Chicago truck accidents

The trucks around Chicago are dangerous. I don’t mean to claim that it’s always their fault, but I am seeing a lot of accidents lately, and I’m reading about a lot of fatalities.

Take, for instance, this story about a three-car accident in which one of the drivers died. The driver was 27, and his little Kia didn’t stand a chance with a massive truck involved in the crash. According to the article, it doesn’t sound like anyone was at fault, but on some level, I don’t think that matters.

Then there’s this one about a man dying after getting pinned under a box truck in northwestern Indiana.

Even the pickup trucks are going crazy. Here’s a story about one pickup truck ramming another, killing the other driver, and fleeing the scene.

It’s outrageous the sorts of things that happen around Chicago. This city has a great reputation for some things and a really negative one for others, and I’m amazed our traffic and the truck accidents don’t get mentioned more often in that negative category.

It seems to me like the truck accident lawyers of this city must be sitting on some pretty massive incomes at this point. If these accidents are happening this often, and a quick google search brings up so many (plus all the ones I’m seeing on my own just driving on the street), there must be a ton of accidents happening all the time all over the city.

I mean, these stories are only about fatalities. How many crashes just totaled a few cars or something?

Chicago’s got a problem with trucks, and something needs to be done about it. I don’t know if they need more lanes (they could always use more lanes if just to get that crazy traffic moving faster than five miles an hour during rush hour), or if they need police watching for trucks more, or what. But something’s got to be done. It’s getting to the point I’m worried about trucks when I’m out driving. I just try to stay as far from them as possible, even if it means driving like a grandma or like Mario Andretti just to keep out of their way.

But maybe I’m just getting obsessed about trucks and it really isn’t that big of a concern. It just seems to me, every time I see a crash with serious damage, or anytime I hear about a crash where someone was killed, a truck was involved. Maybe they just need to hire better drivers, I don’t know, but I’d like to see something get done. At least then I might be able to convince myself to stop thinking about it so much. At this point, it’s becoming an obsession. I miss the good old, carefree driving days when I wasn’t constantly looking out for a massive truck speeding right towards me.

Causes of Traumatic Brain Injury: Accidents that Can Alter Your Life

There are many types of brain injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI), including:

  • Concussion, which is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. This occurs when the blood vessels in the brain are stretched and the cranial nerves are damaged;
  • Contusion, which is bruising and swelling of the tissues of the brain;
  • Coup-Contrecoup injury, which occurs when the brain is slammed into the opposite side of the skull due to the force impact to the head;
  • Diffuse Axonal injury. Also known as Shaken Baby Syndrome or Abusive head trauma (AHT), this injury is usually caused by violent shaking of the head, resulting to torn brain nerve tissues. This can lead to brain damage or death.
  • Locked in syndrome, which is a rare neurological condition resulting from stroke. Due to damaged part of the brainstem, most of the facial muscles, except the eyes, become paralyzed.
  • Penetrating injury or open head injury, which occurs when a sharp object, like a bullet, enters the brain and causes a wide area of damage. This is injury is serious and is considered a medical emergencies as it can cause ermanent disability or death.
  • Acquired brain injury. This injury to the brain occurs after birth.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 5.3 million people in the U.S. are suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and, every year, about 185,000 are added to their number, while at least 50,000 die. TBI is, actually, a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. and in the rest of the world. Causes of TBI include falls, collision with a moving or a stationary object, assault, accidents involving a bicycle or any non-motorized pedal cycles, a smashed piece of skull penetrating the tissues in the brain, an explosion, a sport or recreation-related accident, a car crash, or anything that can cause a violent blow or a sudden jolt to the head which, in turn, can make the brain collide with the skull’s internal wall. This collision can severely harm the brain and result to torn nerve fibers or bruising and/or bleeding which can lead to intracranial injury, more commonly known as TBI. The severity of a traumatic brain injury depends on the part of the brain that is affected and whether the injured area is widespread or affects only a certain part. Based on severity, TBI can be mild, moderate or severe. Mild TBI usually causes only temporary headaches and confusion; a severe case, however, can cause amnesia, coma, disability, unconsciousness or even death.

Hit and Run Accidents: What You Need to Know

Hit and run accidents are one of the most prevalent problems in roads and highways all over America. Car accidents where the party at fault escapes from the site of the crash are disturbingly rising in the last few years. According to the NHTSA, hit and run accidents have cause 1,449 fatalities in the year 2011 alone. In the previous year, there have been 1,393 fatalities caused by hit and run accidents.

Considering these numbers, there’s no way to skirt around the fact that hit and run accidents are a serious issue. Victims who do survive such a crash often end up suffering from severe injuries and other long-term consequences. Aside from undergoing a long and grueling period of recovery, these victims will also have to with any emotional and psychological effects caused by their trauma. On top of everything else, they will also have to make sense of financial difficulties caused by medical expenses and lost income opportunities.

Any individual involved in a car accident is left to deal with many devastating scenarios in the aftermath of the incident. The same is true for those who have been victimized by hit and run accidents, particularly because they are left to deal with the aftermath of the incident with no assistance from the other party involved in the crash. However, the real challenge for victims involved in such accidents is being able to hold the responsible party accountable for his or her actions. In most cases, they are robbed of a chance to receive closure and pursue justice for the suffering they’ve incurred due to another person’s negligent behavior.

Click here to for tips on what to do if you are involved in a hit and run accident.

Auto Accident: Hit & Run Accidents

For the past 10 years, continued increases in the yearly number of hit-and-run cases have been a major concern, especially for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Based on NHTSA records, reports of hit-and-run cases from 2009 to 2011 have risen from 1,274 to 1,449, respectively.

Hit-and-run, also called skipping and fleeing an accident scene, leaving the scene or hit and skip, is a guilty driver’s act of speeding away from the scene of an accident without leaving any clues regarding his or her identification, so as to avoid responsibility over anyone he/she has injured or any property he/she has damaged.

Certain studies show that pedestrian accidents are usually the fault of the pedestrian and not the driver; however, leaving the scene without rendering aid to the injured and not accepting responsibility for the accident will render the fleeing driver guilty of crime, which can be as serious as felony hit-and-run.

In accidents where properties get damaged or individuals are injured or killed, state traffic laws require that the involved drivers stop and exchange identification and contact details (in the event that the accident is fatal then the other driver involved will need to contact authorities and wait for them to arrive at the scene).

Driving away from an accident scene can result in the following legal consequences:

  • Suspension or cancellation of driver’s license (the permanent cancellation of license is imposed in some states)
  • Imprisonment and costly fines
  • Voiding of the offender’s insurance policy (by his or her insurance provider)

Filing a tort lawsuit against the guilty driver (for the purpose of pursuing justice and, possibly, compensation), will definitely be hard due to the lack of identification of the guilty party. Besides, statute of limitation imposed by states in the filing of cases is usually two years (there have been cases, however, wherein the 2-year statute of limitation was overlooked due to the act of the guilty driver in hiding or disposing of any sign of evidence that will trace the accident to him/her).

Seeking the help of highly-skilled hit-and-run accident lawyers will definitely help the victim and his/her family in pursuing the case and fighting for the victim’s rights. Legal assistance can also help the victim seek the compensation needed from his/her insurance provider.

Auto Accident Due to Driving Errors

Two basic, yet very important, requirements when driving an automobile are complete focus on the road and observance of traffic rules. Though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) identifies drunk-driving, overspeeding, reckless driving and cell phone use, while behind the wheel, as the top four causes of auto accidents, there is another continuously puts other drivers’ and pedestrians’ lives in danger: driver error.

A few kinds of errors that drivers usually commit include:

  • Failure to observe traffic signals
  • Failure to keep their vehicle in good driving condition
  • Failure to adjust their driving to inclement weather
  • Making turns at fast speeds.

There are also many other errors that drivers are guilty of committing, like taking sudden lane changes without first checking for incoming vehicles, failure to yield, right-of-way violations, improper overtaking, allowing themselves to be distracted, tailgating or driving too closely behind another vehicle (the effect of this can be worse if the vehicle a person would tailgate is an 18-wheeler truck), and so forth.

The consequences of a driving accident are damage to property and (sometimes) physical injuries, the severity of which depends on the sizes of the vehicles involved and their respective speeds prior to collision. A collision usually occurs at intersections and its causes are very often due to one driver trying to beat the red light or failing to use traffic signals, thus, misleading other motorists regarding the direction he/she intends to drive his/her vehicle to.

For driver error to be a cause of road accidents is quite surprising due to the fact that, prior to earning a driver’s license, applicant drivers are required to attend a driving school, given a driving manual and asked to know its contents and required to pass written tests and an actual driving test. Having gone through all these, a driver does not any excuse, therefore, in failing to observe road traffic safety. And, since errors usually happen due to negligence, the law requires liable parties to compensate innocent victims for the present and future damages these will suffer from

Being Hurt due to Poor Road Conditions

For the unwary driver, it may be complicated to determine who they can sue when poor road conditions causes their car accident. There are several factors that come into play when a car accident occurred because of poor road conditions. First, a plaintiff should be able to prove that the road condition was what caused the accident, and that the entity that is responsible for ensuring the safety of the road was negligent in their duty. Lastly, there are agencies that are immune from lawsuits, therefore the plaintiff must check whether the agency whose duty is to maintain the road conditions can be sued.

First, the plaintiff has to determine who is responsible for taking care of the roads, and if they can be sued in court. Roads are maintained by the county, state, and cities. If you have determined who was negligent in their duty to ensure road safety, consulting with a personal injury or car accident lawyer can help determine whether the liable party can be sued. Most government agencies have immunity when it comes to lawsuits, but they do make exemptions and permit themselves to be sued for specific conditions.

If the plaintiff is able to prove that the government agency responsible for the maintenance of the road has been “grossly negligent” in their duty, or if the municipality has an insurance coverage for that particular lawsuit, then the plaintiff can sue the government agency. It is important, however, to ensure that the lawsuit is field in accordance to the statute of limitations of the state, and these can vary from 6 months to 2 years, depending on the type of accident and the state where the accident occurred.

Another important factor to look into is the proof of negligence of the government agency involved. It is the plaintiff’s responsibility to prove in court that the government agency could have and should have maintained the safety of the roads but have chosen not to, which eventually leads to the plaintiff’s car accident and injuries.

Lastly, the plaintiff should provide substantial evidence to prove that the poor road conditions were what really caused the accident and the injuries. Plaintiff testimonials may not be enough to prove the gross negligence of the government agency involved. Police reports, witness testimonies, and other evidence that would prove how the damage and injuries occurred would help in ensuring that the car accident lawsuit will have a positive result.

Pain and Suffering in Car Accidents

There are many phrases that make their way to common lexicon without most people understanding what they actually mean. One of these phrases is “pain and suffering” in reference to tort law, and most people consider it the gravy in a personal injury case. However, pain and suffering which is part and parcel of “non-economic” damages, are not always applicable, especially when there was no actual physical injury involved. A good example would be a lawsuit alleging emotional damages i.e. invasion of privacy, where an award for pain and suffering would not likely to be awarded unless the actor’s conduct was outrageously excessive.

A Dallas personal injury lawyer can certainly demand compensation for a client’s pain and suffering, and depending on the circumstances of the case, this can be quite considerable. However, when it comes to medical malpractice suits, there is a cap ranging from $250,000 to $500,000. Where a case falls will depend on several factors, which may have different weights for different states, but which generally include:

  • Degree of severity, resulting in permanent or long-term disability and/or pain
  • Plaintiff’s age, where younger victims tend to get larger awards for having to endure longer periods of debilitation than older subjects
  • Intensity of suffering at the time of the accident and subsequent recovery

Because non-economic damages cannot be quantified in a standard manner, a jury is typically tasked to come up with a reasonable award given the circumstances of the case. Most people involved in something like car accidents are more likely to sustain severe injuries that would warrant compensation for pain and suffering. A South Carolina car accident lawyer can seek the maximum $750,000 allowed under state law, or even $1M if the injury resulted in the amputation of a limb, traumatic head or spine injury, or severe burns. Unlike Texas, though, the cap on non-economic damages applies to most personal injury cases in Tennessee, not just medical malpractice cases.