Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bay Area resident exposes distracted drivers

Distracted driving is a growing problem in Oakland, San Jose, San Mateo and San Francisco as well as the rest of the state. Even though it is illegal to drive while reading, writing or sending a text message in California (and has been since January 1, 2009) countless people still do it.

Texting drivers cause many serious car accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents and motorcycle accidents each year in the Bay Area and other parts of the state, which is why a local graphic designer decided to take the matter into his own hands.

The Bay Area resident kept noticing drivers in the area who were focusing on their cellphones instead of focusing on the road while driving, so he began taking pictures of them (while as a passenger, of course). He then uploaded the photos to a website he created in effort to raise awareness on the dangers of texting while driving.

The graphic designer then decided to purchase several billboards in San Francisco’s Mission District with his own money to expose the distracted drivers on an even more public forum. The project, as the graphic designer calls it, has garnered media attention from around the world. His website is called, based on an acronym he created for “texting while in traffic.”

Although the graphic designer likely never had this use in mind when he created the website, it might be possible for the images he captured to be used as evidence in a personal injury lawsuit against a distracted driver.

Phone records are often used to help prove that a driver was texting or talking before causing an accident, but the photos could possibly provide even better evidence and are easily accessible to the public on the website.

Source: CBS News, “Billboards Aim To Expose Bay Area Drivers Texting Behind The Wheel,” Brian Webb, March 28, 2014

Baby dies after contracting flesh eating virus from bed linens

Giving birth prematurely can be a scary thing for many mothers but they often trust that most hospital neonatal units know what to do and will provide the best possible care to their child. But as our San Francisco County readers will soon see, this trust can be broken when a child dies and that death turns out to be because of hospital negligence. And no matter what state you’re in, be it here in California or somewhere else, this can leave any parent wanting justice.

We can see this in a case out of Louisiana where parents of a premature infant boy are suing the hospital where he was born. Nearly a month after being delivered in the hospital, the boy’s mother noticed an irritation that quickly developed into what appeared to be an open wound. The child later died from his condition, which doctors described as sepsis. But it wasn’t until six years later that they learned why this had happened.

After reading an article this year about five reported deaths at the children’s hospital where their son was born, the couple learned that their son had come into contact with a flesh eating bacteria during his stay at the hospital in 2008. The bacteria exposure was linked to the hospital’s linens in its neonatal unit.

The child’s parents believe that the hospital failed to properly sanitize the contaminated linens and it was because of this negligence that their son died.

If a similar accident were to have happened in California, then parents here might take legal action just like the couple in this case did. A wrongful death claim against the hospital, just as with this case, would seek damages for the hospital’s negligence and would likely be used to cover funeral and medical expenses. And although it will not bring back their loved one, it may prevent another accident like this from happening to another family in the future.

Source: Courthouse News, Service, “Hospital Linen Blamed for Preemie’s Death,” Kevin Koeninger, April 23, 2014

Fatal crash in San Marcos raises concerns about bicyclist safety

When a 22-year-old California bicyclist entered the intersection at the corner of Grand Avenue and Las Posas Road in San Marcos, he may have thought that he had the right-of-way. After all, the traffic near him had a red light; there was little reason to suspect that an accident was literally just around the corner.

But at the same time the bicyclist entered the intersection so too did a 47-year-old cement truck driver. Although he is said to have briefly stopped at the red light before making a right turn, he may not have seen the 22-year-old until his truck collided with the bicyclist. This fatal bicycle accident is likely one of many that our readers will hear about before the spring and summer are through.

With more and more people choosing to bike instead of drive, the risk of collision rises as well. And in cities where traffic is particularly heavy, such as here in San Francisco County, that risk is even higher. Because of the nature of a bike rider, the injuries they suffer are often more catastrophic than those suffered by accident victims in vehicles. As this case shows, sometimes these injuries can even be fatal, leaving the victim’s family to wonder if there is a legal option that will give them some sense of closure.

As many of our frequent readers know, a wrongful death lawsuit could be filed in a case like this. Though it’s unknown if the victim’s family will take legal action, they may choose to if police find out that the cement truck driver was at fault in the crash. In the meantime, our readers will have to wait for police to wrap up the investigation that will hopefully provide those involved with some answers.

Source: CBS 8 News, “Bicyclist fatally struck by cement truck,” Richard Allyn, April 11, 2014

Why wearing a seat belt is so important in an accident

Even though California is ranked one of the highest in the nation for wearing seat belts, there is still that small percentage of drivers who don’t. Accident victims are brought in to emergency rooms every year with serious or even fatal injuries, simply because they were not wearing their seat belt.

But it might be difficult for some of our readers who have never been involved in a car accident to imagine what injuries could be suffered in a crash. That’s why we wanted to take time this week to share with our San Francisco readers what can happen to your body when you’re not properly restrained.

Many people never assume that they will be involved in a car accident because they consider themselves a good driver. Unfortunately, you cannot always predict what another driver will do. They may run into you because they are intoxicated or distracted behind the wheel. Even minor crashes can result in bruises or broken bones that may require medical attention. More serious crashes can involve more severe injuries such as head traumas or spinal cord injuries that may temporarily or permanently disable you, making you unable to work.

As you may already know, if your vehicle suddenly stops for whatever reason, your body continues moving at the speed the vehicle was travelling. If you’re not wearing your seatbelt, this could mean that you are ejected from the car. Many times, injuries suffered because of an ejection are life threatening.

Although wearing your seatbelt does not always guarantee that you will not suffer injuries in a motor vehicle accident, they may reduce your chances of suffering more severe or fatal injuries. They almost always prevent the risk of ejection from a vehicle, if the restraint is worn properly that is. These are things we hope our readers will keep in mind when they take to California’s roadways.

Source: The Midland Daily News, “Trauma team: In car crashes, seat belt use reduces injury severity,” Emma Johnson, April 2, 2014

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