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CALIFORNIA LITIGATION UPDATE

What to do if you’re involved in a car accident

For drivers in Orange County, even seemingly minor car accidents can be a huge hassle. Cases where damage is minimal can still incur exorbitant repair costs, and might even entail some degree of physical injury. Here at Callahan & Blaine, we know that car accidents are stressful no matter the circumstances. That’s why we recommend the following tips to help drivers mitigate the negative effects of a car accident.

U.S. News & World Report lists a few important steps to take when involved in a collision. The first step is to clear all vehicles from the path of traffic to prevent further collisions from occurring. When possible, vehicles should be moved to the side of the road with hazard lights turned on to alert other drivers. It’s also a good idea to call the police even if no serious injuries or damage has occurred.

Construction workers face risk of fatal accidents

Constructions workers in Orange County face a wide range of potentially fatal workplace risks on a daily basis. In fact, the construction industry is particularly dangerous to workers, as illustrated by recent fatality statistics.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, four accidents prove especially dangerous to construction workers all over the nation. In 2014, this grouping (often referred to as “the fatal four”) were cited in 60.6 percent of the total fatalities taking place in the construction industry. Among all private work industries, 20.5 percent of the 4,386 worker deaths that same year occurred on construction sites.

What should I know about brain injuries and kids?

Brain injuries can happen to virtually anyone in California, including children. While experiencing a traumatic brain injury is devastating for adults, it can be even more so for children who often fail to grasp the severity of their situation. Accordingly, the following information is crucial if your child has suffered from significant brain trauma and is struggling cope.

According to the Brain Injury Association of America, recovery from brain injury is often more difficult for kids. This is because children tend to suffer from delayed effects as their cognitive development advances. These effects can impact things like judgment, the ability to reason and information processing. Issues with development can affect kids more significantly because their brains are not fully developed at the time of injury.

Fatality statistics paint a sobering picture for motorcyclists

Orange County motorcyclists love the open road for the all the freedom it affords. However, motorcyclists face a myriad of risks every day, some of which can prove fatal under the right circumstances. As a fierce advocate for the rights of motorcyclists, our team at Callahan & Blaine urge clients to be fully aware of all potential risks.

RideApart.com lists a few pertinent motorcycle fatality statistics that illustrate just how dangerous the road can be. For instance, in 2011 speeding was a factor in many fatal motorcycle accidents (1,614 of the total motorcycle deaths that year alone could be attributed to increased rates of speed). Alcohol usage also contributed to numerous fatalities during the same year. Among the total number of motorcyclists who perished as a result of crashes, 33 percent had evidence of alcohol in their systems.

How can I recognize signs of aggression in my dog?

As a dog owner in California, you have a responsibility to keep your pet from causing harm to others. Failure to do so can lead to serious injury, as well as harmful lawsuits that may even result in the loss of your beloved animal. You can keep others safe from harm however by recognizing common signs of aggression in dogs and knowing how to mitigate them.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, there is no one “cure” for an aggressive dog. Aggressive behavior in pets can often be circumstantial (caused by a person’s actions or the situation itself) and therefore it can be hard to anticipate when your pet will lash out. To this end, you are responsible for reducing exposure to those situations where your dog might have an opportunity to hurt a person.

Methods for reducing the risk of drunk driving

When celebrating the holidays with friends and loved ones in California, alcohol typically plays a role. Alcohol consumption often leads to a greater risk of drunk driving, which can have a range of devastating consequences. Fortunately, there are several methods in place to help reduce the chance of accidents and injuries occurring as a result of impaired driving.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list a few drunk driving prevention strategies that have proven effective. For instance, many law enforcement agencies utilize sobriety checkpoints to locate drivers that have had too much to drink. During a stop, officers assess the sobriety of drivers, and may request a breathalyzer test if there is a suspicion of impairment. Checkpoints usually occur in high-traffic areas, and can involve just a portion of those traveling or all passing vehicles.

How to create a fire evacuation plan

All California employers are obligated to keep their workers protected, which is why creating an efficient fire evacuation plan is so critical. Orderly evacuation can prevent serious injuries from occurring, and may even help save lives should a fire break out.

The California Department of Public Health provides a few useful tips for devising a workplace evacuation plan. There are certain elements that are crucial to a cohesive plan, such as clear marking of all exits and evacuation routes. This information should be made known to employees to ensure they can get themselves and others to safety in the event of a fire. Establishing a chain of command is also important, as well as setting up a way to check that all employees are accounted for once an evacuation is complete.

Can brain injuries influence emotions?

Traumatic brain injuries can result in a number of physical effects that sometimes have lasting consequences. Serious head injuries can also impact your emotional health and well-being, and in some cases drastic personality changes may occur. These changes often upset friends and family not accustomed to such behavior.

Brainline.org lists some of the potential emotional consequences of brain injuries. For instance, you might find that staying in control of your emotional response is exceedingly difficult after your injury. Many brain injury victims experience this (often referred to as mood swings), which can involve erratic behavior and ever-changing highs and lows. Rapidly shifting emotions are often separate from the way you truly feel, which only adds to the frustration of your condition.

Common mistakes of new motorcyclists

For many new riders in California, the thrill of owning a motorcycle can sometimes get in the way of common sense. As a result, beginners often make a number of mistakes that could be avoided by taking the proper precautions. Here at Callahan & Blaine, we’ve seen the tragedy that can happen when new riders fail to behave in a cautious manner. While some accidents simply can’t be prevented, the following tips will help reduce the risk of serious injury that can occur when new riders become over-confident.

RideApart.com lists a few of the more common new rider slipups, including failure to perform a safety check before setting out. A comprehensive check will prevent breakdowns from occurring, while also ensuring that a bike is suitable for driving. After making sure that brake lights are working and that tires are properly inflated, be sure to assess the current fuel level and whether its sufficient for the distance being traveled.

How can retailers keep shoppers safe on Black Friday?

With Black Friday rapidly approaching, consumers in Orange County look forward to getting the hottest new products at unbeatable prices. However, you may be concerned about your safety during retail sales events, and rightfully so. Past Black Friday sales have sometimes resulted in significant injury to shoppers, with occasionally devastating consequences.

That’s why retailers are urged to follow certain procedures to protect both consumers as well as workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration details what retail store staff must do to ensure that you remain safe during Black Friday shopping excursions. Before the store opens, staff should bring together a comprehensive plan to prepare for large crowds. Because overcrowding can pose a risk of trampling, it’s recommended that sought-after sale items are strategically placed throughout the store. In the same token, crowds must be managed via barricades to allow for an orderly entry into the store itself.

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