Articles Tagged with injury attorney

Younger drivers often get a bad reputation on the roads. As it turns out, the newest drivers aren’t necessarily even the worst. It’s the cohort just a few years older that reportedly has the worst driving habits.driver

That’s according to a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, which revealed 88 percent of young millennials (between the ages of 19 and 24) had engaged in at least one risky behavior at one point in the last 30 days.

These are dangerous behaviors, and include red-light running, texting while driving and speeding – all of which exponentially increases the odds of a crash. Continue reading

In an injury lawsuit, a default judgment may be issued when there is some failure to take action by one party or another. Most often, we see default judgments issued in favor of plaintiffs when a defendant fails to respond to a summons or has failed to appear before the court. tractor trailer

Although it can seem like good fortune, plaintiffs should be forewarned that default judgments are not favored by the courts and can often be reversed upon an appeal by the defendant if a case can be made for the previous failure to act.

This was the situation in the recent case of Hilyer v. Fortier, before the Alabama Supreme Court. According to court records, this case involved a teenage driver who was injured after crashing into a tractor-trailer loaded with heavy logs that was being backed into a private driveway from a public road. The crash happened in 2013. At the time of the incident, the defendant was blocking both lanes of traffic on the public road. In the vehicle with the teen driver were her brother, her fiance, and a friend.

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Almost every state in the country has some form of distracted driving law on the books. In North Carolina, we have primary laws that ban all cell phone use for bus drivers and novice drivers (those under 18), as well as a prohibition on texting for drivers of all ages. South Carolina bans texting for drivers of all ages. In total, 46 states plus the District of Columbia ban texting by drivers. However, only 14 states ban the use of any mobile device while operating a vehicle. broken phone

Every year, thousands of people continue to die in distracted driving car accidents nationwide. In 2015, the last year for which federal data is available, it was 3,400 lives lost. That figure is likely lower than reality because distraction is not as easy to measure as, say, alcohol impairment. The latest statistics show that in the last year, traffic deaths have occurred at a rate faster than at any point in the last 50 years.

Now, California is taking a hard line on the issue. The New York Times reported that effective January 1st, the state no longer allows drivers to hold any type of mobile device while operating a vehicle. The measure builds on an earlier statute that banned both talking and texting but failed to outlaw the use of apps like Facebook and Twitter or streaming video. The laws that exist were mostly written before the age of the smartphone. That’s why they don’t specifically reference the kinds of features that now compete for the attention of motorists who should be focusing on the road. Interactive features now are standard on these mobile devices, and there are many from which to choose. If states want to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to distracted driving, they are going to have to update their laws with modern technology in mind.

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Traffic fatalities in 2015 saw the biggest increase in decades. A number of experts are blaming distracted driving as the single greatest factor for increased risks.drive

Of course, this coincided with the rising prevalence of the smartphone. We have at our fingertips at any given time the ability to communicate, navigate, be entertained, and connect – instantly. Software developers have approached this distracted driving problem as a matter of lacking dexterity, which is when hands-free apps and devices were created. Unfortunately, this overlooks the reality that distraction isn’t caused solely by what we do with our hands but also by the simultaneous demands on our brains. Research has shown that when we talk on a hands-free device while driving, we are still equally distracted.

As proof this doesn’t work, consider that, according to the NHTSA, while the overall number of crashes rose by 7.2 percent, the number of distraction-related accidents rose by 8.8 percent. That was higher than any other category of causation, including unrestrained passenger fatalities (4.9 percent increase), alcohol-impaired driving (3.2 percent increase), and speed-related crashes (3.0 percent increase). Drowsy driving fatalities actually fell by 3.2 percent.

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Citing his 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination, an engineer for Takata Corp. is refusing to testify in a defective airbag lawsuit filed by a woman rendered paralyzed in a 2014 crash. drive7

Accident victims say the airbag manufacturing company, based in Japan, withheld or altered test results both prior to and after the company’s airbag inflators started exploding, firing shrapnel into drivers and passengers when they deployed during crashes.

In preparation for trial, plaintiff attorneys sought testimony during the deposition phase from a man named Al Bernat. He’s an auto safety specialist at the firm, and he’s considered a key witness on a number of those aforementioned tests. However, he says his lips are zipped, citing his constitutional right not to be forced to testify to facts that might result in a criminal prosecution against him.  Continue reading

In South Carolina, all drivers are forbidden from operating a motor vehicle under the influence. That of course includes alcohol and 0.08 BAC is the point at which a person is deemed legally impaired by alcohol. But the statute also includes drugs – even those that are over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor. If it impairs a person’s ability to drive safely, that person can be charged with a criminal offense. heroin

Now, in an interesting legal case out of Minnesota, the families of two men killed by a driver under the influence of methadone have successfully sued the clinic and doctor that prescribed the drug to the allegedly impaired driver. The two sides agreed to an $8.5 million settlement, according to Northland News Center Now’s KBJR-TV.

Methadone is a type of synthetic drug that acts similar to morphine, but it lasts longer. It’s often used as a substitute to help treat heroin and morphine addiction. It can also be used to treat severe pain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report a 63 percent spike in heroin use among all income levels, genders and ages between 2002 and 2013. This has been driven largely by the prescription opioid epidemic and the fact that heroin is a cheaper, more available alternative. Lawsuits like this are going to continue to crop up in the future, in South Carolina and elsewhere. Continue reading

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