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Posted by on Nov 14, 2015 in Automotive Accidents | 0 comments

Hit & Run: A Troubling Plague is Many Major Cities in the US

At about 7 PM of November 17, 2012, a Saturday, Miguel Mendez, an 18-year-old special needs student in Watts, was struck by a hit-and-run driver in a late-model, green Chrysler Town & Country minivan while he was crossing Broadway Avenue in Los Angeles. The unidentified driver failed to stop to render aid, which is required by law, leaving Mendez to die at the scene.

In 2010, hit-and-run accidents killed 147 individuals and injured another 19,009 in the state of California alone. Nationwide, record of fatal hit-and-run crashes from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed 1,393 incidences.

Since 2005 there has been a continuous rise in the number of fatal hit-and-run crashes, majority of the victims being pedestrians and cyclists. Incidents wherein drivers leave their injured victims to just bleed or die after hitting them have increased in many major cities, making this type of accident a disturbing plague.

Hit-and-run, also called hit and skip or fleeing from/leaving the scene of an accident, is commonly defined as the act of leaving/fleeing from a scene of an accident to evade responsibility over anyone who may have been injured in such accident. Just about any car accident lawyer would say that under the law, it is the legal duty of drivers, especially the one liable for the accident, to stop and provide assistance to whoever has been injured or has lost consciousness. The conscious driver, if he or she can, is also required to contact traffic authorities and wait for them to arrive at the scene. If both drivers are unhurt, then the law requires them to exchange information, providing each other with their respective identification, insurance provider and contact details, while for accidents occurring in parking lots, the liable driver who damages the vehicle of another should leave a written notification of his/her identity and contact details if the owner of the vehicle that he or she has damaged is nowhere in sight.

For victims of hit-and-run, financial support is very important. They can file a claim with their state’s Office of Victim Services or Victims Compensation Services, or with their accident insurance provider, if they have one.

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Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Automotive Accidents, Law | 0 comments

The Dangers of Truck Accidents

The damage an eighteen-wheeler truck could do is incalculable. Imagine an interstate filled with hundreds of regular vehicles – and then the load from an eighty thousand pound, eighteen-wheeler truck rolling straight towards them. It is the image straight out of an action thriller – an emphasis on thriller, mind – and yet, sadly, it is more than possible to happen in real life. Art imitates life, after all. That is why there are several federal laws that come into play when truck accidents are involved and anyone liable for the accident can be held under criminal law as well as civil law.

When constructing an eighteen wheeler truck, the utmost care must be practiced in order to make sure that the vehicle is functioning as properly as possible, ensuring safe travels and transport. However, there are some instances when negligence from the manufacturer is the cause of the accident, leaving so many people and their families into one of the most tragic, unthinkable scenarios ever.

A Houston 18-wheeler accident lawyer from Williams Kherkher can cite that the most common types of malfunctions involving truck accidents that are reported are brake malfunctions, tire defects, insufficient underride protection, and trailer malfunction. When scenarios like this happen, it is no laughing matter – the way cartoons and other media may choose to portray it. The people involved don’t often come back the same and simply shake it off. There are some possibly perilous consequences to negligence of this nature.

Medical expenses alone are devastating enough as it is – especially since most Americans will find themselves in some kind of debt due to student loans, credit statements, mortgages, et cetera. There is also the matter of the insurance and repairs on the vehicles. There are lots of expenses that need to be accommodated for and as manufacturers of vehicles such as eighteen-wheeler trucks are usually well resourced with teams of lawyers backing them up — it can be quite the daunting task to press charges against them.

If you or someone you know has been the victim of a truck accident due to a defect within the truck, you are warranted to seek legal assistance in order to claim the justice that is so rightfully yours.

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Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Automotive Accidents | 0 comments

Safety Improvements Made to SUVs

Despite the great number of rollover accidents and the damages and fatalities that resulted in such accidents, there are still no standards regarding rollover accidents and vehicle safety. Public educations programs can only rate the rollover propensity of a vehicle and it is not the same as the performance standards, which would require protection for the occupant of the vehicle in an event of a rollover.

Roof strength is a great factor in fatalities for rollover accidents. Despite having seatbelts on, if the roof collapses it can still injured or kill occupants inside the vehicle. A collapsed roof in an SUV rollover accident is said to contribute 600 fatalities and 900 injuries every year. Although the roof-crush regulation has been recently updated that changed the vehicle’s safety significantly, many safety advocates still believe more improvements can be done. Presently, many people believe that the safety standard fails in a number of ways, most importantly that safety belts in SUVs are not necessarily required to keep the occupants inside the vehicle while in a rollover, leaving the occupants at risks of being ejected out of the vehicle. Ejection out of a vehicle can result in serious injuries or even death.

Additionally, there are limitations to the new safety regulations, particularly when it comes to lawsuits. Under the new safety standard, occupants injured in a rollover accident do not have any legal claim against the manufacturers to make the roof stronger than what the current standard requires. This could lead to a great number of injury or insurance claims being dismissed without getting a trial. Since insurance companies are typically the ones who pay out in these circumstances (rather than the driver who caused the accident), if the insurer refuses to help, it can leave the victims in a bad place, according to Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®.

There are safety improvements that car manufacturers made to help protect occupants, such as the electronic stability system (which helps detect possible rollover incidents and prevents them automatically) and side-impact airbags, but they can only do so little. Having a stronger vehicle that can withstand a rollover accident is a better prevention than just added safety protections.

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Posted by on Apr 2, 2014 in Automotive Accidents | 0 comments

Speeding: Choosing Danger over Safety

A car’s speed is one of the major factors that determine safety on the road. While over speeding will definitely mean shorter time of travel, it will also increase the risk of car crash, wherein damage to property is greater and physical injury, more severe.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in fact, reports that speeding is one of the top causes of car wrecks and accidental deaths; other causes are DWI or driving while impaired and driver error, which includes distracted driving. The government’s move to enact laws and strictly implement these, in an effort to reduce the number of accidents due to DWI and driver error, are slowly, but gradually, raking positive results: it is not the same, however, when it comes to over speeding. This is because while majority of drivers take speeding as a threat to road safety, they, themselves, are guilty of violating this traffic safety rule.

Driving at excessive speed can mean going beyond the maximum speed limit or driving at the allowed maximum speed, but on occasions when road condition is not totally safe, like when there is road construction going on, mist or fog, or when the road is wet and slippery due to heavy rain or snow. Some of the other reasons why drivers over speed, include:

  • The thought that over speeding is neither dangerous nor a serious offense
  • The need to be on time for an appointment or so as not to be late for work
  • Non-concern about causing injury to other drivers or pedestrians and damage to cars since insurance firms will shoulder the burden of costs
  • The belief that, though over speeding, they are still in perfect control of their vehicle
  • Not being aware of what the speed limit is

Every year, there are about 13,000 lives that are lost due to driving over the speed limit – and the ones most guilty of this traffic violation are  young males drivers aged 17 to 24. When driving at illegal and inappropriate speeds, it will take longer for cars to stop; drivers will also have lesser time to assess and react to whatever dangers they may be faced with. Over speeding also makes driver errors much more dangerous, causing injuries that are more severe and turning what may only be near misses into a fatal crash and a total car wreck.

On its website, the Sampson Law Firm in Louisville speaks about the possible injuries a victim can sustain in a car accident, ranging from minor bruises to spinal cord damage or traumatic brain injury – any of which can cause physical trauma and costly medical treatment plus loss of income due to inability to render time for work. And though victims may be legally entitled to compensation, their lives will be forever changed, simply because of the negligence and irresponsible acts of other drivers on the road.

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