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Car Accidents & Injuries Archives

Parking Lot Safety during the Christmas Holidays

winter-430469_1920 The holiday shopping season is in full swing and malls are humming with activity. Shoppers caught up in the holiday frenzy are often in a hurry and pay little attention to their surroundings, which results in numerous accidents, particularly in the Nation’s crowded parking lots.

According to the National Safety Council, more than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and garage structures annually, resulting in 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries.

One of the major reasons behind the collisions, injuries and even fatalities that happen in parking lots is the false sense of security everyone feels when navigating parking areas: People expect vehicles to drive at slow speeds and therefore are less vigilant.

During the holiday shopping season, crowded parking lots and nasty winter weather can combine to create particularly dangerous parking lot conditions.

Typical Winter Accidents

It is the Season for Slip and Falls – particularly in our parking lots. That’s because puddles and icy conditions on the walking surface are not always easy to detect for a busy pedestrian, especially when lighting conditions are poor.

Another typical parking lot accident consists of pedestrian injuries caused by vehicle impact. According to the NSC, backup incidents are behind more than one-third of pedestrian deaths in parking lots. Crowded parking lots during the holiday shopping season make these accidents more likely, as visibility is impaired and shoppers tend to be distracted.

At this time of the year, slippery driving surfaces are another aggravating factor in pedestrian-vehicle collisions, as cars are at risk of skidding across the parking lot. This is particularly the case at higher speed and on wet or icy surfaces.

Avoid the Perils of Parking Lots

multi-storey-car-park-2705368_1920We have compile some basic parking lot safety tips for drivers:

  • Focus while driving: In a National Safety Council public opinion poll, 66% of drivers nationwide said they would make phone calls while driving through parking lots. Avoid distractions such as calling, texting, using apps or eating while driving.
  • Drive slowly: Always observe the speed limits.
  • Obey lane markings and traffic signs: Make sure you’re not going the wrong way by watching the arrows on the pavement. At intersections, obey the stop signs and follow the standard right-of-way rules.
  • Be patient while driving: Don’t rush through the parking lot, don’t stop abruptly to secure that coveted spot, don’t follow another vehicle too closely. Trust us, eventually a parking space will open up.
  • Enter your parking spot by backing up whenever possible. This allows you exit the space safely later on.
  • Buckle up: Remind yourself AND your children and teens to use seat belts.

For pedestrians, keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t assume that a driver will see you.
  • Make yourself visible: Walk in groups whenever possible. Don’t walk between parked vehicles.
  • Always look both ways before crossing and use sidewalks where available.

Steps to take after a Parking Lot Accident

crashed-car-2727666_1920Find out what steps you should take after a car accident in our Blog. Generally speaking drivers involved in a traffic accident in a parking lot have the same responsibility as if they were in an accident on a public road or highway.

Parking lot accident liability can fall on the driver, the pedestrian or the parking lot owner or manager. The owner or manager could be liable for if a parking lot is poorly designed in way that creates a high risk of accidents. He or she could also be held liable if the signage in the parking area is poorly displayed, if there are hazards or blockages in the parking area or if access lanes are poorly maintained. Particularly during the winter months walking and driving surfaces must be cleared of snow and ice promptly and regularly.

Remember, one the best ways to preserve a potential injury lawsuit is to take as many photos as possible of the scene and the people involved. This will support your case and help determine liability.

If you have been involved in a recent parking lot accident, contact us or call us at 1-866-829-2169. We will put you in touch with a personal injury attorney in your area to discuss your case.


Nearly 51 Million Americans on the Road this Year

Thanksgiving Road Safety TipsThanksgiving brings families and friends together across large distances to celebrate the harvest, give thanks and enjoy each others’ company. This year auto club AAA projects 50.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more away from home. That’s the highest Thanksgiving travel volume since 2005! Having more people on the road unfortunately increases the potential of vehicle crashes. That’s why we have compiled a series of safety tips to keep you safe on the road.

Stay safe with our Thanksgiving Road Safety Tips

Make sure your vehicle is in good working order

• If maintenance is not up to date, have your car and tires inspected before you take a long drive.
• Stock your car with an emergency kit. Consider getting a flashlight, flares or triangle reflectors, jumper cables, a fire extinguisher, an ice scraper, a first-aid kit, and some basic tools.

Keep calm and in control

• Study your route ahead of time to minimize the risks of driving in unfamiliar territory.
• Follow the weather reports and try to avoid driving in hazardous weather conditions.
• Allow for extra travel time.
• Be patient while driving. If you are prone to road rage, keep it at bay by remembering that safety is your number one concern.

Buckle up

• Use your seat belt; it’s one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. According to the CDC, more than half of teens (13-19 years) and adults aged 20-44 years who died in crashes in 2015 were unrestrained at the time of the crash.
• Inspect your seat belts for proper fit.
• Remind yourself AND your children and teens to use their seat belts before every trip.

Pay attention

• Avoid distractions such as texting, using apps or eating while driving.
• Secure your children and your pets.
• Observe changing traffic patterns caused by construction sites or traffic accidents.
• Make frequent stops, particularly if you are getting tired. If possible, rotate drivers during long trips.

Drive responsibly

• Observe the speed limits.
• Don’t follow another vehicle too closely.

Prevent drunk or impaired driving

• If you plan to drink at a Thanksgiving celebration, make sure to arrange for a sober driver prior to the party or hire a taxi.
• Make sure friends and family members don’t get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol or drugs.
• If you see a drunk driver contact local law enforcement immediately.
• Don’t forget that prescription medications and marijuana can also be impairing by themselves, or in combination with alcohol.

 

Injured? Call for a FREE consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney.

 

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texture-860666_1920One of the most commonly known car-related product flaws is the Toyota gas pedal issue, where certain Toyota vehicles had the gas pedal stick when it was pressed down. This issue resulted in numerous drivers losing control, which caused injury accidents and even fatalities. Toyota was forced to recall more than four million vehicles and eventually reached a settlement of $1.1 billion for consumers who had been injured or harmed by the defect. This particular settlement contained no admission of fault on the part of Toyota.

Faulty Takata Airbags Result in Injury and Death

Another car-related product liability issue is the defective Takata airbags, which mostly affected cars built between 2002 and 2008, but also included models through 2014 in some cases. The main issue with the recall is that some airbags can deploy explosively, injuring or even killing car occupations. This issue involved the airbag’s inflator, which is some cases would ignite with explosive force. If the casing ruptured in a crash, there was a possibility that metal shards could be sprayed from the airbag throughout the vehicle’s cabin.

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Drowsy Driving: Dangerous, Deadly, and Difficult to Identify

According to the Department of Energy, the average car in the United States tips the scales at just over 2 tons. That’s 4,000 pounds of metal, rubber, and gasoline hurtling down the nation’s roadways and highways. Under the best of circumstances, operating a vehicle is the most dangerous thing the average person does on a daily basis. When people operate a vehicle while drowsy, the danger increases dramatically.

Under Reported Drowsy Driver Car Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that, even though drowsy driving is difficult to identify as the cause of car crashes in many situations, at least 40,000 people are injured every year as the result of drowsing driving, while another 1,550 are killed.

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The Dangers of Texting and Driving

Most people are good, responsible drivers who never take unnecessary risks. However, even the best drivers can make mistakes and texting while driving is definitely one of those. Even though you may understand that texting and driving is dangerous, the statistics may shock you.

Sending or reading a text while driving makes you 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than normal driving. Simply dialing, talking on, or listening to a phone while driving makes you as much as three times as likely to be involved in the crash.

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Determining Fault in Car Crashes

Even if you haven’t been in a car crash, you may wonder how the police and insurance companies determine who is at fault. Determining fault is important for number of reasons, but it isn’t always easy to do. Let’s take a look at how it’s done.

Determining Fault in a Car Accident?

In many, if not most, car crash situations, it falls to the insurance companies who insure the individual drivers involved in the crash to determine who was at fault. When insurance companies investigate a crash, they look at the statements the drivers make, any police reports, or any other evidence gathered about the crash. They do this to try to determine negligence.

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Why Should You Hire a Lawyer After an Accident?

Car Accidents: Economic & Non-Economic Damages

When you sustain an injury as a result of a car accident, you may not be the only one who suffers. Injuries incur costs, both financial and otherwise. You may suffer lost wages, you might lose your job, or your earning potential may be reduced if you are left with a significant disability. As medical and other bills pile up in the aftermath of an accident, the stress and anxiety that come with it can be overwhelming and even incapacitating at times. Individuals who are injured in a car accident may be entitled to receive compensation for their injuries, expenses, and even pain and suffering; however, doing so can be complicated, especially for someone struggling with the physical and emotional ramifications that often occur following an accident.

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4 Common Questions About Car Accidents and the Statute of Limitations

What is a statute of limitations for a car accident?

A statute of limitations is a specific kind of law that imposes a time limit on people who want to go to court. Think of a statute of limitations as a countdown timer. In car accident cases, your timer starts as soon as you are involved in an accident or learn that you have suffered damages as a result of an accident. If you want to file a lawsuit because of the car accident, you have to do so before the clock reaches zero.

How much time do I have to file a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident?

That depends on a number of different issues. Every state has its own statute of limitation laws and each of them determine how long you have to file a lawsuit; however, it is typically between 1-6 years. Additionally, while some time limits apply to car accident injury lawsuits, wrongful death lawsuits may have different filing deadlines.

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Car Crashes and Your Insurance Company

Drivers involved in car crashes often worry about what will happen to their insurance rates. There are millions of car accidents every year, most of which involve insured drivers, and each case is different. To understand what might happen to your policy if you are involved in the crash, you have to look at several different factors.

Car Accidents & Insurance: The Claim

Whenever you are involved in a car accident that results in damage to a vehicle or an injury to a person, insurance companies are usually involved. When you are involved in an accident, one of the first things you typically have to do after making sure everyone is safe and collecting all the relevant information, is to call your insurance company. After calling the company you inform the agent or representative about what happened and that representative will assign your case a claim number. The company will then assign a claims agent or investigator to the case to begin an investigation.

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8 Practical Steps You Can Take if You’re Ever in a Car Crash

Almost all drivers will experience a fender bender, object collision, or a more significant car crash at some time in their lives. While car accidents or other vehicle accidents can be very scary and stressful, you need to be prepared to take specific steps if you are ever involved in a crash. Here’s what you need to do:

Accident Step 1: Get Help

If you or anyone else has been injured, you need to get help as soon as possible. If you have a cell phone you should call 911 and ask the operator to send an ambulance. If you don’t have a cell phone or are unable to move, ask the first person on the scene to call for help. If there is a crowd of people, single out one person and specifically ask him or her to call.

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