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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fast Moving Storm Kills 3 on Front Range

A spring snowstorm just in time for Monday morning's commute is being blamed for numerous auto accidents along Colorado's Front Range. There was an 18 car pileup, a school bus crash, and at least three deaths. Though there wasn't much accumulation in the Denver area, the roads were slick enough to hamper driving on all major roads and highways.

The Colorado State Patrol said the three reported deaths occurred in three separate accidents. In two of the three accidents, the drivers lost control of their vehicles and crossed into oncoming traffic. The third fatality occurred when the driver slid into a ditch.

Other accidents reported include a pileup on I-70 near Strasburg, Colorado. State Patrol has said that was caused by one car, which had stopped to help a stranded driver, and was then hit by a truck. One person was critically injured.

The 18 vehicle pileup involved four tractor-trailers and several passenger vehicles. Only minor injuries were reported.

While many states had an extremely dry winter, including Colorado, and spring is officially here, snow and freezing temperatures are still a hazard for those who have to drive to work every day. Colorado just had a foot of snow dumped on it last week, which melted quickly over the weekend. The Monday morning snowstorm may have caught many off guard after a storm of that size.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 11:24 AM

Monday, March 30, 2009

Arkansas Joining States with Seatbelt Laws in June

It might be hard to contemplate that some states don't have primary seatbelt laws given their track record for saving lives. A primary seatbelt law means the driver of the vehicle can be pulled over simply because they were not wearing a seatbelt. As of today, there are 27 states and a number of territories with primary seat belt laws, and 22 with secondary seat belt laws. Secondary seat belt laws mean that the driver can be ticketed if occupants are not wearing seat belts, but must have been pulled over for another infraction.

Arkansas is the latest of the states to join the primary seat belt law majority. Beginning at the end of June, drivers will now be pulled over if they are observed driving without wearing seatbelts. However, many states seem to have joined this trend in order to receive federal money as part of a highway grant. For example, Kansas may lose out on $11.2 million if they do not pass a seatbelt law by the end of June. However, New Hampshire has no primary or secondary law. Incidentally, New Hampshire is also one of four states without a helmet law for motorcycles.

It is estimated that in states with the primary seatbelt law, drivers wear their seatbelts 88 percent of the time. In those states without a primary law, drivers wear their seatbelts only 75 percent of the time. Nationwide, it has been estimated that 82 percent of drivers wear their seatbelts, no matter what the law is.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that in 76 percent of fatal auto accidents, the occupants were totally ejected from the vehicle.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 9:33 AM

Kansas City, Missouri Police Officer Hit by Car

A police officer is in serious condition after being hit by a car Sunday morning in Kansas City, Missouri. Authorities have said the female officer was helping a driver who had lost control on I-470 when another vehicle spun out and struck her.

The injured police officer is being treated for head injuries.

According to one KCPD officer, traffic enforcement and control on the highways is one of the most dangerous parts of the job. Because the officers are so close to vehicles going very fast, injuries received in the event of a pedestrian accident are very serious.

Police have also said the stretch of I-470 where the officer was struck is accident prone. This accident is being blamed on slick roads, and this part of the highway is elevated and tends to become icier than other parts of the road. This was just one accident that slowed traffic on I-470 Sunday morning.

If you or a loved one has been struck by an automobile and seriously injured, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 8:45 AM

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Four Missing, Two Dead after Fishing Boat Sinks off New Jersey Coast

A 71-foot fishing boat sank off the coast of New Jersey Tuesday morning with seven people on board. Only one survivor has been found. Two of the three removed from the water died, and four are still missing.

The scallop boat went down around 5:00 am. The Coast Guard received an emergency radio beacon around 7:30 am and sent a helicopter to the area. The helicopter found three men in the water near an empty life raft. All three were taken to the hospital where one was pronounced dead and another died shortly thereafter. The lone survivor has told authorities that all seven put on life vests and abandoned the craft for unspecified reasons.

If the missing four are not found, this boat accident will rank among the worst commercial fishing disasters in New Jersey's history.

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

posted by Neil at 7:35 AM

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lance Armstrong Falls on Bike and Breaks Collarbone

Sure, he gets paid untold amounts of money to get on his bike and go fast, and he's really good at doing that, but even Lance Armstrong falls every now and then. Today, while cycling in Spain, Lance Armstrong reportedly fell and broke his collarbone, which now leaves him in doubt for the Tour de France in July. For his part, Armstrong released a statement in which he said he has "been lucky to avoid one of the most common cycling injuries" since he started 17 years ago.

Armstrong was injured when he was knocked off his bike in a pileup on the first stage of the Vuelta of Castilla and Leon race. Besides breaking his collarbone, Armstrong also suffered various abrasions and road rash. There is no report on how the other riders involved in the bike accident faired, but Armstrong says the crash was no one's fault.

Alas, most people involved in bicycle accidents are not being paid millions by sponsors. They're simply trying to get from point A to point B. Sometimes that doesn't always go well, either. Broken bones, lacerations, and more may be the end result of a bike accident. And if it was another party's negligence or carelessness that caused the accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bike accident, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 1:27 PM

Friday, March 20, 2009

Fire Truck Collision in Philadelphia Injures 10

Nine firefighters and a bystander were injured in Philadelphia yesterday when two fire trucks collided. One of the firefighters had to be cut from the truck after he was trapped. He was the most seriously injured, but is expected to be released from the hospital today.

The two fire trucks, a ladder truck and a squirt truck, had been dispatched to a report of a fire. It turned out that they were not needed and were returning to their station when they were diverted to another fire call. One was traveling west and the other south when they collided at the intersection. The bystander was taken to the hospital because she was so shaken by the accident

An investigation is ongoing.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 9:45 AM

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Accident at Gas Pump Kills One

An 18-year-old woman was killed at a 7-Eleven in Colorado Springs, Colorado after an auto accident caused the gas pump she was at to explode. In what is being described as a freak accident, a Ford Explorer was traveling through the parking lot of the convenience store and slammed into the right rear side of a Chevrolet Silverado. The Silverado was parked at the pump on the opposite side of the minivan the victim was pumping gas into. The impact forced the pickup into the pump, dislodging it and causing gas to spew out. The pump pinned the victim against the minivan.

As bystanders watched the gas ignited even as some were trying to get to the victim. Witnesses said they could see her holding her hands over her face with flames all around her, shouting for someone to help her. The pump was rocked by explosions that sent flames at least 20 feet into the air, and singed the canopy.

The 29-year-old driver of the Ford Explorer said her breaks had gone out, but police do not believe that was the problem. She was cited for careless driving involving a death.

The girl was home for spring break and was getting ready to leave on a road trip with a friend from college.

If you have lost a loved one in an accident similar to this, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 7:56 AM

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

US Tourists Killed in Mexico Bus Crash

Ten of the 11 people killed in a bus crash in Mexico are from the US and Canada. The bus collided with a tractor-trailer near Monterrey between Saltillo and Zacatecas. The bus was on its way to Zacatecas when the accident occurred. Reports say that at least 15 more people were injured, many in extremely critical condition with head injuries and crushed pelvises.

The bus left McAllen, Texas and was on its way to Zacatecas, and carrying mostly American tourists. The dead and injured range in age between 50- and 75-years-old. Video from the crash show the cab of the tractor-trailer flattened and the left side of the bus sheared off. Among the dead was the 45-year-old bus driver. Authorities are still determining what caused the accident.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a bus accident, please contact an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 9:27 AM

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Illinois DOT Honors Those Who Wear Their Seatbelts in Car Accidents

"Saved by the Belt," an annual program held by the Illinois Department of Transportation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Committee, the Illinois State Police and other municipal police agencies honors those who have survived auto accidents that might have otherwise killed them. The reason: they were wearing their seatbelts.

While virtually everyone who drives or rides regularly in a motorized vehicle knows that wearing a seatbelt will lessen the chances they are injured or killed, thousands of people do not heed this advice every year and wind up as a statistic. Perhaps it is precisely because of this sad aspect of the American roadway that Illinois thinks an award of a certificate and a medallion is warranted for those who wear a seatbelt when a collision occurs.

According to authorities in Naperville, Illinois, more people are killed and injured every year due to traffic accidents than any other reason combined. However, the Naperville Police Department has been aggressively going after those who are not wearing seatbelts, and there has already been a 14 percent decrease in deaths and injuries this year as a result of their enforcement. The city is also above the national average in citizens who wear seatbelts at 91 percent. The national average is around 81 percent. This seems high, but is not nearly high enough to save drivers and passengers on the nation's roadways.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, please contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area.

posted by Neil at 1:12 PM

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Trio of Lawsuits Stemming from One Accident Filed

In May of 2008, a van carrying a senior men's softball team turned directly into the path of a tractor-trailer. The accident killed one and injured six. The police report said the front of the tractor-trailer was partially imbedded in the side of the van.

The widow of the man who was killed filed a $2 million lawsuit against the driver of the van in October 2008 asking for medical expenses, loss of income, her husband's conscious pain and suffering, and funeral expenses. She has also asked for an additional $2 million as part of a wrongful death suit. This suit asks for compensation for mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of society, companionship, comfort, care, protection, advice, attention, counsel, and love. The driver's attorneys have asked for this to be dismissed, and he has asked for a jury trial.

However, there has been another suit filed against the driver of the van, asking for an additional $2 million. This was brought by one of the injured, citing negligence. Another injured man filed suit in February for $3 million. In both injured parties' lawsuits, both men cite continued suffering and debilitating pain due to negligence and carelessness.

There are many things we can lose if we are involved in an auto accident. Though some of these things may be covered by insurance, the costs can quickly outpace any amount paid out by providers. Sometimes the only way to get compensation is to file a lawsuit to protect yourself and your family financially.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an auto accident, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 9:30 AM

Friday, March 6, 2009

Family Suing Sheriff’s Department for Wrongful Death goes to Jury

Just over two years ago, a 21-year-old McDowell County, North Carolina rookie sheriff's deputy was speeding to a domestic violence call in excess of 120 mph without lights or sirens. He hit a Plymouth Neon in front of him, causing that vehicle to enter the other lane. The deputy then got out of his car and waved his flashlight to warn other cars about the collision. That's when he waved a car directly into the path of the Neon where it was hit again. Two women and a 7-year-old girl were seriously injured. A two-year-old girl was killed.

The family filed a civil lawsuit against the deputy who caused the auto accident, the former and current Sheriff, and the Sheriff's Office's bonding company. The family's lawyers called their last witness this week, and now the jury will decide if the family will receive any money.

The suit states the deputy failed in his duty in several ways, including:

  • Speeding
  • Operating his vehicle at a high rate of speed without emergency lights or sirens operating
  • Carelessly and heedlessly driving his cruiser with disregard for the rights and safety of others
  • Driving his vehicle at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger others
  • Failing to properly pass a vehicle traveling in the same direction
  • Failing to keep a reasonable and proper lookout
  • Failing to yield the right of way
  • Standing in the road and impeding traffic
  • Distracting and confusing a driver with a flashlight
  • Failing to properly warn oncoming traffic of a disabled vehicle in the left lane
  • Directing a vehicle into the left lane

The family of the dead girl is seeking more than $10,000 for the wrongful death of their daughter, more than $10,000 for each person's injuries, compensation for pain and suffering, and funeral and burial expenses. The family is also entitled to $25,000 for each violation of the bond. The father and husband of the injured family said their medical bills have topped $1.5 million due to the severity of the injuries, which include traumatic brain injuries, fractures, and lacerations.

The deputy who hit the vehicle is no longer in law enforcement.

If you have lost a loved one due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact an attorney with experience in wrongful death cases in your area.

posted by Neil at 8:46 AM

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Boy Crossing Street Hit and Killed by Fire Truck

A seven-year-old boy was hit and killed by a fire truck on Monday while walking home from school in Kansas City, Missouri.

The fire truck was responding to an auto accident when it hit the boy, who was crossing in the crosswalk. Investigators are currently looking into whether the fire truck had its lights and sirens on at the time of the accident. While KC police say preliminary reports seem to point toward lights and sirens on, as vehicles pulled over to the side of the road before the accident were seen, the boy's father disagrees.

The father states that other parents waiting for their children said the lights and sirens were not on. They say two trucks were speeding, one behind the other, without warning anyone they were coming. The boy's father believes that a cover up is being attempted by the fire department, the police and the city.

Though people need to move out of the way of fire trucks when they're coming down the road, it's impossible to do so if they don't have the lights and sirens on.

If you or a loved one has been hit by a vehicle, please contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area.

posted by Neil at 12:33 PM

Monday, March 2, 2009

Two NFL Players Missing after Fishing Boat Disappears

Four men, two of them current players in the NFL, are missing off the coast of Florida. Their 21-foot fishing boat did not return from an outing after the weather turned bad. The boat is owned by Marquis Cooper, a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders. Also on board was Corey Smith, a defensive end playing with the Detroit Lions, and two former University of South Florida players.

The Coast Guard has said they received no SOS from the boat, but that it doesn't necessarily mean none was sent. However, the four men were never in contact with the Coast Guard even before the weather became poor. They searched for the boat with a helicopter and an 87-foot ship to cover a 750-square mile area until the weather forced them to stop.

Cooper is an experienced deep sea fisherman, and Smith has also gone out before. Smith's father said that the same four were out the weekend before, and were headed toward a shipwreck about 50 miles off the coast where the fishing was good. However, the size of the boat has some worried due to the severity of the seas, which became very rough quickly. By later Saturday, the time when the boat was to have returned, the National Weather Report issued a small craft advisory.

Anyone who owns a boat and takes it out regularly will tell you the weather can become untenable very quickly. By all accounts, Cooper had lifejackets and flares on board, and was experienced. Boating accidents can happen to anyone, no matter how experienced or prepared.

If you have lost a loved one in a boating accident, please contact an experienced injury personal injury lawyer in your area for an initial consultation.

posted by Neil at 7:48 AM

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