Car Accidents: Who is to Blame?

Getting involved in a car accident is one of the worst things that can happen to you. It can create personal problems, including injuries, deaths, and possibly lost companionships. It can create financial problems, such as those that involve medical costs, property repair costs, funeral costs, and lost wages because of lost time at work.
Because of the severe damages, everybody should act to prevent car accidents. But still, car accidents are common occurrences in our roads. Who is to blame?
According to the website of this Milwaukee car accident injury lawyer, those who have been hurt in car accidents may have legal options, such as taking the responsible person to court. But who is this responsible party, exactly?
Negligence and reckless are the concepts that may determine fault. These behaviors may be done by different kinds of people, such as the following.

Drivers

Obviously, the most common persons to blame are drivers. They are the ones controlling the vehicles, so they should be held liable if their vehicles have caused accidents, injuries, or deaths. Drivers can be considered negligent and reckless if they do the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while fatigued
  • Reckless driving behaviors, such as tailgating, not using turn signals, and weaving through traffic
  • Speeding
  • Street racing

Manufacturers

Auto defects are some of the most ignored causes of car accidents, even though they are equally as dangerous as the other causes. The most common defects include airbags, child safety seats, door latches, seatbelts, and tires.
Designers and manufacturers can be held liable if an accident and injury has occurred because of something that is related to the design and quality of the product.

Local Governments

Hazardous road conditions can also trigger car accidents. Usually, local governments are responsible for the creation and maintenance of the roads in their jurisdictions. So, if they have failed to commit to this responsibility, like when they have failed to fix malfunctioning traffic lights or potholes, they may be held liable for the accidents that have been caused by these roads defects.

What are No-Zone Truck Accidents?

Because traffic accidents are a common occurrence all over America, it should no longer come as a surprise that a majority of these incidents involve large trucks. Given that vehicles like tractors, trailers, 18-wheelers, and big rigs are significantly larger than any other vehicle it shares the road with, accidents involving trucks and a smaller vehicle can be particularly devastating.

Given that large trucks overpower most of the other classes of vehicles that populate American roads, truck drivers are expected to take extra care as they operate their vehicles. One of the most common contributing factors to fatal truck accidents is a driver’s inability to properly watch its no-zones or blind spots. These are areas around a vehicle where a driver has an obstructed view of the road. Because of its size, large trucks have several blind spots that drivers need to be careful with. No-zone accidents refer to collisions between a truck and another vehicle that was overlooked because the truck operator was unable to properly watch his or her blind spots.

No-zone accidents can easily be avoided by truckers that are properly trained by their employers. Trucking companies are expected to provide their employees with the best training before setting them out for jobs. They are also expected to keep their employees on a properly regulated schedule, preventing them from operating vehicles when they are tired or overworked.

When pursuing legal action over collisions caused by no-zone accidents, victims can take appropriate action against the individual driving the truck as well as his or her employer. An effective attorney can prove that both the driver and the trucking company could have played a role in the accident, and both could have been able to prevent it following proper safety practices.

If you or anyone you know has been seriously injured in a no-zone truck accident, do not hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney working in your area. Those in Illinois can seek legal counsel from a Chicago truck accident attorney for more information.

Preventative Safety Tips for Unsafe Driving Conditions

Although the most common advice for accident avoidance during times of unsafe driving conditions is usually a simple, “Don’t drive when conditions are unsafe!”, this isn’t particularly feasible for those of us with non-negotiable obligations and responsibilities that encompass the upkeep and smooth operation of our everyday lives, and subsequently the daily travels we must take in order to make them happen. According to the website of Williams Kherkher, More than 2 million auto accidents occur in the United States every year. Of these millions of accidents, hundreds of thousands of people are injured, and thousands of these injuries are severe. Of the mere 43% of accidents due to weather that get reported, statistics show us a staggering stack up of 1.5 million car accidents total per year due to this cause. This leaves us with 673,000 injuries and 7,400 deaths. Aside from adopting extra patience and a highly acute awareness of everything around you as your drive in less than ideal conditions, here are some extra precautions that you can take to safeguard yourself and your vehicle from winding up in an accident:

  • In snow: Always keep a 9 second following distance, at minimum. If this seems excessive, it isn’t- driving in snow means loss of traction on the road, and anything less than 9 seconds creates a dangerous potential for not having enough time to react if you (or the cars around you) lose control. Also, when making a turn, always start braking before you are turning, not during. You want to ideally slow down as much as possible before entering a turn.
  • On ice: If you live in a place that reaches below freezing conditions, you need a temperature gauge in your car, as this will allow you to be aware if it is icing outside. The most dangerous form of ice on the roads is “black ice” or glare ice, which takes on the same color as the surface it lies on due to its transparency. The renders you without any immediately noticeable visual warning that roads are slick and unfit to drive on, aside from looking wet. It’s basically invisible. So, if you do find yourself driving on black ice, you must remain calm and make no sudden movements. Do not hit the accelerator hard, and do NOT hit the breaks. The best thing you can do is slowly remove your foot off of the accelerator. When possible, you should seek a place to pull over and wait safely, like a parking lot, until conditions are more manageable
  • In fog: Foggy conditions are the leading cause of multi-car pileups. It forms an optical illusion that makes to appear that you’re driving much slower than you really are, leading people to unknowingly speed up- this is the worst thing you could do while driving in fog! Stay aware of your speed, and turn on your brights- making yourself visible is crucial in avoiding a collision.
  • In rain/sleet/wet conditions: The first simple thing you can do if you know you’ll be driving in heavy rain is to leave for your destination earlier than usual, as you will need to decrease your speed in order to maintain safety. Your car will take longer to stop when the roads render less friction due to wetness. You’ll want to make a point to start braking earlier than usual, lightly tapping the brakes, NEVER slamming them. Also, never use cruise control in this situation, which makes your car accelerate in order to keep your constant speed, which is the exact opposite of what you should be doing!

Dog Bites

In a vote of 118-0, the Florida House of Representatives on Wednesday, January 27 unanimously passed a bill introduced by Sarasota Republican Rep. W. Gregory “Greg” Steube that seeks to allow dog owners whose pets have been involved in severe bite cases to make objections to euthanasia decisions carried out by judges.

The proposed piece of legislation was the offshoot of the case of a Manatee County dog named Padi, who allegedly bit off a four-year-old’s ear. The dog’s owner, Paul Gartenberg, a veterinarian, said the animal was provoked into biting the child, a claim that the boy’s babysitter negated.

In December 2015, a circuit judge ruled that the state law regarding dog bites – which is implemented in the Sarasota, DeSoto, and Manatee counties – is unconstitutional.

Over 27,000 advocates of Padi’s freedom have expressed their sentiments on the “Free Padi” page on Facebook as the dog’s life hangs on a thin line, with people protesting at a Manatee County Commission meeting to stop Padi’s euthanasia from happening, and supporters from as far as South Africa, England, and China clamoring for Padi’s freedom.

According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, this piece of news is good for the animals that are our best friends in the world. However, it is still true that some dogs do become feral and bite people for no reason at all. While there are more instances of strays or strange dogs biting people, dogs that one may know or is familiar with can still bite that person, for a whole host of reasons.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one out of every five dog bites that happen to around 4.5 million Americans each year (with half of them happening to children between the ages of five and nine) likely leads to injury that requires medical attention.

To prevent getting attacked by a dog, experts recommend choosing a breed of dog that is characterized by their good-naturedness or sweet temperament. It is also important to remember that to go near a dog that is eating or feeding her puppies, for the animal may misconstrue someone’s nearness as a sign that their food might be taken away from them, or that their young ones might be harmed. Running away or screaming will also not help someone within the vicinity of a dog about to become hostile. The dog will be emboldened to attack with that kind of reaction. Instead, one should just remain calm so as to make it clear to the dog that there is nothing to be agitated about.

Workers’ Compensation – Benefits Injured Workers are Legally Entitled to Receive

All types of working environments present risks of accident-causing injuries to employees; however, risks of accidents, which can cause severe injuries or even death, is always so much higher in construction sites than in any other workplace in the US.

Hazardous substances, sharp and metallic heavy tools, heavy duty vehicles and machineries, great heights, hazards from ladders and scaffolds, electrical wirings and excavations and trenches – these are just some of the causes of dangers construction workers are exposed to everyday. Due to all these, plus the carelessness of some workers or employers and their failure to strictly comply with job safety laws, accidents, which could otherwise have been prevented, often occur. Examples of these “preventable” accidents include:

  • Workers falling from roofs, ladders or scaffolds (this is actually the most common form of accident in construction sites)
  • A worker getting electrocuted due to power lines, construction equipment and construction vehicles that are not insulated
  • Collapsing trenches burying or caving-in on workers
  • A worker getting caught and crushed in-between objects, getting hit by a construction vehicle that is changing directions or backing up, or getting hit by falling tools or cement-filled buckets.

In 1971, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration or OSHA was founded as an offshoot of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (also called OSH Act) of 1970. OSHA’s major task, since its foundation, has been to strictly implement OSH Act’s directives, which is for employers to provide all their workers or employees a safe and healthy working environment.

According to the US Department of Labor, for the past 40 years, OSHA, state authorities, safety and health professionals and advocates, and employers, have caused an impact where workplace safety is the issue. Since 1970, from 38 fatal accidents a day, deaths are down to 12 per day (based on 2013 records), while injuries and illnesses have been reduced from 10 per 100 workers to only 3.

For all the good results brought about by the strict implementation of workplace safety laws there are people whose efforts should be appreciated; however, it should escape the attention of authorities and employers that accidents still take place and a number of workers still get injured or die as a result.

According to the website of Wilson & McQueen, PLLC, workplace injuries make victims unable to work, resulting in lost income and costly medical treatment that can very well put workers and their families in precarious financial situations.

Injured workers, the firm continues, can apply for the benefits (that they are legally entitled to receive) from their own state’s Workers’ Compensation department. While these will cover cost of medical treatment and a part of their monthly income, among others, (a very important financial assistance to injured workers, indeed), it cannot be denied that getting one’s application approved can be very challenging. Many insurers and employers unfortunately seek to prevent injured workers from receiving the benefits they are legally entitled to. One major reason, of course, is because insurers intend to rake in profits, not make huge payments.

Ask Lexington workers’ comp attorneys and they’ll likely tell you that the financial benefits offered by Workers’ Comp is one assistance injured workers should never be denied.

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