Feb 26 2010

Truck Accidents and Unsafe Lane Changes

Each day many different vehicles share roads all over the world. The vehicles range from small cars and motorcycles to large semi-trucks. Tragically, there are many accidents involving trucks that cause serious injuries including death. One of the leading causes of truck accidents is unsafe lane changes.

Drivers of all vehicles types have become increasingly aggressive. Road rage is now a common term that most people not only understand, but have witnessed or experienced. They’ve seen the angry driver who weaves in and out of lanes, aggressively trying to get ahead of all the other vehicles on the road. When two cars that are relatively the same size collide it can cause serious and fatal accidents. When one of the vehicles is a truck it is almost certain that there will be a fatality.

Sometimes a collision between a truck and a smaller vehicle is caused by the driver of the smaller vehicle. There are some car drivers who do not give a truck driver enough room when they change a lane. They don’t understand or appreciate that a truck traveling at a high rate of speed is not able to stop as quickly as a car driver. These drivers dart in front of trucks when they see a little space. If the traffic continues to move they may be okay. But if the traffic in front suddenly slows or stop, the truck behind them may be too close to them to avoid hitting the car.

Car and motorcycle drivers have to respect the truck and be sure they only move in front of a fast-moving truck when they can do so safely. This means waiting until there is enough room and distance before moving over. They also must realize that truck drivers have a limited sight so that they cannot assume the truck driver sees them when they are behind them or moving up on the side. They need to stay out of the truck driver’s blind side.

Truck drivers also cause accidents when they make unsafe lane changes. While they may not weave in and out as often, there are drivers who abruptly move into a lane in an unsafe manner. Some do this because they have not had proper training or the drivers are inexperienced.

But some truck drivers change lanes aggressively, to intimidate another driver. They may have been cut off and they want to get back at the driver. They may be trying to make up lost time, and are changing lanes so they can drive faster. While car and motorcycle drivers are able to stop faster than trucks, it may not be enough to avoid an accident.

Truck drivers are required to get additional training and a special license to drive a truck. Many states in the U.S. also have extra rules that apply only to truck drivers, including laws that pertain to unsafe lane changes. These laws include following too closely and passing on the right. All drivers must understand the potential for fatal accidents when they make unsafe and aggressive lane changes.

This article should not be construed as legal advice or counsel.

Related Legal Tools: If you would like additional information about truck regulations and common truck-related negligence visit TruckAccidentLaw.org

Feb 23 2010

What Causes Car Accidents?

Whether we like it or not, car accidents can occur at any moment and in any situation. In fact, car accident statistics show that vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States for people aged 35 years and below. Even the most careful driver or even a passenger can encounter an accident on the road. The sad thing is that majority of car accidents are caused by irresponsible driving behavior that could easily be avoided. To prevent these kinds of accidents, we must take into account what causes these accidents.

Leading Causes of Car Accidents

  • Rubbernecking – used to refer to the activity of motorists slowing down in order to see what is going on. According to a 2003 study, rubbernecking was the cause of 16 percent of distraction-related traffic accidents.
  • Diversions or distractions of the driver – can cause for him to lose focus on driving and being aware of the road or highway. Activities like cell phone use, changing the CD, looking for something, etc.
  • Intoxication- it is estimated that a person dies every 30 minutes in an alcohol-related crash. Most people lose the ability to drive well after consumption of drugs or alcoholic beverages.
  • Driver fatigue- Many head-on collisions occur due to drivers who fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Reckless drivers- drivers who forget their responsibilities and break road rules and traffic laws. Speeding, excessive/improper lane changing, tailgating, disobeying traffic signals are among the common causes of car accidents by reckless drivers.

Other Causes of Car Accidents

  • Bad weather
  • Defective vehicle- loss of brakes, tire blowouts, steering/suspension failure
  • Defective road/poor roadway maintenance

It is essential to know all the causes of car accidents. We may never foresee an accident from happening, but it always pays to be cautious and be aware of the things you should be alert about.

If in any case, you or a loved has been seriously injured or killed from a car accident because of negligence from the other party, it is vital that you find a qualified lawyer to fight for your rights as a victim.

This article is not intended to take the place of legal advice. Always consult a competent lawyer before making important decisions arising out of a car crash.

Additional Legal Information: The Law Offices of Kelley and Uustall. Serving the State of Florida.

Feb 17 2010

Car Accident Claims: What Can Be Recovered

One of the best ways to estimate one’s injury claims after a car accident is by looking at insurance reports. Often, the insurance provider is the first to see and evaluate vehicle damage, and consequently, determine how much this damage is worth. The types of damage one can recover can vary largely from case to case, but typically include the following:

Property damage
Property damage is often the quickest to assess because the vehicle has a determined value, and because the physical damage is apparent. The owner’s degree of fault is usually taken into account; that is, if he or she is 30% at fault, the property damage claim is likewise reduced by 30%.

Medical expenses
Insurers typically cover the cost of treating injuries caused by the accident, including emergency room expenses, physical therapy, and medical devices such as braces or crutches. One can also file claims for future medical expenses relating to the injury, such as rehabilitation and continued medication. However, examinations done for litigation purposes are usually not covered.

Pain and suffering
Victims can also file claims for physical pain resulting from car accident injuries. Working with medical professionals, the jury will then determine the severity and duration of the pain and declare a corresponding damage amount.

Mental anguish
Damages can be claimed for mental or emotional difficulties that arise from the victim’s injuries. These include anxiety, grief, shock, humiliation, fear and nervousness. Mental suffering is also common among victims who have been disfigured from the accident.

Lost wages and earning capacity
If a person is unable to work as a result of the accident, he or she can recover the wages that would have been paid during the period. In case of lost earning capacity, wherein one’s ability to make money is reduced by his injuries, the jury may take into account past earnings and the amount that the person might have earned otherwise.

Loss of consortium
A victim and/or his spouse can file for loss of consortium, or the loss of sexual relations and other benefits of married life as a result of the injuries. However, this claim can only be awarded if the injured spouse recovers damages as well. To prove and assess the claim, the jury takes into account the life expectancy of each spouse, the stability of the marriage, and how much of the said benefits were lost.

This article is not intended as legal advice.

Additional website: For more information about car accident claims, visit The Barber Law Firm. Serving clients in Dallas, TX.

Apr 24 2009

What you should know about Contingency Fees

If at one point you are caught up in a legal situation and you don’t have the money to afford an attorney, don‘t worry you have options. You may want to speak to your lawyer about a contingency fee method. In this case you would never have to pay a penny to your attorney unless you won your settlement. Then at this point your lawyer would receive a percentage of your fees which you’ve won.

The percentage of your contingency fee would be gone over once you speak with your lawyer. It’s usually between 20%-50% of the fees you win from your case.  If you lose the court case you won’t owe anything to the lawyer including lawyer fees and such.

Many times this contingency fee method is arranged when someone has been injured or seeking damages from auto accident or medical malpractice cases. Most attorneys will offer you a free consultation. If after hearing your case they feel that you are probably going to win then they will most likely take on your case and represent you. There wouldn’t be any worrying about hourly fees the lawyer usually charges which racks up after a couple visits.

Some cases that occur are usually only dealt with the contingency fee basis option. These matters consist of the following situations; Wrongful dismissal claims and serious injury claims which occur if the plaintiff is not working or has little income. Most people these days cannot afford a lawyer hourly and let their situations go unsettled. Why have this occur when there are options out there for individuals to claim what they have lost and also should receive as an outcome. If the lawyer notices this case is a positive one and nothing can go wrong and you’ll win, he/she will usually consider a contingency fee basis method. Make sure before you sign a contingency fee document, that there are no hidden fees written if you would lose the case. Always read the agreement word for word before signing anything.

Before you consider using the contingency fee method for your legal case make sure they are worth the percentage your lawyer may charge you. If it’s a small battle and your lawyer suggests a 30% payment once the settlement is won, you might want to reconsider the option. You may be better off paying the hourly fees instead of giving him a larger sum at the end of the settlement. Not all cases where an attorney represents their client wins. So therefore the attorney may raise the percentage of the next case he comes in contact with to make his money back he lost. This doesn’t seem fair for the next client but it’s something they have to do to make their profit equal out.

Make sure your case isn’t something which will only take a few days or maybe just one before considering the contingency fee method. This can mean the difference between you having money or not having money. You can’t afford to lose.

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Apr 24 2009

What to do if your loved one has suffered from brain injuries

If your loved one gets in any kind of accident the recovery time is sometimes longer.  However if your loved one has suffered a brain injury they may never fully recover. This means that for the rest of your loved one’s life you or someone may have to take care of them.

This is a very tough situation to be in and one that will not only cause you mental stress but possibly some serious financial hardships.  With a brain injury it’s always tough to know how much a person will be able to function after they begin to recover.  What you need is to find a great lawyer who will help you get justice and a good settlement for the injury that your loved one has suffered.

There are many ways to go about the process of finding the right attorney to handle your brain injury case.  But some ways will help you find one that is better equipped to help you out.  One of the biggest things in this type of situation may well be the money that you don’t have to spend anymore. You need to look for an attorney who will at least meet you for the first time free of charge to see if he/she can take on your case. However, it would be even better if you could find one that would take on your case and only charge if they win a settlement for you.

In this type of situation you will find that not having to pay any money up front is very helpful, the money can than be spent on trying to work on the recovery of your loved one.  Remember that a lot of law firms will take on cases like this and take their fees out of the final settlement they have reached for you.

Don’t only base your decision on this though; you need to also have an attorney who you can talk to.  If you have a question and call the law firm, they should return your call within 24 hours.  This shows that you’re an important case to them and that they will work hard to reach a great settlement for you and a loved one who has been injured.

Brain injuries are one of the toughest injuries to have happen to a loved one in your life.  It will be something that will possibly take a while for them to recover from and you need the legal help to get what justice you can.  Don’t just let a party get away with this type of injury they have caused but fight for the loved one’s rights.

Just think how much more you may be able to help your loved one recover with a nice settlement that an attorney may be able to get for you.  This will also help with those medical bills that have piled up and any other bills you may have that wouldn’t have been there normally.  Get justice now for your loved one’s brain injuries by picking the right attorney to represent you.

Apr 24 2009

What are your Rights if you are a Victim of a Car Accident?

It can be devastating, changing your life in a split second. You are on your way to the grocery store and someone fails to stop at the light. You didn’t see it coming as the other driver carelessly plunges deeply into the side of your car. You are now a victim of a car accident. You can’t predict what every driver will do in fact all we can do is hope that everyone obeys the law. They follow the signs and pay attention to where they are going. But unfortunately this is not the way that it goes and there is a car accident happening somewhere now as you read.

If you are a victim of a car accident what rights do you have? It’s important to be prepared in case this happens to you. The law protects car accident victims and will help to prevent suffering from loss of income and loss of assets that you may own. To cover all the basics you must do the following if you are a victim in a car accident.

After your car has come to a stop remain seated for a few minutes to assess your situation. Don’t get up and walk around immediately, unless you see or smell smoke. It’s critical to do the right thing the first few minutes of a car accident. You had no idea that you were going to get hit so this is all new to you and you have to absorb it all. Pain can sometimes start immediately or it can be delayed. Sitting still for a few minutes will give you the opportunity to figure out how you or any passengers that are riding with you.

It’s always a good idea to carry a pen and paper in your glove box in case of accidents. Find someone who can take charge of the paper and pen to write names down of everyone who witnessed the car accident. Always get the name and number of the person in charge of the list so you can give it to police. It’s easier to contact one person than several people.

Always seek medical attention. Sometimes the body doesn’t feel pain immediately due to the adrenaline rush. This rush prevents feeling pain and hurt until the rush is over. That is why it’s a good idea to receive care on site, never refuse.

If you are injured, whether you stay in the hospital or recover at home, keep a journal of how you are feeling, what occurred, if anyone contacted you, did you receive any mail regarding the car accident, and every doctor appointment. If you stay on top of things then you will be more prepared if your case goes to trial.

Call an attorney the moment things become complicated. They are there to help you and protect you. Sometimes car accidents are easy and others are hard so be prepared if you need them. Make a list of questions you want to ask your attorney if you need one. This will help you stay on top of things and be prepared so no time is wasted.

Apr 24 2009

Accident Lawyer

If you have had a loved one who was recently killed in a wrongful death, you may well have to look for a personal accident lawyer.  Wrongful death can happen in many different types of cases; from a car accident that was not you’re loved ones fault.  Or maybe some aspirin or other product your loved one took caused their death, this also can be classified as a wrongful death.

Types of wrongful death
There are so many different types of cases that can lead to wrongful death, so you should get an attorney who is qualified to help you out in your search for justice.  It’s not an easy time when a loved one passes away, but when it happens in a wrongful death case you get angry and want to make sure their death doesn’t go unjustified.

Attorney for Wrongful Death
When you go looking for an attorney to handle the wrongful death of your loved one, it’s not only important to find one that specializes in those types of cases.  You should also try to find one that will take your case on a contingency basis.  This will mean that they need to reach a settlement for you in order for them to get any money; a great way that can save you money and have your lawyer working extremely hard on your case to reach that settlement.

Don’t let the wrongful death of that loved one go without notice; get your case heard in court.  Or at least have your lawyer fighting for your loved one.  Even though a large settlement will not bring your loved one back, it may go a long way in helping you pay some medical bills that came about due to the death.  Plus it’s not cheap to bury a person nowadays either.  You can use the settlement money to help to pay all those bills too.

Suffering a Loss
It’s sad to think that tons of people have these types of cases a year, wrongful death is always tough.  So search for the right personal injury lawyer who can help you out.  Again find one that will work on a contingency basis and will not get payment if your case is not won.  Get a lawyer who works strictly personal injury cases, and preferably focuses on those cases that deal in wrongful death.

If you find an attorney and you meet with them, but you feel they may not be the best choice.  Move on don’t just settle, there may be a reason you are feeling this way.  Don’t jump into an agreement with an attorney who sends off the wrong signals to you.  There are so many attorneys’ out there that focus in personal injury cases that it shouldn’t be that hard to try a few different attorneys and see how you feel about them.  Pick the one who you feel will work the hardest for you.  Also try to make sure that they call you within 24 hours after you’ve left a message. It’s up to you to make things right. You can do this by searching all legal directory listings you can find.  It’s important to know your options.