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.

Multitasking

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.

Dog Bite Laws in San Bernardino

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According to recent studies, dog bite incidents are probably a lot more common than you realize. One study estimates that over 316,000 people visit hospital emergency rooms each year as the result of a dog bite, which breaks down to about 898 cases per day. While it’s always important to seek medical attention as soon as possible after a dog bite occurs, understanding the legal ramifications of such a situation is equally essential to the safety and well being of yourself, of the victim and of the animal in question moving forward.

Dog Bite Laws in San Bernardino

Thankfully, the legal context surrounding dog bites in San Bernardino and other areas in California is quite clear. California Civil Code section 3342 covers this particular topic and specifies that if your dog bites ANYONE, you as the owner will be held liable for damages in a civil claim. This is true providing that:
• The injury to the person in question was indeed caused by a dog bite, and
• The injured person was in a public place or was lawfully in a private residence when the incident occurred.
This means that if you and your dog are out for a walk and it bites someone, you will be held responsible. Likewise, if you’ve invited someone over to your home to watch a movie one evening and they sustain a dog bite, you will also be held liable despite the fact that you are not in a public place and it was common knowledge that a dog lived in the home.
The only exception to this is that if the dog in question was technically engaged in some type of military or law enforcement work. If you get bit randomly by a police dog, whether you’re in public or in private, you will not typically be able to sue for damages – even if it is found that you weren’t actually doing anything wrong at the time.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we understand that accidents happen – but this simple idea does very little to actually comfort you in the event of a dog bite. Whether you’ve been on the receiving end of a bite yourself or if your furry little friend lashed out at another person, the importance of finding a legal professional to offer you the care and attention-to-detail you need cannot be overstated enough. To find out more about dog bite laws in San Bernardino, or to discuss any other type of personal injury situation in greater detail, please contact Harshbarger Law today.

Personal Injury Truck Accident Lawsuit in San Bernardino County

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According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, personal injury lawsuits involving truck accidents are a lot more common than one might think. In 2015, there were 2,646 deaths of passenger vehicle occupants in crashes involving a large truck in the United States. 563 motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians were killed in similar conditions during the same year. If one of your top priorities is always to navigate the roads of San Bernardino County as safely and as securely as possible – as it should be – there are a few key things you need to know about personal injury truck accidents and the lawsuits that may follow.

The Dangers of Truck Accidents

A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also revealed that when a death is involved in a crash with a large truck, the majority of the time the deceased are usually the people who were traveling in smaller vehicles. The major issue is that trucks often weigh between 20 and 30 times more than a passenger car. They’re also taller and have a higher level of ground clearance, meaning that you don’t just have to worry about getting hit head-on – a smaller car under riding a truck in a crash is also a very real concern.

There are many factors that contribute to personal injury truck accidents in San Bernardino County, like how difficult it is for trucks to brake in general. A truck will always travel about 20 to 40 percent farther than a car will to come to a complete stop, something that is complicated by factors like slippery roads and other weather conditions.

Lawsuits involving truck accidents are inherently complicated as you’re not just dealing with another driver and their insurance company – you also have to take into consideration the company that the trucker was driving for, that company’s insurance company and any other entity that may have a stake in what they were hauling in the first place. It’s more difficult than just suing a single person, as essentially all of these parties may have played contributing roles depending on things like policy and jurisdiction. This is why it is always so important to contact a personal injury attorney specializing in truck accidents right away – they can help you untangle this admittedly complicated situation and get to the results you deserve as quickly as possible.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we understand just how stressful it can be to get into a car accident when the other vehicle happens to weigh several tons. Personal injury lawsuits in general are frustrating, stressful and dangerous – to say nothing of how issues compound themselves in truck accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured by a commercial vehicle in San Bernardino County, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your own personal situation in more detail, please don’t delay – contact Harshbarger Law today.

History of Wrongful Death Cases in San Bernardino

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Whenever a person dies before their time – either due to the negligence of another person, the misconduct of a third party or even something like murder – the situation is referred to in a court of law as a wrongful death. These types of cases, which can only be brought into a court of law by a personal representative of the estate of the deceased, have a long and storied history in the United States – particularly in San Bernardino and the surrounding areas.

Wrongful Death Cases in San Bernardino and Beyond: An Overview

Wrongful death liability in general actually dates all the way back to the Fatal Accidents Act of 1846, also commonly referred to as “Lord Campbell’s Act.” Established as an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, it was the first such document of its kind to establish that relatives of people killed by the wrongdoing (either intentionally or unintentionally) of others were able to recover damages as a result. It was quickly established by many other countries around the world, including the United States. It has largely been the law of the land ever since.
Perhaps the most famous wrongful death case in the history of the country happened in 1994, when O.J. Simpson was tried (and ultimately found not guilty) for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
San Bernardino in particular has been in the news recently due to a particularly high profile wrongful death case. In November of 2016, a federal judge set a trial date for a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that a member of the San Bernardino County sheriff’s department fatally shot and killed a man who was both unarmed and mentally ill at a motel in 2015 without reason to do so. The trial for that case is still a long way off – it will begin on March 6 of next year – but you can expect to see many more headlines about its activities between now and then.

Harshbarger Law

Sadly, wrongful death cases in San Bernardino and the surrounding areas are nothing new. They’ve happened before and they will happen again – but that doesn’t mean that this is one road you have to travel alone. If you or a loved one has been affected by a wrongful death case, or if you’d like to sit down and discuss your situation with someone in more detail, please don’t delay – contact the experts at Harshbarger Law today. Our number one focus is and will always be our clients.

New 2018 Car Accident Stats Paint a Grim Picture in San Bernardino County and Beyond

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According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, roughly 37,000 people die in car accidents on the roads in the United States each year. In addition to that, another 2.35 million people are either injured or seriously disabled. Of those 37,000 deaths, 1,600 of them are children under the age of 15. These stats are collected over a long period of time and are simply averages, but a recent study reported on by Forbes shows that as far as automobile accidents are concerned, things may be getting worse before they get better.

Today’s Dangerous Roads: Breaking It Down

According to a study that was recently completed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 27,875 people died in car crashes in the first six months of 2016 alone. If that sounds high, that’s because it is – this represented a stunning 8% increase over the first six months of 2015. It’s also important to note that 2015’s statistics represented a 7.2% increase over those from 2014, which itself was the single largest increase in 50 years.

In San Bernardino County and other areas in California, the news isn’t much better. The entire state of California falls into Region 9 of the study (along with Arizona and Hawaii) and it experienced a 5% increase in fatalities during the same period of time.
In the end, statistics like these underline just how important it is to practice the safest possible driving techniques that you can at all times. When you live in an area like San Bernardino County, remember that even if you’re intimately familiar with the roads as you’ve been driving them all your life, the same is not necessarily true of those around you. San Bernardino and California in particular usually see an increase in out of town drivers, particularly around the holiday season. These people may not be familiar with the driving habits of locals, creating an incredibly dangerous situation for everyone involved.

If you find yourself in any type of personal injury situation in San Bernardino or in any other area, it’s always important to call 911 for emergency services as soon as possible. If someone is injured, every second counts and your top priority should always be getting them the medical treatment they need as fast as you can. Afterwards, you can call a personal injury attorney to help make sure that you’re protected from a legal perspective. An attorney can help not only make sure that damages to your car are taken care of (along with your medical bills), but they can help protect you in the event that a lawsuit is filed.

Harshbarger Law

From the moment Harshbarger Law opened its doors up until the present day, our focus has always remained the same: we want to provide unparalleled service to our clients above all else. If you’ve been the unfortunate victim of a car accident in San Bernardino County or the surrounding areas, or if you find yourself in a similar type of personal injury situation, please don’t delay – contact your San Bernardino car accident attorneys at Harshbarger Law today.

Financial and Emotional Compensation for Wrongful Death in San Bernardino County

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If you or a loved one has been affected by a wrongful death situation in San Bernardino County and the surrounding areas, it’s always important for you to understand all options available to you from a legal perspective. Many people are already aware of what financial compensation is and how it works. If the person who unfortunately passed away was a provider of family income, for example, financial compensation may be awarded to help account for some essential funds that will no longer be present.

Something that fewer people understand is emotional compensation, however, which can often be a major aspect of any recovery in a wrongful death case. Though the specifics will vary depending on the situation you find yourself in, there are still a number of important things you need to be aware of.

What is Emotional Compensation?

Emotional compensation is designed to help address the psychological impact that you and your loved ones have had to endure due to the wrongful death situation you now find yourself in. This can involve a large number of different things including depression, fear, anxiety, and more. The important thing to understand is that what can be emotionally distressing to one person may not be to the next, which is why there is typically not a strict definition of what would be covered and what would not be.

In order to properly claim emotional distress in a wrongful death lawsuit, you must take certain steps to document these conditions before you file your claim. The chances are high that you’re already seeking medical treatment, so you should speak with your medical professional about the psychological issues that have developed as a direct result of your wrongful death. Many people agree that keeping some type of daily journal where you chronicle your symptoms on an ongoing basis can be particularly helpful, especially if your case ends up in a court of law.

Harshbarger Law

At Harshbarger Law, we understand exactly how devastating a wrongful death situation can be in San Bernardino County and the surrounding areas. This is why we are and will remain singularly committed to our clients, helping to guarantee that they receive not only the maximum financial compensation but emotional compensation that they are entitled to as well.

If you have any other questions about financial and emotional compensation for a wrongful death that you’d like to see answered, or if you’d just like to speak to someone about your own unique situation a little more directly, please don’t hesitate to contact Harshbarger Law today.

San Bernardino County Wrongful Death Law Firm

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Commonly Asked Questions about Wrongful Death (and their Answers)

When you’re already coping with a devastating loss, the last thing you want to do is revisit your tragedy again and again and struggle with your financial future. A wrongful death suit can help you gain closure and financial compensation after a loss. We know how hard it is to cope with the grieving process and the sheer amount of tasks you must do after you’ve experienced a loss due to someone else’s negligence, so we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions to help you get the information you need. If you’re in the San Bernardino County area, we’re here when you’re ready to talk about the specific details of your case.

What is a wrongful death lawsuit?

When a person has died due to someone else’s negligence or harmful actions, the survivors can sue the perpetrator or entity that caused the death and receive monetary compensation for their loss. While money won’t help with grieving or bring a loved one back, it will help the family survive and go on after a loss.

Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit?

In most cases, the surviving spouse or children can file a wrongful death claim, but in some cases, other family members may do so as well. Speak to a wrongful death attorney to learn more about your options and the specific rules that would apply in your case.

What damages can be awarded for a wrongful death claim?

Most commonly, the court will award damages designed to replace the income of the lost family member. Money for funeral expenses or medical expenses, lost pension, benefits and inheritance can also be included; every case is different, and a San Bernardino County wrongful death attorney can help you understand what you can expect from your specific case.

How do I file a wrongful death claim?

Contact our office to talk about your case and get an idea of what to do next. Our capable team is familiar with the process and understands just how difficult and trying this time is for you and will work hard to get you a fair outcome and compensation for your loss.

Contact us to learn more about wrongful death lawsuits and to talk about the specific details of your case. We’re here to help you during this difficult time.