Some Information on Oakland:
The diverse restaurants and eclectic nightspots in Oakland keep the city streets filled with traffic in the evening hours. During the daytime, visitors to the Oakland Zoo, historic Jack London Square, and various festivals (including the popular Art + Soul Festival) combine with commuters to create the worst traffic congestion in Northern California.
Unfortunately, heavy traffic leads to collisions as impatient or inattentive drivers ignore red lights, pass other cars illegally, and execute turns without regard to oncoming vehicles. Pedestrians who leave their cars at home and walk to Lake Merritt are at risk of being injured whenever they cross one of Oakland’s busy streets.
Oakland residents and visitors need a strong advocate for personal injury cases when they become the victim of an Oakland traffic accident. The Law Office of Michael Rehm helps accident victims in Oakland and the surrounding communities of Alameda County recover compensation for their losses.
Oakland Traffic Accidents
The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) ranks major California cities of similar size by the number of collisions on local streets after adjusting the statistics to account for population, miles traveled, and other comparative factors. Oakland ranks in the middle of the cities in its population group.
Unfortunately, Oakland’s ranking is less favorable for certain kinds of accidents:
Oakland also has the worst hit-and-run rate among comparable California cities. Unless the police catch the hit-and-run driver or witnesses are able to provide clues to the driver’s identity, it can be very difficult for hit-and-run accident victims to recover compensation. All drivers should maintain uninsured motorist coverage to protect themselves against hit-and-run accidents.
Oakland also has the second-highest rate of nighttime (9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.) accidents. Every Oakland driver should be very cautious about driving at night, and should contact a personal injury lawyer immediately after being involved in a collision with a drunk driver. A lawyer will want to begin gathering evidence immediately to protect the accident victim’s right to recover full compensation.
DUI Accidents in Oakland
According to OTS, Oakland has the highest rate of DUI arrests among comparable California cities. Perhaps because of its aggressive approach to DUI, Oakland is about in the middle of comparable cities when ranked according to collisions cause by a drunk driver. Still, hundreds of accident victims are killed or injured on Oakland’s city streets every year by drivers who have consumed too much alcohol. A drunk driver is a negligent driver who will nearly always be responsible for injuries caused in a traffic accident.
Distracted Driving Accidents in Oakland
Distracted driving means not paying attention to the road. Talking on a cellphone, texting, programming a GPS device, or engaging in other actions that take a driver’s eyes off the road are common examples of distracted driving.
California law prohibits holding a cellphone while operating a motor vehicle, but even the operation of a hands-free device can be distracting. Scrolling a contacts menu takes the driver’s eyes off the road, even if the driver’s phone is mounted to a dashboard. Any action that distracts a driver is an act of negligence that can lead to an accident.
Pedestrian Accidents in Oakland
Why are pedestrians more likely to be struck by a car in Oakland than in other California cities of similar size? One recent pedestrian death was attributed to street racing, but other explanations are more common. Speeding is a factor in many pedestrian accidents. Drivers who exceed the speed limit on city streets have less time to react when a pedestrian steps into a crosswalk.
As we discussed above, distracted driving and DUI are also factors in many Oakland traffic accidents. Drivers who are distracted or under the influence of drugs or alcohol fail to react in time to avoid collisions with pedestrians.
KCBS reports that the intersection of Market Street and 5th Street is the most dangerous intersection for Oakland pedestrians. Crossing Market Street at any other intersection tends to be more hazardous for pedestrians than other Oakland streets.
Motorcycle Accidents in Oakland
Motorcyclists are always at risk on Oakland streets. Motorcyclists are less visible than cars. Drivers who back up without looking carefully or who tailgate place motorcyclists at risk. Making a lane change without checking blind spots also leads to motorcycle accidents.
The most common cause of Oakland motorcycle accidents, however, is a driver’s left turn in front of an oncoming motorcycle. Drivers are required to yield to oncoming traffic before they turn left, but studies show that drivers underestimate the speed of motorcycles or simply fail to notice them. The result is a collision that is far more dangerous to the motorcyclist than to the negligent driver who failed to yield.
Bicycle Accidents in Oakland
A bicycling website recently ranked Oakland as the twenty-first most bicycle-friendly city in the country. Bicycle riders who are injured in collisions with negligent drivers are likely to have a different view.
According to one analysis, the three most dangerous intersections for bicycle riders in Oakland are:
Not all bicycle accidents occur in intersections, however. Many bicyclists are hit by tailgating drivers or are sideswiped by drivers who negligently pass a bicycle within its lane.
Oakland Car Accident Compensation
Pedestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle accidents are more likely to be fatal than car accidents, but any accident can have a tragic result. When a loved one dies in a traffic accident, the victim’s spouse, children, and certain other family members can make a claim for wrongful death compensation. If the victim did not die immediately, anyone who will inherit the victim’s estate can also benefit from compensation paid to the estate for the victim’s pain and suffering.
Injury victims who survive traffic accidents are also entitled to compensation for their pain, suffering, and emotional distress. They are also entitled to recover their lost income when they miss work due to the accident, and their loss of future earning capacity if their injuries impair their ability to work. Past and future medical expenses are also included in the personal injury claims that traffic accident victims can make.
When an injury results in a permanent disability, including disfigurement, impairment of the ability to walk, traumatic brain injuries, vision or hearing loss, or chronic pain, compensation should be paid to help the accident victim cope with that disability. Medical assistive devices, vocational rehabilitation, and caretaker services may be among the costs that compensation should cover.
Oakland Accident Lawyer
The Law Office of Michael Rehm help victims of car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
Call (510) 410-0820 for a free, confidential consultation and learn how Michael Rehm can get you the compensation you deserve.