Law Office of Frederick J. Sette
Personal Injury Attorney
Serving the Stockton and Petaluma California Regions
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Petaluma DUI Lawyers Urge Driver Awareness of Risks

In Petaluma, DUI attorneys at Sette Law want drivers in our community to be aware of the physical effects of alcohol that too often lead to a serious accident. As injury lawyers, we see first-hand the terrible results of the decision to drink and drive. Concrete, scientific information, our accident attorneys hope, may educate people and help prevent Petaluma accidents.

Our DUI lawyers, like you, have heard individuals say “I drive better drunk than sober!” Of course, nothing is further from the truth. As Petaluma injury attorneys we know that even small amounts of alcohol can, and do, cause changes in the brain. With current medical technology, researchers are able to identify exactly what happens when people drink alcohol – our Petaluma DUI lawyers may not be medical experts but we too can observe the results from PET and MRI studies now available.

Elements of alcohol can penetrate the brain from the body’s blood circulatory system. DUI accident lawyers know that it isn’t the ‘kind’ of alcohol imbibed but, rather, how much over time. Generally, more than one drink per hour can affect neurons in the brain and impair judgment that may lead to a Petaluma DUI accident. Our attorneys point to an accident in April on West Hammer lane in which a young male pedestrian was killed by a driver who was booked at the scene for a DUI. Our lawyers note that the motorist was driving on a license that had been suspended for a previous Petaluma DUI.

Accident attorneys know that tragic events like this are preventable. Just being aware of the physical effects of alcohol on the brain should discourage irresponsible drinking that distorts judgment, vision, perception, reaction time and other alterations that can, and do, lead to Petaluma DUI accidents. Lawyers will, most likely, be looking at this recent case as a potential wrongful death accident.

Attorneys Cite Disturbing Statistics
Petaluma accident lawyers draw upon many sources for data including Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among others tracking DUI’s. Our attorneys believe these statistics ought to add to the case for greater attention to prevention. The numbers of people injured and killed in DUI accidents, our attorneys say, is proof that greater education on the topic is needed.

Our Petaluma accident attorneys say that almost one-third of the nation’s traffic deaths involved DUI drivers. According to the CDC, 10,322 individuals died in 2012 due to DUI drivers. Sadly, our injury lawyers note that 239 of those victims were under the age of 14 and half of that number were passengers of a driver impaired by alcohol, headed for an accident.

Injury attorneys report that about 30 people lose their lives every day due to a drunk driving accident. Our lawyers know that untold pain and hardship accompany each of these accidents that happen once every 51 minutes, according to the CDC. And, although Petaluma injury attorneys focus on the loss to victims, the cost to the entire country for DUI crashes tops $59 billion. Although California statistics are generally lower than national DUI accident numbers, our Petaluma injury lawyers believe there’s lots of room for improvement.

Education is Essential for Youth in Petaluma
Accident attorneys are aware that teens are particularly tempted to experiment with alcohol. In Michigan, a study found that almost 50% of kids in 10th grade say they drink, and 30% of youngsters in the eighth grade admit to the same. Nationwide, our Petaluma DUI lawyers say that about 4,700 teenagers are killed each year due to alcohol use that led to accidents. Our lawyers further report that the National Academies Press published a finding about the prevalence of binge drinking among teens. While one in six teens reported they indulged in binge drinking, just one out of 100 parents thought it possible of their son or daughter.

As parents, our Petaluma DUI attorneys know that kids are under lots of peer pressure. That’s why our injury lawyers support heightened education about the dangers posed by alcohol. From scientific facts to the gruesome details of DUI accidents, our attorneys believe information is essential to preventing teenage alcohol use that can lead to a tragic DUI accident.

Attorneys say the focus should start in the teenage years so that when youngster get to the “drinking age” they are aware of alcohol’s effect on brain and body. This is when young people face the greatest threat of a DUI accident, our attorneys explain. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that, in 2011, drivers from the age of 21 to 25 logged the most DUI accidents. Attorneys also reference a NHTSA study for the same age group showing that 32 percent drove while drunk.

Petaluma DUI Lawyers Urge Awareness

The numbers are pretty staggering, according to our Petaluma accident attorneys. Although masses of people admit to driving drunk (21.9 million drivers) far fewer are ever arrested. A 2013 study by the FBI indicated that each day 300,000 people drive while drunk – however, a mere 4,000 arrests were made for DUIs. Attorneys and law enforcement officials are also aware that about one-third of drivers nabbed are repeat offenders.

Sette’s Petaluma DUI lawyers are also aware of recent accidents in nearby Sacramento in which alcohol likely played a deadly role. This spring, xx people were killed by wrong-way drivers on Sacramento freeways. Our injury attorneys hope Petaluma drivers take a lesson from these tragedies. Also, it’s useful to know that 36 percent of DUI accidents happen after dark, and just 8% during daylight hours, according to a 2011 survey by the National Highway Transportation Association.

Our work as Petaluma DUI accident lawyers forces us to be hyper aware of the dangers of mixing alcohol and driving. As wrongful death attorneys we’ve seen the lifetime loss and pain caused by a driver losing his or her judgment after too many drinks. The results are irreversible – our wrongful death lawyers can fight for financial compensation but nothing will restore a life lost in a Petaluma DUI.

Our attorneys urge people to be cognizant of the dangers and risks taken when people choose to drink and drive.


Stockton Accident Lawyers explain Liability

Liability is generally defined as an act or as an omission that resulted in harm to a person, according to Sette’s Stockton personal injury attorneys. But, liability is not a simple concept and accident lawyers representing an injured plaintiff must prove the defendant was indeed responsible for causing the accident in Stockton. A personal injury attorney is focused on winning fair compensation for the plaintiff who has experienced physical and financial losses as the result of an accident.

Our Stockton injury lawyers deal with a wide range of liability, from contractual to industrial accidents and car accidents. Injury attorneys specialize in this niche of law that is often challenging and complicated. For example, liability in a car accident might initially appear simple to establish. But, our Stockton personal injury lawyers know that many factors can affect the outcome of a lawsuit.

Let’s present a scenario: Our Stockton injury attorney gets a call from a woman, June, who was riding her bicycle through a marked cross walk when she was hit by a young man driving a truck. She tells Catherine, her Stockton personal injury lawyer, she thinks the driver was texting and didn’t see her. She received injuries to her neck and back in the accident. Her personal injury lawyer examines the medical report to verify this claim. June also gives her Stockton accident lawyer invoices for her mounting medical bills. She is clearly injured and financially harmed by the accident. It seems pretty straight forward, right?

But Catherine, her Stockton personal injury attorney is not so confident this is a simple case. Catherine asks June why she waited for two days before seeing a doctor. An experienced injury lawyer knows that the attorney for the driver will also question this hesitation. In our practice at Sette Law we emphasize how important it is that accident victims seek immediate medical attention. We know that some muscle injuries may not manifest for 24 hours or more, but our Stockton accident lawyers also anticipate the defendant’s personal injury attorney can allege the injuries were not caused by his client but perhaps happened earlier or after the accident. June’s accident attorney will have to firmly establish the direct link between the accident and the injuries in light of the fact that June didn’t ask for prompt medical attention.

And, there’s another challenge for June’s injury lawyer to tackle. The defendant says that June pulled out in front of him and that, after the accident, she apologized, saying she was distracted by a call on her cell phone. Her Stockton injury attorney now has to counter June’s statement – that could been regarded as admission of fault in the accident. Our personal injury lawyers know that the best response to an accident is silence! Anything beyond the exchange of basic information is discouraged. Based on experience with many clients, our Stockton accident attorneys know that emotionally charged situations like car accidents can lead to people saying things they will later regret. In June’s case, that polite apology adds to the other burden she’s put on her Stockton injury attorney. Now Catherine has to explain both the comment as well as June’s failure to get immediate medical attention.

Our Stockton personal injury lawyers know that no one can totally prepare for an accident. But, with a little presence of mind, victims can protect themselves after a Stockton car accident. Attorneys advise crash victims to document the scene with cell phone pictures or videos, to get badge and report numbers from law enforcement and to immediately call a Stockton accident lawyer. Keep emotions under control and conversation down to a minimum. Save the details for your personal injury lawyer.

Principle of Shared Liability
Stockton personal injury attorneys may also find that responsibility for injuries does not rest solely with the driver in a car accident. June’s lawyer, for example, may discover that the driver was delivering items for his employer in Stockton. Injury attorneys are well versed in Vicarious Liability in which an employer, under many circumstances, will share responsibility for an accident caused by an employee. When June’s Stockton injury lawyer has overcome the previous objections regarding her statements and medical condition, the injury lawyer may establish the Statutory Liability of the business owner who hired the delivery driver in Stockton.
Personal injury lawyers say that business owners assume a great deal of responsibility in such cases. But, if June’s injury attorney is successful in establishing shared liability, she will not be fully compensated for her injuries from each source. Instead, her Stockton injury attorney will seek to establish a reasonable shared percentage for each party.

Further Liability Risks for Car Owners in Stockton
Our accident lawyers say that owners who loan their cars to friends and family may face serious consequences if the driver is involved in an accident. Attorneys say this is true if the driver is just an acquaintance or a son or daughter. In the case of children, a parent may face a charge of Negligent Entrustment due to awareness the child was an inexperienced driver in Stockton. Our injury attorneys explain that parents are likely in a position to also know their child may be reckless and at risk of a car accident. Lawyers for an injured person may seek damages from a parent by showing relevant evidence and testimony.

There are a few classes of drivers that laws consider unfit to drive, including people suffering severe illness, those using drugs or alcohol and drivers lacking a license in Stockton. But personal injury attorneys say that many other factors contribute to liability for Stockton car accidents. Our injury attorneys face the complexities of liability law on a daily basis, even with an accident that on the surface appears to be open-and-shut for a victim of a Stockton car accident. Personal injury lawyers understand  the many requirements of proving liability, as well as the defense that will be offered by a defendant’s accident attorney. 

As Stockton personal injury attorneys we seek to represent the best interest of our clients through a thorough understanding of liability law and our highly effective legal practice.



Safety First for Bicyclists in Stockton

Bicycle accident lawyers at Sette Law in Stockton look at national trends regarding safety for residents who enjoy bike riding for fun and recreation. Those statistics, according to our Stockton personal injury attorneys, show a heightened need for vigilance and adherence to traffic laws for both bicyclists as well as motorists in Stockton.

Bicycle accidents increased from 2011 to 2012, according to the Pedestrian and Bicycle Safety Center. This trend may be due to an increase in riders nationwide and, our Stockton bicycle accident attorneys say, probably underestimates the number of people injured in bicycle accidents. Law enforcement is often not notified about minor accidents, victims may not visit hospital emergency rooms and many bike injuries go unreported. Safety Center researchers estimate the number of Stockton bicycle accidents reported may be as low as 1- percent. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers believe that a great deal of education needs to happen to create a safer urban environment for bicycle riders.

Stockton bicycle accidents are most threatening to youngsters. According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the number of accidents involving riders under the age of 15 earned a dubious ranking for Stockton. Bicycle accident lawyers explain that, out of 13 similar cities, Stockton ranks the second most dangerous for these young riders. The city placed ninth on the scale for riders over 15 in Stockton. Bicycle accident lawyers say the reported 138 bicycle accidents logged in 2011 probably represent a fraction of actual Stockton bicycle accidents.

Lawyers at Sette Law believe riders and motorists must step up vigilance and build greater awareness of safety on the streets of Stockton. Bicycle accidents most often result in serious injuries to riders, given the vast difference in speed, weight and protection between bikes and cars. Consequently, our Stockton injury attorneys call for mutual respect on the roads. Motorists should be on the watch for bike riders and bicyclists must not only anticipate movement in vehicle traffic but also ride responsibly.

Unfortunately, because bike riders are so vulnerable in Stockton, bicycle accident lawyers advise riders to adopt consistent rules for riding in traffic. A first basic rule would be to always, unfailingly, wear a helmet on the streets of Stockton. Our personal injury attorneys know that most bicycle accidents result in head injuries – damage that can impact victims for a lifetime.

Another simple prevention practice is for riders to dress in brilliant colors to make themselves clearly visible to vehicle drivers in Stockton. Bicycle accidents can, and do, happen because the rider seemed to blend with the environment. Our bicycle accident lawyers encourage riders to be colorful when riding on the streets of Stockton.

Bicycle accidents can also be minimized if bikes are outfitted with good lights, reflectors and mirrors. Making eye contact with vehicle drivers signals awareness of both rider and car for mutual safety in Stockton. Furthermore, our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers say riders need to think ahead about the intentions of drivers. Something as simple as a car door swinging open can cause serious injury or death in a resulting bicycle accident in Stockton.

If these suggestions seem to place the greatest responsibility on riders to avoid bicycle accidents, our lawyers agree. After all, the bicyclist is almost always at greatest risk in a bicycle accident. Ultimately, if the result is serious injury or death in a Stockton bicycle accident, lawyers know that, despite monetary recovery that may be won, the rider suffers the greatest harm. It is in the rider’s personal interest to adopt consistent safety habits when riding in Stockton.

Bicycle accident lawyerrs urge riders to take these simple precautions and to also recognize that their actions can contribute to Stockton bicycle accidents. Our attorneys are watching a case in nearby Sacramento in which a rider hit a pedestrian and left her disabled for life from a bicycle accident. The bicyclist was riding on a sidewalk and hit the woman from behind. In this case, the bicycle was the dangerous vehicle. The victim is suing for damages in the bicycle accident, contending that the city vehicle code regarding riding on sidewalks is unclear. The rider who caused the bicycle accident has not been identified. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers know that riding on busy streets can be a frightening experience. Proper bike lanes are often nonexistent and bicyclists are drawn to the safety of sidewalks. But, Stockton personal injury attorneys point to the Sacramento incident as a case in which a bicycle proved as dangerous as a car to a pedestrian.

Clearly, responsibility for bicycle and pedestrian safety is shared. Our Stockton bicycle accident lawyers believe it is time for state and local traffic laws to adapt to an increase in bicycle use. This requires education and vigilance of bike riders and motorists to keep themselves and pedestrians safe from Stockton bicycle accidents.