Friday, 21 May 2010 22:18

School Bus Wrecks

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

Every day parents put their kids on school buses assuming they are safe and in good mechanical condition. On any given day, approximately 47 million elementary and secondary school children board a yellow school bus, yet remarkably few of these buses have seat belts, and an alarming percentage have either not been properly inspected or failed inspection altogether.

While responsible parents would never put their children in an automobile with bad brakes or allow them to ride in an automobile without the use of a seatbelt, the ubiquitous yellow school bus is a vehicular dinosaur.

Though most states have proposed legislation mandating seat belts on school buses, only a handful actually have them. Even fewer mandate their usage. Studies show that students riding on belt-equipped buses roam the aisles less frequently and are more likely to remain seated. Additionally, bus drivers report being less distracted because they have to spend less time handling student misbehavior and can concentrate more on driving safely.

Seat belt opponents argue that school buses already are the safest form of transportation on the road and that equipping buses with seat belts would reduce overall capacity. Private contractors, as well as many school officials who operate a third of the nation’s school buses, have fought the installation of lap belts on school buses for more than 30 years. For the most part, federal and state governments have gone along with them.

Parents should also be reassured that when they put their children on a school bus each day that the vehicle is safe and has passed a recent inspection. Yet surprise inspections throughout the country have shown that nearly 80 percent of these buses fail inspection—over half of which fail for mechanical reasons.

In a recent survey of school bus mechanics, the braking systems were the most common concern expressed. While the effect of wear and tear may seem obvious, many brake problems are concealed. The brakes may appear to be functional when actually little force is being applied to the brake drums. Ideally, all wheels should be doing an equal amount of work, applying and releasing at the same time. Something as simple as maintaining air pressure in the braking system, can prevent a catastrophic failure. Misalignment or brakes that are out of balance are unseen problems, but certainly can be felt by the driver. It is not enough to repair a problem once a defect is found because of the inspection process; inspection programs must be thorough and preventative in nature, and drivers need to know how to recognize a problem before it becomes an incident. In the event of a serious injury, defective brake issues should be thoroughly explored by experts who have full access to the brakes before changes are made.

School buses should be designed to ensure the safety of the millions of children they transport annually and maintenance and proper inspection of these buses should be the rule and not the exception. Any school bus wreck that transpires is not an accident if the problems that cause them are well known. The National Coalition for School Bus Safety found that some operators are making money by running unsafe buses by waiting for state inspectors to identify defects rather than doing preventative maintenance because it would mean removing the bus off the road for a period of time.

Parents have a right to expect that buses are designed and maintained to minimize student injuries. If a member of your family or someone you know has been injured as a result of a collision involving a school bus, call Law Offices of Gary Green toll free and without obligation at 1-888-442-7947 or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com.

Friday, 21 May 2010 22:15

Truck Accidents

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

Representing victims of truck accidents and tractor-trailer wrecks presents a challenge and complexity not experienced in other types of wrecks. The attorneys of Law Offices of Gary Green have risen to that challenge many times. The resulting catastrophic injuries alone make trucking accidents and tractor-trailer wrecks distinct from all others, but the resulting compensatory offers make these wrecks dangerous to the unwary even after the wreck. Our experienced lawyers know what you can expect to face and can help you find justice—no matter how evasive it may seem.

A trucking accident and tractor-trailer wreck that involves a motor carrier regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has built-in protection for an injured consumer. The problem is that the carriers will not disclose that they have excess insurance policies beyond the primary policy without your filing a suit:

  • They will not tell you that the driver of the DOT-regulated vehicle is their statutory employee, regardless of the fact that the driver might be an owner-operator and might have a contract with the regulated company, which refers to the driver as an owner-operator.
  • They will not tell you they are responsible for the actions of that driver as long as the driver acted within the scope of that statutory employment.
  • They will not tell you they have valued your claim at 5 times or 10 times the set amount when they are really only offering you the base amount for a full release of your right to sue.

Before sorting out all the experts for proving the catastrophic injuries, experts should be consulted regarding liability. It is not an accident when the risks for tractor-trailer wrecks are well established and can be avoided. A reconstruction expert should be called while evidence is still fresh. Reliance on old evidence can disqualify an otherwise good expert and keep the video reconstruction that helps the jury follow your theory of liability out of evidence. Satellite GPS records and electronic control modules must be identified and read before they are destroyed – usually within 90 days as a standard operating procedure for most companies.

Almost every 18-wheeler case should plead negligent supervision, negligent hiring, and negligent retention, as these facts usually are usually borne out through discovery all the way up to trial. The driver’s logs, driver qualification file, and driving record should be reviewed. Then depositions should be taken of the trucking company’s safety director, corporate representative,

relevant dispatcher, and others having knowledge of the wreck.

The condition of the tractor-trailer and its brakes should be considered. Trucks are often poorly maintained and driven by truckers with serious safety deficiencies. An alarming number of these drivers are fatigued, under the influence of drugs, or medically disqualified to drive a truck.

We have handled claims against

  • Watkins & Shepard Trucking, Inc.
  • Cal-Ark International, Inc.
  • USA Motor Express
  • J&P Trucking
  • Autobahn Freightliners LTD
  • National Bus Carriers LTD
  • Weston Transport
  • Woody Bogler Trucking
  • USA Truck, Inc.
  • Landstar Ranger, Inc.
  • Graham Trucking, Inc.
  • Stuart Small Trucking
  • Star Transportation, Inc.
  • A&J Transportation
  • West Florida Transport
  • Clarksville Refrigerated
  • D&H Trucking
  • Werner Enterprises
  • All American Bottling Corporation, LLC
  • Callaway Transfer and Storage
  • PSM, Inc.
  • Gail Stuart Trucking, Inc.
  • Willis Shaw Express, Inc.
  • Paccar, Inc.
  • Central Hauling Company
  • J.L. Trucking
  • Jacobson Transport Company, Inc.
  • Strimbu Transport, Inc.
  • Lance Trucking, LLC
  • Roadway Express
  • Schneider National, Inc.
  • JNJ Express

There is a lot of work to be done, and it takes a lot of money and people to do it. Law Offices of Gary Green has been there before. If you have questions or need additional information, call Law Offices of Gary Green toll free and without obligation, 1-888-442-7947; or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com.

Friday, 21 May 2010 22:13

Drunk Driving

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

Alcohol is an integral part of American life and is one of the most readily available consumer products on today’s market. It is cheap and often marketed toward young people as an acceptable part of popular culture. However, while drinking is a normal accompaniment to most social events, our society no longer considers drunk-driving crashes as unavoidable accidents. More than 100,000 deaths are attributable to alcohol consumption each year, and the economic costs associated with alcohol problems total more than $100 billion annually.

For victims who survive a drunk-driving crash, the crash itself is just the beginning. In a split second, their lives are changed forever and it becomes a daily struggle emotionally, physically, and financially. In many cases, the offender often walks away with minor injuries or no injuries at all and receives an insignificant punishment or is sentenced to a few months in jail. The victim, on the other hand, often sustains serious injuries that result in paralysis, coma, traumatic brain injury, or life in a vegetative state.

For the families of a loved one involved in a serious drunk-driving collision, life is suddenly interrupted, and tragic consequences soon follow. Life becomes a prison, not only for the seriously-injured victim, but also for the care-giving family members who must adjust to the day-to-day challenges of becoming an around-the-clock caregiver. Their life is put on hold. They lack the energy to maintain normal activities, become overwhelmed with emotion, and struggle to cope with the unrelenting demands of day-to-day life.

Financially, the costs for medical treatment can be astronomical, as the offender often has no insurance. Prescriptions, therapy, and respite care can become all consuming. In many cases, the injured person will end up permanently disabled and begin receiving disability payments much less than their regular income.

As if the sorrow that follows is not enough, dealing with the legal ramifications can be overwhelming. Many victims of these tragic collisions describe life afterwards as a scream that will not come, forever haunted, because life is never again the same as it was before the wreck. The right lawyer can help alleviate the worry and stress that comes with the legalities of the situation. Law Offices of Gary Green has the right attorneys for you. We are a corporate sponsor of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). MADD’s mission is to stop drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. Law Offices of Gary Green contributes to MADD in honor of every victim it represents against a drunk driver.

If you or a loved one has become the victim of a drunk driver, or if you have questions or need additional information, call Law Offices of Gary Green toll free and without obligation at 1-888-442-7947 or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com.

Friday, 21 May 2010 22:10

Car Accidents

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

Motor vehicle collisions are road traffic incidents which usually involve at least one road vehicle colliding with another vehicle, another road user, a stationary roadside object or tire failure, and which usually result in injury or property damage. On average, there are more than 6 million car collisions on the roads of the US, annually.

More than 3 million people are injured due to motor vehicle collisions, with more than 2 million of these injuries being permanent. There are in excess of 40,000 deaths due to car wrecks every year. About 40% of fatalities occur because of a drunken driver. About 30% of fatalities can be attributed to driving above the speed limits and 33% and above, because of reckless driving that causes the car to go off the road and result in a wreck.

The majority of motor vehicle collisions could be avoided if only the vehicle’s operators drove more responsibly. Unfortunately, drivers can be easily distracted by so many things such as conversations with passengers, playing with the radio, eating or drinking, and talking on cellular phones. The collisions that ensue are not accidents if the drivers were responsible for their vehicles. Even if you are a responsible driver and do not give in to distractions, that does not guarantee that you cannot be involved in a collision due to the fault of another careless driver. Knowing how to drive is not enough anymore with so many vehicles on the road. However, knowing how to drive defensively and being cautious of other drivers is one way to improve one’s chances of avoiding a motor vehicle collision.

If you have been involved in a motor vehicle collision, have questions or need additional information please call Law Offices of Gary Green toll free and without obligation at 1-888-442-7947 or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com.

Friday, 21 May 2010 22:07

Railroad Crossing Litigation

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

A train kills someone every one hundred minutes in America. There are more than 300,000 public rail grade crossings in the United States:

  • More than 80% do not have lights and gates
  • One third have no active warning device of any kind
  • For many of these crossings, warning time is often minimal to nonexistent and pedestrians and motorists are made unknowingly susceptible to the liability of an approaching train
  • Occupants of a motor vehicle that collides with a train are 40 times more likely to die, than if they had collided with another motor vehicle
  • More than half of all railroad mishaps occur at these unprotected crossings

With all this information it is hard to consider any damage sustained by unsafe railroad crossings as simple accidents. For those lucky enough to survive, the injuries sustained are typically life threatening, requiring extensive surgical intervention, many necessitating amputation. The injuries resulting from a child playing on or around railroad tracks or a motor vehicle’s collision with a train only emphasizes the need for limited access to railway areas and increased warning devices.

Trains cannot stop in time to prevent a collision from occurring. While an automobile traveling 50 miles per hour requires approximately 50 feet to come to a stop, it takes a train over a mile and a half, more than 150 times longer, to stop traveling from the same rate of speed. While grade crossing warning signals have become more high tech and rail traffic has steadily increased, the railroads responsible for maintenance have continuously reduced their workforce, leaving the public at increased risk.

At Law Offices of Gary Green, we have experience and familiarity with railroad crossing litigation. Liability can be established against the railroad by proving vegetation was allowed to grow too high in the right of way, blocking the view of both the engineer and the driver of the vehicle. Often, engineers do not blow the required whistle sequence because the whistle is so deafeningly loud in the cab of the train. However, the train’s black box can be retrieved which will show use of the whistle and speed of the train prior to impact. Communications between the train crew and dispatchers are recorded. These recordings, through contentious discovery, can be key in establishing liability against the railroad.

If you or a loved one has had an injury involving railroad crossings or a train collision, or if you have questions or need additional information, call Law Offices of Gary Green toll free and without obligation at 1-888-442-7947 or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com.

Friday, 21 May 2010 22:06

Traumatic Brain Injury

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), often referred to as a “closed head injury,” is typically, but not always, preceded by an external blow to the head. Injury to the brain caused by lack of oxygen or blood supply to the brain is called an “anoxic injury.” While the injury may not have seemed detrimental and no loss of consciousness occurred, any type of trauma to the brain can lead to impairment in brain functions with permanent damage.

You may have suffered a traumatic brain injury if any of the following conditions resulted from trauma to the head:

  • Loss of consciousness for any period of time
  • Loss of memory either before or after the incident
  • Any modification in one’s state of mind at the time of the incident e.g. feeling confused, disoriented or dazed
  • Any sort of neurological deficit e.g. numbness or tingling sensations, loss of balance, dizziness, paralysis or loss of muscle control of any type, inability to speak
  • Any sensory loss such as hearing, vision, sense of smell, or taste.

While not all of these symptoms may occur immediately following the incident, it may precipitate a series of events that can be adverse. The possibility of significant damage should be a concern if any of these symptoms follow a head injury. While the listed symptoms may be evident, other inconspicuous symptoms such as irritability, inability to concentrate, and fatigue may signify that trauma has indeed occurred.

A traumatic brain injury will not always show up on an MRI or CAT scan. Dangerous or severe brain injuries can exist while imaging studies appear negative or normal. For example, shear injuries occur at the cellular level where the damage is microscopic in nature, which would not be revealed in conventional imaging techniques. Although it may not be obvious at the time, if you have suffered another serious injury as the result of a specific event, the probability of a brain injury greatly increases. If you suspect that you have been the victim of a traumatic brain injury, yet conventional testing reveals no damage, you should seek a reputable neuro-psychologist who can test your brain function capacity.

The role of an attorney representing an individual who has suffered a traumatic brain injury is vital. Often it will be your lawyer who makes the referral to a neuro-psychologist and Life Care Planner. Our attorneys become your advocate in the medical and insurance community. They help ensure that you get the necessary specialized treatment–especially in cases where misdiagnosis or mistreatment is suspected. We have the experience and compassion necessary to act successfully on your behalf in your best interests.

Law Offices of Gary Green is a corporate sponsor of the Brain Injury Association (BIA) to whom a donation is given for every victim we represent. If you suspect you have suffered a traumatic brain injury call us toll free and without obligation at 1-888-442-7947 or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com if you have questions or need additional information.

Friday, 21 May 2010 22:04

Wrongful Death

Written by Law Offices Of Gary Green

It is nothing short of a tragedy when a loved one’s death could have been avoided. In terms of the law, a wrongful death claim is when a person dies due to the negligence or misconduct of another individual, company, or entity. Immediate family members of the deceased can file a wrongful death claim to recover damages from pain and suffering, lost wages, mental anguish, loss of companionship, medical costs, and other expenses.

These situations are not accidents when there is someone at fault. Most of our practice is devoted to wrongful death and personal injury claims. We know what to expect in your attempt to be compensated for a loss. We have the experience and the acumen to help you find justice and peace during your time of duress.

We accept wrongful death claims on a contingent basis. All cases are unique, so call us toll free and without obligation at 1-888-442-7947 or send us an e-mail at ggreen@gGreen.com if you have questions or need additional information.