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Los Angeles Motor Vehicle Accident Blog

Proving causation is a major part of personal injury law

To succeed in court when seeking damages for a personal injury, a plaintiff must prove five things that have become the standard elements of this sort of civil claim. Generally, the standard of proof is by the preponderance of the evidence, which is considered to be significantly lower than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard used in criminal cases.

Cause is a major question in personal injury law. In fact, two of the five elements relate to cause. One of them is called “cause in fact,” while the other is known as “proximate cause.” They are related, but different elements that must be discussed separately.

Teen suffers brain injury while playing sumo game

Common ways that people in Los Angeles injure their brains can involve accidents on the road or at work, or contact sports like football. Of course, there are many more activities, some of them seemingly safe, that could lead to a traumatic brain injury -- if things go wrong due to someone else’s negligence.

A teenage girl’s life may have been altered forever because of injuries she suffered while playing an inflatable sumo wrestling game last year. The girl went to a school event that featured the chance to put on an inflatable suit and “wrestle” an opponent in a ring.

Los Angeles child killed in hit-and-run car accident

A horrific hit-and-run car accident took the life of a 4-year-old boy in the Florence district of Los Angeles recently. The driver turned himself in to police the next day, but will likely face charges of hit-and-run, among others.

The victim was in the care of his aunt when the car accident occurred. They were crossing the street, using the crosswalk and walking with the light. Two cars were waiting at the red light on the crossing street when, the California Highway Patrol said, a third vehicle tried to squeeze between them and go through the light.

Gold medalist Van Dyken-Rouen suffers spinal cord injury in crash

Some motor vehicle accident injuries fade with time. Others may never fully go away. No matter the physical condition you were in prior to the crash, you might have to adjust to months, years or a lifetime of disability if your spine is damaged.

Even elite athletes can suffer the effects of a spinal cord injury. Olympic swimming champion Amy Van Dyken-Rouen is an unfortunate example. She severed her spinal cord in June during an ATV accident. About two weeks later, she still had no feeling below her pubic bone, she said.

Dump truck crashes into car on California highway; 2 killed

In what firefighters called a “horrific accident,” two teenagers were killed in a late-night crash with a dump truck in Southern California. Initial reports suggest that the truck caused the deadly collision, which occurred at the intersection of two highways.

It was shortly before midnight on June 24. The dump truck, which was carrying wet cement, was exiting Highway 15 where it meets the 138. Somehow, the truck driver lost control and crashed into a car with five young people inside that was headed west on the 138.

Assembly passes bill to reduce brain injury in youth football

Worried about the effects that brain trauma in youth sports could have for sufferers in the future, the California Assembly has passed a bill to restrict the amount of full-contact practices young football players can participate in.

As we have discussed in this blog before, research indicates that repeated blows to the head, which are common in contact sports like football, can lead to serious conditions like chronic traumatic encephalopathy and early dementia. This seems to be true even if the hits to the head do not cause concussions.

Driver in car accident that hurt 3 teens blames brake failure

We do not often talk about mechanical failure being the cause of car crashes in this blog. However, sometimes a terrible wreck is not due to a negligent driver, but something suddenly going wrong in his or her vehicle.

It may not be important to victims and their loved ones what caused the car accident, at least at first. They are probably more focused on the victim healing from their injuries, or possibly adjusting to a future involving disability and reduced quality of life -- if the victim survives.

Consumer group urges caution on self-driving cars

As more and more media attention has been lavished on Google’s efforts to introduce a driverless automobile to the world, some people in California are urging regulators to pump the brakes. In a letter to the director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, Consumer Watchdog said that more testing is needed before Google’s self-driving car can safely be allowed on state roads.

If nothing changes, regulations the DMV has created for the testing of automated vehicles will go into effect on Sept. 16, around the time Google plans to start testing a two-seat vehicle. Assuming that testing goes well, on Jan. 1, 2015, rules for public operation will be adopted. In other words, we could see Google’s cars on the road less than seven months from now.

ERs seeing more and more brain injury patients, study finds

Brain injuries, and the possible long-term consequences of concussions and other blows to the head, have been discussed in the media a lot over the past few years. This conversation has led to greater awareness of the issue. More people now realize that traumatic brain injury can lead to serious disability, either now or down the road.

This public education could be behind the results of a study that found that the number of brain injury victims visiting the emergency room shot up in just a few years.

Semi spills steel pipes on California highway, causes bus crash

A truck accident on the California border triggered a chain reaction on May 21 that caused the death of four people and injuries to seven others aboard a bus. The secondary collision happened because of steel pipes that fell off of the semi truck. This is a tragic example of how objects in the road can cause serious harm.

It was early in the morning, and an 18 wheeler was on Interstate 10, close to the border with Arizona and headed east. Somehow, the truck jackknifed onto the median, causing the steel pipes it was hauling to spill onto both sides of I-10.

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