Car Accidents

Sturgis Rally Motorcycle Injuries

Posted by on Sep 12, 2017 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

When you buy a motorcycle, you become a member of a family of riders all over the country. Biker culture is fascinating and is a uniquely American phenomenon. One of the reasons the bond between bikers is so strong is because it is well known that operating a motorcycle is dangerous. Lacking the safety features of a standard car, even the smallest crash can be fatal. When almost half a million riders come together, the dangers escalate even further, and it is important that everyone be aware that they are not the only riders on the road.

Last month, during the first week of August, bikers and motorcyclist enthusiasts from all over the Midwest came together for ten days of festivities at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, South Dakota. This event brings in crazy numbers: over 700,000 people attended in 2015 alone, and $800 million dollars of revenue was brought in. According to an article in the Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, there have been more crashes this year than in 2016, including one fatality. Authorities from South Dakota report that there have been double the number of crashes resulting in injuries than there was last year, a total of 24. The fatality occurred when a man from Utah crossed the center line on a highway and hit a semi truck. There have been plenty of other arrests, as well. There were 44 misdemeanor drug offenses, as well as seven felony ones, which is down from last year’s 53 misdemeanors and 14 felonies. DUI arrest numbers are similar to last year as well, clocking in at 49. The article goes on to document every single one of the crashes reported so far, most of them involving motorcycles.

Of course, this article was only published on August 7th, before the festivities had even ended. The statistics in the article are meant to reflect the numbers at the same point in time during the festival last year. Because of this, the number of accidents and arrests is likely higher than the numbers quoted here. It is only natural that when that many people come together for so many days, there are bound to be higher rates of accidents and arrests. Considering the sheer size of the event, it is difficult to police the entire area and make sure the number of accidents remains low. Considering how much money this event brings in, it might be a good idea to allocate a good portion of that to ensure the safety of the attendees.

Even though the fatality that occurred during the Sturgis Rally was not a result of a motorcycle collision, bikers are still the most vulnerable drivers on the road. There are a number of personal injury lawyers in the midwest that can handle motorcycle accidents and make sure that other drivers pay for their reckless behavior, and it is important to be protected, especially if you want to make the pilgrimage to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally one day to join your biker brethren.

Read More

One Pedestrian is Killed Every Two Hours while One is Injured every Seven Minutes

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

Walking, more than jogging or any other activity that people do on foot, is the most common pedestrian activity. Today, it has even become the preferred way of transportation for tens of thousands of Americans.

So many factors, however, put pedestrians’ lives at risk – the first of these factors is motor vehicles, followed by bicycles, especially those ridden in parks, jogging lanes or walk lanes, and then there are the faded or absence of crosswalks (especially in rural areas), uneven and/or cracked sidewalks that can be a cause of trips and falls, debris on walkways, and roads that are inadequately lit at night.

Records from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) show 4,743 fatal pedestrian accidents in 2012 plus 76,000 more which resulted in injuries (some of these injuries also led to death a few days after the accident); this means one pedestrian killed every two hours and one injurious accident every seven minutes. There was a very slight decrease in the number of fatalities in 2013, at 4,735; however, in 2014, the number again increased to 4,884.

In 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation had safety of pedestrians and bicyclists its top priority. It convened University Transportation Centers (UTCs) and other transportation agencies and started the Safer People, Safer Streets program. In this program, the different transportation agencies were asked to conduct road safety assessments, as well as identify and remove barriers to improve non-motorized safety.

Pedestrians, obviously, do face great risks – in rural areas, but more so in urban settings where traffic is almost always heavy. The only sad thing about these risks is that majority of these are results of negligence.

Pedestrians accidents, however, can occur not only in crosswalks or public streets, but also in public parking lots, such as malls, supermarkets, commercial establishments, parking garages or private driveways. Legal liability also differs from one case to another due to differences in circumstances surrounding the accident.

Whatever the circumstances, continued the said law firm, injured victims require the same thing: “a straightforward answer about the likelihood of being able to collect financial compensation to help pay for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.” Though proving liability in a pedestrian accident can be a really challenging task, a victim, or his/her family, may be able to ascribe fault to the driver of the motor vehicle, but only through the help of a highly-qualified personal injury lawyer. It will be a wise move not to take chances with just any lawyer as this can cost the victim the compensation that he/she has the legal right to claim and which will enable him/her pay for the treatment that will lead to his/her recovery.

Read More

“An Expiration Date”

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Car Accidents | 0 comments

After attending a family reunion in Cleveland one sunny Monday of August 2010, Susan Slattery, with hers two sons, Peter, 16, and Matthew, 12, started home for Baltimore on their red Ford Focus. Douglas Bouch, a 30-year veteran driver, had just hauled three trailers to Indiana and was pulling three more back home to Greenville, Pennsylvania. On the Ohio Turnpike, he found himself driving behind Susan’s vehicle which braked for a construction zone. Despite the stopped car ahead,

Bouch’s big rig which was running at 65 mph did not slow down. Instead, it rammed Susan’s car into another semi-truck and collides with five other vehicles before resting at a concrete highway divider and bursting into flames. The collision killed Susan, aged 47, and confined Matthew in a wheelchair due to traumatic brain injury. Peter, despite his broken eye socket and pelvis, survived the accident, but would never talk about it. Bouch, the driver of the rig, was unhurt in the accident. He confessed of having had only three hours and 20 minutes of sleep and of dozing off behind the wheel prior to the accident.

Four years after the fatal accident, Bouch, a Baptist, could only say that God had a plan for Susan to die that day and for him to drive the truck: it was her “expiration date.”

Many will call this “religious delusion,” some others will not. Regardless, had Bouch taken enough sleep, would the accident have happened?

Rather than a heavenly design, what happened was simply a result of very poor and negligent choice. Drowsy driving is an extremely serious matter. Different government agencies, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), see it as a major cause of truck accidents resulting to serious injuries and deaths.

In the CDC website, it is explained that “falling asleep at the wheel is clearly dangerous, but being sleepy affects your ability to drive safely even if you don’t fall asleep. Drowsiness:

  • Makes drivers less able to pay attention to the road;
  • Slows reaction time if you have to brake or steer suddenly; and,
  • Affects a driver’s ability to make good decisions.”

Many drivers, it is true, put themselves to the limit (for a higher take home pay, but this is another story) and many trucking firms force their drivers to push themselves to the limit too (for higher profits): attitudes that continue to put so many lives in danger.

This is nothing short of violation of safe driving laws mandated on truck drivers and trucking firms. According to the website of Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller and Overbeck, P.A., if drivers and truckers cannot correct it, a legal action probably will.

Read More

Negligent Truck Drivers

Posted by on Feb 16, 2015 in Car Accidents, Trucks | 0 comments

Commercial trucks accidents cause devastating damages and injuries simply from its size and power. When these become involved in a road accident, the blame can be given to a number of people: from the driver, the truck company or operator, the truck manufacturer, and even the people performing the maintenance and loading of the cargo. There are various factors that come into play in a truck accident, and for victims, these can be a big hurdle when trying to get compensation from a personal injury or wrongful death claim.

If you believe that the truck driver’s negligence is the main factor for the accident, then you have to be able to prove it in court. There a number of ways a truck driver can be considered negligent, among them being:

  • Driving aggressively of without regard to other motorists’ safely – tight deadlines are the main reason why many truck drivers commit aggressive driving.
  • Distracted driving – anything from eating, texting to talking to the phone which could take the truck driver’s attention from the road and his driving can cause a miscalculation that would result to an accident. Truck drivers are prohibited from using any hand-held devices while they are driving according to federal laws.
  • Using illegal or prohibited drugs – because of the long hours of work and deadlines, many truck drivers take prescription pills or even illegal drugs in order to stay on the roads. This, together with stress and lack of sleep, would greatly impact their judgment and mood when driving.
  • Lack of training – commercial trucks requires special training because it is very difficult to maneuver and control such big and powerful vehicles that are capable of going in fast speeds. Additionally, they are required to drive in almost any weather, and are able to handle the load of work. Anyone who is not qualified for such position can only endanger the safety of those who are sharing the roads with them.

You need to hoe evidence of the truck driver’s negligence in order to have a proper personal injury claim against him specifically. Consult with a lawyer who knows the laws in your state and has wide experience in personal injury and car accident claims in order to win the claim.

Read More

Reducing Risks of Truck Accidents

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Car Accidents, Trucks | 0 comments

The enormous size of an 18-wheeler truck or big rig definitely creates greater threats in the event of an accident. Compared to other vehicles, trucks also weigh more, thus requiring a longer stopping distance. But despite the risk these huge vehicles pose on the road, they cannot be disallowed to operate due to the major contribution they provide in the nation’s economy. Trucks transport goods that keep businesses alive; limiting their operation will, therefore, greatly affect the business operation of many firms.

Often, these goods need to be delivered to another county, a task that would require very long driving hours. It is, therefore, normal for many truck drivers to be behind the wheel for more than 10 hours a day, thus, the different governmental agencies make sure that, despite this long driving work requirement, drivers do not experience sleepiness and fatigue, and that the truck they drive are always in good condition.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and, most especially, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which is primarily responsible in ensuring the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMV), work together in making US roads and highways safe from any accidents that would involve trucks. To attain the highest level of safety, these agencies have set and strictly enforce the following requirements:

  • A special training and a test (prepared by the FHWA) will have to be undergone and passed, respectively, by individuals before they can be issued a commercial driver’s license. These basic requirements are aimed at developing in truck drivers the required knowledge and skills in operating a truck safely
  • Strict observance of the “11 hours” maximum time of service. This means that truck drivers cannot drive for more than 11 hours straight. Drivers should also be given 10 consecutive off-duty hours after the completion of their daily duty
  • Trucking firms should keep a record that shows regular truck check and maintenance schedule
  • Drivers should thoroughly check and make sure that their vehicle’s braking system and tires are in good condition, as well as make sure that there are no air leaks in the truck’s brake chamber
  • Truck and truck parts manufacturers should make sure that everything they produce complies with the minimum standards enforced by the government.

To reduce the risk of truck accidents, the said agencies do not focus their attention to truck drivers and trucking companies only. They also constantly issue precautionary measures that drivers of smaller vehicles should observe, like:

  • Avoiding blind spots. Smaller vehicles should always drive past a truck on the driver’s side as the truck’s passenger side is the driver’s worst blind spot. Driving along the truck’s passenger side can prove too dangerous, especially when a truck is going to make a right turn.
  • Tailgating or driving too close behind a truck is also dangerous as the truck driver may make an emergency brake. Tailgating also eliminates not only the other driver’s view of the road ahead, but also his/her chance to have enough time to react to impending road hazards.
  • Observing care in intersections. To execute a turn, trucks need to use multiple lanes or swing wide – a road situation that all other drivers should know. Other drivers, as much as possible, should rather allow the truck to maneuver fully before passing, turning or entering the intersection.

In case of an accident, though, it will be a very wise decision not to delay contacting a personal injury lawyer for the possibility of a legal action that will allow the injured victim to seek and receive compensation for any injuries sustained.

Read More

Blood Alcohol Content’s Role in Car Accidents

Posted by on Aug 13, 2014 in Car Accidents | 5 comments

There are many advocates that raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving and its effects on the lives of the people, yet they still occur. When drunk driving accidents occur, it is not just the victim that suffers, but the drunk driver as well. In the state of Texas, the penalties for those who have been caught and charged with drunk driving (or driving while intoxicated, DWI) can depend on factors such as number of offense and certain situation-specific elements.

Texas determines the motorists’ level of intoxication through their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Those who have been caught can face jail time, heavy penalties, and even suspension on their driver’s license. There are options that a driver who’s been charged with DWI can use in their defense, but it would be better if they hire the help and assistance of a Dallas DWI lawyer.

In many cases, a driver with a DWI charge can claim that they were illegally stopped. The Houston DWI can claim that their client was stopped by the police officer lacked any probable cause for the initial traffic stop. Another defense that can be used as argument is administration and accuracy of the BAC test. This defense usually questions the execution and handling of the blood test, whether it was contaminated or tampered with. Rising BAC can also be used as defense, because there are situations where the BAC may have been lower than the legal limit during driving, but eventually increased since it takes time for the body to absorb the alcohol.

Many people believe that DWI should be a criminal offense, and in many states it is. In the state of Texas, DWI is considered a Class B misdemeanor, and although it may not be a criminal case, the penalties that come along with being charged are heavy themselves. Having proper legal help and representation is important in ensuring that your rights are protected and lower the penalties if possible. Consulting with a Dallas criminal lawyer could do a lot to help make sure that you have a strong defense against the charges that may be put up against you. Representing yourself is a trying and difficult prospect, so using the help of someone trained in criminal defense is likely the best course of action.

Read More