Can Car Accidents Happen to Me?

Most people think they’re invincible – that there is nothing tomorrow can bring that could ever dare hinder their plans for a better future. Some people even take their planning in yearly increments, what with their five year or ten year plans while they set themselves goals that they must achieve at certain times. They always think that tomorrow will come and it does but sometimes, it doesn’t come with them.
An Austin car accident lawyer would remind people that accidents happen that could turn everything upside down on itself and leave every meticulously thought out plan in the dust; the worst kinds of accidents put a stop to any plans entirely and it doesn’t even matter how old you are. To further solidify the idea, car accidents are some situations with concrete results that turn this scenario from hypothetical into daily headlines in newspapers all over the world.

Automobiles are everywhere, after all, and travel by one is such a part of the metropolitan lifestyle these days, it can sometimes be easy to forget that these are metal contraptions that weigh thousands of pounds and can go at a speed of over a hundred miles an hour. One wrong turn or one bad mistake can send an automobile into a path only all too many unfortunate souls have taken – and some have been unlucky enough to never walk away from.

These situations should be preventable enough, right?

It is unfortunate that even if you follow all the rules and drive as well as you could possibly drive – not every driver can be as cautious and responsible as you are. A lot of car accidents stem from one wrongful party as having been negligent while on the road. A significant percentage of car accidents happen due to reckless or drunk driving while others stem from negligence during the car’s manufacturing stage.

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Car Defect/Malfunction

All drivers aspire to be as safe as they can be on the road. They learn to be cautious themselves and to drive defensively, or to be wary of drivers that are not operating their vehicles as cautiously as they are. However, at times they find that no matter how cautious they are, they cannot avoid falling victim to a dangerous accident. This can occur when there is a problem, a defect or malfunction with the vehicle itself. In these cases, a driver who is doing everything right could still lose control of their vehicle and cause a dangerous accident. It is important for drivers to be wary of these dangers so that they know how to recognize them and avoid them if they occur.

According to the website, common car defects or malfunction a driver could encounter include: seat belt defects, brake malfunction, tire defects, air bag defects, child car seat defects. These defects can be dangerous in that they cause an accident, or they can worsen an accident that is already underway if it is the safety features malfunctioning. Either way, the driver and passengers of a malfunctioning vehicle are in great danger. Drivers rely on their vehicles to function properly and to protect them In the case of a severe crash. If a vehicle malfunctions to the point it is beyond the control of the driver, than the driver cannot be held accountable for the resulting accident.

Car accidents can result in tragic injuries. In many cases car accidents are just that- accidents. They could not have been prevented by any one party. However in some cases accidents are not the fault of the driver, but were preventable by another party, such as a manufacturer, who should recall the car if there is a serious defect. This is the case in instances where the car itself malfunctions or parts are defective and this causes the driver to crash. In these cases the victim of such an accident may be owed certain damages.

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Compensation Expenses

Accidents and injuries come with a price; emotionally, physically, psychologically, and financially. When trucking accidents occur at the fault of the driver’s or company’s negligent actions, they can be legally pursued for compensation. This compensation is aimed to alleviate expenses of the accident, and can help pay medical bills, property damages, lost income and debt from permanent disabilities. Accidents can have serious repercussions on the life of the injured, and the responsible party has the legal obligation to settle their losses.

When any car is involved in an accident with a commercial truck or other large vehicle, it is likely that the larger of the two will inflict the most damage. Because of this, other drivers involved in the accident can sustain serious injuries or death. Possible injuries include lacerations, broken bones, burns, and other traumatic wounds.

Other than alleviating medical expenses, compensation can be provided to replace or fix damaged property. A main instance of this is the cost of car repairs. Depending on the severity of the accident, cars can have different ranges of damage costs. Whether it is the truck driver or the company at fault, the plaintiff’s damaged property is included in the compensation calculation.

Lastly, injuries can result in a loss of income or permanent disabilities. These two factors can make up a significant part of the compensation. No person should struggle financially because of something they did not do. When the financial loss is someone else’s fault, they should be held accountable for covering it.

The website of the Abel Law Firm attests to the importance of pursing the responsible party for any losses. If you have been involved in a car accident, you may be able for compensation that will help relieve your situation.

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Mime Drug Still in Hot Water

Lawsuits filed against incretin mimetic drugs such as Januvia have been gaining momentum ever since the first studies came out linking the treatment for type 2 diabetes was linked to high risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Reviews are ongoing but it doesn’t look good for the Merck & Co. product, which posted a 2% decrease in its 2013 sales for Januvia, bagging less than the $4.09 billion it made in 2012.

Diabetes medication is always good business, with 20 million in the US alone diagnosed with either Type I or Type II diabetes, with an estimated 9 million still undiagnosed. It is no wonder that despite its legal troubles, Merck still continues to do brisk business with Januvia as litigation moves forward.

Multidistrict litigaton against the company (In Re: Incretins Products Liability, Sales and Marketing Litigation, MDL 2452) has experienced some setbacks in the Southern District of California when the court ruled against its Motion to Compel discovery regarding the prior knowledge of the companies about the link between the medication and cancer of the pancreas.

But the defendants are facing a long road ahead as more cases are being filed nationwide. The findings of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) would have a significant impact on the legal proceedings, but no conclusion about the link between incretin mimetic drugs and pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis has yet been published. The FDA’s European counterparts are in the same situation.

The continued uncertainty over the safety of using Januvia and other incretin mimetics are certain to have a slow but progressive effect on sales even if there is no conclusive evidence over these alleged side effects. However, until litigation is finally put to rest, it is likely that drug makers will still continue to realize significant profits from the drugs.

If you suspect you have been seriously harmed from using Januvia or other incretin mimetic drugs, you can make your voice heard. People harmed by dangerous products may be able to receive compensation for their trouble.

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Snow Thrower Hazards

A white Christmas is something that many children (and a lot of adults) look forward to. Snow is pretty, and snow can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a pain in the backside when it piles up. Snow throwers make the job of getting rid of these mounds of snow much easier, but they also pose a bit of risk even under the best of circumstances.

Snow throwers are essentially motor-driven auger blades going at high speed, so there is always a chance that someone who doesn’t know how to operate it properly will get hurt. In some instances, however, the snow thrower poses a greater than normal risk of injury when there is a defect in the design or certain parts. An example discussed on the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® refers to certain brands of snow throwers that were fitted with defective wheel rims. The defect caused the wheels to explode, sending shrapnel that could lead to facial lacerations and amputated fingers. The website identified snow throwers manufactured from July 2004 to March 2006 for Craftsman, Yard Machines, and Troy-Bilt brands, and lawsuits were filed against responsible parties.

More recently, another brand of snow throwers was put on the legal hot seat, this time for a tendency of the motor to catch fire. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) identified All Power America single stage snow throwers (model number SBO44P) sold in hardware stores between September 2012 and December 2013. The problem was traced to the carburetor needle which corroded with prolonged exposure to Chinese gasoline. This led to a fuel leak which would then simply require a spark to set it off.

The dangers of these defective snow throwers are obvious, and should be address. Negligent manufacturers or retailers may be held accountable for any injuries these products may cause. Contact a competent personal injury lawyer in your area for more information.

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Escaping Rollover Accidents with ESC: It Depends

There is always a drive to come up with new ways to prevent automobile accidents, which persists as the leading cause of deaths in the US despite the downward trend of fatal accidents. According to the website of the Habush Law Offices, rollovers are the cause of about one-third of all fatal vehicle crashes, so it is obviously a good place to start innovating safer technology. Non-fatal rollover accidents still result in serious injuries that are nearly as bad for the victims.

A recent innovation for vehicles that was believed to prevent a significant number of rollover accidents was introduced into the market. Referred to as electronic stability control (ESC), or electronic stability program, this is basically a program that is designed to detect when there is a loss of steering control, triggering it to automatically apply the brakes selectively, depending on the type of loss of control. It is particularly aimed to detect when a vehicle skids, such as when navigating a sharp curve at high speeds. This is a common cause of rollovers, and ESC is designed to minimize this.

However, it would be misleading to believe that ESC will help prevent rollover accidents in general. ESC is designed to improve steering control, which most typically results in untripped or first event rollovers. When a vehicle equipped with ESC collides with another vehicle, resulting in a tripped rollover, the ESC will not be effective in preventing a rollover accident. Nevertheless, having ESC and some other safety features in your car might help reduce your auto insurance costs.

Moreover, since only newer vehicles (2009 onwards) are equipped with ESC, those with older vehicles will not benefit from the innovation. But it is admittedly 56% effective in preventing untripped or first event rollover crashes for vehicles equipped with ESC according to a study undertaken by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, so this is definitely an improvement that contributes to greater safety on the road.

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Camping in Tennessee

smores and campingAs many of you may be aware, it’s camping season in the Tennessee Valley. Campgrounds are open for camping between the dates of March 14 through November 17 this year.

There are hundreds of campsites available across six sites across the state. There are different kids of campsites available, from those that have room for only a single tent to sites that can support a recreational vehicle. These range in price and amenities, starting as low as $10 per night.

Camping is a lot of fun and experiencing nature in a safe environment can be a great benefit to most people. Between opportunities for introspection and being with loved ones in the great outdoors, your camping trip may be the foundation for lifelong memories!

For more information about camping in Tennessee, visit the Tennessee Valley Authority’s camping website.

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The Question of ATVs

It is widely accepted that on average, every person on the planet will be involved in some kind of car accident at least once in their lifetime. Some will be minor, while others will be fatal. Few people consider that the dangers that confront car drivers and passengers may equally apply to all terrain vehicles (ATVs).

ATVs are considered recreational vehicles for family use, and as such can be operated without a license and without age limit. According to the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, it is tempting for children and teenagers who live in wide-open spaces take out an ATV for a spin unsupervised, and this can be a recipe for disaster.

It is estimated that on average 150,000 people in the US require medical attention for injuries they sustained while on an ATV every year. Among the more serious injuries sustained include traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injuries, neck injuries, and fractures, all of which can have long-term and expensive medical consequences. In one study, it is estimated that a permanently disabling ATV-related accident can cost the victim more than $10 million in life care.

The most common cause of ATV-related injuries is rollovers or flipping, and the most common victims are those that are riding in the back. ATVs are not particularly stable, and may actually be more dangerous on a paved road. Although ATVs usually have space in the back for passengers, it is not designed to do so safely. When an ATV flips over uneven terrain, any passenger is more likely than not gets pinned under it or thrown, which can lead to the injuries mentioned above.

Because there are few regulations with ATV use, teenagers are the most common victims in an ATV accident because they often lack restraint and the skills to operate the vehicle safely and properly. It is therefore the duty of ATV manufacturers and retailers to follow federal regulations for ensuring the safety of those who use their products.

If you are seriously injured because of the defective design of your ATV, you may be able to get compensated for your medical expenses as well as pain and suffering. Find a product liability lawyer in your area for more information on your legal rights.

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Determining the Cause of a Rollover Accident

Approximately 18,000 auto accidents occur every day in the US of which 4,500 are serious but not fatal, and 1,000 are fatal. Those who are seriously injured in a rollover accident account for only 3% (about 135) but for fatalities, a rollover accident accounts for fully 30% (about 300). Rollover accidents are therefore potentially deadly, but it could be caused by a number of factors, which would determine who should be held liable.

There are some vehicles which are significantly more prone to rollovers, so if an accident was due to that, liability would lie with the manufacturer. But if the rollover was caused by another vehicle, that would be a different matter entirely. It is also possible that when you are injured in a rollover accident, it would involve both product liability and negligent driving issues.  In many cases, accident reconstruction may be necessary to determine causation, both primary and secondary.

There are three considerations that a personal injury lawyer will initially think on to find out when attempting to determine liability for a rollover accident before calling in an expert witness. These are the reason why the car went sideways, why it rolled over, and if it the rollover actually caused injury to the client.

The answer to these questions will be forthcoming during interviews with the client, police reports, and testimony from witnesses. In order for a vehicle can roll over, it has to be going sideways. There are four ways this can happen: if the vehicle is structurally unstable i.e. high center of gravity and can tip over negotiating a curve or if it loses traction, if the vehicle was subject to a triggering event such as a tire blowing out or the brakes lucked, if the vehicle hit a road defect i.e. pothole at high speed causing the car to tip over, and if another vehicle struck the client’s car. If causation is obvious in the initial assessment, it would greatly help a personal injury case. If the proximate cause is indeterminate, it can make problems for the personal injury lawyer.

If you are seriously injured in a rollover accident, a personal injury lawyer such as Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® will determine what kind of case can be filed after finding out the proximate cause. If the cause was not the manufacturer’s fault, but another driver’s, the lawyer will probably pursue that person’s auto insurance company for damages.

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Addressing Workplace Injuries: Fall Prevention

Falls from height, slip-and-falls, and force-rotation falls are all types of falls that happen in most workplaces, and remains the top cause of workplace injuries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 200,000 workers were seriously injured and 605 killed in 2009 from falls. Workers’ compensation benefits for fall-related workplace injuries alone cost $70 billion each year in the US, and the situation is similar to what is happening in other countries. Fall prevention should therefore be a top priority for employers and employees alike.

This is especially true for those in construction, where the incidence of deaths related to falls is particularly high. Non-fatal fall injuries are most common in the wholesale and retail industries as well as in health services, where incidents occur in transportation, material moving, building cleaning and maintenance, and health care.

The most common cause of workplace injuries related to falls is uneven, slippery, or disorderly walking areas. It could be a hole in the floor, sharp edges, an awkwardly placed ladder, or a wet surface. The lack or misuse of safety gear is also associated with the frequency of fall-related injuries and fatalities. The federal government has imposed rules and regulations for safety standards for all industries, but if these are not followed, fall prevention remains an untested concept.

The development and implementation of fall prevention strategies have to be a concerted effort, involving not only the government and employers but also occupational health researchers, professional associations, labor union, industry leaders, and employees. A safe working environment does not happen by accident; it needs to be a deliberate and consistent application of a culture of safety.

Unfortunately, the safety initiatives are often set aside in the pursuit of profit. Only by holding those responsible accountable for their negligence can workers assure that the workplace is a reasonably safe environment to be in. If you have been injured in a fall-related or other workplace accident because your employer or other third party failed to follow safety regulations, it is your duty to address the issue. If you decide that filing a personal injury lawsuit is the best way to bring home the need for ensuring safety in the workplace, consult with a qualified legal professional in your area to assist you in achieving your goal.

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