Articles Posted in Auto Accident

Law makers from the State of Maine are considering legislation that would allow adults to opt out of wearing seatbelts while operating a vehicle.  Neighboring New Hampshire is presently the only state that does not mandate seat belts for drivers.  A republican senator who proposed the bill believes Maine’s mandate for all adults to wear seatbelts while operating a motor vehicle infringes on People’s freedom to make personal decisions. The Senator further went on to say that Government exists to protect us from each other, not to protect us from ourselves.

Many groups have opposed the repeal of the law mandating drivers to wear their seatbelts, including Maine’s police department and the Medical Association of trauma surgeons.  One surgeon is quoted as saying “if the mandate to wear seatbelts helps keep a few dozen people out of my ER trauma room, then I will take the governance”.  Many opponents argue repealing the law to wear seatbelts would be a dangerous move that would lead to more highway deaths.

Seatbelts are designed to mitigate physical injuries of occupants of motor vehicles involved in accidents.  Individuals who are involved in major car accidents who wore seatbelts can avoid serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.  Wearing a seatbelt does not always mean you will avoid all injuries if you are in an accident.  If you or somebody you know have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and sustained an injury, I suggest you contact one of our experienced team members to discuss your potential claim.

 

 

The family of retired Santa Ynez teacher Linda Wall — who was killed last December in a DUI crash — filed a wrongful-death and product-liability lawsuit earlier this month against Toyota, a towing company, the county, driver Rebecca Sandoval, and Sandoval’s sister. Your average injured persons seem to be under the impression that you can only recover money damages from the other driver. This is not true. Occasionally, there can many parties from which you can recover money damages.

Wall’s husband and three children contend, among several claims, that the seat-back in 68-year-old Wall’s 2004 Toyota Highlander was defective. The family also asserts that EMS workers for the county, who were responding to an unrelated call at the time and place of the accident, had turned on their sirens and lights prematurely. This required traffic to slow down and pull to the side of the road, which set the stage for this terrible accident.

Members of our law firm have worked on auto accident cases where the firm was able to get; (1) Hundreds of thousands of dollars from the responsible drivers; (2) Over a million dollars from the responsible driver’s employer; and (3) Millions of dollars from a defective product involved in the accident. It very important that injured parties contact a lawyer, because otherwise they could miss out on significant money damages.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, northeast cities in the United States, such as Washington, DC, Baltimore, Boston, Providence, Philadelphia, Newark, Hartford, New Haven, Springfield and Worcester are the most hazardous for drivers.  According to studies, the crowded congested roads and highways in the northeast cities are the reason there are so many car accidents.

A Motor Vehicle Accident occurs every 10 seconds in the United States.  Out of those accidents, approximately 25% involve individuals who were injured.  There are over 30,000 deaths caused by car accidents in the United States.

According to the American Auto Association, the main cause for accidents is from distracted drivers.  Other causes include aggressive driving, drunk driving and weather.  According to the Center of Diseases, the leading cause of death for young adults is car crashes.

A victim of a motor vehicle accident in Pennsylvania was ultimately awarded $22 Million from Allstate insurance as a result of the injuries he received when he was struck by a vehicle in 2009.  The Plaintiff, Patrick Hennessy was a passenger in a vehicle operated by his friend when the car rear ended another vehicle.  The Plaintiff then got out of the vehicle to push the car off the road away from traffic.  He was then struck by another vehicle and his leg was crushed.  His injuries were so severe that his leg needed to be amputated.

The total insurance policy of the responsible party was only $250,000.00.  The insurer of the defendant, Allstate Insurance did not offer the whole policy to resolve the claim and suit was filed.  Ultimately, the plaintiff won a jury verdict that totaled over $22 Million after you take into consideration fees and interest.

This is a classic example of an insurance company failing to do the right thing by initially offering the full insurance policy to the plaintiff when liability and damages were clear.  By failing to act reasonable, Allstate Insurance ultimately needed to pay over 88 times the original amount of their insured’s policy limit.  Please see http://pennrecord.com/news/14820-bad-faith-settlement-with-allstate-awards-22-million-to-accident-victim

General Motors just announced a new recall of over 8 million cars worldwide due to safety concerns.  according to NBC news, the vehicles affected are 1997 to 2005 Chevrolet Malibu sedans, 1998 to 2002 Oldsmobile Intrigue sedans, 1999 to 2004 Oldsmobile Aleros, 1999 to 2005 Pontiac Grand Ams, 2000 to 2005 Chevrolet Impalas and Monte Carlos, and 2004 to 2008 Pontiac Grand Ams,

General Motors has recalled these older model vehicles because they became aware of seven crashes, eight injuries and three known deaths due to inadvertent ignition key incidents.  It is reported General Motors will need to pay at least 1 Million to each family of victims of motor vehicle crashes due to the defective ignition switch.

 

The Lowell Sun, a newspaper in Lowell Massachusetts, reported of a man operating his vehicle and struck a utility pole in Billerica late Friday evening. The report stated that he “had a medical episode” which may be the reason that caused the operator to lose control of his car and crash into the pole.

This was a one-car accident, and the Billerica Police and Fire Department were called to rescue the man from the vehicle.  Firefighters had to use an ax to remove the windshield as it was “smashed up pretty good.”

This is an interesting matter of liability issue when presenting a claim for personal injury and medical benefits to the insurance company after an accident.  If the driver just lost control of his vehicle and got into an accident, then liability would be clear.   However, in this case it was said that the man might have had a “medical episode.”  In this case, it may be arguable that there was no negligence on the part of the operator.

Being in an auto accident is never fun experience and hopefully you are not in one, however if you are, there are a few steps you need to take to make the process easier.

Whenever you are in a car accident, always call the police especially if there are any injured parties or property damage above $1,000.00. M.G.L. Chapter 90, Section 26 requires an operator of a motor vehicle involved in a crash to complete and file a Crash Operator Report with the Registry of Motor Vehicles within 5 days of the accident if there is any personal injuries or property damage above $1,000.00. You should also file a copy of the report with the police department and your insurance company. If you are struck by a vehicle that fled the scene of the accident, always call the police even if there are no injuries or property damage above $1,000.00.

Check your surroundings before exiting your vehicle after an accident to make sure it is safe to do so.   Move your vehicle out of the way of traffic if you are able to do so.