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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.


Hit & Run? Don't Be Hit & Burned

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Car accidents aren't always so plain and simple. Unfortunately, all too many auto accidents are made more complex because one of the individuals leaves the scene. When a driver does this without purposefully leaving behind information, it is called a hit and run accident. Don't worry if you find yourself in an accident like this, though; hiring a lawyer can help you seek compensation for your damages.

California Law Requires You Stop After an Accident

As in any other state, California drivers are required to pull over to the side of the road and follow procedure for obtaining driver information. This is the case whether you caused damage to property (like a vehicle or a mailbox) or a person (like a pedestrian or bicyclist). You are required to stop as soon as it is safe to do so. If somebody continues to drive on, they are breaking the law. This is even the case if the vehicle hit is unaccompanied.

What If The Other Driver Runs?

While there are criminal penalties, even prison time, in place for drivers who run, these only work if they can be identified. Many drivers have dashcams that capture the driver's license plate, make, and model. Even a cell phone picture can aid the identification process.

You are probably more interested in the potential civil penalties. If you have the identity of the other driver, you can take them to court. You can sue to cover the costs of medical bills, wages lost, and damage to property.

How Can a Lawyer Help You If You've Been Hit & Run?

  • A lawyer can prove that the other driver was liable for the accident before running.
  • A lawyer can demonstrate that you were injured or deserve compensation based on the accident.
  • Lawyers are familiar with court communications and meeting deadlines.
  • Your lawyer can prevent the insurance company from coming after you.
  • Lawyers understand the significance of a fair settlement, and can easily calculate a manageable amount.

Without a lawyer you are on your own when it comes to getting your case to trial. The process of identifying and fighting a hit and runner driver in court can be difficult without solid legal counsel.

Do you have questions about your hit and run case? We may be able to help. Contact us and let us know how we can be of service.

Checklist: Steps to Take After an Auto Accident

Friday, March 11, 2016

Drivers who are in an auto accident are often unsure of what to do immediately following the crash. They are overwhelmed with emotions and find it hard to think clearly. Therefore it is wise to be aware of the steps to take if you are ever in a collision BEFORE you face the situation. Consider the following checklist of steps to take after an auto accident.

Injuries:

Check all occupants of all vehicles involved in the collision to see if anyone is injured and in need of medical attention. Call for an ambulance if needed. Keep in mind that some injuries do not show up immediately after the accident but surface hours later. Check yourself and your passengers again at a later time to verify no one is experiencing any pain or discomfort.

Record Information:

Many people know to exchange insurance information but there are more details that should be recorded immediately following the accident. Include the following:

  • Insurance information for all vehicles.
  • Contact information for all drivers and any witnesses.
  • Number of passengers and approximate age in each car.
  • Injuries that occurred.
  • Make and Model of all vehicles.
  • License plates of all vehicles
  • Weather conditions at the time of the accident.
  • Traffic level at the time of the accident.
  • Your version of what happened. Include a sketch of the accident scene.
  • Photographs of the scene of the accident and damage to the vehicles.

Don't Apologize:

Avoid apologizing to the other driver at the time of the accident. This may be taken as you admitting you caused the accident. It is best not to say anything about who was responsible at this time.

Don't Accept a Settlement:

The insurance company may want to settle the claim right away. Although this seems wonderful because you can start repairing your car and recovering from your injuries it is most likely an attempt to get you to accept less than you deserve. Keep in mind that your injuries may require a considerable amount of medical attention in the future. Contact us before you settle so we can help you determine the value of a settlement you will really need to fully recover.

If you are in a car accident in the future keep the above checklist in mind immediately following the crash. These steps will help protect you financially.

Investigating Truck Accident Causes

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Truck Accidents are often devastating. Trucks outweigh cars by a significant amount. Therefore the car often suffers major damage and occupants of the car are injured. In some cases the car occupants do not survive the crash. Truck accidents can be due to the negligence. Therefore if you or a loved one was injured or killed in a truck accident it is important to evaluate the cause. You may be entitled to damages.

Maintenance

In some cases the accident was because proper maintenance was not conducted. For example the load on the back of the truck may not have been properly secured. If it falls off causing an accident that is negligence on the part of the driver. Or maybe the truck brakes may not have been maintained as they should be and a mechanical failure occurred.

Driver Issues

Accidents have been caused due to a fatigued driver. Truck drivers are required to follow specific regulations about how many hours they can drive before they must take a break. If they fail to comply with those regulations an accident may result. Drivers should also obviously not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They should not be texting while driving. Distracted driving is dangerous.

Proper Driving

Was the driver speeding? Did the driver ignore a stop sign? Sometimes the situation is a little less obvious. Were they going the appropriate speed for the weather conditions? Did they make an improper or illegal turn? A driver that has not driven in a safe manner is responsible for causing the accident.

If you have been involved in an accident with a truck contact us. We can help you determine if the driver was negligent. In some cases we may find that a manufacturing defect in the truck was the cause. Another option is the road was not properly maintained resulting in the crash. No matter the reason, we can help you attain the settlement you need to recover from the accident.


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Woodland Hills, CA 91367-7418

P: 818-992-2919
F: 818-992-2940


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.