Reese Witherspoon arrested; husband booked on DUI

After a routine drinking and driving stop, Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon’s performance as an upset wife earned her a trip to jail and a disorderly conduct charge. Reese Witherspoon’s husband, Jim Toth, was pulled over on a driving under the influence suspicion. Witherspoon, carried on, to the extent she, too, landed herself in jail for disorderly conduct. Her lawyer worked out a deal with the prosecutor Monday morning in which Witherspoon will go through a pre-trial intervention program to avoid getting a conviction on her record. Their car was impounded, and Witherspoon and Toth were taken to the Atlanta city jail. Full article.

If you have been injured in a car accident involving a drunk driver, you need an experienced lawyer to help you pursue full and fair compensation for your losses. Often times, drunk drivers are repeat offenders and are uninsured or underinsured. It is important to contact a lawyer that can assist you in getting full and fair compensation. In many instances, you may be able to seek punitive damages from a drunk driver who caused you injury. It is important to have an attorney on your side that knows and understands the law and the process.

If you have been in an accident in northern California or the San Francisco bay area, you need experienced personal injury attorneys working to help you. To get a full understanding of your rights under the current state of the California law, talk to a personal injury attorney at Weber and Nierenberg at 1-866-288-6010 for a free consultation.

Drugged Driving Deaths on the Rise

Committed to Protecting Your Rights Following Drug-Related Auto Accidents

When a car accident occurs, drunk driving tests are routine. They are also simple. Police officers are trained in the use of breath test devices, and police labs are usually equipped to quickly analyze blood and urine samples.

Auto accidents become complicated, however, when drugged driving is suspected. Why? The effects of many legal and illegal drugs on drivers’ ability to operate vehicles are unknown. Also, police are less equipped to react to and investigate drugged driving.

The difficulty of determining drugs’ role in car accidents is coupled with a significant increase of drugged driving nationally. A study cited by the organization Stop Drugged Driving indicates that drugs are present “more than 7 times as frequently as alcohol among weekend nighttime drivers in the U.S., with 16% testing positive for drugs, compared to 2% testing at or above the legal limit for alcohol”. Another study, conducted by the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in 2009, revealed that two-thirds more individuals tested positive for illegal drugs compared to alcohol following accidents.

If you or a loved one were injured in a car or truck accident in California, it is important that you contact a law firm that 1) can determine whether drugged driving contributed to or caused the accident, and 2), has the skills and knowledge to effectively pursue the compensation you are owed.

The attorneys of the law firm of Weber & Nierenberg have handled numerous cases involving drunk driving and drugged driving. We bring almost 27 years of experience to clients in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area. We can knowledgeably investigate your injury claim or the wrongful death claim of a loved one and hold negligent parties responsible. To contact Weber & Nierenberg for a no-charge consultation, please call 1-866-288-6010.

Representing Victims of Drunk Driving Accidents in the Bay Area

Drunk Driving Accidents in the Bay Area

Investigating and proving damages claims against drunk drivers is a different exercise from other kinds of motor vehicle accidents. To learn how an experienced personal injury attorney can develop and present the facts that can help you recover the full measure of your damages, contact Weber & Nierenberg for a free consultation.

With offices in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and San Rafael, our law firm is convenient for clients throughout the Bay Area. We accept claims against intoxicated motorists on a contingent fee basis, which means that we collect no attorney’s fee unless and until we recover compensation for you, either through settlement or trial.

One of the biggest cases our firm ever handled involved an intoxicated bus driver who struck and seriously injured our client in a rear-end collision. We settled the case for $3.75 million.

Establishing Civil Liability for Drunk Driving

In our experience, evidence of drunk driving, substance abuse or other impairment on the part of the defendant driver can be a powerful circumstance toward establishing our client’s right to damages. We know how to work with evidence of intoxication without regard to the outcome of any criminal DUI or DWI charges against the other driver. In certain cases, our attorneys can even allege that the other driver was impaired even if no charge of drunk driving was brought against the other driver.

Because a civil claim for damages involves a lower standard of proof than a criminal prosecution, claims against drunk drivers can go forward even without a conviction on a DUI charge. We can use the evidence of intoxication developed by law enforcement without having to worry about proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt. We can also look at evidence of past substance abuse problems and prior drunk driving offenses on the part of the defendant.

Evidence of intoxication will be important in most drunk driving accident cases because it can support a claim for punitive damages. Additionally, liability for drunk driving accident damages will often be excepted from the discharge in bankruptcy. Proof that the other driver had been drinking to the point of impairment or beyond will usually strengthen the accident victim’s claims.

Learn more about the ways an experienced trial attorney can use evidence of drunk driving to help an accident victim achieve justice. Contact the Bay Area law firm of Weber & Nierenberg for a free consultation. You can also visit our website at

Involved in a Lawsuit? Think before You Post on Facebook

San Francisco Personal Injury Car Accident Attorneys

Even though privacy experts have warned people to be careful about what they post on Facebook, hard lessons are still being learned regarding the consequences of using social media. While most of us have heard of creditors and collection agencies using information gathered from social media websites to locate and go after debtors, insurers are doing the same regarding personal injury lawsuits.

In fact, in a 2010 personal injury case, a judge ordered a woman to turn over materials she had protected with privacy settings on her Facebook page. The woman was in the process of suing a furniture store for injuries she claimed she sustained after falling off one of their chairs. The furniture company (Steelcase) claimed the publicly accessible areas of her Facebook page indicated the woman led an active robust life inconsistent with her injury claims.

Surprisingly, the judge agreed and ordered the woman to turn over materials she had protected with privacy settings.

Social Media Privacy – A False Sense of Security?

Most people are under the impression that if they have photos of themselves or other documents set aside behind privacy settings, their privacy is protected. While Facebook sided with the woman in the case above, arguing that the Stored Communications Act protected her from having to turn over the information, the judge argued users do not have an absolute expectation of privacy since in creating a Facebook or MySpace account, the woman consented to sharing information with others – regardless of her privacy settings.

While the judge’s Fourth Amendment reasoning seems less than convincing, it does indicate the degree to which nothing posted online is ever absolutely private.

Personal Injury Lawsuits, Facebook and MySpace

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, motorcycle accident, or pedestrian knockdown, the insurance company responsible for settling or paying your claim might be interested in what you have posted on your Facebook or MySpace page. Pictures of you able-bodied, participating in sports, or hiking along a ridge may be enough to convince a judge the insurer has a right to see what else you have on your Facebook account. While it may not ultimately change the outcome of the case, it could lead to unnecessary delays and the need to spend more time and money on establishing the seriousness of your injuries and prognosis.

Protect Yourself after You’ve been Injured – Contact Weber & Nierenberg

There are a number of things that need to be taken care of after a serious car or bicycle accident. For more information regarding the steps you need to take to protect yourself, contact San Francisco car accident attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg today.

Vision Requirements and Driving in California

San Francisco Bay Area Impaired Driver Accident Attorney

In most car, truck, and pedestrian knockdown accidents, seldom does it occur to injury victims to ask if the driver who hit them should have been wearing glasses – if operating a car at all. While California state law lists vision requirements drivers must meet in order to drive legally, it may not be obvious at first glance whether a vehicle’s operator suffers from vision impairment. In fact, in California, drivers with a visual acuity of 20/200 or worse may not be licensed to drive. And, depending on the kind and severity of a driver’s vision impairment, certain restrictions may be placed on their license. Here, a driver may be restricted to driving between sunrise and sunset, required to wear corrective lenses, restricted from driving on the freeway, or required to put additional mirrors on their vehicle.

Vision Tests, the DMV, and the Evaluation Drivers must Undergo

In order to qualify for or get a driver’s license renewed in California, drivers must pass a vision test administered by the DMV. Drivers are first asked to read a line on an eye chart with both eyes open and then asked to read different lines with each eye individually. If a driver wears glasses (corrective lenses), they may take the vision test with their glasses or contact lenses.

If a driver has problems with their vision, the DMV will take into consideration the following factors before issuing them their license:

• The seriousness of the vision impairment
• The degree to which a vision condition affects a driver’s central and side vision
• Whether or not a vision condition affects one or both eyes
• Whether a vision condition can be corrected with glasses, contacts, or surgery
• Whether or not a vision condition is degenerative and will get worse

Vision Acuity Standards for Drivers in California

In order to meet the DMV’s visual acuity requirement, drivers must meet the following requirements:

• 20/40 with both eyes tested together and
• 20/40 in one eye and
• 20/70 (at a minimum) in the other eye

Drivers who are unable to meet the minimum visual acuity requirement must wear glasses or contacts that result in a better than 20/200 corrected in at least one eye. Drivers cannot wear bioptic telescopic lenses while driving.

Car Accidents and Vision Impairment

Vision impairments often translate into diminished visual acuity, especially at night. As a result, those who need glasses and haven’t been screened recently may have difficulty judging distances, negotiating lanes, or seeing peripherally. That’s why it’s important to determine if the driver who hit you has a vision impairment or should have been wearing glasses but wasn’t. Establishing vision impairment on the part of the other driver can help establish their fault in an accident, holding them fully financially accountable for your injuries.

If you’ve been involved in a car, truck, motorcycle, or pedestrian knockdown accident, contact San Francisco car accident attorneys at Weber & Nierenberg today.

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1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104
P. 415-788-3900

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1800 Oakland, CA 94612
P. 510-663-6000