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Stockton Personal Injury Law Blog

What are the main categories of product liability?

Anytime we buy a product, we trust that the product is safe and meets certain standards. Many companies work hard to put out high quality products, but sometimes creating defective products that harm innocent consumers. If you have been harmed by a defective product, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries from the parties involved in the manufacturing and sale of the product, including manufacturers, retailers, and distributors.

Under California product liability law, most cases involving a defective product fall under three categories. The first category requires that there be a defect in the design. Courts in California determine whether a party is liable for a defective product by using the risk/benefit test and consumer expectations test. Under the risk/benefit test, if there are inherent risks in the design of the product, and they outweigh the benefits of the design, the parties that designed it will likely be liable. Under the consumer expectation test, if a reasonable consumer would find that the product performs as safely as expected.

Physician burnout could lead to medical errors

It is no secret that practicing medicine is a demanding and challenging job. Due to the demands of their career and their workplace environment, many physicians across the United States experience a condition referred to as 'physician burnout.' This burnout often causes them to suffer from emotional and physical exhaustion and depression and leads them to detach from their patients. According to a recent study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, physician burnout can cause doctors to make medical errors that harm patients.

Researchers at Stanford University of Medicine anonymously surveyed over 6,600 practicing doctors, asking them questions relating to their mental and physical well-being, medical errors, and the safety of their workplace. Approximately 55 percent of physicians surveyed reported experiencing symptoms of burnout and 33 percent were experiencing high levels of fatigue.

Vehicle infotainment systems may pose risk to drivers

Nowadays, many vehicles come equipped with dashboard infotainment systems including touchscreens that allow motorists to play music, look up directions, and access countless applications. While this advanced technology makes our lives easier, it can also distract drivers and lead to serious car accidents.

A new study by AAA's Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that these dashboard displays often require drivers to lose focus and take their eyes off the road, putting them at risk for an accident. Drivers participating in the study were required to complete multiple tasks while driving (e.g. make phone calls, adjust the radio, send texts) via voice command, touch screens and other forms of dashboard technology. The drivers drove a variety of new 2017 and 2018 vehicles, with a variety of infotainment systems.

California roads perilous for motorcyclists

May was Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in California and throughout the United States, but statistics show that the country's most populous state was anything but safe for motorcyclists in 2016. The state's large population and mild weather mean that there are many motorcycles on the roads all year long. And, unfortunately, that translates to a large number of motorcycle accidents.

According to a recent report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association, California had the second highest number of motorcycle fatalities in the United States in 2016. In that year, 566 motorcyclists died on the state's roads. Florida led the nation in motorcycle fatalities with 574. Nationwide, almost 5,300 motorcyclists were killed on U.S. roadways in 2016.

Self-driving cars pose threat on Northern California roads

Over the last year, a series of accidents across the nation has focused considerable media attention on self-driving and semi-autonomous vehicles. While the technology offers considerable possibilities to both individual motorists and the transportation industries, regulators and legal experts still harbor some doubts about whether such vehicles are ready for public consumption. This is because safety continues to be a major concern.

A car accident that occurred late last year in the Bay Area highlights the potential dangers of this emerging technology. A self-driving GM Cruise was initiating a lane change in heavy traffic when it detected that one of the cars ahead of the space it was starting to move into was decelerating. The Cruise aborted the lane change and attempted to return to its lane.

Survived a hit-and-run? Here are 3 steps to take next

As someone who has been a victim of another person's reckless driving and negligence, you deserve every chance for justice. Being a victim of a hit and run is hard enough with the injuries and pain you suffer, but when you realize that the person who struck you fled the scene, it just makes things worse.

How could someone be so callous? It comes down to fear for some, while others may be so intoxicated that they don't even realize they hit another person. Here are a few tips to follow after you're in a hit-and-run crash, so there's the best chance at recovery and finding the driver.

Helping distracted driving victims in San Joaquin County

Mobile and electronic devices - and our attachment to them - has helped to fuel a rise in the number of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers. In fact, the California Office of Traffic Safety estimates that distracted driving is now involved in more than 80 percent of all car accidents in the United States. At the same time, inattentive driving is responsible for nearly as many as 3,000 traffic deaths each year in the United States.

Although cell phones and mobile devices have certainly led to increases in distracted driving incidents and are the focus of many laws aimed at curbing the behavior, they are not the only things that can distract drivers. Distracted driving is caused by anything that may cause you to divert your attention away from the task of driving. It may be caused by anything from having a pet in your lap to personal grooming.

Keyless cars silent killers in California

Keyless cars use a technology that has created many layers of convenience for motorists across the United States and the world. In the United States alone, more than eight and a half million - over 50 percent - of new vehicles sold come standard with keyless ignitions each year. However, the convenience of keyless ignitions has also proved to be deadly for many motorists, especially those who had become accustomed over the years to switching off and removing keys from the vehicles.

According to a recent report and product liability lawsuits that have been filed against several automakers, more than two dozen people have died and many more have become ill or suffered brain damage from carbon monoxide poisoning that occurred when car owners left their keyless vehicles running in garages. Victims believed that they had turned off their engines or that the engine would turn off once the fob was removed from the vehicle. As it turns out, in many models, the engine will run indefinitely - until it is turned off or runs out of gas.

Multi-car accidents can be deadly on California roads

Traffic accidents are an unfortunate reality for motorists in the Bay Area and throughout California. When accidents involve multiple vehicles, they can become increasingly more dangerous, as more people, cars and trucks are at risk. Chain reaction crashes, especially at highway speeds, can be particularly perilous for drivers. The fault in such car accidents can sometimes be difficult to ascertain.

The dangers of multi-car accidents were recently illustrated in a crash just south of the Bay Area. A big rig and another vehicle had come to a stop due to a lane closure. A third car began to slow, anticipating the need to stop due to the traffic backup. A fourth car smashed into the back of the third car and caused a chain-reaction collision involving multiple vehicles. One motorist died in the Highway 101 crash.

Fighting for car accident victims in California

Every year in California, thousands of people are injured or killed in traffic accidents. In many cases, these crashes were preventable. Others, unfortunately, simply could not be avoided. But, when you or a loved one are a victim in a car accident, you may not immediately be thinking about how it happened or who was responsible. Instead, you are likely focusing on how to recover from the damage and move forward.

Fortunately, experienced attorneys, such as those at Drivon, Turner and Waters, can help relieve you from the burden of figuring out the "what" and the "why" in a car accident. If the crash was a rear-end accident or involved a drunk or otherwise impaired driver, liability is usually not too difficult to establish.

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