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Lawmakers Struggle to Address Sexual Harassment Claims

The scope and impact of recent workplace sexual misconduct claims involving civic leaders, on both sides of the aisle, has hit fever pitch. Each day brings new revelations about disturbing behavior committed by people in positions of power who are supposed to stand up for the most vulnerable in our society. Lawmakers from Capitol Hill to State Capitals across the nation are being accused of inappropriate behavior and political institutions are under fire for failing to recognize the widespread problem.

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What to Do If Your Uber Driver Gets in an Accident

With the growing presence of rideshare programs like Uber and Lyft, the odds are increasing that you will be in an accident while using one of these services. Many people have already suffered injuries in such accidents. If you are injured, you will have medical expenses to pay, lost time from work, and could suffer from long-term injuries. When an accident in an Uber happens, you need to make sure to follow certain steps to guarantee proper care and treatment.

What you need to know if you are in an accident in an Uber or Lyft vehicle:

  • Read Before You Ride
    • Uber and Lyft give their drivers very limited instructions on what to do after an accident beyond calling 911, checking on their passengers, and getting help for those who need it. Before you use one of these services, take the time to peruse their terms of service. Pay attention to the sections about passengers, but be sure you review their instructions to drivers. It’s good to know how the company expects their drivers to behave or react in specific situations. You want to be aware if the driver deviates from the course of action prescribed by the company.
  • Companies Want to Protect Passengers
    • Both companies value their customers. Uber and Lyft have a vested interest in you staying safe because they want to earn your loyalty and repeat business. Lyft employs a team who has the job of reaching out to passengers when an accident happens to help with insurance information or potential claims. However, the companies have their own best interests in mind in of these situations.
    • The key thing to remember is your status as a passenger. Most insurance plans have coverage for passengers; Uber, Lyft, and similar services require additional insurance. When an accident happens, either the driver’s insurance or Uber’s will be liable for covering any expenses regarding treatment for injuries, lost work, and more.
  • Get All the Information
    • As with any accident, you need to gather as much information as possible so you can provide that information to the authorities, your insurance company, your lawyer (if you retain one), an the drivers’ insurance companies. At a minimum, document the following information:
      • Your driver and the other driver’s name, address, and phone number (the app may provide your driver’s data), The same information from any witnesses.
      • Personal insurance information from both drivers.
      • Any information on Uber or Lyft’s insurance.
      • Vehicle information for both cars, including make, model, registration numbers, and license plate numbers.
      • Pictures of the accident, including damage to the vehicles.
      • Notes regarding injuries.
  • Filing Your Claims
    • Uber and Lyft carry insurance protection up to $1 million per accident, which includes $50,000 per person. The drivers will each carry the state minimum coverage, providing you additional options for covering medical expenses. Depending on the coverage you have with your own insurance, you may be able to file a claim with them as well.

Understanding your rights as a passenger involved in an Uber or Lyft accident can help you stay calm and follow the correct steps afterward. Fortunately, you have several options for making sure you receive proper compensation. If you’re confused, consult with our Oakland personal injury lawyers to help you make the right choice.



What You Need to Know About Unmarked Crosswalks

Cars, buses, trucks and cyclists all have the right to operate on roads, as long as they abide by the laws. The same is true of pedestrians, but those on wheels don’t often treat those on foot with the same respect that they give to others. Many drivers believe that pedestrians are limited to specific road crossing points. This is not always true, as is the case in an area using unmarked crosswalks. Learn more about this sometimes-confusing pedestrian crossing point, and how you can stay on the right side of the law as a driver and a pedestrian.

What Are Crosswalks

Road builders and city planners construct set crossing points for pedestrians and any other road traffic to interface safely, called crosswalks. Legally, the crosswalk is an extension of the sidewalk in designated areas. In most cases, city planners make crosswalks obvious to both walkers and drivers. Some have lights restricting access for any type of vehicle or pedestrian. The goal of these crossing points is simple: allow quick, unimpeded crossing opportunities for those on foot to safely cross a road where there is vehicular traffic.

What Are Unmarked Crosswalks

Though planners want to make these demarcations clear, not all of them are. Generally, pedestrians have permission to cross a road at any intersection, unless the law specifically restricts crossing there. Marked crosswalks exist in a controlled location, where traffic signals help control the flow of road and pedestrian traffic. However, not all crosswalks are at controlled locations, nor do they always require markings. While all crosswalks have specific requirements, such as accessibility, the placement of unmarked crosswalks varies from state to state. In most states, roads in residential zones function as unmarked crosswalks, meaning pedestrians can cross the road anywhere.

Pedestrians crossing at such a crosswalk must do so in a way that does not endanger them or the operators of vehicles. They also must yield the right-of-way to road traffic when crossing an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection.

The Problem with Markings

When considering the two types of crosswalks, one may assume that installing marked crosswalks makes more sense because they are more readily visible to the driver of a vehicle. While drivers may be more aware of a crosswalk at a controlled location like an intersection, they tend to be less aware of crosswalks away from such locations.

Pedestrians, meanwhile, view a marked crosswalk as a safe point to cross and, sometimes, wrongfully assume drivers will yield to them when they cross there. Additionally, many pedestrians and drivers remain uninformed about the unmarked crosswalk, with drivers assuming no one will cross there and pedestrians not realizing where an unmarked crosswalk exists.

The data and statistics on which type of crosswalk is safer remain murky, but what is clear is better understanding of city laws will mean fewer accidents in these crosswalks. Pedestrians and drivers can improve the function and use of both types of crosswalk by reviewing city or state laws on their use and by practicing better awareness when in areas where pedestrians may cross. If you or a loved one were injured in a pedestrian accident, don’t hesitate to call our Oakland Pedestrian Injury Attorneys for a free consultation.


Five Injuries That Can Ruin Your Holiday Plans

The holiday season fills our days with fun and excitement, creating memories that last a lifetime. It’s a time to feel warm, cozy and safe at home. Avoid creating the wrong kind of holiday moments by being aware of these potential risks.

Top 5 Most Common Holiday Injuries:

  • Decorating Risks:
    • Every year, the decorations are dug out from garages and attics to fill neighborhoods and cities with festive color and cheer. To get some of those memorable displays set up, people sometimes take chances erecting them, leading to falls and emergency room visits before the holidays have really begun. To avoid being a statistic, check your equipment before you start to work. Make sure your ladder is secure, and don’t climb up onto your roof when it’s wet or covered in snow. Be mindful of the dangers inside, as well. Don’t continue using old lights that may have an electrical short; this could easily start a fire, especially around a dry Christmas tree.
  • Dietary Hazards:
    • Holiday meals mean a lot of wonderful seasonal food. It also can lead to people taking a serving (or two) too many. This kind of over-indulging leads to several issues, including indigestion and high blood pressure. You will also likely gain weight. Be mindful of what you eat and how much.
  • Too Much Fun:
    • Holidays mean parties, and those often mean alcoholic beverages. Be mindful of how much you drink, especially when driving in inclement weather. Even if you are under the legal limit, bad weather requires your senses to be at peak condition when driving. Additionally, be alert to your stress levels, as over-indulgences can lead to more serious conditions that may send you to the ER, like an atrial fibrillation.
  • Dangerous Traveling:
    • Too many people take risks during the holidays in an effort to get to their friends and family. People driving recklessly, drivers on the road after a drink, and bad weather can create a perfect storm for travelers. If you’re about to go on a trip be prepared, make sure you’ve had plenty of sleep, that your car is ready for the trip, and that you’ve studied the weather. Make sure you bring snacks and warm clothes in the event that the weather deteriorates and becomes cold and nasty. If you’re traveling by public transportation to your destination, give yourself extra time to get to your transportation choice.
  • Illness:
    • Flu season strikes just as the holiday season is about to unfold. Being out among crowds shopping, commuting to work, or traveling to see family exposes you to more germs, increasing your risk of catching the flu. Practice hygienic behavior: wash your hands often, don’t touch railings, wear gloves, avoid touching your face until your hands are clean or sanitized, and be mindful of spreading your own germs to others. Pay extra attention to your children, as they are prime germ carriers. Make sure you and everyone in your family gets a flu shot.

This list is by no means exhaustive. Keep the holiday stories you will be telling for years to come happy ones by being smart when decorating, eating, partying, or traveling. Take care of yourself so you can enjoy the holidays for many years to come. If you suffered injuries that were caused because of someone else’s negligence, don’t hesitate to contact our Oakland personal injury attorneys to get a peace of mind and ask any questions you need answered.


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