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San Francisco Personal Injury Law Blog

Seeking to make commercial trucking regulation more effective

As many readers know, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is the agency primarily responsible for regulating the safety of commercial trucking. The agency's mission is a difficult one, as there are approximately 550,000 trucking companies operating in the U.S. at any time.

Unfortunately, the FMCSA does not have the time or resources to effectively ensure compliance and to take all violating companies out of service. Under the FMCSA's current audit and suspension procedure, investigations into single companies can take days. This means that the agency is able to investigate only about 15,000 companies per year. The good news is, those statistics may soon be changing for the better.

Faulty Takata air bags cause yet another death

During the holidays, certain news stories do not receive as much attention as they would at other times of year. That may have been the reason why a fatal incident from late December largely went unnoticed until recently. Late last month, another American was killed in an accident involving an exploding Takata air bag.

This latest fatality has brought the death toll up to 10, with nine occurring here in the United States. In addition to being tragic, the recent fatal accident caused by the dangerous air bags is significant for a number of reasons. First, it occurred many months after the story broke and the first recalls were issued. Second, it is the first death linked to a vehicle that was not manufactured by Honda.

California Bus Crash & Some Scary Facts About Drowsy Driving

By now, many Bay Area readers have heard about the fatal bus accident that occurred earlier this week. According to news reports, a Greyhound bus on its way from Los Angeles to the Bay Area rolled over on a stretch of highway near San Jose. Two people were killed and several others were seriously injured.

The bus accident is still under investigation, and the cause has yet to be determined. According to some passengers aboard the bus, however, it's possible that the driver was drowsy and fell asleep. Passengers say the driver stopped for coffee about 30 miles before the crash. He also allegedly pulled over shortly before the crash in an apparent attempt to wake himself up.

Plaintiff awarded $12.5M in recent trans-vaginal mesh lawsuit

In recent years, one of the biggest medical device horror stories has been the problems caused by a product generically known as trans-vaginal mesh. About half-a-dozen companies manufactured and sold trans-vaginal mesh under various brand names, but all products were used for similar purposes: To alleviate and correct a medical condition called pelvic organ prolapse. This occurs in older women when organs in the pelvic region begin to sag, leading to problems that can include urinary incontinence.

Surgery to repair pelvic organ prolapse was quite popular for about a decade. But for many women, the cure turned out to be far worse than the condition itself. Trans-vaginal mesh can move (unintentionally) within the body, break down and even perforate the bladder. When these things happen, some women experience frequent and severe pain that can impede the ability to have sex, to exercise and to generally enjoy life.

NHTSA seeks to improve tractor-trailer safety equipment

One of the most dangerous truck accident scenarios is commonly referred to as an underride crash. The trailers on most commercial semi-trucks sit five or six feet above the road. When a smaller vehicle rear-ends a tractor trailer, it can easily be pulled partially underneath the trailer.

Even worse, the bottom edge of the trailer can penetrate the cab of the smaller vehicle at about head height. Too often, underride accidents are fatal and can even result in decapitation of passengers in the rear vehicle. Safety features called underride guards can reduce the risk that a smaller vehicle will be pulled underneath the truck in a rear-end collision. Unfortunately, many believe that the current U.S. standards for these devices are inadequate.

Plaintiffs win several recent suits over dangerous drug Risperdal

It is often difficult for patients who have been injured by a drug to prove that their injuries were caused by the drug itself. Many dangerous pharmaceuticals can lead to heart attacks, strokes and similarly serious medical conditions, but proving causation is typically a challenge for anyone pursuing a products liability lawsuit against a drug manufacturer.

A recent set of lawsuits is different, however. In these cases, the potential side effect is very visible and very unlikely to occur naturally. The dangerous drug in question is Risperdal, which is manufactured by Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary. The side effect alleged is the development of giant breasts in males who have taken the drug.

Be wary of some post-holiday tots’ toys

Once the hustle and bustle of the holidays starts to din, children continue to wear the wheels off those Hotwheels or talk for ages with their imaginary friends on their brand new toy cellphone. If only we could keep them young forever! Well, we may not be able to stop the aging process but there are some things we can stop; our children from suffering an injury from a dangerous product.

Sure, there are many more obvious toy-dangers that parents know to look out for, such as small pieces and parts that tiny hands can put into tiny mouths, thus leading to a possible choking hazard. However, there are some dangers present in toys that frequently make it into our homes that have the potential for injuries that many parents aren’t aware of.

Safety Violations of Tour Bus Company Uncovered - Could the Bus Crash Have Been Prevented?

The Tour Bus Company, City Sightseeing, was found to have safety violations in more than 60% of their buses. This is quite daunting in the wake of the horrific bus crash that occured in November, on Friday the 13th. Could this crash have been prevented if this company properly maintained their fleet of buses? 

Truckers share their safe driving tips for this holiday

When it comes to good driving, just about everyone thinks they are an expert. But almost anyone can make a mistake while on the roads, including during the beloved holiday season. Still, it is important to discuss some safety tips to avoid getting injured in an accident over the course of the next week. 

In this post, providing the driver safety advice are not expert drivers but professional ones. Truck drivers give the following advice to other motorists this year, hoping that fewer accidents will occur on San Francisco roads and roadways across the nation.

Early data shows increase in fatal crashes in 2015


How are we doing as a nation when it comes to road safety? This can be a difficult question to answer, because nationwide data on traffic crashes in any given year is usually not available until nearly a full year later. Compared to the speed at which most data can be collected and analyzed today, this seems painstakingly slow.

We do have access to preliminary data, however, and the trends are troubling. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic fatalities during the first half of 2015 increased by 8.1 percent, compared to the same period in 2014. While a certain percentage of traffic fatalities can be blamed on vehicle issues (like those leading to massive recalls), most car accidents are the result of predictably dangerous and preventable human behavior.

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