Apr 5 2010

Chains on Semi-Trucks – When They Should Be Used

Driving a semi-truck in snowy weather is risky business, and even experienced drivers know they need every advantage they can get.  Snow chains on the tires can be such an advantage, as they provide that added traction that is missing in inclement weather.

As with cars, the size of chains you use will depend upon the size of tires that are on your truck.  Your parts store where you purchase your chains can assist you in your selection.  However, once you have them and know how to put them on, when should you use them?

State Requirements

Did you know that some states have requirements for using chains during certain weather conditions or when the truck is over a certain weight?  Those chains offer more traction which is necessary for slippery roads and for hills and mountains as well.  Often these requirements cover certain highways that are considered steep grade; check with each state’s individual requirements on their own websites to be sure of these areas.

You may even notice warning signs on the highways stating that you’re entering a chain required area; don’t ignore these warnings as they’re for your protection as much as anything else.

Other Times to Use Chains

Snowy weather is the obvious answer of when to use tire chains.  However, if some states require the use of chains on steep grades, wouldn’t that be reason enough to consider using them on other hilly areas even if they’re not legally required?  This can keep you safe and give you added control over your rig.

During snow emergencies you should also consider adding chains even if you’re on level roads.  That added traction will mean more ability to stop quickly, and this is imperative in order to avoid a pileup which is all too common when a semi-truck is involved.

There are times when you don’t want to put on chains; this may include those roads that are wet from rain and being slick.  Those chains typically don’t help on roads that are simply slippery due to being weight and may just do damage to the highway more than anything. This article is not intended to provide legal advice.

Contact Gordon & Elias, LLP for truck accident legal advice in the Fresno area.


Feb 26 2010

The Invisible Consequences of Traumatic Brain Injury

One of the most life-threatening bodily harms that can come to people is traumatic brain injury. This is a sudden, physical trauma to the brain acquired non-congenitally, through external force often typified in various catastrophic accidents and violence.  While the dangerous condition of a person suffering from an open head injury is readily perceptible, the consequences of closed head injuries are not. Nevertheless, all traumatic brain injuries often lead to an array of possible consequences that can persist throughout a person’s lifetime.

Primary and Secondary Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries are classified into primary and secondary types.

Primary injuries are those that directly occur at the moment of trauma. These include contusions, blood vessel damage, and axonal shearing where the long ends of brain cells are stretched and torn. In primary injuries, brain cells and tissues may deform and die, drastically altering brain function.

Secondary injuries are indirect results of the trauma, usually as results of complex cellular processes and biochemical cascades initiated by primary injuries. These injury aftershocks can damage areas previously unharmed in the initial trauma and occurs minutes to days after sustaining injury. Secondary injuries include reduced blood and oxygen flow to the brain, low blood pressure, edema or swelling of the brain, and raised pressure within the skull, all of which substantially likely to have further serious effects on the brain, the body, overall body function, and even on the life of the injured person itself.

Signs and Symptoms

While all these injuries can occur, they may not be readily apparent, invisible dangers that can sometimes elude even sophisticated medical technology. Nevertheless, there are physical signs and symptoms to look for to help confirm brain injury. Unconsciousness is one common sign. Other symptoms include dizziness, difficulty balancing, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision, unequal pupil size, ringing in the ears, and a bad taste in the mouth among others. Cognitive and emotional symptoms include changes in mood and behavior, and problems with memory, concentration, and thinking.

While traumatic brain injuries can be mild and do not cause permanent or long-term disability, all severity levels of traumatic brain injuries have the potential to cause significant, long-lasting disability that can affect overall quality of life.

Additional legal site: Personal Injury Lawyer Elan Wurtzel. Providing legal assistance in the Long Island area.

This article is intended to provide only general information on the topic and not as legal advice.


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


Aug 28 2009

Some Tips for Avoiding Truck Accidents

There are some simple rules you can follow to reduce the risk of a collision with a large truck:
• Be aware of the “blind-spots” of large trucks, they cannot see you if you cannot see them in their side-view mirrors
• Large trucks need more room to make right-hand turns, don’t try to pass them by turning right inside the area they leave to make their larger turns
• Multiple trailer trucks have additional connection points which leaves them more unstable, be aware of the potential for jackknifing, overturning and lane encroachment
• Large trucks have a higher center of gravity which means that sharp turns and steep hills are more dangerous because of their decreased maneuverability

Being aware of how different a large truck handles compared to the vehicles that we are used to driving every day can help you to avoid a collision with a large truck.

This article is for informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Please contact an attorney in your local area for more information about truck accidents.


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

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.

Justice
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.

Finally
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.