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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Steel Worker in Critical Condition after Fall

A steelworker is in critical condition after falling 25 feet from a building under construction in Manhattan. This occurred during Construction Safety Week, and one day after a ceremony at St. Patrick's Cathedral to honor those killed in construction accidents in New York this year. So far 13 people have been killed in construction accidents since the beginning of 2008. This is more than died in all of 2007.

It is unclear what caused 28-year-old Christopher Gunn to fall, but it had been drizzling that morning and may have caused the steel to become slippery. Gunn fell to the concrete below and shattered his safety helmet. This accident comes two weeks after a 25-year-old worker installing windows fell 23 stories after a strap apparently failed. A stop-work order has been issued at the site where Gunn was working, and an investigation has begun to find out if there were violations of work rules or building codes. The Department of Buildings has vowed a hard line if violations are discovered.

The recent spate of accidents has caused an "upheaval" at New York's Department of Buildings where buildings commissioner Patricia J. Lancaster resigned last week during city and state hearings on construction safety.

Another serious accident occurred on Monday, April 28, when a construction worker was run over by a front-end loader on Staten Island. The 48-year-old man is also listed in critical condition.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a construction accident, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 9:04 AM

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Train Accident in China Kills Dozens

At least 70 people were killed and 420 injured when two passenger trains collided in the Chinese province of Shandong early Monday morning. One train traveling from Beijing to Qingdao derailed and crashed into a train traveling from Yantai to Xuzhou.

The accident occurred at a quarter to 5:00 am local time while many of the passengers were still sleeping. However, there were some who were standing and waiting to get off at the station when the train derailed. One passenger described it as feeling as if they were on a rollercoaster. The train jumped the tracks, toppled onto its side and hit the other train.

Chinese officials believe the accident is a result of human error.

While this accident happened in China where many more people use the train than in the U.S., these things can happen here, too. People take public transportation for work or travel and expect to arrive safely. You shouldn't have to worry about injury or death.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a train accident, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 7:26 AM

Friday, April 25, 2008

Deputy Found Guilty in Accident that Killed Man

Dakota County (Minnesota) Sheriff's deputy, 29-year-old Joshua Williams, was found guilty of careless driving in an accident that killed a motorcyclist last August. He will be sentenced in May and may face 90 days in jail and a fine of $1000.

The accident occurred as Williams, who was in the final phase of a field training program, made a U-turn in front of 58-year-old Bill Wallace. Williams and his partner were on their way to a domestic disturbance call, but were having difficulty finding the address. Video from Williams' patrol car shows him making one U-turn heading south, and then another one in the bypass lane to head north again.

Wallace was on the way to his sister's house to watch a Minnesota Vikings pre-season game. He was taken by helicopter to the hospital with multiple injuries where he later died. His sister, Bonnie Pitsenburger, believes the punishment Williams received is too light and believes he should be held accountable for his actions. There is no word on what she'll do next.

If you have suffered the loss of a loved one in an auto or motorcycle accident, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 3:04 PM

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wrongful Death Claim Filed by O.C. Inmate’s Father

Jose De Jesus Gomez, the father of an Orange County jail inmate, has filed a wrongful death claim after his son was allegedly "catastrophically injured" by sheriff's deputies. Jason Jesus Gomez, 35, was being held for 90 days for a parole violation stemming from pointing a gun at his neighbor.

On April 1, Gomez allegedly grabbed the arm of a nurse as she was passing medicine through his cell. The original story stated that Gomez was shocked by deputies who stunned him with a Taser, which caused him to go into a coma. Gomez lived for one week on life support before dying. A subsequent autopsy, whose contents were recently released, has revealed that Gomez suffered serious head wounds, and had bruises on his hands and arms indicating to Gomez's father's attorney that he was stomped on and beaten to death.

In the aftermath of Gomez's death, acting Sheriff Jack Anderson put several employees on administrative leave, and asked district attorneys to conduct a criminal investigation, but challenges that the autopsy's results point to any wrongdoing. Prior to Gomez's death, a special grand jury had sent Anderson a letter castigating the department in the wake of another inmate's death in 2006.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 1:35 PM

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dump Truck Accident Kills Two

An elderly Canadian couple was killed over the weekend when the tailgate flew off a dump truck and hit the windshield of their SUV.

The dump truck was traveling south on Highway 400 near Aurora, Ontario when it lost control and hit the center median. Initial reports are that a tire on the dump truck may have blown. The couple's Chevrolet Avalanche was travelling north when the tailgate came off, hit their windshield and crushed them. The driver of the truck was not injured in the accident.

Investigators are looking into why the tailgate came off the dump truck. Witnesses and authorities see this as a bizarre accident, akin to being struck by lightning or crushed by a falling tree. OPP Constable Dave Woodford, who spoke with Canadian media, says he's never even heard of the tailgate coming off a dump truck in an accident.

While people tend to think of trucks involved in accidents only involving 18-wheelers, dump trucks and cement trucks have many of the same traits as semi trucks. They're big, heavy, and while drivers may not ship loads across North American highways, if a driver is fatigued, stressed, or otherwise negligent, the end result is that the smaller vehicle will always lose. In this case, a blown tire may have caused the accident which lead to the deaths, which may be due to a maintenance issue.

However, if you have been injured, or lost a loved one in an accident involving a large truck, please contact an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 9:28 AM

Friday, April 18, 2008

Not Guilty Plea in Tractor Trailer Crash

Truck driver, Kenneth Middlebusher, has entered a not guilty plea to negligent driving in an accident that killed two men in Vermont. If convicted of the felony charge of "gross negligent operation of a motor vehicle resulting in a fatality," Middlebusher faces 15 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. He is only facing the one count because the law states he can only be charged once for the same act.

The accident that killed Jeffery Lamore, 29, and Thomas Peterson, 32, and seriously injured Paul Beebe, 53, was allegedly the result of Middlebusher's inexperience, speed, and an unsecured load on the notoriously dangerous Route 9 coming down from Woodford Mountain. Middlebusher claims he was traveling 40 mph, but witnesses put his speed at closer to 60 mph.

Middlebusher had only been employed by Heartland Express Inc., an Iowa-based company, for about a month, has only been driving commercial vehicles for 13 months, had never been on Route 9, and didn't gear down on the road because he "doesn't like to gear down." The unsecured load, which is a federal violation, in Middlebusher's truck was eight rolls of paper, which weighed about 8,000 pounds each. These things, along with his alleged speed, caused Middlebusher's truck to tip over going around a corner. The truck hit the pickup driven by Lamore and Peterson, and Beebe's Ford Escort wagon. Both vehicles were forced into the guard rail where the pickup burst into flames burning both occupants beyond recognition.

Route 9 is steep and winds down Woodford Mountain. It is posted with signs warning drivers of the steep grade. Middlebusher has told police he was aware of the signs and the grade, as well as that his load was unsecured when he left Brattleboro.

If you have been injured, or lost a loved one, due to the negligence of another driver, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 10:47 AM

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

YouTube Stunt Goes Awry

Two teenagers were injured on Saturday trying to film a car stunt to post on YouTube.com. John Hock, 16, of Peoria, Arizona, planned to have his friends record him with their cell phone camera as he tried to send his car airborne at an intersection.

Hock was driving his 2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse at speeds of 70 to 85 mph when he lost control of the car. The eclipse went off the road, and rolled over after hitting several trees. Hock was ejected from the car and has been hospitalized in life-threatening condition. His 17-year-old passenger, Laura Melton, was helped out of the totaled vehicle by friends who were following in another car.

Hock will have to forego seeing his attempted stunt on YouTube because his friends told investigators they did not film it. They were afraid of his high speeds.

It has been estimated that 16-year-olds, like John Hock, are three times more likely to be killed in an accident than any other age group. In 2006, only 30 percent of 16-year-olds had their driver's license. Graduated driver's licenses appear to have been one of the causes of the low number of licensed 16-year-olds, as well as the fact that fatalities among 15- to 20-year-olds has declined by 6.5 percent since their implementation.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident due to the negligence of another driver, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 1:54 PM

Monday, April 14, 2008

Accident Kills 17 Year Old W. Virginia Girl

Rebecca Livingston, a Uniontown, West Virginia teenager, was killed when the car she was riding in crashed into a sewer drain while rounding a curve. The driver of the car suffered "major injuries" and was taken to the hospital. Neither Livingston, nor the unidentified male driver, were wearing seatbelts. Both were ejected when the 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier flipped after impact.

Seatbelt Laws

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelt use stood at 82% of vehicle occupants. This is a slight increase from 81% in 2006. It is believed that part of the reason so many people are wearing their seatbelts is due to stricter law enforcement. While many states have primary, or standard, safety belt laws where a driver can be pulled over if they or their passengers are not wearing seatbelts, many more, such as West Virginia, only have secondary safety belt laws. This means that a driver can only be cited if they were pulled over for another traffic infraction.

While it may be a personal choice to wear a seatbelt, just as it is with motorcyclists and helmets, it is proven that they save lives. It's obviously unknown if a seatbelt would have saved Rebecca Livingston's life, or lessened the injuries of the male driver, but the chances of serious injury or death would have gone down had this been the case.

If you have been injured, or lost a loved one, in an auto accident, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 3:23 PM

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Three Teens Die in Road Rage Incident

A four car accident in Chesterfield Township, Michigan killed three 17-year-olds, and injured three other people in what may have been a road rage incident.

The accident involved a school bus, a red sedan, a dark sedan, and a pickup truck with four teens inside it. Police allege the driver of the red sedan cut off the pickup truck because he was angry at how the teens were driving. The pickup and two other cars are reported to have been speeding down the road, playing chicken or racing just before the pickup was cut off. The pickup went after the red sedan, crossed the center line and hit the school bus almost head-on. Two of the 17-year-olds died at the scene and a third at the hospital. The driver of the pickup survived.

Students at L'Anse Creuse High School in Macomb, Michigan, where the four teens attended, found out just hours after the crash which happened midday.

If you have been injured, or have lost a loved one, in a car accident, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 9:09 AM

Monday, April 7, 2008

Make My Day Law Leads to Wrongful Death Suit

In Colorado, the Make My Day law asserts that people may use deadly force against intruders to defend themselves, their families, and their homes. However, a judge in the 4th Judicial District recently allowed that a jury should hear one of these cases, which resulted in the death of a 19-year-old, to decide if the shooting was self-defense, or "willful and deliberate."

In 2004, Gary Lee Hill was involved with an altercation with Amanda Padilla who was mad that her purse went missing at a party held at Hill's house. Padilla punched Hill and Hill retrieved a rifle, chasing Padilla and a friend out. Padilla and her friend returned with their boyfriends, broke into Hill's house, and began to beat Hill as he slept in his basement room. The four left, but not before threatening to return to Hill's residence.

Hill grabbed his rifle again, went to the front porch and "fired a warning shot to scare them away." That shot hit John David Knott, who was driving, in the back, which caused him to crash the car.

A jury found Hill not guilty of all charges in 2005, relying on the Make My Day law. However, Knott's mother then filed a civil suit. Hill's attorney states that Hill cannot be charged due to immunity under the Colorado law, and that people who are injured while engaging in a felony are not entitled to damages. While Hill and his attorney were able to convince a jury that he was acting in self-defense, a civil jury won't hear this.

Knott's lawsuit does not specify damages.

If you have lost a loved one due to another party's willful and deliberate actions, please contact an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 9:42 AM

Friday, April 4, 2008

Motorcycle Accident Deaths on the Rise in Montana

According to statistical evidence, the number of people involved in motorcycle accidents where a fatality occurred has been on an upswing in the state of Montana. There were ten more deaths reported in 2007 than there were in 2006. This is triple the number from 2003. In all, 36 people died as a result of motorcycle wrecks in 2007 in the state of Montana.

Reasons

While there are many reasons why the number of people killed has gone up, officials point to Montana's lack of a helmet law (though people under the age of 18 must wear a helmet), and an increase in the number of people riding motorcycles in the state. Montana is one of 27 states that does not require adults to wear helmets, and motorcycle use has increased faster than any other type of transportation. Also, Montana quit requiring annual motorcycle registration in 2005, so owners only have to register their bikes once. According to officials, the numbers of owners was already increasing rapidly.

State Rep. Betsy Hands tried to introduce a bill requiring a helmet law, but the bill was killed in committee. Motorcyclists from around the country rallied to the anti-helmet lobby's cause, sending letters to the Legislature to reject the bill. Hands has a personal reason for introducing the bill since her brother suffered a brain injury after being involved in a motorcycle accident. However, many people believe that it is up to each individual to decide if they want to wear a helmet, not the government.

According to the latest motorcycle fatality statistics released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 4,810 deaths across the country in 2006.

If you have lost a loved one in a motorcycle accident, please contact an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 8:36 AM

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

75 Car Pileup Kills One on I-70

An accident on Vail Pass near Vail, Colorado on Monday, killed one person and injured 22. As many as 75 cars were involved in the accident, the result of near whiteout conditions and probable speeding.

39-year-old Lance Melting had just left his home in Longmont hours earlier with his wife and four children. They were on their way to Disneyland when a tractor-trailer jackknifed and slid down the highway sideways. Melting's minivan hit the trailer, killing him instantly. His wife is in serious condition, and one of the children had minor injuries.

Chain Law Effective?

Colorado's chain law was in effect for Vail Pass when the accident occurred. However, one truck driver said that the chain law was in effect for only the eastbound lanes. He also said that the area, known as "the Narrows" is "notoriously bad" but that only one plow was visible, adding that he has never seen as poor quality of snow removal as it has been the last three years on the pass.

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in an auto accident, truck accident, or believe a loved one's death was the result of negligence, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 12:30 PM

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