Articles Posted in Car Accidents

Using rideshare apps like Lyft and Uber are now a typical part of people’s lives, especially in big cities like Los Angeles. Riders use the apps when they don’t have a car, don’t want to drive, or aren’t interested in trying to find parking at their destination. These rideshare apps have certainly changed the way people get around.

With so many people using Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare services, the chances of being involved in an accident while using one of these services also increase. Accidents while in a rideshare car can leave passengers with serious injuries. If you are injured while a passenger in a rideshare vehicle, such as Uber or Lyft, it is important for you to know that you can get compensation for your injuries.

Lyft/Uber Accidents and Personal Injuries

Are ride sharing services like Uber and Lyft taking cars and vehicles off the road,  thereby helping to reduce traffic congestion and traffic accidents, or  are these ride sharing services adding vehicles and congestion and traffic collisions to our streets and highways?

Uber and Lyft, two of the most popular ride sharing services in San Francisco, are reportedly the cause of increased traffic in the San Francisco area.  In a report published a few days ago in Science Advances and reported by the Los Angeles Times, Uber and Lyft have become so popular that they are the single biggest factor behind the growing traffic problems in SF.

Researchers supposedly reviewed millions of trips from the year 2010 to 2016 and concluded that of the 62% increase in weekday traffic delays in San Francisco, that Uber and Lyft were responsible for more than half of this traffic delay increase.

According to ABC 7 News, popular traffic map apps, such as Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps, are causing big problems on small Los Angeles residential streets. One residential road in Silver Lake has become a popular “short cut” for app users. However, with more commuters using this “short cut,” the small street has now experienced increased traffic leading to several crashes.

Recently, the Waze app directed a large tour bus down the small Silver Lake street. The bus ended up hitting several vehicles—one witness reported that after hitting his car, the bus “hit four other cars and removed the bumper off of another one.” Luckily, no one was hurt. While Waze did respond to the incident stating the app was not designed for charter buses or oversized trucks, there is nothing to prevent drivers of these vehicles from using the app.  Residents say that these apps have taken over the lives of daily drivers and it is ultimately having a negative impact on the quality of life in the small neighborhoods affected.

Residents on the street in Silver Lake say that the increased traffic has also led to more road rage, with drivers getting out of their cars and yelling obscenities at each other when the “short cut” turns out to still take a long time. Residents are very concerned about the safety of their small streets that are now becoming highly trafficked areas.

Recently a 17-year-old boy was arrested for murder after causing a deadly accident in Woodland Hills that involved four other cars. The accident occurred just after 10 p.m. at the intersection of Winnetka Avenue and Ventura Boulevard.  ABC 7 News reported that the teenager was recklessly driving a Mercedes-Benz for several blocks before causing the multi-car collision. He then sped through a red light at the busy intersection, without pausing, and slammed into a Toyota Tacoma. The force of that collision sent him spinning into a Ford Expedition and Lexus.

Tragically, the driver on the Toyota Tacoma died at the scene. The teenage driver that caused the accident and his passenger were both hospitalized.  Two others involved in the crash were in critical condition, and one other passenger suffered minor injuries. After a preliminary investigation, the police stated, “The totality of the circumstances indicates the driver of the Mercedes displayed a willful disregard for human life.” As a result, officers arrested the young driver for murder.

It is certainly heart wrenching to see the consequences of one person’s poor decision to drive recklessly. In this case, 3 other cars were impacted, several injured, and one person died, certainly leaving a family in mourning. In this situation, not only will the young driver that caused this accident face criminal charges, but he will also be civilly liable to all those harmed by his careless and reckless actions. This civil liability would come through personal injury claims by those injured in this accident and a wrongful death claim by the family of the Toyota Tacoma driver who was killed in this Woodland Hills car accident.

You cannot drive around the greater Los Angeles area without seeing Uber and Lyft vehicles everywhere. They are a very helpful service for many people who need transportation. In fact, we often assist our seriously injured clients with obtaining transportation to their medical appointments, via Uber or Lyft.

Uber and Lyft have obviously disrupted the transportation industry. Previously, people would have to call a taxi company, give them their pick up address, and the taxi company would send a taxi to pick up that person in a certain time range. Now, people just go onto the app from their smart phone, which already has their location, and they can get the price of the ride in advance and often a car within minutes.

With this great benefit in convenience, however, comes certain problems. Uber and Lyft vehicles are all over the road. Sometimes Uber and Lyft drivers are waiting by curbs or in parking spots, other times they are just driving around waiting for a ride. Once they get the ride, they have to act quickly to confirm the ride and get to the pick up spot. Once they have the passenger, they frequently want to drop the passenger off at the destination as quickly as possible so that they can pick up the next rider and make more money.

A multi-vehicle accident in the Whittier area left five people injured, including two police officers. According to the Whittier Daily News, the accident occurred on the eastbound side of the 60 freeway around 2:50 a.m.

Police officers were pulled off on the side of the freeway assisting a driver of a stalled Mazda. All three were standing outside the vehicles when a Chevrolet Malibu ran into the patrol car. This hit caused a chain reaction—it pushed “the black-and-white into the Mazda before the Malibu struck the officers and the stranded driver. The Malibu, which ended up back on the freeway itself, was hit by a Honda Accord.”

In this incident, the driver of the Malibu was arrested after he was suspected of causing the collision because he was driving under the influence. Those injured in the accident included both police officers, the driver of the Mazda, the driver of the Malibu (who caused the accident), and a passenger in his car. All were taken to the hospital with minor to major injuries.

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, an Oceanside family suffered a terrible tragedy when their Mazda was struck by a Toyota Tacoma. Around 1:00 p.m., the family members were driving together on the S. Coast Highway. The driver of the Toyota Tacoma ran a red light, smashing into the Mazda. The horrific car accident resulted in the wrongful deaths of Rufina Rodriguez, 74, Petra Arango, 40, and 56-year-old Eloina Arango—a mother and her two daughters.

The other family members in the Mazda included the family father and son-in-law who were sitting in the front seat and sustained serious injuries in the accident. The last passenger, a 13-year-old granddaughter, was ejected from the vehicle and seriously injured. These surviving passengers were rushed to the hospital for their injuries.

Perhaps the most tragic part of this story, is that this accident could have totally been avoided. The driver of the Tacoma, identified as 19-year-old Mason Fish, was driving under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the accident. Additionally, ABC 10 News reported that “according to DMV records, Fish’s driver’s license was listed as suspended or revoked on Jan. 26, 2019. Records also showed Fish had been involved in three prior crashes on Dec. 23, 2017; Jan. 25, 2018; and Sept. 5, 2018.”

Far too often car accidents are caused by a careless (negligent) driver who was speeding or driving recklessly on the road. This was the case in a recent Los Angeles car accident that resulted in the deaths of two people and left four others seriously injured.

According to ABC 7 News, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to an accident scene in Northridge around 2:00 in the afternoon, after a local resident reported the crash. Two adult men were driving in a custom-built kit car, when the driver lost control. The kit car veered into oncoming traffic and hit a sedan carrying four passengers.

Photos of the scene show both cars completely mangled by the collision. Both the driver and the passenger in the kit car were killed—the passenger died at the scene and the driver later died from his serious injuries sustained in the crash. The driver and three passengers in the sedan were trapped in their car. Emergency personnel pried open the car and rushed all four to the hospital in critical condition.

2018 marked the 10-year anniversary of the enactment of hands-free cell phone and no-texting laws in California. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP) this milestone showed a decrease in the number of citations issued for distracted driving and a decrease in the number of collisions caused by distracted driving. However, even with this decrease, the problem of cell-phone use and texting while driving still persists.

Texting While Driving is Distracted Driving

Texting while driving falls under the umbrella of “Distracted Driving.” There are many ways a driver can be distracted while driving—anything from eating or looking down to change the music station to looking at a passenger can dangerously take a driver’s attention from the road. However, cell phones continue to be a top cause of distracted driving accidents.

Over the past few weeks the Southern California mountains have been hit by several winter storms. According to CBS 8, “The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory above 5,000 feet for the San Diego mountains.” While this is good news for ski resorts, the advisory states that drivers should expect slick road conditions.

From Mount Laguna to the San Bernardino and Riverside County mountains, the latest storms have brought 4-12 inches of snow. With all this snow, the National Weather Service is concerned about the impact it could have on Interstate 5. While traveling to the snow can be fun for recreational activities, it can be particularly dangerous for drivers, especially if you are unprepared. Because snow isn’t a typical part of Southern California life, if you plan to travel to or through snowy areas, make sure to use caution to avoid a Southern California car accident.

Although driving in snow can be dangerous, there are certain tips you can follow to stay safer even in icy and snowy conditions. To avoid a snow-related car collision be sure to:

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