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Wrongful Death due to a Truck Accident

On the morning of August 1, 2006, a minivan that had four occupants (a woman driver, her mother, and her two sons – one was 15 months old while the other was 3 years old) was caught in a traffic congestion on Interstate 80. It slowed down and stopped behind a flat-bed truck as a three-axle Intercontinental 9400 semi-trailer approached behind it at more than 50mph. Failing to slow down in time, the semi-trailer rear-ended the minivan crushed and slammed it into the flat-bed truck, causing it to be engulfed in a horrific fire. No one survived the accident: not the semi-trailer driver and, definitely, not the occupants of the minivan.

Just like everyone else on the road, the individuals who drive 18-wheelers and other large cargo trucks have an immense responsibility to drive carefully. However, truckers and their employers need to shoulder the responsibility of safety on a much higher scale because the vehicles they drive are so much more massive than the average person’s car. When they are involved in an accident, especially at highway speeds, trucks can create devastation on the streets and seriously injure anyone involved.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says that fatal truck accidents happen almost 11 times a day, resulting to more than 4,000 deaths and more than 100,000 injuries each year. This number of fatalities caused by trucks is only a tenth of the number of deaths due to car accidents; however, truck accidents are always much more tragic- often the cause of disabling injuries or wrongful death.

Despite the threats presented by trucks, there is no way that these huge vehicles will be removed from U.S. roads and highways due to their major contribution to the country’s economy. Thus, dispel the fear of so many other motorists from sharing the road with these vehicles, the government makes sure that only qualified, licensed and well trained drivers would be allowed to operate them. Laws have also been passed to ensure the safe operation of trucks; laws like the allowed maximum number of driving hours and the required number of hours of rest, lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, which is 0.04%, strict prohibition of the use of cell phone, use of standard tires and brakes, regular maintenance of the vehicle, and a mandate on employers to keep bad drivers off the road.

Upon digging deeper into the accident mentioned above, a private investigator hired by the lawyer of the victim’s family found out that driver of the semi-truck had 3 past cases of rear-end accidents, 7 warnings from his safety manager, and drove at an unsafe speed prior to the accident: the warnings and the past cases of rear-end accidents, according to traffic authorities, should have been seen by the driver’s employer as red flags for unsafe driving, more than enough reason to keep the driver off the road.

Losing a loved one in an accident caused by the poor judgment or negligence is unbearably tragic; you may not be thinking about legal action at first, and that is normal. However, as time goes on and the wound begins to heal, seeking justice against the party responsible for the loss of your loved one might become more important to you.

Truck accidents can have life-altering consequences. The injuries sustained in such accidents and their resulting medical bills can leave a person unfairly dealing with the mistakes made by a negligent truck driver, company, or manufacturer on a permanent basis. However, it is possible to hold the person or persons accountable for your injuries and receive damages for all your sufferings and losses.


Medical Malpractice: Lack of Informed Consent

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional has become incompetent, negligent, or reckless, resulting into the harm of a patient. Typically, a medical malpractice incident happens this way: First, there is a legitimate relationship between the professional and the patient. Second, the professional then has the duty of care towards this patient. Third, this duty of care has been breached because of the professional’s action or inaction. Fourth, the breach has resulted into the patient getting harmed.
It is a good thing that, according to the website of Karlin, Fleisher & Falkenberg, LLC, those who have been hurt because of medical malpractice may have legal options, such as making the responsible party accountable for the damages.
One way medical malpractice can happen is through the lack of informed consent. Lack of informed consent occurs when a medical professional has failed to inform the patient of the possible risks of an upcoming operation, medication, or any kind of treatment process, and then the patient ends up getting hurt.
The medical professional should properly inform the patient of the following:

  • The treatment process’s description
  • Why the treatment process is necessary
  • The treatment process’s goal
  • The potential risks of undergoing the treatment process
  • The treatment process’s chance of being successful
  • Other treatment processes that may serve as alternatives

After being informed thoroughly, the patient will then need to sign papers of consent, to prove that he or she is willing to undergo the treatment process with full knowledge of what could happen, both positively and negatively.
“Full knowledge” is also an important part there. So, in essence, lack of informed consent is not just about consent itself, because the patient’s decision should be based on a thorough understanding of the procedure and its possible risks.
This is particularly important on treatment processes that may have details that can make the patient back out. Those cases may be a case of medical malpractice due to lack of informed consent because the patient has agreed even though he or she has not been fully informed of the risk of pursuing the treatment process.

Personal Injury from Governmental Agency

Anyone who has been a victim of negligence or reckless action (or inaction) can file a lawsuit against a government agency. However, suing a local government agency for a personal injury often involves strict number of rules and could have limited time and amount that can be recovered. Following these rigid steps and meeting the deadline are vital in establishing s strong injury lawsuit and secure a fair compensation.

One of the things that should be considered when suing a government agency is the narrow time limits that it gives to bring forth an injury claim. Typical personal injury claims have a statute of limitations around one to six years after the accident to file for a personal injury claim, while the time frame for government agencies typically range between 30 to 120 days after the injury. States can have a government-specific time restrictions and awareness of the general statute of limitations on injury claims is what is really essential for the lawsuit.

Another thing to regard is the “Notice of Claim” that some states may require, otherwise the lawsuits may be rejected by the court. This Notice of Claim is typically addressed to every person or entity involved in the accident and caused the injuries. It is not filed in court but rather sent through certified mail to the government employee or agency as well as to the government agency receiving all forms of Notice of Claims. It should contain state-specific information such as name, address, date, location and insurance provider of the injured claimant. Furthermore, there is a grace period of 30 -120 days after sending the Notice of Claim before filing a lawsuits, otherwise filing before the expiration of this period will render the lawsuit dismissible.

There are certain injury claims that the government is immune form, and despite it being not as extensive as it was in the past it still can give immunity to some personal injury claims which change from state to state. Additionally, states do not compensate for punitive damages since the rationale states that the punitive damages do not provide any deterrent effect for the misconduct.


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The Difference between Car Accident Laws and Truck Accident Laws

Unfortunately, accidents while on the road are more than common enough in this day and age. Several of them occur on a daily basis. Every single time, they cause damage – either almost inconsequential (just a bit of a scratch on the paint, nothing too major) to devastating rollovers or collisions that cost can cost a lot of money but also lives. The thing about regular motor vehicles accidents is that sometimes, they can be relatively tame. That is why truck accidents are on an altogether different class.

Trucks, either semi-trucks or full on eighteen-wheelers, weight significantly more than your ordinary sports utility vehicle (SUV). According to the website of lawyers Habush Habush & Rottier S.C., truck accidents cause devastating effects on the victims due to the sheer size that something of that magnitude could inflict. Can you imagine something weighing at least 80,000 pound rolling at a few miles per hour at a Los Angeles freeway during rush hour? The damages and lives cost would be colossal.

It is the sizable difference between trucks and regular motor vehicles that allows for trucks to actually have universal federal laws for every manufacturer and driver to abide by when operating a truck. For example, a driver of an eighteen-wheeler truck is only allowed to drive for a certain number of hours without rest. A truck is also only allowed a maximum capacity for how much weight it can carry and transport from state to state. Some states allow for trucks to carry over 100,000 pounds without a permit.

Understanding the laws and regulations concerning truck accidents allows for you to know your rights to pursue legal action, should you have been injured due to circumstances of this nature.

What to do After Being Injured in an Accident?

There are many more hazards and risks that have become more prominent in the world we live in today. After all, they call it a technological revolution for a reason and new things are getting made every single day. However, as things get more and more dependent on things out of our immediate control, so does the room for accidents to happen grow exponentially when these things that we rely on happens to cause injury. So what are you to do after you are injured in an accident?

First things first, you need to be given immediate medical attention for bodily harm that has come to you from the situation. According to the website of the Abel Law Firm, some injuries from accidents can cause temporary to permanent disabilities which could affect your and your family’s lifestyle forever. One of the reasons why it is recommended to seek legal action against the guilty party who caused the unfortunate events to occur is to gain compensation for the medical expenses that will be deemed necessary for the care and recovery of injuries sustained due to the accident involved.

Houston personal injury attorney would probably mention that a good next thing to do is to get your story straight and in order, with supporting evidence. Though it might be the most imperative thing to get you into medical care, documentation of the scene of the accident can clear up any possible loopholes that the guilty party may abuse in order to get out of the case without paying the price of the law. It is not recommended that fault is admitted but only for the events of the case to be presented in a clear, concise manner.

There are many complications that come with pursuing legal action and a lot of people are, oftentimes, intimidated by the scale of it all or are unafraid that they might not be able to afford it or for any other reason. Personal injury cases are, as is stated on the website of lawyers Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, a personal affair with variables that are constantly changing.