongful deaths and injuries to the surviving victims . For now, we must wait to see what the investigation uncovers.

This news alert was brought to you by the Bay Area premises liability attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates.


Update: the security guard who confronted the Las Vegas shooter was just interviewed by TV talk show host Ellen DeGeneres. In the interview, the guard revealed he discovered that the fire escape stairwell on the Mandalay Bay’s 32nd floor was being blocked. The guard continued his checks to figure out what was happening when the suspected shooter began firing down the hall through the door to his suite. The guard took cover, but was hit in the leg and called in to report the shooting.

Other sources have been taking to the internet, telling their stories and sharing videos of this tragedy. However, this information has steadily been tainted by conspiracy theories and misinformation. This has led many to believe that investigators may be withholding key details, and it has left many of the victims with no answers as to what happened that day.

Police timelines for the events of that day are still being modified and adjusted as new information is confirmed. Yet answers are not flowing to victims as it should. There are legal ways for the people harmed by this mass shooting to get answers and compensation. Some are now turning to attorneys to learn what their options are and to force investigators to share what they know. The attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. are investigating the Las Vegas shooting to determine how the tragedy could have been avoided and help victims to hold the negligent parties responsible.

Did Negligent Security Contribute to the San Francisco UPS Shooting?

Bay Area LawyerOn June 14th, the calm of the morning was broken by the crack of gunfire and screams. A lone shooter walked into a UPS facility here in San Francisco, and opened fire. Five victims were shot during the incident, but only two of these victims survived. The shooter later took his own life when confronted by police.

This tragedy shook the lives of families and workers, some of whom claim they cannot return to work due to resulting post-traumatic stress disorders. Even more astonishing, some of these workers claim that this senseless loss of life could have been avoided. Now they are taking these claims to court.

Will Witness Testimony Prove UPS Shooting Lawsuits’ Negligence Claims?

According to witnesses, when the shooter entered the UPS building, he passed through metal detectors. As he passed, a MAC-10 semi-automatic machine gun, an automatic pistol and ammunition hidden in a bag, set off a metal detector. However, the guards on duty allegedly let the man pass. This wasn’t the first time workers claimed to have witnessed such negligence.

Other incidents involving the presence of guns, and times when guards failed to stop unauthorized personnel were reported to supervisors and the company. Yet nothing was done, according to employees and family members who have filed these recent lawsuits.

Who Is Responsible When Security Fails to Protect?

Allied Universal (the company hired to man the metal detectors), Valacal Company (the building owner), and UPS have all been named in these lawsuits. These civil suits claim that the defendants were negligent of worker safety and did not provide adequate security, which resulted in the injury and death of several employees.

In California, as in most states, employers have a duty to provide a reasonably safe work environment for employees. This includes providing security in areas where it could be unsafe. If a company’s employees are attacked, hurt or even killed after their employer neglected to provide reasonable security, then that company could be held liable for damages suffered by the victims and their families.

As personal injury lawyers representing people from Oakland, San Jose, San Mateo and San Francisco, Mary Alexander & Associates, P.C. has a deep understanding of workplace incidents such as this. Our record shows our passion for protecting victims of violence and negligence, so you can look to us for help and to keep track of the legal news you need to know as workers here in the Bay Area.

California Talc Powder Lawsuit News

image of the product involved in the talcum powder lawsuitA recent verdict was announced in a Los Angeles, California, lawsuit against manufacturer Johnson & Johnson, awarding $417 million to a woman who alleged that she developed ovarian cancer due to long-term use of the company’s talcum powder. The judgment included $347 million in punitive damages.

The California talc powder lawsuit was the sixth of its kind brought against Johnson & Johnson, with other plaintiffs also alleging that the company failed to warn both the public and the medical community about the risks of long-term use of the product for feminine hygiene, which has been shown to have a potential link to ovarian cancer. The previous cases were tried in St. Louis, Missouri. Four of the five previous lawsuits were ruled in the plaintiffs’ favor, with a total of over $307 million awarded to the victims.

Details of the Latest California Talc Powder Lawsuit

According to the California talc powder lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, the plaintiff who was awarded $417 million had been using Johnson & Johnson baby powder often twice a day for approximately 41 years. Upon being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the woman continued to use the talcum powder until she saw a news report concerning another woman who had developed ovarian cancer from talcum powder use.

During the trial, evidence was shown that Johnson & Johnson knew about the risks of developing ovarian cancer from talcum powder use as feminine hygiene as early as 1964. A spokesperson from Johnson & Johnson said the company plans to appeal the court’s decision.

More Baby Powder Lawsuits Being Filed

As of now, there are nearly 5,000 claims against Johnson & Johnson with regard to the potential link between talcum powder and ovarian cancer, with plaintiffs claiming that the company knew about, and chose to ignore, the risks of using their Johnson & Johnson and Shower to Shower products for feminine hygiene purposes. Undoubtedly, this will not be the last California talc powder lawsuit that Johnson & Johnson must deal with.

Because the risks and potential results of long-term use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder are individual and highly personal, California talcum powder lawsuits are not class action lawsuits. Each case receives individual attention for much higher potential monetary awards, concurrent with the damages, pain and suffering caused to the victims and their families.

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer or fallopian tube cancer that is potentially linked to use of Johnson & Johnson or Shower to Shower products, the knowledgeable talc powder lawsuit attorneys at Mary Alexander & Associates may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Web Statistics