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On March 15, a man described by police as being in his 50s suffered serious injuries when he was struck by a car. The accident occurred at about 6:15 a.m. at the Sacramento Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard intersection in West Sacramento.

The driver fled from the scene of the accident, but a witness was able to give the authorities a description of the vehicle. Authorities found the vehicle, which had sustained major damage to its windshield, at a nearby intersection. The driver, a 25-year-old woman, was subsequently found and taken into custody.

The injured pedestrian was taken to UC Davis Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. The driver was booked and charged with hit and run that resulted in serious injuries, driving under the influence and possession of methamphetamine. At the time of the initial report, the pedestrian’s identity had not been released and authorities were still attempting to determine what actually caused the crash.

Pedestrian accidents can lead to serious injuries. Depending on the circumstances, such as how fast the driver was driving and the type of vehicle involved, the pedestrian could be seriously harmed. Medical expenses can be high, and many injured victims will be unable to return to work for prolonged periods, further worsening their financial situation.

People who have been injured in this manner may want the assistance of an attorney in order to determine whether the vehicle driver should bear financial responsibility. An attorney representing a victim could review the police report and obtain the testimony of eyewitnesses to determine whether the driver of the car was distracted, speeding or otherwise negligent at the time of the incident.

Source: CBS Local, “Police Arrest Suspect in West Sacramento Hit-And-Run Crash”, Sean Bennett, March 15, 2016

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Halloween is enjoyed by many Sacramento residents, both young and old. This is especially true when the spooky holiday falls on a Saturday, like it does this year. But before you put on your costume and head out the door to celebrate, the California Highway Patrol has some safety tips to remind you of:

Use added caution when driving. There will be many trick-or-treaters out-and-about, especially between the hours of 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Follow the posted speed limits, and consider going even slower to watch for kids darting out into the roadway.

Put away all distractions. Whether you are driving or walking, it’s important to put away all electronic devices and focus on getting to where you are going safely. You will have time for a “selfie” in your Halloween costume once you arrive at your destination.

Use caution when trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, there will be many drunk drivers on the roadways Halloween night, so it’s more important than ever to be a cautious pedestrian. That means making eye-contact with drivers before crossing the street and only crossing at designated crosswalks and intersections.

Children should wear costumes that are safe. Instead of a mask that makes it difficult to see, encourage your child to opt for face paint instead. Costumes should also not be dragging on the ground or pose tripping hazards. Reflective tape and flashlights can make trick-or-treaters more visible to motorists.

Adults should chaperone children under 12. Although it may seem safe to send younger kids out in their own neighborhoods, safety officials say children 11 and younger should be accompanied by a responsible adult. In other words, not your 18-year-old nephew who may get into mischief himself.

With all of that said, have a fun and safe Halloween. Remember, if an accident should occur, the first call you make should be to 911. The second call you make should be to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can protect your legal rights and interests.

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It may seem hard to believe, but summer has nearly come to an end. For students across California, that means an end to summer vacation and the start of a new school year. For drivers in the Sacramento area and beyond, back-to-school time means stricter enforcement of traffic laws and an increased risk of pedestrian accidents.

The American Automobile Association, better known as AAA, is already issuing press releases warning drivers that school zones and residential neighborhoods are going to be buzzing with pedestrians very soon. And with an increase in pedestrian activity comes an increased risk of a serious accident.

According to AAA, in 2013 alone, pedestrian accidents involving children resulted in 330 deaths and 13,000 injuries. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety notes that in the past 10 years, approximately one-third of child pedestrian deaths occurred between 3:00 and 7:00 p.m. (the after-school hours).

If you live near a school, you may have gotten used to summer speed limits. But when school is back in session, police will be enforcing school-zone speed limits, which are generally at least 10 mph slower than in other areas. Those slower speeds make a difference. Even if a pedestrian accident does occur, the victim is about 66 percent less likely to be killed if struck at 25 mph than if struck at 35 mph.

Even if you are an experienced and conscientious driver, safety cannot be taken for granted when it comes to children. Their movements are often unpredictable and unintentionally dangerous. Therefore, it’s up to the rest of us to ensure that we are extra vigilant when driving near schools.

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Superhero movies are all the rage these days. We suspect that one reason that so many people enjoy rooting for Iron Man and the Hulk on the big screen is that they seem to be nearly invulnerable, at least to ordinary injuries. For instance, it is unlikely the Hulk would worry too much about whether a motorist will go through a red light while he is crossing the street.

Of course, superheroes are just fantasy. Real-life human beings are all too vulnerable to the actions of drivers, especially negligent or reckless ones. Motorists are piloting a large, heavy steel vehicle that can reach high speeds. When they are not sufficiently careful and hit a pedestrian, the victim often gets badly hurt.

Common injuries among victims of pedestrian accidents include spinal cord injuries, brain injuries and broken bones. Any one of these can last the rest of the victim’s life, if he or she survives. Even if he or she is not permanently disabled, it may take months or years of rehabilitation and physical therapy to recover, to say nothing of any emotional trauma that the accident caused.

This is where personal injury litigation comes in. A lawsuit against the driver can help the victim be made financially whole again, so that he or she is not on the hook for hospital and rehab bills.

Though every case is different, the best thing you can do to maximize your chances of full recovery is to have an experienced personal injury attorney on your side.

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