Girardi | Keese

Los Angeles Personal Injury Law Blog

David Don't Know How to Quit: 2017 Top Plaintiff Lawyer in California

"[D]on't expect me to go quietly into the night."

- Attorney David Lira

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Forgive us the obvious grammatical error in the title of this post - but it's true, as it is for any lawyer who fully commits to a client's case, as attorney David Lira of Girardi | Keese has for his entire career.

Good plaintiff lawyers don't know how to quit.

In a defective seat belt case against the automaker Mazda, it took 13 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of litigation before David ultimately obtained the result his clients deserved, as per the Daily Journal.

In DUI Law, California Strong in Some Areas, Weak in Others

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Dennis Romero for LA Weekly asks whether California's strict drunk driving laws are tough enough, leading with the statement that "cars are safer than ever," but even the safest cars may not stop some drivers from injuring themselves or others. "More than a third of all traffic fatalities in California can be blamed on drunk drivers," Romero writes, citing data published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As Romero asks, why is the number so high when California imposes among the harshest punishments in the U.S. for impaired driving?

It turns out that California isn't quite as tough on DUI as it might appear.

Tesla: Autonomous Vehicle Probability of Safety 'Twice as Good' as Average Human Driver

As a follow up to yesterday's story about Tesla's soon-to-be-unveiled electric, self-driving big rigs on California highways, a story in the Verge reports on Tesla's Plan B, provided the automaker cannot follow through on its recent self-driving promises to consumers: that Tesla vehicles get upgraded to all-systems-go on auto mode.

The Verge's headline, however (which sounds as though Tesla might fail), is a bit misleading, as if the world of self-driving cars itself may be at stake. The reality is more benign: Tesla simply may not fulfill those promises as early as it said it would. This is principally because government officials and the driving public remain wary about a world without humans behind the wheel.

But for every person injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident, these promises couldn't be fulfilled soon enough.

Tesla Soon to Unveil (And Test) Self-driving Big Rigs on the Public Highways of California

"It's going to be a cool product and will defy people's expectations on what an electric truck can do."

- Elon Musk

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USA Today quotes an investment banker on autonomous vehicles. The banker said that the complete "hands-off and eyes-off" scenario - meaning no human interaction with a steering wheel and gas/brake pedal whatsoever - will "take longer than many anticipate."

If you're Elon Musk, though, you've got plans to introduce a fully autonomous (and electric) semi-truck to market sometime within the next two years.

Criminal Liability in Motor Vehicle Crashes

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In personal injury, the concept of "negligence" includes an element of carelessness in one's behavior toward others. Merriam-Webster defines negligence as a "failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances." It is not necessarily a criminal act in itself to be negligent, although many wrongful actions - drunk driving, for example - may not only be negligent, but also involve criminal liability.

Such is the case of a man who yesterday was charged with four counts of vehicular manslaughter (as well as five misdemeanor vehicle code violations) stemming from a bus crash this time last year. The crash occurred near Atwater, Calif., according to the Associated Press report, when the bus driver ran directly into a post on the highway.

The Difference Between a 'Crash' and an 'Accident'

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The rear-end crash: A negligence classic.

Some people call auto collisions accidents. Other people insist on calling them crashes. The words do have separate meanings. If you've been injured in an auto collision in the past - be it as a driver, passenger, bicyclist, motorcyclist, pedestrian - and the wreck was caused because of someone else's poor or negligent driving, you might insist on calling it a crash rather than an accident.

In a true accident, after all, no one is really at fault.

VW Set to Spend Big Money on Clean Vehicle Infrastructure in California. But Where?

Melissa Wen for Reuters reports that California regulators have "green-lighted" VW's plan to fill the state with clean vehicle infrastructure - installing charging stations and helping to build out ride sharing - to make amends for its misdeeds over the emissions scandal that broke in Sept. 2015.

California has wrested $800 million from the automaker as part of a larger $2 billion deal VW settled with American authorities (in addition to related settlements and fines) to build clean vehicle infrastructure in areas throughout the country.

Where will these charging stations go?

A Tragic Reminder of the Back-over Accident

In all likelihood, there was very little this family could have done to prevent what happened.

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In the U.S. News & World Report, the Associated Press reports that a two-year-old boy lost his life when a family member driving a Ford Expedition backed out of the driveway and presumably rolled over the boy. The boy had just days earlier celebrated his birthday.

Beatriz Valenzuela for the San Bernardino Sun quotes Fontana Police Sgt. Kevin Goltara:

"By all intents, this looks to be just a tragic accident."

California Joins a Majority of States in Requiring Boat Licenses

"The problem is, people go out on a waterway, and they think, you know, they're on vacation. [...] They're relaxing. Sometimes they're drinking alcohol. And they just don't associate potential dangers with being on vacation."

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The quote above is of Bill Monning, the California state lawmaker who introduced legislation that requires boat licenses in the spirit of the driver's license. As per National Public Radio, all boaters will need to obtain licenses by 2025.

For now, come 2018, people under 20 will need to be licensed in order to captain a boat.

Congress Wants to Overrule California Law On Truck Drivers' Rest Breaks

"I want to make sure that the guy in the truck next to me, driving 60,000 pounds, is not going to run me over because he falls asleep."

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Federal lawmakers want to put their hands in states' cookie jars when it comes to regulation of the trucking industry. Congress has introduced legislation that would preempt state rules on how long truck drivers can go before taking a break.

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