After they pulled over, the unthinkable happened -could it have been avoided?

It was a tragic scene recently when two mothers and four children died when their van caught fire after a crash on the 5 Freeway.

The six victims were in a minivan that was partially blocking the far-right lane on the southbound side of the freeway when it was rear-ended by a big rig traveling at 55 mph. The minivan rolled over and caught fire on the side of the road at about 3:30 a.m. Authorities said the van was packed with two Bay Area families – two children and two parents each. When the van rolled over and burst into flames the children and their mothers were in the rear seats. The men sitting in the front tried to save them from the flames but were held back by CHP officers. The two survivors were identified as Aaron Hon Wing Ng, 34, of San Francisco and Wei Xiong Li, 45, of Daly City. Both men suffered serious burns to their arms from trying to rescue their loved ones, the CHP said.

Could this have been avoided? We may never know, however there are some safety rules to follow if your car ever breaks down on the freeway. This minivan got into a minor collision with a sedan. So, the family pulled over to the side of the road. This is at night and can make it hard to see – they were then struck by a big rig, causing the vehicle to roll down the hill in flames.

If your car breaks down on the freeway or you have to pull over for any reason, follow these safety rules to keep you and your family as safe as possible:

  • Do not try to flag down other vehicles, i.e., don’t solicit the help of passing motorists.
  • Raise the vehicle’s hood and tie something white to the radio antenna or hang it out the window so police officers or tow truck operators will know help is needed.
  • Don’t stand behind or next to the vehicle.
  • If you are partially still on the road, exit your vehicle and stand as far away as possible in a safe location while waiting for help.
  • Pull over and out of traffic if possible. Even if all of the emergency lights are activated, some highway drivers do not pay close attention and could rear-end the disabled fleet vehicle, causing further damage or injury.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this tragic accident.

Buckle the kids up, it’s the law

California Law| ​Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat. Children who are 8 years of age OR have reached 4′ 9″ in height must be secured by a safety belt in the back seat. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children ages 1 through 12 years old, killing over 1,000 children each year.

Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself and your passengers in a crash.  It is extremely important to make sure all children riding in your car be properly secured before every trip. Thousands of children are injured or killed every year because their child passenger safety seats are not installed properly. Remember, most collisions occur within a mile of the home – so buckle your child in a safety seat for every trip, no matter how short.  – California Highway Patrol

Effective January 1, 2017 – Children under 2 years of age shall ride in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall.  The child shall be secured in a manner that complies with the height and weight limits specified by the manufacturer of the car seat…

If you’re not confident of how to properly secure your child in a safety seat, contact your local CHP Area Office, and ask to speak with a child passenger safety technician. Click on this link to locate a local Area Office anywhere in California.

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Construction Accidents need a Reputable Los Angeles Construction Accident Lawyer

When you work in the construction industry, you need to be healthy and physically able to complete your job. When an accident occurs as a result of your construction job and you are rendered unable to complete your tasks, you could find your livelihood threatened. This could put your family’s well-being at risk. Rather than handling the stress on your own, enlist the help of a reputable Los Angeles construction accident lawyer from Sariol Legal Center. We will help you navigate the system and ensure that you get every penny that you deserve as a result of your accident.

A Construction Accident Lawyer Helps you with more than Medical Coverage

Medical coverage is a large part of what you want to recoup as a result of your construction site accident, but you also need compensation for lost income, both now and in the future. Our construction accident lawyers in Los Angeles will provide you with the representation and information that you need to ensure that you get everything that you are entitled to receive, allowing you to focus on your recovery and how to manage the rest of your life rather than dealing with the stress of your finances and overbearing medical bills.

Our Los Angeles Construction Accident Lawyers are Aggressive

At Sariol Legal Center we can provide you with representation for a variety of construction accidents including:

  • Falls from great heights
  • Injuries from explosions or burns
  • Accidents involving construction vehicles
  • Accidents involving defective tools or equipment
  • Workers’ compensation claims and issues
  • Construction accidents involving a third party
  • Wrongful death suits that involve a construction accident

Consult with a reputable Los Angeles construction accident lawyer at Sariol Legal Center today to help get the representation you need for a successful outcome to your construction accident case. Whether you are an employee that was injured on the construction site or the surviving family members of a loved one that experienced wrongful death on the job, our reputable team will be at your side every step of the way.

Call us today for a free, no-obligation consultation regarding your construction accident today | 1-866-800-9399

Medical Care and Compensation for Injured Children

When a child has been in an accident, the effects of an injury may not become apparent for some time, because the child is still developing physically and mentally. For this reason, it is important to obtain a thorough and accurate medical diagnosis. You should also consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.

Sariol Legal Center is a firm that is dedicated to helping injured people obtain the medical care and compensation they need to rebuild their lives. We have extensive experience representing children and teenagers who have been injured in accidents, as well as wrongful death cases.

Our firm advocates tenaciously for our clients, working hard to obtain the best possible result in every case. For a free consultation about your case, contact Sariol Legal Center.

Orange County Attorney for Minors in Auto Accidents

The founder of our firm, Frank Sariol, has more than 20 years of experience representing accident victims and their families. Frank and his staff will undertake a comprehensive legal effort designed to obtain results for you. Working closely with your child’s doctor or other medical experts, we will determine the medical care and services your child will need, now and in the future. We will also examine the impact the accident will have on your child’s potential earning capacity, and we will place a value on his or her pain and suffering for inclusion in your claim. Sariol Legal Center will work diligently to build a strong and successful case for you.

Get Legal Help Today

While the stature of limitations on a child injury case does not start until the age of 18, it is important to obtain legal help as soon as possible. Much has to be done to document the accident and evaluate your child’s future medical needs. Sariol Legal Center will act quickly on your case, seeking maximum compensation and the medical care your child needs.

Free Consultation — Contact Us Today

For a free consultation about a child accident case in Southern California, contact Sariol Legal Center.

El abogado habla español.

Using Cell Phones While Driving is as Bad as Drunk Driving

According to, in 2012 alone over 3,300 people were killed from crashes related to distracted driving. 421,000 people were estimated to have been injured from distracted driving related crashes in the same year.  Fatalities happen every single day across America and the cause is distracted driving. This data does show that drivers are safer then they are not distracted:

  • In crashes that were fatal to drivers under the age of 20, 10 percent of the drivers were revealed to have been distracted at the time of impact.
  • Drivers between age 20 and 29 made up the highest portion of distracted drivers that caused fatal crashes, at 27 percent.
  • Texting or using a mobile device while driving is estimated to divert your attention for five seconds at a time. If you are traveling at 55 mph, five seconds is enough time to drive the length of an entire football field.
  • In a given day, an estimated 660,000 drivers will be using their cell phones or a similar electronic device while driving.

Consider the following study by psychologists at the University of Utah.  A virtual-reality car was driven 3 times:

  1. Subject was talking on a cell phone, holding the phone in their hands
  2. Subject used a headset
  3. Subject had a few drinks, enough to put them over the .08% limit.

So how did they do?

The researchers found that when the subjects talked on the phone—either holding it in their hands, or using a headset—they showed the same signs of impairment, and to similar degrees, as when they drove drunk. Here is the actual summary:

We used a high-fidelity driving simulator to compare the performance of cell-phone drivers with drivers who were legally intoxicated from ethanol. When drivers were conversing on either a hand-held or hands-free cell-phone, their reactions were sluggish and they attempted to compensate by driving slower and increasing the following distance from the vehicle immediately in front of them. By contrast, when drivers were legally intoxicated they exhibited a more aggressive driving style, following closer to the vehicle immediately in front of them and applying more force while braking. When controlling for driving difficulty and time on task, cell-phone drivers exhibited greater impairment than intoxicated drivers.

Call us today at Sariol Legal Center today for a free, no-obligation quote for your accident case to see what compensation you can obtain | 1-866-800-9399

These minor routine changes may save your life

Car accidents are many times unavoidable, however you can increase your chances of not being in one by adding these precautions into your daily routine. They may be minor changes, but who knows, it may save your life one day.

  • Before you start the engine, make sure the warning lights are off, such as the gas line, engine coolant, and engine light. And then check and make sure the tires lines and air are good enough. These are the simple ways to check that your car has no problem for driving.
  • Avoid the “fast lane”. By using the center or right lane on multilane roads, you have more “escape routes” should a problem suddenly arise that requires you to quickly change lanes or pull onto the shoulder. Most highway accidents occur in the left lane. Furthermore, you are more conspicuous to highway patrol if you are in the “fast lane.”
  • Check blind spots before you change lanes. There’s always random side-streets and parking areas where people can just pull out without you noticing. Checking your blind spots before you move in the next lane always helps avoids side-swiping accidents.Keep your eyes scanning the area ahead. Don’t just eyeball the car in front of you but watch the traffic in front of that car as well. This increases your chance of seeing a problem while still having enough time to react to it, and decreases your chance of rear-ending the vehicle in front of you should they make a sudden stop.
  • Drive with your hands in the 9 and 3 o’clock position. Instead of the lazy, typical way people drive with one hand at 12 o’clock or both hands resting at the bottom of the steering wheel, this recommended position facilitates maximum vehicle control when you’re forced into quick maneuvering to avoid a potential car accident.
  • Use the signal lights before you change lanes. When you use the signal lights, you are also warning everyone that you want to change your lanes. They will slow down or stop the car until you pass the road.

Have you been in an auto accident? Call us today at Sariol Legal Center for a free, no-obligation quote to see what compensation you can obtain.

Car accident? Don’t panic! Increase your chances of winning a claim with these tips

Auto accidents are one of the most common reasons for the death and injuries of Americans. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there have been 2,791 fatalities caused by traffic accidents in 2011. This means a 71-fatality increase from 2010. While this may be a relatively low increase, a car accident lawyer points out that this is the first time that there is an increase in vehicle crash fatalities recorded since 2007.

More than the loss of lives, automotive crashes have caused millions of dollars of damage to property. This is why a California auto accident lawyer wants to remind everyone that anybody can file a personal injury claim after falling victim for such mishaps. However, to successfully win your claims you have to present enough and strong pieces of evidence to back up your claim when you file for one. But how do you prepare for the filing of your complaint?

To increase your chances of winning your claim, your first actions after the accident happened will be critical. So how can you ensure your victory should you file a claim?

  • Call the police immediately.
  • Get immediate treatment for your injuries.
  • Give accurate and complete information about the accident to the authorities. 
  • Get the names and contact details of the other party.
  • Talk to your insurance agent.

Have you been in an auto accident? Call us today at Sariol Legal Center for a free, no-obligation quote to see what compensation you can obtain.

Break free from emotional stress after an accident with these self-help strategies

Car accidents can cause serious physical injury, but they can also leave the driver and passengers with mental and/or emotional injuries that may not be as apparent. Mental and emotional injuries can lurk under the surface for months or even years until treatment.

If you’ve gone through a traumatic experience, you may be struggling with upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a sense of constant danger. Or you may feel numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people. Recognizing you are suffering emotional trauma is key to helping, here are some tips to help you break free from this.

What exactly is emotional trauma? Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless and vulnerable in a dangerous world.

In order to stay grounded after a trauma, it helps to have a structured schedule to follow.

1. Stick to a daily routine, with regular times for waking, sleeping, eating, working, and exercise. Make sure to schedule time for relaxing and social activities, too.

2. Break large jobs into smaller, manageable tasks. Take pleasure from the accomplishment of achieving something, even it’s a small thing.

3. Find activities that make you feel better and keep your mind occupied (reading, taking a class, cooking, playing with your kids or pets), so you’re not dedicating all your energy and attention to focusing on the traumatic experience.

4. Get plenty of sleep. After a traumatic experience, worry or fear may disturb your sleep patterns. A lack of sleep can make your trauma symptoms worse and make it harder to maintain your emotional balance. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day and aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night

Always seek a professional for medical questions.

Man critically injured while vandalizing divider on the 55 freeway

An alleged tagger was struck by a vehicle along the southbound 55 Fwy at Chapman in Orange. The Santa Ana office of the CHP began receiving calls of taggers painting the center divider of the 55 Freeway. Moments later they got calls that one of the taggers was hit by  one of more cars. Arriving Officers found gravely injured 21 year old male on the shoulder of the freeway. He had been dragged out of lanes by another male tagger that was with him. The 21 year old was taken to the Trauma Center at OC Global Hospital in Santa Ana. It appears that the vehicle(s) that struck the tagger may have fled the scene.

The Santa Ana office of the CHP began receiving calls of taggers painting the center divider of the 55 Freeway. Moments later they got calls that one of the taggers was hit by one of more cars. Arriving Officers found gravely injured 21 year old male on the shoulder of the freeway. He had been dragged out of lanes by another male tagger that was with him. Photo Credit: OC Register

This incident is still under investigation. The 55 freeway is known to be a high traffic area and early Sunday just past midnight a man was struck on the southbound 55 near Chapman Avenue.

Two men were apparently vandalizing a center divider on the freeway. One of the men, 21 year old  Juan S. Espinoza of Orange was involved in this hit- and-run, according to California Highway Patrol. The 21 year old was taken to the Trauma Center at OC Global Hospital in Santa Ana with severe injuries to his right leg and head. . It appears that the vehicle(s) that struck the tagger may have fled the scene.

Moments after a slip and fall accident, here is what you need to know

Slip and fall accidents are scary because they can happen anytime and anywhere. You or a friend may be in a store, apartment building, parking lot or shopping for groceries when it happens. It is unexpected and will catch you off guard. Make sure you know your rights and who is on your side.

If you are injured in a store, you will likely find yourself pursued by their insurance company or claims management looking for you to give them all the evidence they need to defeat your claim.  You may be in a state of panic since you just had a horrible experience and may not even know the full extent of your injuries. The insurance company is not on your side, so before you answer make sure you know your rights. The first steps to take after a slip and fall accident are crucial as they can help build your case.

  1. SEEK MEDICAL HELP:  This is top priority, so make sure you seek medical attention and your bills will help as proof in your case.
  2. INSURANCE COMPANY: Do NOT give the insurance company a recorded statement
  3. REPORT THE INCIDENT: Make sure you report the incident to a property manager or manager of the store. They should file an incident report and again this is good proof for your case.
  4. DOCUMENT WHAT HAPPENED: Photograph the scene and your injuries. Photos are exceptional proof in your case.
  5. GATHER ATTIRE: Put your clothes and shoes into  ziplock bag and do not wash or clean.
  6. CONTACT AN ATTORNEY: Since many slip and fall cases are difficult to prove, you need the resources of a successful law firm. Contact us TODAY to discuss your options.



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