Sign the Petition to Mandate Easy Exit Safety Features on Buses

Click Here to Sign the Petition

To Mandate Easy Exit Safety Features on Buses!

How Many More Innocent People Must Needlessly Die?

bus-crash-flames

The tragic and unnecessary injuries and multiple deaths of innocent students and adults when a Federal Express Truck collided head on with a school bus in Orland, California on April 10, 2014 could possibly have been minimized or even eliminated had better safety features been federally mandated.

Quoting from an article published in The Republic, Rules To Make Crashed Buses Easier to Escape Still Not Adopted 15 Years After Recommendation,  “Because the bus was overturned and partially submerged, passengers had to evacuate by standing on the seats, pushing up on the emergency windows, and climbing out onto the top of the bus.  Each of the emergency windows on the bus was hinged at the top, allowing the window to swing open when the emergency release bar was activated.  Tests performed by the manufacturer after the accident indicated that an upward force of 85 pounds was needed to fully open an emergency exit window with the coach lying on its side.”

Due to the height of some of the passengers or the window weight, some people were unable to push the windows open after unlatching them.

You Have The Power to Make A Positive Change! 

Click Here to Sign the Petition

To Mandate Easy Exit Safety Features on Buses!

The Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has the power, and therefore must, issue new standards for large buses so that after an accident passengers can easily open windows and emergency exits.

Can you even imagine the fear and desperation that these people felt ?  The New York Times headline said it best: “In An Instant, a Bus to College Was A Fiery Trap.”

Per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, easy-to-open windows and exits are necessary “to ensure evacuation in adequate time under different emergency situations for various occupant groups, including children and the elderly.”

As a personal injury attorney representing injured people and the families of loved ones killed due to the negligence of others, I’ve seen first hand the physical, emotional and financial devastation that preventable injuries and death have caused.

Secretary Foxx has the power to make positive change and save the lives of those who trust that they will be safely delivered from Point A to Point B.

You Have The Power to Make A Positive Change! Tell Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx To Mandate

Easy Exit Safety Features on Buses!  

Click Here to Sign the Petition

I can be reached at

(323) 852-1100

(818) 306-5799 or

(877) 487-8221 (24 hours)

lowell@steigerlaw.com

As always, I’m here for all of your legal needs.

Lowell Steiger, Attorney at Law

steiger6 cropped

A California Personal Injury Lawyer’s Perspective on Accidents


                A
California personal injury case can take on many forms.  If you, or someone you love, has been injured
in any one of the following situations, you may have a personal injury case worth
pursuing. 

  • Car accident 002
  • Bike accident 001
  • Bike accident 003
  • Bus accident 001
  • Train accident 001
  • Vicious dog 001
Vicious dog 001

 

 

  • Assault Injuries
  • Bicycle Accident
  • Bus Accident
  • Car Accident
  • Dangerous Product
  • Defective Product
  • Dog Bite / Animal Attack
  • Elevator / Escalator Accident
  • False Arrest
  • Medical Negligence
  • Motorcycle Accident
  • Nursing Home Neglect / Abuse
  • Pedestrian Accident
  • Railroad Crossing Accident
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Slip & Fall Accident
  • Trip & Fall Accident
  • Truck Accident
  • Wrongful Death

Call me to discuss whether you
have a personal injury case.  Consultations are free and unlike a
vicious dog, I won’t bite! (But I will give you my undivided attention).

LS 2012

Wear Your Seatbelt – Embrace Life, the Viral Video

Well, I think I'm coming late to the party because this beautiful video, entitled Embrace Life, has already had over 10 million hits.  My good friend up north, Lynnette Lipp, sent it to me today and, frankly, I was moved.  I think you'll  be moved, too.  In case you haven't seen it before, I beseech you to watch this video now. 

Seat Belts do save lives!!!  Produced by the Sussex Safer Roads Project

Seat Belt related links:

National Safety Council making our world safer

Wikipedia detailed seat belt discussion, examples

State Seat Belt Laws Governors Highway Safety Association – seat belt laws state by state

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Seat Belts

Questions?
Concerns?

If You, Or Someone You Know, Was In an Accident

Call For Your Free Consultation

Please Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger
Immediately at

              (323) 852-1100       or (877) 487-8221

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the
Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"

Holiday Driving Safety Tips: Video

Happy Holidays to You!  I'm posting seven holiday driving safety tips both in text and in a video!

 So here are the tips:

  1. Don't Speed — speed kills
  2. Don't Drive Impaired — if you want to party, great!  BUT designate a non-drinking driver ahead of time
  3. Motorcyclists and Bicyclists Protect Yourselves — you may know what you're doing and where you're going, but people in cars typically are not looking for you.  Wear protective gear: Helmet, jacket, pants, boots, etc.
  4. Get Rid of Tailgaters: They may just seem annoying but they're really quite dangerous.  I've represented many people who have been severely injured in a rear-end accident.   It is not uncommon for the victim of a rear-end accident to wind up having surgery for neck, back or other injuries caused by the rear-end accident.
  5. Don't Prevent Others From Passing You
  6. Beware of Stopped Vehicles at a Crosswalk: It's likely that some pedestrian is in that crosswalk
  7. Keep Your Cell Phone WIth You: Although it may be illegal to put that phone up to your ear (use your Bluetooth!), you need to keep a phone in your car for emergency situations.  Remember, 911 is your friend.

Injured? Questions? Concerns? 

For a Free Consultation please contact Attorney Lowell Steiger immediately at

(323) 852-1100

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect and Understanding That You Deserve"  

What To Do If You’re In A Car Accident

What To Do If You're In A Car Accident

Things to Do If You're Involved in an Auto Accident

Auto-accident 

CALL 911 IMMEDIATELY TO SUMMON POLICE and/or PARAMEDICS

Then get the following information:

  1. Name, address and phone number of other driver(s) involved in the accident

  2. Driver's license number of other driver(s) involved in the accident

  3. Insurance information of other driver(s) involved in the accident, name of insurance company, policy number

  4. Registered owner information of other vehicles involved in the accident

  5. If any of the other drivers appears to be on the job for a company, get the name of that company

  6. Passengers in other vehicles? Get their names, addresses, phone numbers

  7. Actual location of accident (street, intersection, exact address, if possible)

  8. Witness information: Names, addresses, phone numbers

  9. Jot down basic information such as weather conditions, street condition, traffic (light, medium, heavy), time of day that accident happened

  10. Very Important: Do not speak to anyone other than your doctor(s) without the advice of an attorney.  In particular, DO NOT give a statement to any insurance company, recorded or not, without the advice of an attorney.

What if you don't have auto insurance?  Click here to read Uh Oh, Car Accident With No Liability Insurance: "But I'm Not At Fault" 

Keep a camera in your car at all times (disposable, camera phone, digital camera, etc.) and take pictures of the cars (including damage, license plates), people, scene.Camera_phone

Kodakmaxoutdoorcamerapromotional

Some excellent links What To Do If You're In An Accident

MSN Money: Insure Your Car.  Important tips on basic auto insurance

State Bar of California. Links to 14 important questions such as "What Information Should I Get at the Scene" and "Do I Need Auto Insurance?" as well as a link to download an entire pamphlet on the subject.

Roadragers.com. Practical tips and advice from the site whose tagline is "when you just can't take it anymore."

Important Link: Auto Insurance Coverage From A Personal Injury Lawyer's Perspective


If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident, please contact me immediately at

(323) 852-1100

lowell@steigerlaw.com

Skype (with or without video): Lowell_Steiger

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

New California Vehicle Laws for 2009: Zero Tolerance DUI; No Text Messaging

Chp badge With a new year on the horizon, CHP wants to remind motorists of a handful of new laws that go into effect in 2009.

"The overall safety of the motoring public is our primary concern," says CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "Not only will these new laws enhance a motorist's safety, many of them are a step toward ridding the roadways of drunk drivers and the tragedy they cause."

Below are the  changes to driving regulations and vehicle equipment.

Texting While Driving (Video)

(SB 28, Simitian) This new law makes it an infraction to write, send, or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle. Previously this was only illegal for individuals under 18 years of age, but now has been expanded to all drivers.

Driving Under the Influence: Zero Tolerance (Video)

(AB 1165, Maze) This new law prohibits a convicted DUI offender from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .01 percent or greater while on probation for DUI. The law requires the driver to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test, a portable breath test to determine the presence of alcohol. If the driver refuses, or if the driver submits and has a BAC of .01 or greater, a citation will be issued, the driver's license will be taken and driving privileges will be suspended. In addition, the vehicle will be impounded.

Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)

(SB 1190, Oropeza) This new law reduces the BAC from .20 percent to .15 percent or more at the time of arrest to trigger a requirement for the court to give heightened consideration for the installation of an IID for a first-time offender convicted of DUI of an alcoholic beverage.

Ignition Interlock Devices

(SB 1388, Torlakson) Effective July 2009, this new law transfers authority for the administration of mandatory IID programs from the state courts to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This law also authorizes the DMV to require any driver convicted of driving with a suspended license due to a prior conviction for DUI to install an IID in any vehicle that the offender owns or operates.

Alcohol-Related Reckless Driving

(AB 2802, Houston) This new law requires the court to order a person convicted of alcohol-related reckless driving to participate in a licensed DUI program for at least nine months, if that person has a prior conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving or DUI within ten years. Additionally, the court is required to revoke the person's probation for the failure to enroll in, participate in, or complete a licensed DUI program.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

(SB 1567, Oropeza) This new law allows a portable GPS device to be mounted in a 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the passenger side of the vehicle, or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the driver's side. These are the only two locations on a windshield where a GPS device can be mounted. The GPS device can only be used for navigational purposes while the motor vehicle is being operated, and it is required to be mounted outside of an airbag deployment zone.

Motorcycles

(AB 2272, Fuentes) This new law changes the definition of a motorcycle by deleting the weight limitation and deleting the separate definition for electrically powered motorcycles. The law will now allow fully enclosed, three-wheeled vehicles to have access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes regardless of occupancy.

Clean Air Stickers: Misuse and Penalties

(SB 1720, Lowenthal) This new law makes it an infraction for anyone who forges, counterfeits, falsifies, passes, or attempts to pass, acquire possess, sell, or offer for sale a genuine or counterfeit "Clean Air Sticker."

911 Telephone System Abuse

(AB 1976, Benoit) This new law increases the penalties for any person who knowingly uses, or allows the use of, the 911 telephone system for any reason other than an emergency. Those who misuse, or allow the misuse of, the 911 telephone system are guilty of an infraction, and subject to either a written warning or a fine.

Special License Plates

(AB 190, Bass) This new law, when approved by local authorities, allows veterans whose vehicles display plates honoring Pearl Harbor Survivors, Legion of Valor recipients, former American Prisoners of War, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, or Purple Heart recipients to park their vehicles that weigh not more than 6,000 pounds gross weight, without charge, in any metered parking space.

Studded Pneumatic Tires

(AB 1971, Portantino) This new law allows the use of pneumatic tires with retractable metal-type studs, year round, as long as the studs are retracted between May 1 through October 31. However, the law prohibits a tire with retractable metal-type studs on a vehicle from being worn to a point that the metal-type studs protrude beyond the tire tread when retracted.

Spilling Cargo Loads

(AB 2714, Keene) This new law eases restrictions on cargo loads of straw or hay to allow individual pieces that do not pose a threat to life or property, to escape from bales of straw or hay that are being transported by a vehicle upon a highway, so long as those bales are loaded and secured according to federal regulations.

Assault on Highway Workers

(SB 1509, Lowenthal) This new law provides an increased penalty for assault and battery crimes committed against Caltrans highway workers who are engaged in the performance of their duties. 

 

If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

Link of the Day: Report Dangerous Drivers.com

Plate-nv    Plate-ca  Plate-pa 

Will wonders never cease?  What an incredible website has now graced the Internet! www.reportdangerousdrivers.com is the ultimate in real life George Orwell (ianism).  This site has special meaning to me since part of my practice revolves around representing fault-free people who've been injured at the hands of reckless drivers.  I get enraged when I see the senseless physical and emotional pain that my clients go through because someone wasn't paying attention or, worse, was driving erratically or angrily (can you say "road rage?").  This moment of dangerous driving changes innocent lives forever.

From the home page of www.reportdangerousdrivers.com comes their description and reason for existence:

Over 40,000 people are killed every year on American roads and highways and many of those deaths are directly attributable to reckless drivers.  This website allows you to report dangerous drivers of any motor vehicle, including cars, trucks and motorcycles.  When you witness a dangerous driving incident, simply get the license plate number of the vehicle.  Then you will be able to post this incident on this website.  An anonymous violation report is very easy to post, it takes just a few seconds to complete. After a violation report is posted, interested parties are notified via email and when possible, the owner of the vehicle is notified via mail of this violation.

With a searchable database that requires only the license plate number and the state of the plate, you can search for violation reports on any vehicle.  This will give the public an opportunity to keep tabs on certain vehicles by viewing violation reports that have been previously filed.  It's also very useful to parents who'd like to know if their children are driving safely.  Additionally, company owned cars, trucks and service vehicles can be tracked to ensure that they are being operated in a safe manner. 

Many of us see dangerous driving everyday. Now, you will be able to file reports on those people that put so many innocent lives at risk. A variety of violations can be reported, for example: speeding, running red lights, road rage, tailgating, school zone violations or using cell phones in a reckless manner. click here to see a summary of recently reported violations.  

Here's a smattering of the violation categories that you will find: Speeding, tailgating, reckless driving, road rage, driving too slowly and, of course my all-time favorite, cell phone stupid.

Tailgating  Eating while driving  Cell phone while driving  Your speed 

If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

Fatalities on the Rise in Vehicle-Animal Crashes

Deer_eyes_1 Sheep on highway jpg  Road_surprises 

I was fascinated by the Associated Press report which begins with "Fatalities from vehicle crashes with deer and other animals have more than doubled over the last 15 years…"  Click here to read the entire story.  

Being an animal lover, it pains me to think that the phrase "deer caught in the headlights" has real life and death consequences both for the deer and unsuspecting motorists and their passengers.  But is it just the deer?  What about farm animals who unwittingly escape the confines of the land in which they live?  And the dog or cat whose owner turned their head for just a moment in time and then lose their precious pet?  I for one won't let my Beagle Pedro out the door without a leash because, once outside, he will follow his nose and not my commands.  When he's sleeping he looks perfectly sane

Pedro Photos 2006 006  Beagle following nose

But Beagles, and other dogs, follow their nose.  The bottom line is we must protect our innocent pets from themselves.  But I digress…

So I started doing a little research on Vehicle-Animal crashes.  The Wilderness Medical Society authored the fascinating article Risk Factors Associated With Fatal Animal-Vehicle Collisions in the United States, 1995-2004.  In that article, they come to the following conclusion: "The number of fatal animal-vehicle collisions is increasing. Various methods to reduce such collisions are described, with fencing appearing to be the most effective. The use of personal restraints such as seat belts in passenger vehicles and helmets for motorcycle and all-terrain-vehicle riders may decrease fatalities during a collision."  Click here to read the entire study.

In California, we have the Doctrine of Imminent Peril which states "“[A] person who, without negligence on his part, is suddenly and unexpectedly confronted with peril, arising from either the actual presence, or the appearance, of imminent danger to himself or to others, is not expected nor required to use the same judgment and prudence that is required of him in the exercise of ordinary care in calmer and more deliberate moments.” Leo v. Dunham (1953) 41 Cal.2d 712, 714 This is a doctrine that can be invoked by either the plaintiff or defendant in a case.  For example, this would apply to an auto accident where someone swerved to avoid an animal in the road.  The person causing that imminent danger, for example a rancher whose fences are in disrepair and, as a result of that disrepair an animal winds up in the middle of the highway causing an accident, can be held liable for the injuries caused by that accident.

Below are some related links:

Highway Loss Date Institute: Collisions with deer and other animals spike in November; fatal crashes up 50% since 2000.  Anne McCartt, IIHS's senior vice president for research, provides this poignant conclusion:

"A majority of the people killed in these crashes weren't killed by contact with the animal," McCartt says. "As with other kinds of crashes, safety belts and motorcycle helmets could have prevented many of the deaths."

Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association which discussed Driver Safety Tips; If You Hit an Animal; Colorado Statistics; National Statistics and provides Other Resources.  The most heartbreaking, but practical, tip that they provide states "If you cannot stop in time, unfortunate as it may be, it is usually safer to hit the animal than to swerve. Swerving may land you in the path of another car or off the road in a ditch."

 AP New Report Video: Fatalities Rising in US Vehicle-animal Crashes

Do Not Crash Trying To Avoid Animals Video: Sad but graphic video  

If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at (323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

Aged Tires: A Driving Hazard

Tiretreadwarning_still_frame ABC News investigated the dangers of expired tires. A tire failure can result when the tread peels off of a tire. Tires can sit on the retailer’s shelf for years and still be sold as new. Research shows that even if a tire has never been driven a mile, they begin to dry out while they sit on the shelf. After 6 years of age, they can become dangerous.

When a car is traveling at highway speed and the tread comes off, the car violently swerves and weaves.

The tires may have plenty of tread depth but, if the tire is old, its dried out condition may be a hidden danger.

ABC has done an extensive undercover investigation. Watch the video here.

Related Links

Tire Aging, An In Depth Article (Tirerack.com)

Safety Research & Strategies (SRS; several articles relating to horrific dangers of aging tires)

Tire Manufacturers Ask Feds for (Tire) Age Standard (Consumeraffairs.com)

Aging Tire Lawsuits Gain Traction Nationwide (bnet)

Landmark Case Decision: Ford Motors Pays $29 Million in Aging Tire Disaster Case (The Auto Channel)

Tire Aging and Decoding The Age of Your Tire (Didier Law Firm)

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The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at          (323) 852-1100       

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com

Senior Citizen Driving: Warning Signs and Helping an Unsafe Driver to Stop Driving

Senior_driverI found an interesting article on the Helpguide.org website entitled Senior Citizen Driving: Warning Signs and Helping an Unsafe Driver to Stop Driving.  The article details a great many issues of importance to senior drivers and those who love them:

  • Risk Factors of Aging That Can Affect Driving Ability
  • Warning Signs of Unsafe Driving
  • Steps to Take if You’re Concerned About the Safety of a Senior Driver
  • Talking to a Senior Driver Who Should Stop Driving
  • When a Senior Driver Refuses to Give up the Keys
  • Helping a Senior Adjust to Life Without Driving
  • References and Resources for Helping an Unsafe Senior to Stop Driving

In addition to an extensive discussion and analysis on the subject of seniors on the road, there is a link to an article by Rod Clark entitled Making the "Key" Decision: When Should an Older Adult Surrender Their Keys? (courtesy of Agenet.com) which includes an actual checklist with questions that answer the question "Can I Still Drive Safely in Spite of My Age?"

Here are but just a few of the relevant links provided in this article:

Again, I encourage you to read the entire article by clicking here.

*****************************************************************************************************************************

The Law Office of Lowell Steiger Represents Injured Victims

If you have suffered a Personal Injury, Call for a Free Consultation

Contact Attorney Lowell Steiger at          (323) 852-1100       

or via e-mail at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

www.steigerlaw.com