Collecting Evidence in a Truck Accident Case

Truck accidents are among the most devastating kind of accidents that someone can ever experience. In fact, they have the highest fatality and damage rate out of any other kind of automobile accident. The damage and injuries sustained from truck accidents have a way of putting participants out of commission for the immediate aftermath, should they survive the ordeal.

Fortunately, if the liability lies with the truck company, then there is a potentially large settlement that can be obtained from a personal injury claim. But, in order to secure compensation from a truck accident personal injury claim, there must be an investigation into whether the trucking company was negligent in a way that caused the accident.  

Truck Accident Investigation

The gathering of evidence through an investigation is integral to the success of a truck accident personal injury case. Evidence examples in a trucking accident can include:

• The Accident and Driver Reports

• Driver Logs

• Tire or Gouge Marks in the Road

• Accident Scene Photos

• Trucker’s qualifications 

• Trucker’s Driving Record

• Trucker’s Medical History

• Truck Inspection Reports

• Data from Electronic Onboard Recording Devices (EOBRs)

• Cell Phone Records

• Truck Wreckage

Getting Truck Accident Evidence

Trucking companies are required to maintain extensive documentation on the truck and driver involved in the accident. These records include details about whether a trucking company has any history of being negligent in the past. In addition, they could have a history of noncompliance with state or federal trucking regulations or they could have previously hired unqualified drivers. Trucking companies also should have a record of how many of their drivers have been involved in accidents.

In addition to the documentation from the trucking company, witness testimonies help a great deal in determining who is at fault for a truck accident. They can be a bit more difficult to gather since most involved in truck accidents are too injured to get them from the scene. Fortunately, police and investigators will usually attempt to gather witness testimonies. Their own testimonies may also prove useful if they can be secured.

Schedule a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one have been involved in an accident with a commercial truck, chances are, you’ve got plenty to deal with. Make sure that your legal needs are covered. Our attorneys are ready and willing to represent you in your case today. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Fairfax personal injury attorney, please call us at 703-462-5050 or contact us online today.

Follow these Safety Tips to Stay Safe as a Pedestrian this Holiday Season

During the winter holidays, people’s heads are often in the clouds. Focus is on finding the perfect gift, holiday parties, and sparkly lights. With more people out and about, the risk of pedestrian-involved accidents increases. Each year, pedestrians are either injured or killed in potentially avoidable accidents.

In a study conducted by the Division of Trauma in Los Angeles, CA, more than 5,800 pedestrian accidents were reviewed, and the study found that the most common type of severe injury to pedestrians was head injuries, followed by injuries to the chest, abdomen, and extremities. The study linked both the vehicle speed and the age of the pedestrian to the severity of the injury and the survival outcome.

  • At 20 mph, the chance of fatality is 5%.
  • At 30 mph, the chance of death increases to 45%.
  • At 40 mph, the chance of fatal injuries skyrockets to 85%.

Why Pedestrians Are at a Heightened Risk of Injury

The following types of driver behavior has been shown to be behind a substantial number of incidents involving pedestrian injury:

  • Drivers Failing to Yield: 48% of these accidents were attributed to drivers not yielding. This was the most common cause of pedestrian accidents in cities.
  • Hit-and-Run Collisions: 33% of all of the accidents studied were hit-and-run. These also made up 40% of the fatal pedestrian accidents.
  • Turning Vehicles: More than 50% of the accidents involved a turning vehicle. Turning left accounted for more than double the turning accidents compared to turning right.
  • Distracted drivers and alcohol-impaired drivers.

Injuries in such accidents have included fractures; brain injuries; injuries to internal organs; joint injuries; paralysis; and fatalities.

What to Do if You Are in a Pedestrian Accident

Of course, no one can anticipate being injured in a pedestrian accident. However, the steps you take or fail to take following a crash can have a substantial impact on your ability to recover damages from the driver who may have caused the incident.

If a pedestrian has suffered a serious injury in an accident caused by a negligent driver, they may recover financial compensation based upon the following types of damages:

  • Medical Expenses: All past and future medical expenses related to your injuries may be included, such as costs for an ambulance, doctors, surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, MRIs, X-rays, injections, medications, and medical devices.
  • Lost Wages: You can recover past and future lost wages if your injuries prevent you from returning to the employment you were engaged in prior to the accident.
  • Pain and Suffering: All of the pain related to physical injuries and medical procedures is compensable.
  • Disability: A financial recovery may be obtained for an injured person’s loss of the ability to participate in activities they enjoyed prior to the incident.

In a situation where a pedestrian was killed in an accident or died from injuries sustained in a crash, we can work with the family of the deceased to recover compensation for their loss of financial and emotional support as well as expenses related to the costs of the funeral.

Schedule a Free Legal Consultation

If you or a loved one have been injured in a pedestrian accident, chances are, you’ve got plenty to deal with. Make sure that your legal needs are covered. Our attorneys are ready and willing to represent you in your case today. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Fairfax personal injury attorney, please call us at 703-462-5050 or contact us online today.

Dealing With a Drunk or Drugged Driver at the Accident Scene

We’ve all been taught that after a two-car accident, the responsible thing to do at the scene is to make sure everyone is ok, call first responders, and exchange information with the other driver. But, what happens when the other driver is visibly drunk or on drugs? What should you do then?

In this post, we offer tips for dealing with a driver who is under the influence at the accident scene, and for how to follow up afterward.

  • Your Health and Safety Come First after a DUI Car Accident

After an accident, the first priority is typically ensuring everyone’s health and safety. It’s important to summon first responders, including police and an ambulance, in nearly all cases. While waiting for them to arrive, standard practice for responsible citizens is to administer first aid if needed and possible and to take care to keep the scene safe, such as by moving damaged cars to the shoulder and setting out flares or cones to signal other traffic to slow down.

When it’s obvious one of the accident victims is a drunk or drugged driver; however, the task of ensuring everyone’s health and safety can be more complicated. The impaired driver’s need for first aid may be more difficult to assess. His or her actions may be unpredictable. It may be difficult to convince him or her to take safety measures. He or she may resist calling first responders. He or she could even get violent or try to flee.

  • Be Cautious Around Drunk or Drugged Drivers After an Accident

In such a situation, your own health and safety take priority. Administer first aid to the drunk or drugged driver if you can, but if he shows any signs of violence, back away. Don’t try to get him or her to agree to call first responders. Just do it. If he won’t cooperate or tries to flee, let him or her. Don’t try to be a hero and put yourself in further danger by giving chase or subduing him or her. If he or she gets aggressive, take whatever measures you can to keep the scene safe, and then lock yourself in your car or otherwise put distance between yourself and the other driver. If you’re afraid for your safety, keep first responders on the phone with you. This will help them dispatch appropriate help and ensure they do not mistakenly think you are fleeing the scene.

  • Collect Evidence of the Car Accident (If it’s Safe to Do So)

Keeping health and safety as your first priority in mind, if you can collect evidence at the accident scene, do so. We’ve all seen crime drama shows on TV where forensic teams reconstruct accidents. Think of yourself as one of those characters and document as much as you can… so long as you stay safe doing so.

Focus first on the drunk or drugged driver and his vehicle. If you have a smartphone with photo and/or video capabilities, use it to document observations leading you to think the other driver appears drunk or drugged (such as slurred or incoherent speech, acting strange, etc.). Get shots of the other driver’s license plate, the condition of his car, and the direction he came from and was going when the accident occurred.

Next, document your own injuries and the condition of your vehicle. If there are witnesses to the accident—other drivers who saw the accident happen, or pedestrians standing around—ask them to tell you basically what they saw and get their contact information for follow-up.

  • Inform First Responders and Avoid Admitting Fault for an Accident

As soon as first responders arrive (or while you have them on the phone, if possible), tell them first about what you’ve seen that lead you to believe the other driver is drunk or drugged. This serves two important goals. First, it keeps first responders safe. Second, it prepares them to take immediate steps to detain the drunk or drugged driver, perform any necessary field sobriety testing, and make decisions about whether an arrest is appropriate.

Next, give first responders other information about the accident, and tell them what evidence you’ve already gathered, if any. In speaking with first responders, try not to blame yourself for the accident. This can be difficult. It’s an emotional moment. You’re shaken up, possibly in shock. It’s understandable if you blurt out that you feel responsible or at fault. But try not to do that. Stick to telling first responders about facts and not interpretations of facts. The time for assigning blame will come later when everyone’s adrenaline is down and the other driver is sober.

  • Call an Experienced Fairfax Car Accident Attorney at Avery Law Firm

Once you’ve left the scene and dealt with your own medical needs, contact an attorney experienced in representing clients in car accident cases.

Get the Help You Deserve After Your Accident

If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, chances are, you’ve got plenty to deal with. Make sure that your legal needs are covered. Our attorneys are ready and willing to represent you in your case today. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Fairfax personal injury attorney, please call us at 703-462-5050 or contact us online today.

Bicycle Accident Rules and Liability

Ever see bicyclists driving on the road, in concert with cars? Did you know that in Virginia, the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle and the bicyclist is a driver?

Bicyclists in Virginia have the same rights to the roadways and must obey the same traffic laws as the drivers of other vehicles. These laws include stopping for stop signs and red lights, riding with the flow of traffic, using lights at night, yielding the right-of-way when entering a roadway and yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks.

If a cyclist is not riding as fast as current motor vehicle traffic, the cyclist must ride as far to the right side of the road as possible. (On one-way streets, the cyclist may instead ride to the far left.) If a special bike lane is provided, usually on the far right of the roadway, a cyclist is required to use it.

A bicyclist may leave the side of the road or the bike lane:

  • If the cyclist keeps up with moving traffic;
  • If the lane is too narrow to share safely with passing cars;
  • To make a left turn;
  • To avoid debris or other hazards.

Space Given by Passing Motor Vehicles

Because a bicyclist has as much right to the road as does a motorist, a motor vehicle coming up behind a cyclist has a responsibility not to pass unless and until it is safe to do so. The motorist may need to slow down and wait until there is enough space, or change lanes. Except for moving to the far right of the lane, it is not the cyclist’s duty to stop or otherwise get out of the motorist’s way.

Liability in Bicycle Versus Vehicle Collisions

When a collision occurs between a bicycle and a vehicle, a determination of who is liable is usually case specific. In many cases, liability is based upon whoever had the right-of-way at the time of the accident. One example is a right turn right-of-way.

One of the most common causes of bicycle accidents is a collision with a car turning right. While making a right turn, a car passes through the path of a cyclist, whether the cyclist is traveling in a traffic lane or in a bike lane. Some of these accidents happen when a car passes a cyclist, then slows down while turning right, moving directly into the path of a bicyclist who has nowhere to turn. Or a motorist simply turns right directly into a cyclist without seeing, and often without looking for, the bike.

In either of these situations, the motorist is liable for the accident. One of the basic rules of the road is that a vehicle may not make a turn unless it is safe to do so. Because a cyclist has as much right to the road as a motor vehicle, and because side-of-the-road laws force cyclists to the right, a cyclist is entitled to continue straight through an intersection without yielding to a motorist turning right.

Been in a Bicycle Accident? Contact a Northern Virginia Personal Injury Attorney

Representing bicycle accident victims requires a team of aggressive investigators and lawyers all devoting their maximum effort to their clients. At the Avery Law Firm, our personal injury attorneys investigate every claim so that we may aggressively and zealously represent our clients and obtain the best possible results.

The Avery Law Firm knows the pain and inconvenience associated with a bicycle accident. Our attorneys are ready and willing to represent you in your case today. To schedule a free consultation and case evaluation with a Fairfax personal injury attorney, please call us at 703-462-5050 or contact us online today.