Monthly Archives: July 2016

hazards

When Car Accidents Are Caused by Road Hazards

Motor vehicle accidents are often caused by a driver’s poor decisions, behaviors or actions. At other times, car wrecks are caused by defective parts or other issues outside of drivers’ control. Sometimes, the very roads constructed to keep drivers safe can cause accidents.

Disintegration of roads and bridges, broken pieces of cement or road materials, traffic cones, signage and issues of road construction can cause dangerous road conditions leading to accidents.

How Roads Deteriorate

State and local roads require funding for construction, maintenance and repair. Gaining funding for these projects takes a very long time, as does completion of the projects once funding is approved. Government funding keeps bridges in good shape, roads free of potholes and disintegration of roadways from occurring. Even slightly damaged roads can cause major accidents involving multiple vehicles, leading to injuries and even causing death. When funding for road safety is not available, the roads we use every day can become more dangerous than the drivers using them.

Today’s road construction quality helps roads to last about 20 years before a major reconstruction effort must be undertaken. Regular maintenance is extremely important throughout these two decades of a road’s lifetime, with routine maintenance not being effective after the road’s lifetime has passed. This is because at the end of the 20 years, underlying issues are too great to be fixed by resurfacing or filling of cracks and potholes. Neglect of aging roads is a problem when funds are not available for reconstruction.

Dangers Associated with Infrastructure

Bridges have gained a lot of press exposure in recent years, as American bridges and infrastructure as a whole are aging. Aging bridges pose great danger, even when they appear to the naked eye to be sound. Bridges become less structurally sound over time and eventually start to fall apart. They must be repaired or even reconstructed to ensure the public and all vehicles crossing over or under them are safe.

Driver behaviors and hazards from vehicles always pose danger to other cars on roads today. But when freeways or other highways are allowed to fall into disrepair, hazards are greater and can result in even more catastrophic accidents. Potholes, narrowing shoulders, crumbling sides of the road, uneven lanes and cracking surfaces can cause vehicles to lose control, leading to a serious accident causing injuries or death.

Road Construction Dangers

Road construction is a terribly hazardous situation for both drivers and workers completing construction on the road. Many collisions occur in road construction areas, as drivers try to swerve away from workers in the road, maneuver changing circumstances of the road, handle their vehicle in more constrictive space or otherwise drive where construction is underway. All of the distractions of road construction being completed on an open road often cause drivers to make drastic mistakes, too.

 

Paving materials used for repair or construction of a road can cause problems for drivers trying to see where they are going. Temporary signage may be placed improperly or incorrect in information provided to drivers. Lane closures slow and confuse drivers and often cause accidents. Speed limit decreases for construction safety are often disregarded or cause aggressive drivers to become more dangerous. Construction vehicles cause traffic congestion, block roadways and may throw debris onto cars behind them, causing cracked windshields and even accidents.

When road construction is being completed, it is critical that all drivers navigating the hazardous area are alert and obey all warning signs. Of course, the nature of these areas and changes to once-familiar roads creates the perfect circumstances for accidents.

Indicators of Road Hazards

When roads are in disrepair, it is important to be aware of these hazards and how they can cause accidents. By simply paying attention to the surfaces driven upon and environments around roads, drivers can avoid many accidents.

Some common indicators of road disrepair include potholes, faded striping, faded areas of pavement, cracks across the road, uneven surfaces, or loose gravel. Drivers should be particularly alert when their vehicle jostles about when changing lanes or driving on particular stretches of the road. Guard rails can become hazards when a vehicle has hit them and peeled them out of place, protruding into a lane or no longer providing protection at the side of the road. Damaged signs, covered signs or missing signage can be indicators of general disrepair of roads and the need to be particularly cautious for other road hazards.

When Road Conditions Cause Accidents

Government and private businesses often hold liability when road conditions cause auto accidents. This is because they are responsible for designing, building, maintaining and reconstructing safe roads. When accidents are caused due to poor road conditions, the government and business representatives may be held liable for compensation.

Federal, state and local governments often specify obligations and responsibilities of those tasked with maintaining safe roadways.

When you or someone you love have been injured in an accident or suffered property damage caused by issues with a road, bridge or other infrastructure, government or private businesses may be responsible. An experienced auto accident attorney can help determine where responsibility may exist and whether negligence was the cause of the auto accident. It is possible to gain compensation for injuries and damages resulting from car accidents caused by dangerous road conditions.

personal injury lawyer

Choosing the Best Personal Injury Lawyer for You: 5 Things to Consider

If you’ve had a personal injury that you believe was the fault of someone else, it can be a good idea to hire a personal injury lawyer. The key is to choose the right attorney for you and your claim. How do you know you’re making the right choice though? What should you look for when hiring a personal injury lawyer? Here are 5 things to consider when choosing the best lawyer for you.

  1. How Much Experience Do They Have?

An attorney’s level of experience is of the utmost importance. Each states has very specific laws and regulations that could be relevant to your case. It’s crucial that your personal injury lawyers knows all there is to know when it comes to dealing with your claim. Be sure to inquire about other similar cases the lawyers you’re considering have handled. You’ll want to know success rates as well.

  1. What is Their Focus?

Many successful lawyers will have a somewhat specific concentration when it comes to the types of cases they handle. Ask yourself what kind of personal injury lawyer it is that you really need. Personal injury lawyers have unique skills for determining liability issues like negligence and causation. They’ll also have more experience when it comes to ascertaining the compensation that you’re entitled.

  1. Know Their Reputation

A lawyer with a good reputation is certainly a plus when you know they’ll be communicating with insurance companies and with other lawyers in the court systems where they practice. A strong reputation means added value for whomever he or she represents.

  1. Consider the Cost

Make sure you’ve read the fine lines of the contract before signing anything. Often times, with personal injury claims, lawyers will be paid a certain percentage of the settlement or court award. If you’re not awarded anything your lawyer may not be paid a fee; you may, however, have other costs that pertain to your case. Make sure you’re aware of everything you could have to pay so you’re not hit with any surprises when things come to a close.

  1. Are They Compassionate?

All lawyers are ready to win – even personal injury lawyers. It’s important, though, to find one who has compassion for their clients. Humanity plays a huge role when it comes to personal injuries, so it’s important that the lawyer you choose understands on a deeper level where you’re coming from and has genuine compassion for your situation. Communication is a key factor when it comes to maintaining a good relationship and therefore a strong case – to choose a lawyer with a personality you mesh well with can go a long way. It’s important that they sincerely care about your case and want you to get the compensation you deserve.

 

auto accident claims

Involvement of Multiple Vehicles Affects Auto Accident Claims

There are hundreds of accidents involving multiple vehicles in the United States each day. It only takes fractions of a second to cause major property damage and injury. There are a multitude of factors that may cause these accidents and affect liability.

Common Causes of Multiple Vehicle Car Accidents

While auto accidents can be caused by a wide variety of issues, weather and road conditions are frequently at the root of an accident that involves multiple vehicles. Speeding, failure to yield and aggressive driving are also causes of multi-vehicle wrecks. Impaired drivers certainly contribute to multiple vehicle auto accident statistics, as these drivers are a hazard to anyone sharing the road with them.

Processing Claims for Multi-Vehicle Accidents

When multiple vehicles are involved in an auto accident, the claim is handled differently than it is for a two-car collision. This makes the process slightly more difficult and certain steps must be followed to ensure claims are viable and properly finalized. Delays, non-payment and other hassles can be caused by improper filing or handling of claims for multiple vehicle auto accidents.

Determination of Fault in Multiple Vehicle Accidents

When several vehicles have been involved in an auto accident, extensive fact checking is needed for the claim to be developed. Close investigation is necessary for any auto accident, but particularly so in these cases. For multi-vehicle collisions, several legal representatives, insurance adjusters and other investigators will be working at the same time to determine what caused the accident and who holds liability. When three or more vehicles are involved in a rear-end collision, the final vehicle to collide may not be considered to carry any fault. Chain reaction collisions often require close examination to determine who is liable. Rules for these accidents vary from state to state and even among jurisdictions within individual states.

Property damage from the accident may be inspected by insurance adjusters, accident investigators and others. Witnesses will be questioned and support for accident re-creation is gathered. Responsibility may be determined after examining the vehicle types, damage acquired, injuries sustained and other supporting facts. The party at fault may be easily determined. But it is important to ensure that experienced investigators examined the accident fully.

When driving, every motorist has a responsibility to drive sensibly and carefully. When this duty of care is not properly performed, a negligence claim may be developed against that driver. If injuries result to another motorist, that motorist is legally able to pursue reimbursement for expenses from the driver found to be at fault.

For multiple vehicle accidents, it can become more difficult to clarify and establish negligence. There are many questions which must be answered, details to be discovered and complex situations to work out to determine liability.

Inspectors Contracted for Multiple Vehicle Accidents

Contracted agents may be used to inspect multi-car accidents by reviewing police reports, interviewing officers and pursuing other information that will help determine liability in the accident. This agent may determine that the accident was caused by the actions of a negligent driver. That driver may have acted using poor judgment that led to the damage to multiple vehicles. The driver can be held responsible for damages.

When acts of drinking or drug use are found by the case inspector to be the cause of accident injuries or damages, this information can be used to establish fault in a legal claim. Other acts of negligence include reckless driving, aggressive driving, speeding, following vehicles too closely or not observing traffic signs or signals. Weather, road conditions and other factors may have contributed to the wreck.

Contracted inspectors may analyze photos of the scene, review closed circuit video from area businesses, interview passengers and gain other information to help in their case.

When Contributory Negligence Occurs

Contributory negligence may play a role in claims involving multiple vehicles. Every state handles these claims in their own manner. Contributory negligence involves the contribution by the victim to their own injuries. For example, one driver may have caused an accident, but the injured victim’s speed or non-use of safety belts as required by law contributed to the magnitude of their injuries. When contributory negligence is applied, the percentage of damages awarded to the victim may have their own responsibility factored into the amount.

Compensation for Multiple Vehicle Accident Claims

State laws vary for multiple vehicle accident claims. Medical costs and vehicle repairs are covered by insurance. Filing of claims involves several important steps against multiple parties, with those filings varying according to insurance carrier. If fault is not determined in a multi-vehicle accident, a lawyer with car accident experience and his or her associated investigation team can help resolve the liability issue. There may be multiple parties at fault and such cases can become quite confusing. Personal injury lawyers often work with insurance providers to ensure proper handling of claims for correct disbursement of compensation.