Category Archives: Car Accidents

Hands Free Devices No Longer an Option for Under-18 Drivers

Cellular phones and smartphones may have revolutionized the way people communicate, but their use while driving is a dangerous distraction which can lead to accidents that cause injury and death to motorists, passengers and pedestrians. Approximately 21% of fatal car collisions involving drivers under the age of 18 have been directly linked to the drivers’ use of cellphones.

Texting: A Most Dangerous Distraction

More than a hundred billion text messages are sent in the United States yearly and approximately 660,000 drivers across America are accessing their cellphones to read, write and send text messages at any given moment. Text messaging commands the full attention of the driver.

Younger Drivers at Risk

Teens are particularly at risk of getting involved in texting accidents — government agency Distraction.gov reports that 25% of teens respond to a text at least once every time they drive.

Existing law already prohibits the use of wireless communication devices, such as cellphones and smartphones, while driving but allows the use of hands-free devices. However, studies show that using a hands-free device does not reduce the risk of motor vehicle crashes.

So with this in mind, California Senate Bill 194 now prohibits teenagers from using wireless communication devices even when they are equipped or configured for hands-free operation.

Important Features of SB 194

  • The new law covers people under 18 years old
  • “Electronic communication device” includes broadband communication devices, mobile radio units, handheld units, laptops with mobile data access, pagers and 2-way messaging devices
  • The prohibition will not apply in emergency situations such as when the device is used to make emergency calls to law enforcers, health care providers, fire department and other emergency service entities
  • Penalty for the first offense is $20 and $50 for subsequent violations

As mobile Internet access devices got more advanced, teenagers are more inclined to use their portable devices to chat, send voice / video messages, take ‘selfies’, take pictures their activities in real-time then update their social network profiles, even while on the road.

The best way to use your phone when traveling is to pull over briefly to read, write, or send text messages, update your social media status, make or answer calls or perform any other activity that requires your full attention.

Accidents on the road can happen to anyone, regardless of whether or not you are at fault. If you or a family member is involved in an accident, it is important to call an attorney who specializes in personal injury claims to ensure your rights to compensation are upheld.

The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter we have over 2 decades of personal injury law experience and a reputation for friendly and professional commitment to our clients. An initial free consultation can be arranged by calling us today at (310) 276-1142.

I’ve Just Had a Car Accident, What Should I Do Now?

Drivers face car accident risks every day, yet not many know what to do when they are involved in a collision. Passengers may be injured and emotions can run high.

When you are involved in a collision in Los Angeles, try to stay as calm as possible, for there are important things to do at the scene, and soon afterwards:

  1. Check all people involved for injuries, and, if necessary, call for emergency medical assistance immediately, particularly when a person appears to have serious injuries – including profuse bleeding, unconsciousness or neck or back pain. Avoid moving any injured person until medical help arrives.
  2. Call the police to the scene and request a police report of the accident. Get the names and badge numbers of the responding police officers.
  3. Obtain important information about the other vehicles and occupants. Write down names, phone numbers, addresses, driver license numbers, vehicle license plate numbers and basic insurance information of the other parties.
  4. Wherever possible, a good way to do record information is to use your smartphone to take pictures of the driver’s license, car license plate, and cars’actual positions at the accident site, road conditions, and other important details. Pictures of damage sustained by your car will help establish the value of property damage that you can claim against the party at fault.
  5. Talk to witnesses and request their names and contact details.
  6. Do not apologize for anything at the scene or admit fault for what happened. Instead contact your Los Angeles car accident lawyer, Marvin S. Lanter. Accidents happen quickly and unexpectedly and there are many factors involved and pinpointing liability – so closer examination of every detail surrounding the incident is necessary. Admitting liability at the onset is not only premature but can also hurt your claim for damages later.
  7. Keep records of medical treatment. Start a journal of events, noting details of the accident and of medical treatment, care, procedures and medications received for injuries you may have sustained during the accident. Keep a file of medical papers and documents such as prescriptions, tests, lab reports and receipts which may help you prove medical expenses at the appropriate time.
  8. Avoid communicating directly with the other party, their lawyer, and insurance company. Let your car accident attorney discuss the accident and negotiate a settlement on your behalf.

Here in Los Angeles, Marvin S. Lanter has over 30 years of experience in personal injury claims, including those resulting from car accidents, motorcycle and bicycle accidents. We work diligently yet compassionately to obtain fair settlements for our clients and aggressively pursue claims in court when necessary.

We invite your call to the Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter on 310-276-1142 to discuss your car accident personal injury claim.

Buying A New Vehicle Safety Tips You Need to Know

WHAT MAKES A VEHICLE SAFE: What to Look For

It is going to happen sooner or later. As much as we may love our current vehicle, the truth is that it isn’t going to last forever and it will have to be replaced. So when you find yourself in the market for a new (or used) car, truck or mini-van, the following tips help highlight what we should look for to ensure that the vehicle is safe, just in case an accident happens.

  • Air Bags – Since their requirement in 1999, airbags have been responsible for saving thousands of lives each year. But despite their significant life benefits, side airbags are not required in either the front or rear sections of the car. When it comes to airbags, the more the better. In fact, some SUVs also offer rollover airbags or airbag curtains that help prevent injury as a result of a rollover accident by keeping the occupants-who are often not wearing seatbelts-in place.

  • Electronic Stability Control – Research shows that accidents often happen when a driver loses control of their vehicle while either turning or braking. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is a safety feature that detects and automatically prevents or helps recover from skids. ESC is so effective, by 2012, the US Government has mandated all new cars must be equipped with some form.
  • Crash Testing Comparisons – Both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) maintain websites that list the results of crash tests performed to many models. The information gathered from the “crash test dummies” is indispensable when it comes to protect your family and loved ones.
  • Roof Structure Integrity – 25% of all fatal and catastrophic injuries occur when a vehicle rolls-over. It is important to research the strength of the roof’s structure of any vehicle you may purchase to ensure it fits within safety guidelines. The IIHS website is valuable for many of this information.

Manufactures are increasingly making vehicles safer and safer. However, this is not to say that every new or used car falls within acceptable safety guidelines. It is up to us individually to do the necessary research to make sure any potential vehicle is safe and ready to roll.

© 2017 The Law Office of Marvin S. Lanter, Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer. All Rights Reserved.
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