Articles Posted in Motor Vehicle Accidents

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kendall+car+crashIn the state of Florida, there are over 16 million drivers and everyday more than 600 car crashes occur. According to the National Safety Council, an improving economy and lower gas prices are leading to more motorists on the nation’s highways and more fatal car accidents. As a result, the probability of getting into a car accident on your way to your job is increasing by the hour and if this were to happen to you, it is important that you have clear understanding of the steps you should take at the scene of the accident and immediately after in order to insure a speedy physical, emotional and financial recovery.

The following are our recommendations of the steps you most definitely take it you were ever to be involved in a car accident.

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Originated as “Decoration Day” in 1865, Memorial Day is an American holiday for remembering the people who perished while serving in the United States Armed Forces. While some follow these traditions, most take Memorial Day long weekend as a short vacation, full of partying and tons of alcohol, making being on the roads and in the waters a true hazard. The past Memorial Day weekend was no exception.

Last Saturday May 23, a boat slammed into a light tower off Miami’s coast, resulting in two 18 year old men injured. Both were taken to Kendall Regional Medical Center and it is still unclear of what caused the accident. “These two 18 year olds somehow did not see this light tower. I’m not sure if the marking lights were on, but the boat ended up going through the frame of the lighthouse and came to rest on the other side,” explained Captain Ignatius Carroll, with Miami Fire Rescue. Moreover, just a couple of hours later, a couple in a jet ski crashed into the Venetian Causeway Bridge in Miami Beach.

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For anyone that has driven in South Florida, it might not be a surprise that Florida is one of the most dangerous states in the US to commute and drive in.  In South Florida especially, population density, confusing roads, and aggressive drivers are just some of the many factors that lead to some of the highest fatality rates on the road in any state in the US, only following the much larger states of California and Texas.  According to the Census Bureau and the Federal Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Florida ranks third among the states in fatal traffic accidents, with over 2,500 incidents of fatal accidents in the year of 2009 alone.  This number brings into focus the harsh truths about the Florida driving environment.

In a separate study comparing the fatal accident rates to that of drivers reported to be distracted, some more startling numbers come to light.  The census reports that upwards of 15% of fatal accidents involve at least one distracted driver.  These cases are the just the ones that actually reported that one driver might have been distracted in the official accident report, so the number in fact could be much higher, with police trying to soften the blow to families, and their reluctance to place blame at the scene of a fatal accident.  These numbers include motorcycle and big rig cases as well.  You can see more information about the Census Bureau’s investigation into transportation related incidents at census.gov.

So what all is distracting the drivers of Florida causing such high numbers of crashes and crash fatalities?  The main problems with distracted drivers include the prevalence of cell phone communication while driving (of which some is illegal in the state of Florida), talking and paying attention to passengers, changing of music, cds, or other media while driving, and sleep deprivation or sleepy drivers.  These factors can cause serious problems on the road, especially with the traffic situations like they are in South Florida day to day.   The Friedland Law Group handles cases often where drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians and bikers are injured seriously by distracted drivers in South Florida.

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123 cars are reported to be involved in a major pileup that occurred in Kalamazoo County, Michigan this week. At least one person is dead in this horrendous crash involving a police estimate of at least fifty semi trucks, causing damage in both directions of the freeway. A semi-trailer carrying an unknown amount of fireworks also exploded when the truck caught fire, causing even more damage to vehicles and people alike. It is unknown at this time what caused the accident, or even the extent of the damage. Emergency evacuation for drivers and passengers was required to get the non-injured parties to a nearby school to provide food and assistance while the situation was sorted out. The highway was shut down in both directions for hours while rescue workers worked to help victims, remove cars, and clean up the huge amount of debris left by the accident. Witnesses and victims of the huge pile-up had only confusion and pain to show for the accident, with an investigation into the causes of the accident still pending.

Additional information about the intense pile-up and pictures of the scene can be found here. Updates on the damage are also still pending, as authorities work around the clock to clean up the road and get people information on the causes of the crash. Michigan crash.jpg

The confusion, injuries, anger, and property damage that follows a major accident like this can be devastating, and leave all parties involved in complex litigation and settlement that could take years. With the cause of the accident still unknown and the sheer number of cars involved in the incident, the insurance companies and parties involved will be very reluctant to pay premiums in order to pay for the medical bills and property damage. It is times like these that automobile accident attorneys, like the experienced ones at the Friedland Law Group are important to the process of recovery. Mr. Friedland and his associate, Michael Carmona, Esq. have experience in getting victims of automobile accidents and other personal injuries compensation awards for their injuries, damage to their property, and disruption of their lives.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident that injured you or your family, or you have been injured in any personal injury incident at work, home, or on the property of another, call the Friedland Law Group today! The personal injury attorneys at the Friedland Law Group have decades of experience litigating personal injury cases, with a strong track record of large compensation awards and quality service to victims and their families. If you or someone you love has been the victim of an injuring car accident, slip and fall, or any other kind of personal injury, call today!

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Five teenagers were injured this week after a Ford Bronco rolled over in Boise, Idaho, ejecting several of the passengers. When police arrived on the scene and did some investigation, it became clear that some goofing off had been going on in the car. The teenagers reported that the crash occurred when one of the passengers light the armpit hair of the 18 year old driver on fire, causing him to swerve and flip over the vehicle. None of the passengers were wearing seatbelts, and several were cited for various violations, including inattentive driving and interfering with the driver’s safety.

Luckily for the teens, no one was put in any serious danger, as none of the injuries sustained by the five were life-threatening. However, it easily could have been a much worse accident, possibly involving another vehicle, or a higher speed crash. Negligent driving and general goofing off while driving are a major cause of accidents and injuries when teenagers are involved. You can read more about this unique crash, and others in the Miami area and around the country here.

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Manning, Oregon: Daniel Calhoun of Snohomish, Washington is being accused of reckless driving, reckless endangerment, and fourth degree assault after a crash on Sunday the 25th. Calhoun according to police, fainted after holding this breath while going through the 750 foot long tunnel. His car drifted across the center line, and struck an oncoming vehicle, injuring the driver and passenger and driver of the 2013 Explorer coming in the other direction. Shortly afterwards, a GMC pickup struck Calhoun’s vehicle, injuring Calhoun and his passenger. Police reported that people have been known to hold their breath while going through tunnels due to superstition that it is bad luck to not do so, and has become something of a game for young people. This 3 car crash has become a glaring reminder of just how dangerous games that distract or impair the driver can be.

While it is unclear how many people of the injured were in serious condition, at least one of the victims of the accident was reported in serious condition earlier this week. Police have already made multiple statements about the charges that will be brought against Calhoun, without addressing some of the tort liability that he might incur for the damages to the other drivers and vehicles. 1401140434000-holdingbreath.jpg Further investigation is pending, but it seems that the majority of the damage has been explained by Calhoun’s fainting. Oregon State Police’s Twitter this week had the ominous warning “Don’t play games on our roads,” a strong reminder to keep your eyes on the road and maintain focus when driving.

Read More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/05/26/holding-breath-oregon-crash/9602071/
Image Credit: Oregon State Police

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815-1gqmfj.St.55.jpeg More than forty high school students were confronted with a tragic situation Thursday evening as a FedEx tractor-trailer drove across a grassy highway median and slammed into a bus carrying the students. The students were on their way to visit Humboldt State University in Northern California. The crash occurred just after 5:30 p.m. on Thursday near Orland, California, a small city approximately one-hundred miles north of Sacramento. The impact caused a massive fire that left ten people dead and numerous others injured. One passenger kicked out a bus window and many of those aboard the bus squeezed through and ran to the other side of Interstate 5 just before the bus exploded in flames.

Both the bus driver and the FedEx truck driver were killed. Three adult chaperones and five teenage students were also among the dead, according to the California Highway Patrol. Massive flames engulfed both vehicles immediately after the crash, and clouds of smoke filled the sky until firefighters were able to extinguish the fire. Most of the individuals who died were found on the ground in front of the bus or in the front part of the bus. Glenn County Sheriff Larry Jones said that identifying the victims of the crash might require the use of dental records or DNA. One person was even seen running from the bus on fire. That person was pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital.

Investigators are looking into what caused the FedEx truck to travel across the median and strike the bus. Some of the explanations for the crash could be that the FedEx truck driver fell asleep; the truck experienced mechanical failure; or the truck driver lost control because of a separate collision that occurred on the driver’s side of the highway. Authorities will also look closely at roadway and weather conditions. The investigation could take anywhere between three and six months.

College visit turns tragic for California students www.miamiherald.com April 11, 2014

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train on platform.png The Chicago commuter train operator who crashed a train at O’Hare International Airport last week acknowledged that she fell asleep immediately before the incident and had also done so last month when she overshot a station platform. Before the crash last Monday, the train operator had been running trains in Chicago for only two months. The operator woke up only as the eight-car train jumped onto the platform and pushed up onto an escalator leading into the airport.

The crash occurred around 3 a.m., as the operator’s shift was just about over. The woman had an unusual work schedule and federal investigators were trying to determine if that played a role in her apparent fatigue. More than thirty people were injured in the crash. At a final on-site briefing at the airport National Transportation Safety Board investigator Ted Turpin stated, “She did admit that she dozed off prior to entering the station. She did not awake again until the train hit.” While the briefing was occurring, workers with electric saws and face shields were cutting up the lead train car in an effort to remove the wreckage.

Last Tuesday, Turpin and other officials interviewed the train operator and investigated her training, scheduling, and disciplinary history. The operator told investigators she was not on any medications; the results from drug-and-alcohol tests had not yet been received. The operator informed investigators that in February she fell asleep while driving a train and partially missed a station. After the February incident, the operator was admonished, which was all that was required under local agency disciplinary guidelines. Currently, the operator is on “injured on duty” status and faces discipline up to and including discharge.

Train operator in Chicago crash had fallen asleep www.palmbeachpost.com March 26, 2014

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abfe49182ef752074c0f6a7067007317_original.jpg Two pilots of a UPS cargo jet that crashed last August complained about the company’s exhausting work schedules just before they took off on their last flight. The pilots made errors shortly before the plane flew into a hillside and became engulfed in flames. Both pilots were killed in the pre-dawn crash that occurred near Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Birmingham, Alabama. The morning they attempted to land, the main runway was closed for maintenance. Captain Cerea Beal Jr. was trying to land on a much shorter runway that did not have a full instrument landing system, which helps keep planes from coming in too low or too high.

According to information presented to the National Transportation Safety Board, UPS pilots land at airports without the assistance of a full instrument landing system only once or twice a year. In addition to the lack of a full instrument landing system, the pilots also failed to properly program the plane’s computer system for this type of landing. Without completing the last step in programming the system, the computer could not provide critical navigation help. The pilots became aware that the computer could not help them, but they did not abort the landing and attempt it again, which would have been the expected and preferred action. Beal also set the descent rate of that runway too high. Within moments, the plane struck the tops of trees and an alert went off that it was about the crash into the ground.

Not long after the flight left Louisville, Beal complained to First Officer Shanda Fanning that cargo pilots do not get as much time to rest between work shifts as pilots of passenger airlines. Fanning agreed and Beal stated that regulations governing pilot hours should be uniform. According to a summary of interviews gathered by investigators, “About 7 weeks before the accident, he told a colleague that the schedules were becoming more demanding because they were flying up to three legs per night.” The NTSB has long expressed concern about operator fatigue–an issue which shows up continuously across all forms of transportation. The FAA issued new rules a couple years ago that addressed the need for pilot rest, but cargo airlines were exempted from the rules.

Pilots reported fatigue, erred in UPS jet crash www.palmbeachpost.com February 20, 2014

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denvercrash.jpg Heavy snow led to a massive pileup outside of Denver last weekend that claimed the life of one and injured thirty others. Authorities stated that over 100 vehicles were involved in the string of crashes that ran for about a two-mile stretch of Interstate 25. An intense burst of snow hit the area just before the crashes began. The northbound lanes of the highway were shut down for several hours. The injured were transported to local hospitals.

The Denver Post reported that drivers and passengers who were not injured were taken to a city bus to speak with accident investigators. Some of the destroyed vehicles were towed to a nearby high school. According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, during and after the crashes, approximately 100 snowplows and four large tankers were driving around the city clearing roads with deicing fluid. Meteorologists stated that the snow storm was part of the same system that soaked California and it continued to move east last weekend. National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kalina stated that Denver was on the “front leading edge” of the storm and that, combined with a cold front that had moved into the area the night before, created whiteout conditions and slippery roadways.

1 killed, 30 injured in massive Colorado pileup www.miamiherald.com March 01, 2014

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