At about this time every year the legislative session in California is winding down. The last day for the Governor to sign any bill this year is September 15, 2017. As the legislative year comes to an end I once again summarize several of the new laws that I believe are of most importance to our readers.
Jim J from the Excelsior asks: “My neighbor died. She was such a nice lady I miss her and I also miss how she used to care for her yard. Her son inherited the place,he was never any good to her and was always trouble growing up. He hasn’t gotten any better with age. Since he moved in he has been “collecting things” mostly old cars but also tires, rims and other auto parts. He uses the garage to fix up old cars that he then sells. Most of the junk just stays there and rusts. It’s a scrap yard. Weeds are growing and I have seen rats running in and out. It’s disgusting. What can I do about it?”
This week’s question comes from a reader identified only as “Bob” in Los Angeles who asks, “I was reading your columns online and I see that you write a lot about Lyft and Uber. I drive for both. While driving recently late at night from LAX I was sideswiped by a pickup truck driver who changed lanes suddenly without looking. I slammed on my brakes to try and avoid colliding with the truck but it hit the front of my car forcing me into the concrete dividing wall. The front and left side of my car is wrecked. My airbag went off and both the passenger and I were injured. The police came and took a report but I don’t have the license plate of the pickup truck driver. I told the company and they told me to submit a claim with my insurance company. What should I do?”
Chief Counsel for UC Berkeley, CA, Victim of Fatal Bike Crash
Guerneville, Ca ( August 27th 2017) – Christopher Patti an avid cyclist from Berkeley, Ca, was struck and killed when the driver of a BMW lost control of his vehicle on CA 116 in Guerneville. According to witnesses the driver was taking a curve at too fast a speed and lost control, slid across two lanes hitting Mr. Patti and a guard rail. The driver of the BMW then fled the scene and later abandoned the car near Rio Nido. The CHP later identified the driver of the BMW as 28 year old Jonathan Ritter.
Before the incident Mr. Patti had pulled to the shoulder of the road to check his cell phone according to witnesses. Monte Rio Fire Chief Steve Baxman stated that Patti had been wearing a helmet and had all the correct safety gear, including lights and reflectors.
The initial impact of the accident had lifted Mr. Patti onto the trunk of the BMW and into the rear window breaking it. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Patti worked as UC Berkeley’s chief counsel since 2010 and had an extensive complex litigation career at the University of California’s office of the president for 20 years.
We offer our condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends.
Motorcyclist Fabian Carreras-Hermosillo Killed After Crash With Drunk Driver
A 23-year old Rohnert Park man was killed on August 23, 2017, after being hit by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle. Fabian Carreras-Hermosillo was riding a 2008 Honda CBR 600 motorcycle heading south bound on Snyder Lane, when Robert Bosch of Rohnert Park was driving a 1999 Ford Ranger made a left turn into a shopping center directly in front of Carreras-Hermosillo’s path. Carreras-Hermosillo had no time to stop or slow down to avoid hitting Bosch’s truck and slammed into the side of the vehicle.
Carreras-Hermosillo was ejected off his bike and landed on the street according to police reports. After the initial accident Mr. Bosch hit a sign and stopped his truck. He then began to walk toward the shopping center businesses away from the accident scene.
According to press reports, when officers arrived and detained Bosch they noticed signs of intoxication and arrested him. Carreras-Hermosillo was wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, but due to the severity of his injuries he passed away on his way to the hospital.
We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Carreras-Hermosillo.
Craig from San Francisco asks – “I’ve read several articles saying that some of the same “alt-right” groups that protested last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia are staging rallies in San Francisco and Berkeley this weekend. Can’t these rallies be stopped?”
Over 75 students from several Bay Area high schools came to the Dolan Law Firm on Saturday, August 12, 2017, to participate in a local We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution program. In preparation for their role as experts testifying before simulated Congressional committee hearings on constitutional issues, the students extensively study the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights over the course of the school year. Teachers, Dolan Law Firm lawyers and other volunteers served as judges.
Karen in the East Bay writes, “Chris, I need your advice. I took my car to a neighborhood car wash. While I was going through the wash, the car behind me accelerated and reared ended my car. At the time, I was reaching for papers in the glove compartment. The force from the collision, while not great, was enough to shove my head into the dashboard. I ended up with a nasty gash above my eye that required stitches and may leave a permanent scar. I also suffered a neck injury, which hopefully will heal through physical therapy.
I don’t know how the driver of the car behind me hit me. It might not matter. He doesn’t have car insurance. The car wash owner claims he has no responsibility because there was nothing wrong with the car wash’s machinery.
My friends joke that I got into a collision inside a car wash. I am not laughing. Incredibly, I am already looking at over $10,000 in hospital and medical bills. What should I do?”
San Francisco (CA) – August 15, 2017 – The Dolan Law Firm congratulates Chief Legal Counsel Christopher B. Dolan for being named to the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of plaintiffs’ personal injury and product liability litigation. This marks the fifth consecutive year Dolan has been recognized by Best Lawyers as a leading lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ray from the Sunset District writes, “I deliver meals for one of the app food companies. Last week, my car was in the shop so I was driving my girlfriend’s new motorcycle when a driver for national package delivery service company pulled out of a driveway without looking and drove right into my path. We collided and I had to go to the hospital for a broken collar bone and some fractured ribs.
The driver claimed I was speeding. At most, I was going slightly over the speed. The driver was not injured but the rear of his van was smashed. His company’s insurance company is demanding I pay for the repair costs. My girlfriend’s motorcycle was a total loss. I have $16,000 in hospital bills.
I found out after the crash that my girlfriend did not have motorcycle insurance. She owns another motorcycle that is insured but hadn’t yet put her new bike on the policy. I have a policy for my car but don’t know if that helps. I asked about my situation on a message board for ride share drivers. One person said I don’t have any coverage under “Prop 213” because the motorcycle was not insured. Another person said I must not tell my insurance company I was delivering meals. What’s the real answer? Aren’t all app drivers covered by the company’s insurance?”