Distracted Driving, a Major Fault among Young Adult and Teen Drivers

Posted by on Mar 10, 2017 in Distracted Driving | 0 comments

In 2010, 5,419,000 motor vehicle traffic crashes were reported to the police; of these, 1,542,000 resulted to injuries, while 32,999, in death. The more than five million car accidents every year is very minimal compared to the estimated 16,000,000 that actually occur. Why this great disparity? The major reason is because majority of accidents never get reported, perhaps because no one got injured or because the damages were minor – requiring only simple repairs or parts replacement, thus settlement was easily reached by both at-fault and innocent driver who rather preferred to save themselves from the inconveniences resulting from filing legal complaints.

With regard to the most common causes of fatal car crashes, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC) agree on alcohol-impaired driving, speeding, not wearing of seatbelt and cell phone use. Despite the laws which ban the use of a cell phone while behind the wheel, and drivers’ understanding of the risks associated with distracted driving, thousands of drivers continue to commit mistakes or make bad decisions while driving; thousands still drive and text or converse with someone over their phone. Worse than these, though, many even commit the crazy mistake of taking selfies and then posting their photo in their social site as they try to keep an eye on the road.

Distracted driving is most common among young drivers. Studies and analyses of car crashes, in fact, show that about 11 teenagers die every day because of cell phone use while driving. Besides cell phone use, a few others in the almost endless list of driving distractions include: looking at a map for directions; adjusting a GPS or a radio; playing the car stereo at full volume; chatting with friends; taking, or having a picture taken; fixing a tie, grooming; drinking and eating; and, lighting a cigarette and smoking.

Paying full attention to the road and your surroundings is of utmost importance when you’re behind the wheel. A lapse in attention even for just a few seconds is an act of negligence that can result in a crash where people, other than you, can get injured; it can also most likely result to you being fully regretful but facing civil and criminal charges.

It is stated in the website of the Law Offices of Ronald J. Resmini, LTD, that “you can only control your own driving behavior; there is not much you can do to control what others do out there on the road. Careless, reckless, and negligent drivers abound. Some fail to keep their attention focused on the road and become distracted, while others get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs, disregard traffic laws, or run red lights and stop signs. Others drive too fast or too aggressively, or fail to adjust their driving for road or weather conditions. As a result, some unlucky Rhode Island drivers and their passengers, in spite of responsible, focused, and skillful driving, find their lives in turmoil, their bodies broken, and their finances in a shambles, all because of another’s wrongdoing.

The deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes are simply unacceptable. Most car accidents are preventable with responsible, diligent, and focused driving. By doing away with reckless, dangerous, and negligent driving behaviors, we can save lives and prevent injuries. One way to accomplish this is by holding these irresponsible drivers accountable for their actions and making them pay for the damage they cause.”

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Chances of a Fair Settlement from Insurance Companies After a Crash

Posted by on Oct 13, 2016 in Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

Cars are today’s most common form of transportation, here in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. In 2013, the number of registered passenger cars in the U.S. was almost 129 million, while the total number of vehicles (passenger cars, motorcycles, trucks, buses, and other vehicles) was 255.8 million.

Increase in the number of passenger vehicles only means increased purchasing power of the American people – a sign of economic growth. These increases, however, also hints on the likelihood that the number of automobile crashes every year will remain to stay above five million and statistics on injuries and fatalities, more than two million and more than thirty thousand, respectively.

Each time an accident occurs, a victim naturally gets preoccupied with worries regarding the possible sources of money until he/she is able to get back on his/her feet. This is due to the unexpected situation he/she is thrown in: loss of income resulting from days off from work, cost of treatment medical treatment that needs to be settled and cost of property damage. It becomes worse if the accident were due to his/her fault as this will mean having to compensate injured victims (good if he/she resides in a no-fault state and carries a no-fault auto insurance coverage as this will mean compensation will be paid by his/her insurance provider, including compensation that will cover his/her own losses.

No-fault auto insurance coverage requires insurance companies to compensate their own policy holders even if they were the ones at fault in accidents. This is basically what makes the no-fault insurance coverage different from the tort or fault system, where auto insurance providers rather compensate the innocent accident victim and where the at-fault driver may be sued by the victim if the compensation paid by his/her insurance provider is not enough to cover the full amount of damages (suffered by the victim). Currently, the no-fault car liability insurance coverage is required in the states of Florida, Michigan, New York, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota and Utah (though the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Kentucky used to require drivers to carry a no-fault insurance coverage, they now allow drivers to choose which coverage they will carry: no-fault or tort insurance coverage).

According to an Indianapolis car accident lawyer, car accident victims in many states often find it very difficult to get a fair settlement from insurance companies after a crash. Regardless of their coverage or insurance policy, insurance companies are almost always reluctant to give them the full amount of money that they legally deserve. To make matters worse, some drivers have insufficient insurance to cover their liability; some others do not have coverage at all. In any of these situations, an experienced auto accident attorney may be the best and only hope victims have in recovering compensation.

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Just How Safe are Pedestrians in the Road?

Posted by on Jun 23, 2016 in Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

Everyone is a pedestrian at certain times of the day; being a pedestrian is, in fact, one thing that is common among all people anywhere in the world. According to the National Safety Council, a non-profit, non-governmental public service organization, 70, 000 pedestrians accidents occur in the U.S. every year. More than 4,500 of these accidents are fatal. Based on the 2012 record of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Traffic Safety Facts, 4,818 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents; in 2013, fatal pedestrian accidents was 4,735.

That a pedestrian should observe proper and extra care is very important; but so is a driver knowing that he or she has to respect a pedestrian’s the right of way. This is because there are a lot of different factors that can put pedestrians’ lives at risk, including an uneven or cracked sidewalk, which can cause a pedestrian to trip (tripping is actually the major cause of pedestrian injury) and get hit by a motor vehicle, which can easily result to serious injuries or death.

Some examples of serious injuries that a pedestrian can sustain in accidents include broken bones, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries and accidental amputation. These serious injuries necessarily require medical, which are often too costly for victims to afford, considering the fact that the injury would also result to loss of wages due to time spent away from work.

There are pedestrian accidents which can be blamed on pedestrians themselves, as many of them fail to check for possible approaching vehicles before they cross, while many others are too engrossed in using their cell phone or their headsets even while crossing the street. In many other instances, accidents can be blamed on drivers, especially those who behave recklessly on the road (some drivers even deliberately drive very close to t pedestrians to the point of almost hitting them.

Many pedestrian accidents lawyers, like those from the law firm of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, see pedestrian accidents in a different angle, based on the many cases they have handled. According to them, pedestrian accidents are usually due to drivers: running through crosswalks; failing to yield; speeding through school zones / residential areas; speeding through parking lots; or, failing to check blind spots before moving.

In any type of accident, a pedestrian can easily be injured or killed since he or she has no bodily protection to shield him or her from the force of impact created by an approaching vehicle. A driver who acts recklessly on the road and injures or kills a pedestrian should be held accountable for the results of his or her careless actions.

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How a recall affects a product liability claim

Posted by on Feb 13, 2016 in Product Liability | 0 comments

Unsafe products sometimes cause injury or death to consumers, according to the personal injury lawyers at Crowe & Mulvey, LLP. Additionally, they said that people do not necessarily consider the products they purchase as harmful, since it is expected that those products underwent proper manufacturing and marketing. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are thousands of consumer products, which were found defective, that were placed on the market. On the bright side, though, federal agencies Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) exist to protect the public from faulty and potentially dangerous products. The duty of those agencies is to make sure that the mass is made aware of product recalls.

Product recall is the official request to return or discontinue a certain product due to the discovery that it might be or is defective in any way that may have the tendency to cause illness, injure, or even kill a person. Once a company is accused of endangering consumers, product liability law enters the picture. Product liability is a specific law that deals with entities that are held responsible for the harm inflicted on a person during the consumption of the product.

Certainly, a product recall strengthens the possibility of winning a product liability claim. However, according to legal information hub All Law, a product recall does not necessarily make the company (manufacturer, distributor, etc.) accountable. A product recall, at the very least, may aid in establishing that a certain product was faulty, but it does not guarantee winning a lawsuit. The complainant must strongly prove that his/her injury (or someone’s death) was, in fact, caused by the product because of its defectiveness.

If one truly believes that a defective product caused harm, it might be best to enlist the help of a personal injury attorney because of their extensive knowledge of the law.

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Understanding Expunction: Conditions for Having Criminal Records Sealed

Posted by on Aug 26, 2015 in Crime Laws | 0 comments

There is no surprise in knowing that a criminal record can continue to have significant effects on a person’s life long after all obligations have been served. As the website of the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter puts it, individuals with a criminal record are likely to find themselves facing prejudice and hardship. A criminal record can greatly block certain opportunities, such as educational, financial, and career advancements. Those keen on bouncing back and starting over can do so through expunction or the process of having criminal records sealed.

Before we go into understanding the process of expunction, criminal records are not only kept on people that have been convicted of a crime. As the Flaherty Defense Firm notes on its website, criminal records are also kept on individuals that have been arrested or charged of a crime—regardless of the circumstances around it. This is why it is particularly important to have an option that allows for a process to have criminal records sealed from the public. Through expunction, an individual can petition the court to have past criminal records sealed, preventing potential employers and other organizations from accessing the information.

Individuals who are considering to petition for expunction should be aware of the fact that the process is largely different from state to state. Depending on one’s state of residence, a petitioner must be able to meet certain conditions before they can be granted approval. In general, expunction is an option available only to those who were arrested or charged but not convicted of a crime. It is also mostly applicable to crimes that are deemed as misdemeanors. Certain circumstances such as acquittals, pardoned convictions, and juvenile offenses are also among the conditions in which expunction may be pursued.

On top of these basic conditions, the court will also consider several other factors before expunction can be granted. Most states require that an individual only be allowed to make their petition after a certain amount of time has passed. Some, such as Florida, require that the petitioner have no other criminal records sealed.

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