Archive for the ‘Accident Attorney’ Category

May 2014

A Closer Look at Preventing Pediatric Pedestrian Injuries

Pedestrian accidents are a top cause of death worldwide, with children at the greatest risk. Efforts to reduce the dangers associated with childhood pedestrian accidents date back as far as the 1950s but recent research suggests that programs must include education, a recognition of environmental risk factors, and social change in order to help make kids safer. 

Victims of pedestrian accidents have legal rights and can take action to recover compensation when a driver is to blame for causing the collision. A pedestrian accident attorney in Irvine can help children and their families after an accident.

Preventing Pedestrian Pediatric Injuries 

Each year, an estimated 1.2 million people die worldwide and another 50 million are injured as a result of motor vehicle and pedestrian collisions.  Every nine minutes in the U.S., a pedestrian loses his life.  The populations at the greatest risk of being killed include both very young children and the elderly. In fact, for kids between the ages of five and 15, pedestrian accidents are the second leading cause of death due to unintentional injury.

Safety experts and researchers have tried a number of approaches to making kids safer. A recent article published in Journal of TRAUMA® Injury, Infection and Critical Care  summarized some of the different approaches.

One of the earliest methods of protecting children from pedestrian collisions involved the Kerb Method, which was developed in the United Kingdom in the 1950s. This involved making children memorize and recite simple rules for safe road crossing. The Green Cross Code was established to explain when it was safe to cross, and the simple guidelines from this code are still taught to children throughout Britain today.

Unfortunately, the Kerb method was not sufficient because it involved only basic memorization of rules.  In the late 1980s, World Health Organization studies showed that education alone is not enough to stop motor vehicle collisions from killing pedestrian children. The WHO determined that the most effective method of keeping kids safe involved education, as well as engineering and enforcement. These were dubbed the “three E’s.”

In 1987, an organization in Washington D.C. was formed that employed the WHO principles an focused on the three E’s.  Called Safe Kids, the organization works on the local level in order to change the environment, affect laws that protect children, and educate children, parents and community members on methods of preventing accident safety. Today, Safe Kids programs operate in more than 150 different cities and have been effective in changing behaviors and laws and reducing the risk of pediatric pedestrian deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have also focused on ways to prevent childhood pedestrian accidents. In a multidisciplinary conference in 2002, the agencies affirmed the premise that neither education nor environmental changes alone were enough to make a noticeable impact on the rate of childhood pedestrian collisions. Skills training and behavior evaluation should be part of an integrated program of preventing childhood deaths in pedestrian collisions in order to maximize effectiveness and hopefully save young lives.

If you’ve been injured, or you lost a loved one, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707, or visit 19700 Fairchild, Suite 280, Irvine, CA 92612.

Elevator Accident Leads to Death in New California Stadium Under Construction

Recently, NBC Bay Area reported on the tragic death of a 63-year-old man who was working on an elevator at the new Levi’s Field. The new stadium under construction is expected to be the home stadium for the San Francisco 49ers when it is completed. Tragically, however, it is now the site of an accident where an elevator caused an untimely death. 

Our Irvine personal injury lawyers know that elevator accidents can happen both in buildings under construction and in completed buildings where elevators are not properly cared for or maintained. Whenever an elevator accident occurs, it is important for the accident victims or their surviving family members to have an understanding of their legal rights so they can pursue a claim for compensation against those responsible for their injuries.

Tragic Elevator Accident Leads to Wrongful Death

According to NBC Bay Area, the recent fatal elevator accident occurred when the elevator mechanic was standing on a ladder that was positioned beneath the elevator’s counter-weight. The elevator was not a temporary elevator but instead was a permanent elevator that would be used once the stadium opened for business.

The counter-weight of the elevator came down and struck the worker, causing his death. More than 1,000 other workers were sent home after the tragic accident. The company that employed the deceased elevator mechanic was serving as a subcontractor for the main building contractor and expressed the company’s sadness.

A spokesperson for the company indicated that they had been manufacturing elevators and escalators since 1874 and that they were very committed to the safety of the public.  However, the company has been fined in the past as a result of workplace safety violations, including those that were described as leading to a “serious accident.” As such, it is unclear whether the company actually was following all appropriate safety rules.

Taking Legal Action in Elevator Accident Claims

The accident in this case could be classified as a work injury because the mechanic was an employee at the time. This would mean that the surviving family members of the deceased elevator mechanic would need to pursue a workers compensation claim. However, if there was any third party non-employer responsible, a wrongful death claim could also be brought against the person or company whose negligence caused the elevator accident to occur.

If the elevator accident had happened once the stadium was open for business and if a member of the general public was killed by an elevator disaster, then the case could be handled under either premises liability rules or product liability rules.

If the accident was caused by poor elevator maintenance on the part of the building owner or operator, this would be a premises liability claim and the building owner could be made to pay for losses. If the problem was with the elevator or its parts, on the other hand, then the elevator manufacturer could be held strictly liable. This would mean the injured victim could sue the elevator manufacturer for all injuries resulting from the product defect, regardless of whether a showing of negligence could be made.

If you’ve been injured and need an accident attorney in Irvine, contact the Law Offices of Daniel C. Carlton at (949) 757-0707 today for your free case evaluation.