The Accident Lawyers Network Blog
Accident Lawyers Network
Monday, June 30, 2008
Finding the Truth through Technology
Another tool to help determine what exactly occurred during an accident has been developed. An event data recorder, often referred to as a black box, in a car or truck provides what engineer Jim Graham, senior engineer at Graham Ryan Consulting, says is, "an electronic fingerprint of what happened" during a crash. This creates "an unbiased source of data" which can be used in court or by insurance agencies to determine who was at fault, or how the accident transpired.
Technology like this is especially useful for forensic engineers when trying to piece together why a pickup truck rolls off a road (using something called an inclinometer), or who caused an accident when both drivers claim to have been stopped. The event data recorder can also be used in construction equipment, such as in cranes that collapse or heavy machinery that catches fire.
Imagine how much guess work can be eliminated during investigation and resulting lawsuits with technology. While this has yet to make it into every vehicle on the road, or every piece of construction equipment, using event data recorders can help victims of accidents by showing the truth, and eliminate any ambiguity.
posted by Neil at 2:49 PM
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Truck Hits Bus; Woman Dies
Fung Wah is a bus line popular for low rates in New York City. It's also notorious for being accident prone. The latest accident involving Fung Wah occurred Monday morning. As passengers were waiting to board the bus to its Boston route, it was hit from behind by a dump truck which sent it flying into a bank, crushing 57-year-old Lai Ho who was waiting to board. The accident, which happened at the intersection of Canal Street and the Bowery, also injured four others. The dump truck allegedly lost control as it was exiting the Manhattan Bridge ramp.
Fung Wah was involved in an accident in 2006 when the Boston bound bus overturned, injuring 33 people. Another bus lost its rear wheels as it was en route to New York. Fung Wah has also been in trouble for hiring drivers who do not speak English.
The dump truck is part of the fleet at South Kearney, New Jersey-based CPQ Freight Systems, which has had two fatal accidents this year.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus or truck accident, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.
posted by Neil at 3:14 PM
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Jury Awards Family $3.5 Million in Death of Son
A Gainesville, Florida jury found that GM was negligent in a SUV rollover crash that killed 14-year-old Matthew Reynolds in 2002. Though the accident happened in 2002, the Reynolds family didn't sue GM until 2006, claiming that the design of the 1995 Chevrolet Blazer had something to do with Matthew's death.
In early June 2002, Bonnie Reynolds was driving on I-985 with her son in the front seat of the Blazer. They were hit by a Pontiac Sunbird when its drunk driver lost control. The Blazer flipped several times, ejecting Matthew. He died the next day in the hospital. The drink driver, 40-year-old William Richard Merritt, was charged with first-degree vehicular homicide and is currently serving his sentence.
However, GM was taken to task for a vehicle whose make and model was built with its center or gravity for the wheel base too high, and that the distance between wheels (the "track") should have been widened to avoid problems with stability. The Reynolds family's lawyer alleged that Blazers made between 1995 and 2002 have similar defects.
posted by Neil at 2:35 PM
Monday, June 16, 2008
Woman Opposing Boating Speed Limits Seriously Injured in Boating Accident
Erica Blizzard, president of the New Hampshire Recreational Boaters Association, suffered facial injuries when the boat she was piloting crashed on New Hampshire's Lake Winnipesaukee. She is listed in critical condition at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The accident killed one woman and injured a third woman traveling with Blizzard. Blizzard has testified in the state legislature in the past about her opposition to speed limits for boats. The 37-foot Formula powerboat crashed early Sunday morning when it hit a rocky shoreline near Diamond Island.
Blizzard's father owns the Lakeport Landing Marina in Laconia, New Hampshire. Blizzard is preparing to take over the business from her father who is retiring. She has been active in campaigns to create a "no wake" zone on the lake where she was injured, as well as being active in her opposition to speed limits. Dick Hickok, a member of the Recreational Boaters Association's board of directors, states, "There's no doubt in my mind the skill was there, the knowledge was there. Having a father who owned a marina, growing up with one, now running it, you almost have boats in your blood."
Apparently speed limits are not part of this knowledge. Remember to obey all rules when boating. This includes wearing a life preserver and obeying the speed limits.
Labels: boating accidents
posted by Neil at 11:43 AM
Friday, June 13, 2008
One Dead, Two Missing in Boating Accident
A five-year-old boy is dead, and his nine-year-old brother and a 32-year-old man are missing after being thrown from a boat on the Nisqually River in Washington. A man and a woman were able to make it to shore and rescued. According to police, the man, 42-year-old Vincent Farler, was operating the boat while under the influence and driving recklessly. He was arrested on suspicion of homicide by watercraft. The woman is the mother of the boys. Her husband is currently serving in Iraq.
The mother and her boys were apparently having a picnic along the river when Farler and the missing man drove up and asked if they wanted a ride. The boat may have either hit a sandbar or capsized as it was trying to turn around after approaching a log jam. The current is high and swift, and the water extremely cold at this time of year due to runoff from snowmelt. None of those aboard the boat were wearing lifejackets. State law requires that boats, like the 16-foot flat-bottomed craft involved in the accident, carry a lifejacket for each occupant. Police state that the temperature of the river is between 50 and 55 degrees. Those exposed can develop hypothermia within minutes.
Labels: boating accidents
posted by Neil at 1:07 PM
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Blown Tire Causes SUV to Crash
Nine people were injured, four of them critically, when an SUV crashed in Brevard County, Florida. Investigators believe a blown tire may have caused the accident. According to Kathy Hancock, a truck driver traveling behind the Chevrolet Blazer on I-95, the SUV was suddenly "turning somersaults" and that "bodies were flying everywhere." At least two people were ejected from the single vehicle crash.
There are several factors that can cause a tire to blow out. If the tires are over- or underinflated, heat and pressure can build up causing the tire to fail. Debris on the road, high rates of speed, and tire defects are also possibilities that can lead to a blow out.
Every year hundreds of people are injured and many killed due to a blown out tire. These blowouts not only inflict injury and death on those in the vehicle, but many times nearby vehicles will also be involved when someone loses control.
posted by Neil at 8:18 AM
Monday, June 9, 2008
Boat Capsizes on Way to Veracruz Regatta
The Cynthia Woods, a sailboat travelling to Veracruz, Mexico for the Veracruz Regatta, capsized late Friday night, June 6th, spilling the six sailors aboard into the water. The boat was one of nearly 24 boats heading from Galveston, Texas. The Cynthia Woods went missing around midnight on the day it left Galveston and missed its radio check Saturday morning. A search included two Coast Guard helicopters, a Marine Corps C-130 with night vision capabilities, a Falcon jet, and a Coast Guard cutter.
The sailboat was found capsized Saturday afternoon, and five of the six sailors were rescued hours later. They were found floating 23 miles from the coast. The sixth sailor was found dead Sunday afternoon. The survivors say the Cynthia Woods began flooding quickly and flipped over. It was well-stocked with equipment needed for safety, but when the boat capsized, the sailors could only find four life jackets. They took turns wearing them as they waited for rescue.
When the hull of the boat was retrieved, rescuers noticed the keel was missing. The keel keeps the boat balanced in the water so it does not capsize. This may explain how six experienced, and well-trained, sailors found themselves in trouble. This simply goes to show that even those who are trained for accidents may find themselves in a situation beyond their control. It also seems to show that the sailors were not wearing life jackets until the boat began to take on water.
Labels: boating accidents
posted by Neil at 7:52 AM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Rebuilt Part Focus of NYC Crane Collapse
The crane collapse that killed two workers in Manhattan last week may have been due to a rebuilt part removed from another crane because it was worn out. Investigators are focusing on a failed weld on the crane's turntable. The turntable helps the crane to change direction and swivel.
In May 2007, the turntable was removed from another crane after a construction worker noticed it was cracked. New York Crane & Equipment Corp., the crane's owner, installed it on the crane that collapsed after having a welding company fix it. According to Bill J. Smith, president of claims and risk management for NationsBuilders Insurance Services, the repaired turntable was inspected and tested twice before it was installed. In addition to focusing on the cracked turntable, investigators are also looking into the frequency of inspections and maintenance on the crane. The crane is reportedly 24-years-old.
Prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation, and three other agencies are looking into the collapse. This is the second collapse of a crane in Manhattan in the last two-and-a-half months.
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.
Labels: construction accidents
posted by Neil at 12:18 PM
Monday, June 2, 2008
At Least Six Children Killed when Train Hits School Bus in France
A school bus carrying children on a field trip in the French Alps near the Swiss border was struck by a train killing six of the children. Another 30 were injured. The accident occurred at a level crossing near the town of Allinges in the Haute-Savoire region. A level crossing is any railroad crossing intersected by a path, road, or other railroad where a bridge or tunnel is not present. They may or may not have crossing guards. The crossing in Allinges did have a crossing guard and is reported to have been working correctly.
While this accident took place in Europe, accidents involving trains and vehicles are not unique to those of us living in the U.S. Every year, many people are grievously injured or killed when the vehicle they were traveling in was hit by a train. And many of those involved in accidents of this nature were reported to have gone around the crossing guard or tried to beat the train as they crossed the road. However, there are accidents, such as this one in France, where initial details are sketchy and it is unclear what caused the crash. What is known is that the 50 children and all the adults with the exception of the bus driver were not in control of the vehicle. They were, in a sense, at the mercy of whatever the bus driver was doing. In the U.S., buses are supposed to stop at rail crossings, even if there is no train present. This helps to avoid or eliminate even the slight chance that there is a problem with crossing guards, thus allowing all passengers to get to their destination safely.
posted by Neil at 10:38 AM
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