Stay Safe this Thanksgiving — 4 Tips for Safe Holiday Travel

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According to AAA, about 50 million Americans will travel this year for Thanksgiving; which means record numbers of drivers will be hitting the road at the same time. The increase in traffic adds up to heightened safety risks for travelers; more cars on the road means more chances of an accident and injury. We’re sharing some holiday travel safety tips below to help you make your journey safer.

Get a Tune Up: Traveling on a busy highway is already stressful; a flat tire or other issue could actually put you in danger. Getting the vehicle checked before you leave home can prevent many problems and ensure you’re not stuck standing in the cold beside a busy highway. According to AAA, over 300,000 travelers are delayed and endangered by flat tires and lockouts during this busy week each year.

Check your Route: Before you leave home, check your route and make sure you spot any potential problems. Some traffic issues simply can’t be avoided but knowing there is active construction on a particular highway can help you avoid the type of crashes associated with stop and go traffic.

Expect Delays and Poor Behavior: You have more to worry about than the bickering from the back seat. Delayed drivers are stressed out and likely to make poor decisions. From lack of awareness and care to actual road rage, bad driving behavior peaks during the busy holiday season.

Know what to do: If you are in an accident, you should know what to do. Once everyone has medical attention, you’ll need to document exactly what happened with video and photographs and take down contact information from all witnesses. With record numbers of travelers, chances are no one around you will actually be from the area of your accident; you’ll need to get their details and take pictures before these travelers resume their journeys.

We hope your holiday travel is safe and uneventful, but if you do encounter trouble, we’re here to help. Contact us after an accident or injury and ensure you are treated fairly by the other party and the insurance company. We’re ready to help when you need us most. Contact Harshbarger Law today. 

What You Need to Know About Being a Victim in a Drunk Driving Accident From a Legal Perspective

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Every two minutes a person is injured in an auto accident related to alcohol intoxication.These numbers increase significantly at night, on the weekends and especially during the holiday season when people are traveling back and forth to various holiday parties and events. It is a situation that absolutely nobody should have to go through, but one that is all too common just the same.
It is such a pressing issue that it is always important to look at the situation from the perspective of the person who matters most of all: the victims.

The Victim Perspective of Drunk Driving Accidents: What You Need to Know

For a victim, the immediate aftermath of a drunk driving accident is of critical importance. Victims should call the police to make sure that the accident is properly documented, and they should seek fast medical attention if it is necessary. If other parties – including the offending driver – have been injured, you need to call 911 right away.

Calling the police is particularly important in the event of a situation involving drunk driving, as the incident needs to be documented in a way that you can prove you were not at fault for the accident. Likewise, you will need proof that the driver who hit you was intoxicated when it comes time to file your insurance claim.

Next, victims should collect as much evidence as possible about all of the damages they have sustained – both in terms of physical damage to their car as well as emotional stress, injury and more. If you can, take photographs of the area and make sure that everything is documented. Keep a record of any financial losses that you are forced to deal with, including lost wages.

But above all else, never forget that in a drunk driving accident, the driver is going to be subject to both criminal and civil penalties. Any and all evidence that you collect will go a long way towards making sure that you are fairly compensated. It will be necessary to enlist the help of an attorney who will fight for the fair compensation and ideal outcome that you deserve.

Contact Harshbarger Law Today

At Harshbarger Law, we understand that getting hit by a drunk driver is an incredibly unfortunate and harrowing experience – one that was also in no way your fault. We believe that it is something nobody should have to go through, which is a large part of why we have dedicated ourselves to offering the best and more efficient representation possible to victims all across San Bernardino and the surrounding areas.

If you or a loved one has been hit by a drunk driver and are in need of information about what to do next, or if you have any other questions that you’d like to find answers to, please do not hesitate to contact Harshbarger Law today.

Accidents at Amusement Parks

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Despite the fun characters, lively setting and whirling, twirling rides, theme parks and amusements do pose a hazard to the people who visit them. Each year, thousands of people are injured, and dozens are killed while visiting a theme park. According to CNN, the number of accidents on record could be even higher; some states do not collect this data at all; the parks themselves also work hard to limit publicity surrounding injuries and fatalities. A recent Disney case that made headlines was particularly devastating; a child was snatched by an alligator while visiting an onsite resort; Disney settled with the family and reacted with additional measures to separate the natural fauna of Florida from guests.

Not all Accidents Make Headlines

The incidents that are the result of a ride malfunction (with guest ejection, injury or evacuation) and those that cause significant injury or death are the most widely reported, but thousands of people are injured in more mundane ways each year. Slips and falls, food poisoning, collisions with employees or even injury from not properly maintained ride vehicles are common occurrences that impact visitors but do not make headlines.

Faulty Equipment and Negligent Employees

The most dangerous accidents occur as a result of faulty equipment and negligent employees. Rides that were poorly designed, operators that fail to take basic safety precautions or follow directions and equipment that is poorly maintained all increase risk. In 2016, a 10-year-old boy was thrown from a water slide and killed in a Kansas theme park. Park managers were later arrested due to their extreme negligence as well as a series of mis-steps and lack of caution that led to the child’s death.

Risky Behavior

Visitors can also put themselves into harm’s way by deliberately bypassing safety rules or tampering with equipment. Zoos are particularly prone to injuries that are caused in part by unruly behavior. Visitors that attempt to leave rides early, engage with wild animals, climb into cages or even go behind the scenes put themselves at risk; injuries in this case may be more difficult to pursue in court, since the victim had some role in the injury. The best thing to do in this scenario is to talk with a personal injury attorney about the experience and aftermath.

Theme parks and amusement parks are designed to be fun, but they are also businesses that need to be held responsible for injuries they cause. Since most operators have a vested interest in maintaining a safe image, accidents and injuries are often cleaned up and whisked away in minutes, making it crucial to take photos and document the event. If you have been injured, you should do your best to document the injury and the medical treatment required, since no evidence may remain after the fact.

If you’ve been injured due to the negligence of an amusement park or their employees, a personal injury attorney can help. Contact Harshbarger Law to talk about your case and to ensure you are treated fairly by the park and the insurance company. We understand how swiftly a fun outing can turn into a nightmare and stand ready to help.

What You Need to Know About Prop 213

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One moment you’re driving along, minding your own business and you pass through an intersection. Another driver runs their red light and slams right into your car. “I don’t have insurance,” you think to yourself, “but that’s okay. This was in no way my fault so I have nothing to worry about.”
Sadly, you might want to think again.
If you live in the state of California, your situation just got a lot more complicated due to something called Prop 213 – a law that was passed several years ago by state voters. Not only does it have significant implications regarding these and other types of situations, but it’s a law a lot of people don’t realize exists.

The Major Implications of Proposition 213

The most important thing to understand about this rather unique law is that it doesn’t allow for general damages – like pain and suffering, for example – for any uninsured motorists who are involved in an automobile accident within the state of California. This is true even when the accident was not the fault of the aforementioned uninsured driver.
Interestingly, it only applies to the driver of the car and not any of its passengers. So if you’re riding along in a car with someone who doesn’t have insurance and they get into an accident, you’re still allowed to explore all legal options.
Despite all this, the uninsured motorist is still allowed to collect fair and necessary compensation for medical bills and other issues as a result of injuries sustained during the accident. However, the potential recovery amount is significantly reduced.
The one exception to all of this occurs when the driver who causes the accident is either drunk or otherwise driving under the influence. This essentially negates Prop 213 altogether, allowing the uninsured motorist/victim to seek pain and suffering compensation by way of a personal injury lawsuit.

Contact Harshbarger Law Today

If you’re located in or around San Bernardino County and have been the unfortunate victim of an auto accident, you don’t just need a personal injury attorney – you need an advocate who will stand up and protect your rights every step of the way. Backed by decades of experience in both the legal profession and in this area, the team at Harshbarger Law are honored for the opportunity to become that advocate you so richly deserve.

If you’d like to find out more information about California’s Prop 213, or if you have any additional questions you’d like to see answered, please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today.

Study Finds Alarming Increase In U.S. Bicycle Accidents

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Bike accidents continue to rise, according to a new study published in the medical journal Injury Prevention. According to this research, both the cost of and the number of bicycle accidents have risen over the past decade. Learning more about biking accidents, how and where they occur, and the sometimes-devastating aftermath can help you avoid this increasingly widespread problem.

More Bikes on the Road

Biking is eco-friendly and an affordable way to get to work or school. The added health benefits of cycling also make it appealing to a growing number of fans. As more of us take to the roads, the number of accidents naturally climb.

Slow Infrastructure Adaption to Biking

While individuals have been finding that biking has many benefits and hitting the road in record numbers, towns and municipalities have been slower to catch on. Areas with aging infrastructure are more likely to have bicycle accidents, since they are simply not equipped to safely integrate cyclists into traffic.
When towns and cities try to improve safety, though, the number of injuries drop dramatically. A recent Harvard study reports that bike accidents in Boston (once one of the riskiest cities to bike in in the nation) actually fell after infrastructure and safety legislation was introduced.

Older Riders

The paper reveals that riders who are over the age of 45 account for slightly more than half of all of the costs associated with cycling accidents in 2013 – likely because the riders needed longer recovery time than their younger counterparts. As an active Baby Boomer population continues to retire from work and take up new hobbies, older cyclists are hitting the road in increasing numbers.

Accident Variety

The number of bicycle accidents involving vehicles also continues to rise, while accidents created by user error or collisions with pedestrians or other bikes remained at the same levels, year after year. The report advises that the increase in interest and the growing number of bikes on the road, coupled with distracted driving, could be to blame.
Understanding the risk of biking in or around traffic, learning what your area has done to make things safe for cyclists and being aware of the potential for danger can help you avoid becoming one of the thousands of people injured while cycling this year.

If you have been in a bicycle accident, we can help; our goal is to make sure you are treated fairly and that your case gets the attention it deserves. Contact Harshbarger Law without delay if you have been the victim of cycling accident.

The Most Common Reasons For Motorcycle Accidents and How to Avoid Them

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Motorcycle accidents are unfortunately common, both in San Bernardino and in the United States. But the key to remaining safe on the roads involves understanding as much as you possibly can about why these accidents occur in the first place.

Though every crash situation is different, there are still a number of common reasons for a large number of motorcycle accidents you would do well to avoid at all costs.

The Common Causes of Motorcycle Accidents

According to experts, one of the top reasons motorcycle accidents occur has to do with unsafe lane changes on the part of other drivers. Essentially, drivers fail to check their blind spots or properly signal when changing lanes. As a result this puts other drivers and in particular motorcycle operators at a significant risk.

Another common reason motorcycle accidents occur has to do with the improper use of car doors. If a motorcycle operator is passing a parked vehicle and that vehicle operator opens their door without checking to make sure things are clear, a dangerous accident can easily occur. This is something that often happens with bicyclists as well.

Finally, a significant number of motorcycle accidents occur when the rider enters a corner too fast. You should only ride as fast as you can see and use any visual clues available to judge what may be around the corner you’re about to take. When in doubt, slow down.

As the owner and operator of a motorcycle, so many of these situations can be avoided by taking the exact same approach: never assume anyone but yourself is concerned for your own safety. Never assume other motorists on the road are aware of your presence or know what they’re supposed to do to safely navigate around a smaller, more compact method of transportation like yours. Stay as far away from other cars as you can, practice safe driving techniques and remain vigilant  – you’ll likely be glad you did.

Contact Harshbarger Law Today

If you’ve been in a motorcycle accident or if you’d like to learn more about your rights or the rights of your loved ones please don’t delay and contact Harshbarger Law today.


Texting and Driving is a Known Hazard — So Why Can’t We Stop?

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Distracted driving causes accidents every day in the USA, and despite expensive campaigns and initiatives launched to promote awareness of the danger of texting while driving, we still do it. A recent ZenDrive study revealed that drivers used smartphones on almost all trips in the car (about 88% of trips taken in the given period). We know about the danger—so why do we still drive while texting, watching or reading on a phone? A few key reasons are listed below.

More Young Drivers

As more and more freshly minted drivers hit the road, texting rates increase. A Harvard Business study revealed that more than half of teens have read or texted while driving in the last 30 days. These digital natives have always had phones and tech toys, so the increase in youthful drivers naturally leads to more people behind the wheel with a phone in hand.


Technology allows us to do more than ever before – and multitasking is an essential part of today’s busy lifestyle. According to Wired, more and more of us are taking that multitasking to the extreme and using a smartphone while driving. Online shopping, texting and even business meetings conducted over the phone all add up to big distractions for drivers.

We Don’t Know We are Doing it

Could you be texting more than you think? A recent study revealed that most of us are simply so used to using a phone or device, we don’t even realize we’re doing it.  The habit of using and referring to a phone could be so ingrained that we see it as an extension of ourselves and launch into a conversation, email or text without realizing what we are doing. This phenomenon happens most often when a driver is stopped in traffic or at a light and uses that time to just “check one thing”. They end up spending more time than expected – and driving becomes the secondary task.

Awareness of the danger, a commitment to focusing on driving as the primary task and technology that allows for distraction free driving could help cut back on this growing risk. In the meantime, distracted driving can and does cause accidents daily.

If you have been the victim of a distracted driver who simply couldn’t put down that phone – no matter what they were doing – we can help. Contact Harshbarger Law today if you have any questions and would like to discuss your incident with a legal professional.

Motorcycle Accidents in San Bernardino From a Legal Perspective

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Accidents involving motorcyclists and any other vehicle generally occur due to the lack of attention paid to the motorcyclist by the other driver. Oftentimes, the motorcyclist may have the right of way, but is overlooked due to being less visible to drivers. The following are a few keys factors to remember when driving on the road.

Motorcycle Safety: Breaking Things Down

One reason why motorcycle accidents are so common is due to the fact they are not only less stable than cars, but less visible as well. These factors, coupled with their traditionally high performance capabilities mean there is rarely no such thing as a “mild” motorcycle accident. Oftentimes, the consequences of even a minor incident can be devastating.

According to one recent study, in 2015, the death rate for motorcycle riders was nearly 29 times higher than those who drive traditional automobiles. A large portion of this has to do with the fact that serious head injuries are so common among motorcycle owners, which is also why proper helmet use is of critical importance. That same study revealed that not only are helmets 39% more effective when it comes to preventing motorcycle deaths, but they are also 67% more effective when it comes to preventing brain injuries during or after a collision.

True motorcycle safety therefore, becomes a two-way street. Not only do motorists have to make an effort to be better aware of motorcyclists, but motorcyclists also need to take extra precautions in terms of helmet us and lane position in an effort to mitigate risk on roadways as much as possible.

Contact Harshbarger Law Today

Motorcycle accidents are certainly not unique to San Bernardino – indeed, automobile drivers all over the country need to learn how to properly share the roads with their more compact, two-wheeled counterparts. If you or a loved one has been injured in the unfortunate event of a motorcycle accident, it is important for you to know you have options available – and a partner who is willing to fight for the fair treatment and just compensation you deserve.

If you would like to find out more information about motorcycle accidents in San Bernardino, or if you have any other questions you would like to discuss with a legal professional, contact Harshbarger Law today.

Truck Accidents on Freeways

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In an era where road crashes are expected to become the fifth most common cause of death in the United States by 2030, you may find yourself wondering “how many of those deaths are attributed to incidents with semis and other types of large commercial vehicles?”

The answer is, sadly, “quite a few.” But why is this issue so common and what are the major contributing factors? These (and others) are the types of questions worth exploring.

Truck Accidents on Freeways: Breaking Things Down

One study revealed that out of all the road deaths that occurred from coast to coast in 2014, a massive 3,660 were caused during a collision with a commercial truck, bus or other large vehicles. But if you think you only need to worry about these types of vehicles when you’re behind the wheel of a car, think again. The same study revealed that 15% of those deaths were people on bicycles, motorcycles or were pedestrians.

Truck accidents happen for a host of different reasons. Obviously, these vehicles are large, so other drivers (and even the truck drivers themselves) often underestimate how long it takes to come to a complete stop in most cases. Likewise, semis naturally have more blind spots than small passenger vehicles, leading to fast and poor decisions that ultimately cost lives. When you add in the general working conditions of the entire trucking industry (truck drivers are commonly forced to work long hours on very little sleep) and you arrive at a perfect storm of danger that needs to be addressed at all costs.

Contact Harshbarger Law Today

Truck accidents on freeways are unfortunately common for a wide range of reasons, however, that doesn’t mean if you are involved in such an incident, you don’t have options available. While it’s true a truck accident is a more complicated process than one involving two standard automobiles, this is one situation you don’t have to take laying down. With decades of combined experience in these types of situations, the hardworking staff at Harshbarger Law will fight to help you get the fair compensation and treatment you deserve.

If you’d like to find out more information about truck accidents on freeways, or if you have any other questions you’d like to be answered by a qualified car accident attorney in San Bernardino, please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today. 

Case Law for Pedestrian Accidents in San Bernardino

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According to a recent study conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (also referred to as NHTSA), pedestrian accidents are unfortunately a lot more common than you might think. It is estimated that 5,000 pedestrians die in motor vehicle-related accidents each year. Roughly 76,000 people across the country were injured after getting hit by a car or truck in 2012 alone.

Whether you’ve been the victim of a pedestrian accident in San Bernardino or the surrounding areas or you’ve caused such an incident yourself, staying up to date on all relevant case law is always something that you should prioritize.

Pedestrian Accidents in San Bernardino

Whenever a driver gets behind the wheel of a car, it is expected that they exercise reasonable care in terms of the pedestrians and other drivers around them. Failure to do so is considered negligence, something that must be proved in order to successfully file a claim after such an incident has taken place.

Just a few of the examples of negligence in San Bernardino include but are not limited to ones like:
• Distracted driving (like driving while texting)
• Speeding
• Failing to fully yield to pedestrians at crosswalks
• Disobeying or outright ignoring traffic signs, signals and laws
• Not signaling while turning
• Failing to exercise the appropriate level of caution given current weather or traffic conditions
• Driving while under the influence of alcohol or other types of controlled substances

In the rare event where both the driver of the vehicle and the pedestrian they struck are found to be at fault, this is called “comparative negligence” in the state of California. All relevant insurance companies can then determine blame based on the specifics of the situation in terms of both parties. If a driver failed to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk but that pedestrian also walked into traffic without looking, it is very possible that they could both be found at fault. From a legal perspective, this would complicate the situation – which is why getting help from legal professionals is so important.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we understand that pedestrian accidents can be an incredibly harrowing and stressful time for everyone involved – this is a large part of the reason why our number one priority in these situations is and will always be our clients, first and foremost. If you have any additional questions about pedestrian accidents in San Bernardino or the surrounding areas, or if you’d like to sit down and speak to a legal professional about your specific situation in a little more detail, please contact us today.