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Redwood City California Personal Injury Law Blog

California voters may be able to increase malpractice cap

Under California law, plaintiffs in medical malpractice suits cannot get more than $250,000 for pain and suffering damages. This cap was set back in 1975, and there have been no increases to it in the nearly 45 years since.

That could change in Nov. 2020 if voters agree with a proposed ballot initiative to raise that cap with inflation. If it had been increased over the years at the inflation rate, it would now be over $1.2 million. That's according to the filing for the "Fairness for Injured Patients Act."

How serious is drunk driving in California?

If you are like most people who live in California, you are aware that the state has often been a leader across the nation when it comes to pushing for tough penalties for drunk drivers. From the required use of an ignition interlock device to license revocations and more, the consequences associated with a driving under the influence conviction. Those realities, however, seem to be unable to prevent some people from making the choice to drive after consuming too much alcohol.

According to data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, after recording 1,025 drunk driving deaths in 2008, the state saw a decline in alcohol-related fatalities for a few years reaching a low of 774 each year in both 2010 and 2011. That has sadly been on the rise and in 2016, deaths from DUI crashes once again surpassed 1,000 with 1,122 and then another 1,120 in 2017.

Are airplane-kit companies liable for crashes?

There are few hobbies available to California residents as rewarding and safe as aviation. The feeling of freedom, the exhilaration of take-off and landing and even the commitment to training and self-improvement attractive. To top it all off, most of the airborne activities available are relatively low in risk, despite what the adrenaline rush would suggest.

This makes it all the more distressing you were someone you love is injured or worse while flying. It is important that get to the bottom of any aviation accident so that you can recover from any losses and move on with your life.

How to airlines treat mid-flight medical emergencies?

Like many Californians, you may feel anxious when you fly, knowing that your safety depends on the capability of the pilot and the rest of the flight crew, as well as all the mechanical parts of your plane being in working order. You may already feel as if you lack control in the best of situations. How helpless would you feel if you suffered a medical emergency in the middle of your flight? What does the crew do in situations like these?

According to MarketWatch, mid-flight medical emergencies are not an uncommon occurrence – in fact, medical emergencies occur on airplanes every day. You do not hear about most of them in the news because commercial airplanes must contain emergency medical kits and defibrillators, and flight crews are trained in basic first aid and handling many emergency situations. Additionally, doctors and nurses are often passengers. When this is the case, they are frequently able to help.

What could happen to you or your baby during a C-section?

When you got pregnant, you probably envisioned a labor and delivery right from the textbooks. Unfortunately, when it came time to deliver your new bundle of joy, your doctor said you needed a C-section.

Even though the medical community considers this a safe procedure, it is still a major surgery. Any number of things can go wrong, and you or your baby will be the one to suffer for it.

Defective parts blamed for plane crashes

Boeing is one of the most respected names in aircraft manufacturing. From California to the Far East, Boeing planes remain a staple. In spite of this, 50 countries either banned or grounded Boeing’s 737 Max 8 planes this year.

According to CNN, these countries included China, Australia and Ethiopia. Some countries, such as India and Iraq, went as far as to ban all 737 Max plans from flying within their airspace. China was the first country to ban the aircrafts, while the U.S. and Canada were among the last countries to join the ban.

Scooter accidents and fall weather

Many people enjoy riding scooters, while others find themselves on these vehicles because their car is in the shop or they are unable to buy another type of vehicle due to financial constraints. Scooters can be an affordable and convenient way to get around, but they can also be dangerous, especially at certain times. For example, the fall months can be very hazardous in many parts of the country due to weather and other risk factors, such as wildlife and fewer daylight hours.

If you plan to ride a scooter frequently during the fall, you should be mindful of any risk factors that may arise during this season. Ice on the road, and even snow in some places, can make it very dangerous to ride a scooter. With the sun setting earlier in the day, you should also be mindful of the potential hazards you will face if you plan on riding your scooter at night—and it may be smart to stay off of the road altogether during this time. The fall months can also bring a lot of rain, which can be especially dangerous if there are many fallen leaves on the road.

Reducing fatal motorcycle accidents in California

Most California residents are used to seeing motorcycles on streets and freeways, but riders and drivers are not always good at sharing the road safely. Unfortunately, when accidents do occur, the risk of injury or death is far greater for motorcycle riders and passengers than it is for people in a car or truck. While the causes of motorcycle accidents vary, most crashes put riders at risk of traumatic brain injuries and other serious issues.

The San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that fatal motorcycle accidents are occurring more frequently across the country, especially in California. According to the report, the number of motorcycle-related fatalities in 2016 was more than double that in 1997. In terms of fatal motorcycle accidents, California's numbers are in the top 30% of all states.

Drivers killed while posting selfies

Most drivers are aware of the dangers of using cellphones while behind the wheel. In 2017, more than 3,100 people were killed and thousands more were injured in car accidents involving distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Not only do drivers use their cellular devices to talk to friends, text and compose emails, they take selfies while navigating the roadways alongside other vehicles. Some then continue to post these selfies onto social media sites, and even write captions to describe their picture. 

A quick look on popular social media sites, such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter show thousands of posts of people driving and taking selfies. Instagram alone shows 3,727 posts under the hashtags #drivingselfies and #drivingselfie, as well as 9,700 posts under #drivingtowork. 

Your obstetrician may be able to ward off premature birth

You're having a baby. It's likely to be one of the most exciting, challenging, joyful and worrisome times in your life. You've hopefully been regularly attending prenatal visits and are working with a doctor and medical team you trust. In fact, the experience and competence of your California obstetrician and other medical workers may be a key factor in the health and safety of you and your baby.

One of the many things expectant mothers tend to worry about is premature birth. Especially if you are feeling heavy Braxton Hicks contractions, it can definitely make you think you are going into labor. Your doctor knows how to tell true labor from false labor and can recognize signs of potential problems that place you and your child at high risk for a birth that happens too soon.

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