Seeking Damages for Car Accidents

1.3 million people die of car accidents every year, placing it as the 9th leading cause of death in the world. In the United States alone, approximately 37,000 people die at the wheel. A car accident can be earth-shattering, and the aftermath of a wreck can wreak even more havoc. If the unthinkable happens, and someone is injured or even killed in a car accident, an attorney can help win the deserved compensation.

Navigating the network of insurance companies and legal battles can be a headache for an average person, especially one suffering from the trauma associated with the accident. Specialized attorneys, such as those at Williams Kherkher are able to battle for the just repayments owed to the plaintiff.

Determining the damages to be pursued can vary. In some cases, simply the medical bills or physical distresses can be accounted for. But there are often emotional and mental distresses that must be addressed in the aftermath of serious car accidents. In one famous case in 1988, a woman named Julie Miramon found herself in the midst of a second car accident. The first accident she experienced was serious but in this second accident, she suffered no physical damages. However, after claiming that the accident resulted in significant mental damages, such as anxiety and an eating disorder, she appealed her case and was awarded thousands of dollars for her suffering.

Car accidents can take a huge toll on health and well-being in many ways. Such cases concerning car accidents are not cookie-cutter in form or fashion, as seen from Miramon’s case. Damages can come in many forms, including emotional, monetary, and physical. Therefore, it’s important to ensure an experienced team of attorneys is able to support the injured in getting all of the compensation deserved, for both economic and noneconomic repairments. While noneconomic damages are more difficult to concretely discover and describe, they are nonetheless just as important as the economic damages and should still be pursued.

There are many steps to take in the aftermath of a car accident to ensure a proper case. Calling your insurance agency right away is important, as is reviewing the ins and outs of your coverage. Be sure to take pictures of the accident, and keep tabs on all of the expenses related to the accident. Simple steps like these can go a long way in supporting the validity of your claims and can help you win compensation. However, you should never sign any waivers or forms without the advice of an attorney. You should also refrain from giving written statements to your insurance company until you are completely familiar and comfortable with your coverage plan. The next step would be to find an experienced attorney to help you pursue your just compensation. Don’t be a victim that doesn’t earn their rightful repairments.

Learn More

At-fault Parties in an Accident should Pay for Their Victim’s Losses and Damages Resulting from the Accident

The U.S. Coast Guard compiles statistics on all reported recreational boating accidents in the U.S. and, based on their records, the numbers of accidents, injuries and fatalities are follows:

  • Number of accidents: year 2013 – 4,062; year 2014 – 4,064;
  • Injuries: year 2013 – 2,620; year 2014 – 2,678; and,
  • Fatalities; year 2013 – 560; year 2014 – 610

For so many years, alcohol-impairment remains to be the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. The top five leading contributing factors to accidents, meanwhile, include:

  • Operator inexperience. For the past 15 years, operator inexperience has been the leading cause of boat accidents in the U.S. Many boat operators, obviously, are not familiar with the laws and regulations on boating, rules on correct and proper navigation, knot tying, and the necessary things that should be done in weather-related emergencies.
  • Operator inattention. Rather than focusing on the water and where the boat is heading, many operators get distracted with what is going on onboard, making timely reactions to emergency situations impossible.
  • Improper lookout or improper forward watch. When operating a boat, steering clear out of danger can be more effectively done with the help of someone who can provide extra eyes and ears. Many accidents due to collision could have been avoided had the operator been given help navigate its way safely, avoiding anything that may cross its path.
  • Excessive speed. Just as speeding on the road is like some sort challenging the angel of death, so too is operating a boat at too much speed. The force impact created each time a speeding boat bounces off and back on the water can be strong enough to stun you and throw anyone overboard, leaving him/her with not enough strength to swim to safety. Boat owners and operators ought to know that drowning is the number one cause of death in the water and 80% of those who drowned were reported as not wearing a life jacket.
  • Alcohol. Boating while impaired or boating under the influence (BUI), according to the Boating Safety Resource Center, the U.S. Coast Guard’s Boating Safety Division’s official website, is just as deadly as drunk-driving. Alcohol, especially at sea, can affect a boat operator’s balance, coordination, vision and judgment, much faster than on land. Due to alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling overboard have been common causes of injuries and deaths.

The federal BUI law enforced by the United States Coast Guard applies to all types of boats, including the largest ships, rowboats and canoes; it also includes foreign vessels sailing through U.S. territories and U.S. ships on the high seas.

The threatening effects of alcohol when it is consumed while on sea include:

  • Deterioration of judgment and cognitive abilities, rendering wise assessment of situations, processing of information and making good choices, much harder;
  • Impairment in physical control, resulting in failure to make timely reaction to dangers, lack of coordination and problem in balance;
  • Decrease in peripheral or night vision and depth perception, difficulty in identifying colors, especially green and red;
  • Failure to pull self out of the cold water, causing hypothermia and death.

It is always expected of boat operators to: follow boating laws; never operate their vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol; never operate the boat in a manner that is reckless; and, not exceed certain speeds while within designated areas. Failure to follow any of these may not only result to an accident, but to them being totally liable for whatever untoward incident they will cause.

Operating a boat while drunk is a clear act of recklessness and negligence and according to the law firm Mazin & Associates, PC, when people are neglectful, the people they hurt should not be made to endure the additional financial consequences of the injury. The medical costs, rehabilitation, and any other treatment they need for their recovery should be compensated by the party that hurt them.

Learn More

Truck Driver Error: The Reason behind Majority of Truck Accidents

“The large commercial trucks that barrel down our most well-traveled thoroughfares should be regularly maintained and properly operated in order for these vehicles to safely reach their destinations”. This statement is posted in the website of the Baton Rouge personal injury lawyers, where they further say that “any failure to uphold the safety standards trucking companies and their drivers are expected to maintain may lead to catastrophic accidents.” While personal injury lawyers know that a number accidents involving trucks may be blamed on drivers of passenger cars and other smaller vehicles, they also know most truck accidents are due to errors committed by truck drivers themselves – this was also proven by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) through a study that it conducted (the FMCSA is a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) that is tasked to enforce laws aimed at reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large commercial trucks.

According to the FMCSA, truck driver errors include driver fatigue, sleepiness, driving too fast for road conditions, overspeeding, impairment due to prescription, over-the-counter-drugs, illegal drugs or alcohol, lack of experience in operating a semi-truck, lack of focus on the road, distracted driving, and failure to check “no-zone” areas or blind spots. The consequences of a serious truck accident can be life-changing for victims and their families. Aside from the physical and emotional trauma sustained in the accident, the costs associated with the recovery process may be more than any victim can bear. Due to this, victims should get all the necessary legal help which will allow them to pursue compensation for the economic burden resulting from the accident, which includes cost of present and future medical care, cost of any rehabilitative care, lost income, and pain and suffering or any diminishment in the overall quality of the victim’s life.

In 2013, the Highway Loss Data Institute, a non-profit research organization, recorded 3,500 fatal accidents involving large truck; accidents that resulted to injuries, on the other hand, were more than 100,000. These injuries and deaths are results of the millions of truck accidents that occur every year which leave not only English speaking victims and their families burdened with emotional and physical pains, and financial difficulties. The long list of victims also includes non-natives in the U.S., like Spanish nationals, who do not know how to speak English. This disadvantage has made many of them recipients of unfair settlement deals with abusive truck operators. The Milwaukee injury lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, however, say that, like all other Americana, non-natives deserve justice too. Through the help of Spanish-speaking lawyers, they can now have fair and strong court representation which will help them claim the full amount of compensation they legally deserve.

Learn More

No-zone Truck Accidents

A semi-trucks or an 18-wheeler (also called a big rig or a tractor-trailer) is about 70 feet long and weighs around 80,000 lbs. – this is about 20-30 times the weight of a passenger car. Due to its size and weight, this vehicle can easily crush anything on its path if ever its driver loses control over it and causes an accident.

A semi-truck’s size and weight are not the only features that make it a threat on the road; there is also its total length (combined length of truck and freight trailer), which is a cause for its driver to fail to notice a smaller vehicle that may be driving around it. The areas around an 18-wheeler are called “no-zone” or blind spot areas. These areas refer to spots where crashes are most likely to occur because smaller vehicles are not noticeable to the truck driver. These “no-zone” or blind spot areas, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), include:

  • Front area, where smaller vehicle can be rear-ended or crashed by a truck if ever its driver makes a suddenly slows down or makes an emergency stop. Cars slowing down right after overtaking a truck is actually one of the things truck drivers badly hate;
  • Rear area, where smaller vehicles tailgate a truck. Tailgating is not just really dangerous and a major traffic safety issue, it is also legally prohibited in all states; and,
  • Right or passenger side of a truck, where a truck driver can totally fail to notice smaller vehicles. If a truck makes a right turn, the vehicle to its right can also easily be crushed.

The occurrence of many serious accidents simply because truck drivers often fail to be reasonably aware of vehicles that enter any of their truck’s “no-zone” or blind spot areas.

One consoling news for victims of truck accidents is their opportunity to seek compensation from the liable party for their damages which include property damage and injuries.

Learn More

Passenger Van Safety

As the most popular traveling month begins, many Americans chose to travel by way of America’s highways. As a result, it is not uncommon for larger families to rent passenger vans to comfortably get them to and from their destinations. Unfortunately, for several years now, the NHTSA has warned travelers about the dangers of these large vans. According to the website of Ravid and Associates, accidents can result from unavoidable and unpredictable circumstances. However, the sad truth is that many accidents are the result of carelessness or recklessness on the part of others. As a result of their design, passenger vans are particularly sensitive to rollover accidents. In addition, many inexperienced drivers are often unaware of the different driving dynamic of these awkwardly long and narrow vehicles. However while these vans are inherently less safe than smaller passenger vehicles, one of the most important things passengers can do to lower their risk of injury in an accident is to wear their seat belt.

With over 9 million motor vehicle accidents being reported annually in some recent years, it is concerning to know that the NHTSA has warned that 88 percent of people killed in rollover crashes involving 15 passenger vans were not wearing their seat belts. Unfortunately, for many, wearing a seat belt and being knowledgeable of a large van’s driving characteristics may not be enough to protect themselves from the danger of these vehicles. As previously stated, negligence by third parties can result in serious injury or even death from an accident involving 15 passenger vans.

For example, the website of the Vucci Law Group states that accidents can occur while passengers are being transported to and from excursions by cruise ship companies. According to the NHTSA, several outside factors contributing to a decrease in van safety include passenger overloading, unmaintained suspension and steering components, and underinflated or old tires.

Learn More