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Truck Accidents and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations

Friday, July 29, 2016

Truck accidents can be especially severe. Because large trucks weigh so much more than the other vehicles on the road, collisions involving them are usually devastating. In order to prevent truck accidents, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has implemented a number of requirements for interstate motor carriers and truck drivers to follow. When a motor carrier or driver fails to follow these rules, they are liable for any accident they cause.

Truck drivers must know how to safely operate their trucks, and if they are carrying anything hazardous, the FMCSA requires that they get additional licensing. Like any other drivers on the road, truck drivers must operate their trucks with reasonable care. The regulations of theFMCSA are intended to ensure that truck drivers operate safely so that truck accidents are limited. Any time a truck driver is involved in an accident, they are required to report it. Another important aspect of these regulations is that truck drivers are limited in the number of hours they are allowed to work per day and per week. A driver that is overly-fatigued is much more likely to be involved in an accident. There are also regulations requiring motor carriers to properly hire, supervise, and qualify drivers.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a truck accident, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney that is familiar with FMCSAregulations. When these rules are violated, it creates a great danger to everyone else on the road. When an accident occurs because of these rules are violated, it is important for victims to get the compensation they deserve. If you would like more information about this issue, or would like to discuss your case, please contact us.

Multiple Fatalities In Bicycle Accident Involving Pickup Truck

Friday, July 22, 2016

On Tuesday, June 7, a pickup truck plowed into a group of bicyclists in western Michigan, according to the New York Times. The crash occurred in the early evening on North Westnedge Avenue in Cooper Township, approximately seven miles north of Kalamazoo.

Reports of Erratic Driving Before Crash

About one-half hour before the fatal accident, three different law enforcement agencies received calls about a pickup truck proceeding in an erratic manner. One witness told a reporter that he had been fishing at a nearby park just before the crash. As he departed, the pickup truck nearly struck his foot. He said he did not have time to warn the bicyclists, and he witnessed the truck plow into them.

Multiple Injuries and Loss of Life

Five bicyclists died at the scene. Emergency personnel took two patients to Bronson Methodist Hospital, while another two patients were transported to Borges Medical Center. One of those was listed in critical condition, according to a hospital spokesman.

After the crash, the 50-year-old male motorist fled the scene on foot, although he was apprehended a short time later. The Michigan State police are investigating, and the motorist may face charges.

When bicyclists are injured or killed due to negligence on the part of the motorist, it is often possible to seek compensation for a variety of losses, which may include medical expenses, pain, suffering and lost wages. Survivors of those that die often seek compensation for loss of companionship as well.

If you or a family member is a victim in a crash, it is possible to review the matter with a bicycle accident attorney at no cost to you. Our firm fights hard to protect the full legal rights of our clients. To learn more about our services, please contact us.


Motorcycle Accidents: Why Motorcyclists Need Advocates

Thursday, July 14, 2016

In a vehicular accident involving motorcycles, motorcyclists are often in greater danger than people in passenger cars or trucks.

Motorcyclists are left exposed on their vehicles, their bodies more vulnerable during a crash. The Insurance Information Institute reports data from 2013 showing that motorcyclists are "26 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a crash per vehicle mile traveled and five times more likely to be injured."

This information isn't meant to downplay the fact that car and truck occupants can also get injured in a collision with a motorcycle. It only highlights the heightened vulnerability of the motorcyclists.

What can motorcyclists suffer after motorcycle accidents?

Motorcyclists can sustain fatal damage to their bodies. Even if they survive, they may have to struggle with brain and spinal injuries, internal bleeding, organ damage, amputations, broken bones, and disfiguring lacerations.

Their medical treatments often include hospitalization, which can involve days or weeks in intensive care. They may need to undergo multiple surgeries. Along with the immediate treatment for injuries, they may require physical rehabilitation and multiple follow-up checkups.

Depending on the nature of their injuries, they may need to change their entire lifestyle. Maybe they'll no longer be able to work at their current job. Maybe they'll need to rely on wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, and additional assistive devices. They may have to renovate their homes to accommodate their new medical needs.

It's important for motorcyclists to contact a reputable attorney in the aftermath of an accident. An attorney can help you determine who was at fault during the accident and assist you with exploring different options for covering medical bills and other losses. To best heal, recover, and adjust to your new life, you need an attorney to advocate for you so that you aren't struggling alone with huge expenses.


City Agrees To Pay $300,000 In Bicycle Accident

Thursday, July 07, 2016

A bicyclist thrown off her bike by an uneven sidewalk has won a $300,000 settlement from a city in Michigan, according to the Oakland Press News.

In May 2012, the 49-year-old woman was traveling underneath a railroad viaduct along the north side of 13 mile road in Royal Oak, Michigan, when she hit a sidewalk section that was two-inches higher than the portion before it. When her front wheel hit the elevated edge of sidewalk, she was thrown from her bike. The woman suffered a broken hip and allegedly aggravated a previous back injury in the bicycle accident.

Suit Filed on Behalf of Woman

In 2013, her attorneys filed suit in Oakland County Circuit Court seeking compensation for lost wages, pain and suffering. The defendant, the city of Royal Oak, appealed an adverse Circuit Court decision to the Michigan State Court of Appeals. However, the appellate court refused to overturn the lower court's decision. A retired judge subsequently mediated the matter and helped the parties come to the final settlement agreement.

City Unsuccessfully Blames Railroad

Although the city contended that it was the railroad's responsibility to maintain the sidewalk, that argument was not successful in court.

In certain cases, injuries resulting from improperly maintained public facilities may subject governments to suits seeking damages. Litigation often seeks compensation for medical expenses, pain, suffering and lost wages.

If you or someone you know is injured in an accident where negligence may have been a factor, one of our attorneys will review your case at no cost to you. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, please contact us.


NHTSA Addresses Ejections In Bus Accidents

Thursday, June 30, 2016

In light of the Texas charter bus accident that claimed eight lives and injured dozens on May 14, 2016, it is worth noting that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently announced a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard intended to reduce injuries and fatalities in bus accidents by reducing ejections.

New Test on Windows

A Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) requires a new impactor test on side and rear window glazing material as well as on the glass panels found on the roofs of many motor coaches and large buses. The test is intended to simulate the impact of a non-belted passenger on a window on the opposite side of the bus during a rollover accident.

NHTSA wants to promote more advanced glazing on bus windows and better latch systems on emergency exits.

Previous Efforts to Limit Ejections

Previously, NHTSA prioritized the problem of occupant ejection in its DOT Motor Coach Safety Action Plan. This effort to mitigate ejections follows a "final rule" issued in 2013 that required seat belts at all seating positions in motor coaches. This was followed by a 2014 NPRM that seeks to:

  • improve structural integrity during rollovers
  • better ensure that window glazing does not pop out of window mounts
  • emergency exits do not accidentally open in rollovers.

NHTSA is also developing new performance requirements for roof panels, windows and exit latches. For example, the federal agency wants to see that emergency exit latches still operate after exits are subjected to impactor testing.

When an individual is a victim in a bus accident, it is often possible to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain-and-suffering and lost wages. If you or a family member is in a bus accident, it's possible to discuss the matter with a bus accident attorney. Our firm provides this consultation without cost or obligation. To learn more, please contact us.


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From our offices in Woodland Hills, California, Freeman & Freeman, LLP, provides legal advice and representation for clients in communities throughout the state, including those in Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, Tarzana, Santa Clarita, Agoura Hills, Reseda, Canoga Park, Chatsworth, Northridge, Granada Hills, Pacoima, Panorama City, North Hollywood, Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Lancaster, Palmdale and Alhambra.