Monthly Archives: December 2013

2 pedestrian fatalities in 24 hours in San Francisco

The first accident occurred on Thursday, Dec. 19, in Chinatown. An elderly woman had pulled up to an open spot on Jackson Street. While she was attempting to park the car, she suddenly accelerated. The news report did not say what caused her to accelerate, but when she did, she struck two pedestrians and collided with another car and a utility pole. One of the pedestrians was killed in this case.

The investigation for that fatal pedestrian accident had barely gotten underway before San Francisco responders were called to the scene of a second one. This second accident involved a Recology garbage truck traveling on a route in Tenderloin.

The second accident occurred the next morning, on Friday, Dec. 20, when a man had crossed Jones Street behind the garbage truck. At this exact moment, the truck started backing up, colliding with the pedestrian. The man did not survive the injuries suffered in this incident.

Friday’s pedestrian accident wasn’t the first involving a Recology truck in San Francisco. A young girl and her grandmother had been walking across the Embarcadero in March when a garbage truck traveled past, crushing her foot. Then, in May, a cyclist became the victim of a fatal Recology truck accident.

Recology released a statement to the public, sending its condolences to the family of the victim that was killed in the latest accident. The company also said that it would investigate the incident to determine if the company needs to make some changes for the future.

Even if a company takes every possible step to ensure that no more injuries are caused, subsequent remediation does not eliminate liability from injuries that have already occurred.

University of California burn unit home to oil explosion victim

A man received emergency transport to the University of California earlier this month after he was injured in an explosion at the oil refinery where he worked. Although the young man was placed in the capable hands of the staff at the Davis Burn Center, it will likely be a difficult road for the 24-year-old man with burn injuries so severe that he was reported to be in critical condition.

The explosion occurred in our neighboring state of Nevada at the Bango refining plant near Fallon. At approximately 9:15 in the morning on Monday, Dec. 9, the incident was reported to the local emergency responders. There was no doubt as to the authenticity of the report. “You could see the black smoke from out of town,” said Churchill County Sheriff Ben Trotter.

Although the source of ignition was still under investigation, it was determined that an oil storage tanker had caught fire. Emergency responders knew that the single worker’s injuries were so severe that they required immediate air transport. The status of the other 14 employees was not listed in the report, but they were all accounted for.

This explosion may not have come as a surprise to the residents that lived near the refinery. According to the news report, the plant’s residential neighbors had made multiple complaints in the past.

These concerns involved more than neighborhood nuisance complaints. In 2007, the refinery was shut down shortly after an inspection by government officials. Then, only five years later, the Occupational Safety Health Administration cited the refinery for six violations.

Source: Inquisitr, “Bango Oil Explosion: 24-Year-Old Man Critically Burned At Refinery With History of Problems,” Dec. 10, 2013

‘I’m just so thirsty’ says burn injury victim

In our San Francisco Personal Injury Law Blog, we share the fact that those that are harmed by another’s negligent can seek compensation for their injuries, lost wages, medical bills and other damages. While a lot of personal injury cases focus on negligent actions, a victim of intentional actions can file a claim as well. Take a recent situation in which a woman suffered serious burn injuries.

This woman’s story started on a Tuesday morning that initially began like any other Tuesday on the calendar. She got up, got ready and went to the church where she volunteered. Soon after she arrived, the day took a turn that would change her life forever.

On this day, a man known to struggle with alcoholism walked up to the front doors of the church. He stopped at the front and did something entirely unexpected; he covered himself with gas, lit a match and then walked into the church entirely ablaze. At some point, he had grabbed the woman, transferring gas-fueled flames to her body.

The woman not only fought off the man, who didn’t want to let her leave the building, but she also had the presence of mind to think about reducing the damage from the burns she knew she had probably already suffered. When she exited the church, she began to strip off the clothes that had come in contact with the flaming gasoline.

When emergency personnel arrived, they were shocked at her will to survive. The responders cut off the remaining singed clothes on her body. They were amazed that she could talk to them and tell them exactly what had happened as she was rushed to the hospital, losing consciousness along the way.

It was two days before the woman opened her eyes again. What she craved more than anything was water. “I’m just so thirsty,” she told reporters. Since the incident, her body could only handle intravenous fluids. Although she understands that the road ahead will not be easy, she is grateful that she survived the fire that had taken the life of the church’s pastor.

Child with cerebral palsy lives a different life than peers

Children in California with a disability like cerebral palsy can accomplish amazing feats. Their courage and determination alone is often astonishing, but the truth is that their childhood is different from their peers. The challenges that they often face are not easy. For instance, even holding a pencil can take years of training.

In order to hold on to a pencil, a person must train their muscles to move in the right way. This may take the average child a very short time, but for one boy with cerebral palsy, it took a lot more effort.

The child is exceptionally smart, teaching himself to read from an educational tablet as a kindergartner. But for this child, his muscles just wouldn’t work the same way. For him, it took three physical training sessions per week to help train his muscles with exercises involving grasping and releasing small objects.

His physical therapy hasn’t helped him train his finger muscles to formally type, but what most do with ten digits, he does with one. It takes him a bit longer to write his posts, but he is an avid blogger. His story gained media attention when the chief executive of Tumblr, David Karp took interest in the blog.

The boy confided in Mr. Karp, sharing a very personal story about the way in which he has been challenged. During a performance at the school, he was left behind after the rest of his peers forgot to help him off of the stage. It wasn’t his physical inability to walk off, but instead it was the humiliation he felt as he sat there alone that bothered him.

Cerebral palsy is a common consequence of negligence that occurs during labor. There are cases in which public assistance cannot cover necessary treatment. In other instances, a family may neither qualify for assistance nor have the funds to cover these vital costs for treatment and therapy. Compensation from a personal injury lawsuit after a birth injury helps parents prepare for their child’s future.

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