Articles Posted in Car-Bus Accidents

During a six-month period last school year, 12 children were killed and 47 were injured through the country while getting on and off school buses. According to AAA Mid-Atlantic, 133 pedestrians were killed in Maryland car accidents and 214 students were injured as they were walking during school arrival and dismissal times. The Maryland State Department of Education reported 3,812 incidents involving vehicles passing a stopped school bus with their lights activated during a one-day survey of bus drivers.

Section 21-706 of the Maryland Transportation Code states that if a school vehicle is stopped and is flashing red lights, a driver must stop for the school vehicle at least 20 feet from the front or the rear of the vehicle, depending on the direction of the driver. A driver must remain stopped and cannot proceed until the school vehicle resumes driving or deactivates the flashing red lights. A bus will normally flash yellow lights to indicate that the bus is preparing to load or unload children, and motorists are supposed to slow down and be prepared to stop. Last year, Maryland imposed a new $500 maximum penalty for drivers caught on school bus stop-arm cameras for failing to stop when required.

If a child is injured in a car accident while getting on or off the school bus, or on the way to school, the driver of the car that struck them may be held responsible for any resulting injuries. A personal injury claim against a driver would allow an injured victim to recover damages such as medical bills, as well as compensation for their pain and suffering damages. As the following article shows, such accidents occur all too frequently. In that case, a student was hit and seriously injured as a driver passed a school bus as the student was boarding the bus.

When people think about a products liability claim, it is very common to imagine a defective child safety seat, an electrical appliance with a dangerous flaw, even an auto safety recall involving a faulty tire or brake system component on a passenger car or commercial truck. One thing that most people don’t consider is that larger items, very large items, can also be named in a product liability lawsuit. As Maryland auto accident and personal injury lawyers, I and my legal staff understand the faith that people place in products and everyday items.

By saying this, we mean that consumers and those in the general public have a relative expectation that most products and other man-made items will not harm them; certainly one can surmise that there is a belief among most people that they will not be killed if they use a certain product or manufactured item. Naturally, this also implies that the consumer will use the item in the way it was intended, which can be another important aspect of a well thought-out products liability claim.

As an aside, we should remind readers that every one of us is a consumer of multiple products and services every day of our lives. There is almost nothing that you or I touch on a regular basis that is not designed, manufactured, processed or created in some way, shape or form for our use or consumption. And so it goes that when we purchase a product from a store, dealer or directly from a manufacturer we expect that item to perform in the way in which it is supposed.

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Anyone who has been involved in any kind of serious traffic accident knows how dangerous a car or trucking-related collision can be. As Maryland injury specialists, I and my colleagues are all too aware of the bodily injuries that can result from a collision between a passenger vehicle and a commercial delivery truck or semi tractor-trailer. (We won’t even talk about the fatal consequences that face individuals who become involved in a motorcycle-related roadway accident that entails a collision between a large commercial motor vehicle and a much smaller motorcycle, scooter or bicycle.)

Being automobile accident lawyers, we have seen the aftermath of many a traffic accident, here in the Baltimore area as well as other parts of Maryland and the District of Columbia. There are few roadway wrecks that can truly match the deadly and frightening effects of an 18-wheeler striking a smaller family sedan, sport utility vehicle or minivan. Unfortunately, in this day and age, trucking-related traffic accidents are an unavoidable part of modern life in large metropolitan areas.

Sharing the roadway with box trucks, construction vehicles, city buses and big rigs is just par for the course for many Maryland drivers. Despite the dangers — and remembering that every year, thousands of innocent victims are killed or injured in commercial vehicle accidents — drivers and passengers must go about their lives in the hope that nothing bad will transpire while they are on the road.

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Representing victims of automobile, motorcycle and commercial trucking accidents, we have seen the aftermath of these sometimes devastating traffic accidents. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my staff of legal professionals understand that being involved in a traffic collision may be one of the most traumatic events a person has had to face in their lifetime. With serious injuries ranging from deep cuts and lacerations to internal injuries and closed-head trauma, many of these life-threatening conditions, a victim and his family are surely preoccupied with physical recovery.

But on top of all the medical treatments, physical rehabilitation and emotional counseling is the similarly large consideration of financial recovery. Depending on the type of insurance coverage and willingness of a carrier to cover a victim’s medical costs, there can many times be large gaps in monetary support for injuries sustained as the result of another individual’s negligent acts.

For those unlucky enough to end up with a chronic, long-term condition following a serious or near-fatal roadway collision, insurance may not satisfy the months or years of rehab and ongoing medical attention required to maintain a useful and rewarding life. In cases where costs exceed resources, it may be wise to contact a qualified personal injury lawyer for advice.

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We see the headlines quite often: “Car Leaves Road, Rolls Over, Driver Dies at Scene” or “Driver Loses Control of SUV, Smashes into Storefront, Pedestrians Severely Injured.” On the face of it, these headlines indicate that one or more people were affected by a traffic accident; one that may have been caused not by driver error, but a failure of one or more of the vehicle’s critical control systems — such as steering or braking systems. As Maryland personal injury attorneys, I and my legal staff know how serious a car crash can set an individual or family back if they aren’t financially prepared for such an event.

Just like driver error, defective vehicle equipment can result in loss of vehicle control or an inability to correct a bad situation following a collision or avoidance of same. In single-vehicle accidents, it can usually be assumed that the driver perhaps lost control of his or her car or motorcycle prior to the crash, however there can be instances where a catastrophic failure of one or more safety-related systems may have resulted in the initial loss of driver control. Occasionally, a mechanical failure can possibly exacerbate the effects of a crash by not allowing the motorist to regain or maintain control of the vehicle.

Statistically, a percentage of multi-vehicle traffic accidents likely are the result of a system malfunction. This can be as “simple” as a blown-out tire or as complicated as a problem with a car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS) or drive-by-wire throttle control. Whatever the cause, the associated loss of control can send a passenger car into opposing traffic or cause a big-rig semi to jackknife in heavy traffic. The resulting injuries can range from cuts, bruises and broken bones to neck and back injuries, even closed-head trauma.

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Understanding as we do the crippling effects of car, truck and motorcycle collisions, there is nothing funny about being laid up in the hospital for days or weeks following a bad traffic wreck. The mere fact that one’s health, or the well-being of one’s family, may have been compromised due to the negligence of just one person should be enough to consider speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

Here in the Baltimore area, I and my colleagues understand very well the negative outcome that a serious roadway accident can have on some individuals. Whether takes place in Owings Mills, Gaithersburg, Bowie or Washington, D.C., the long-term outcome could be temporary paralysis, chronic pain or permanent disability depending on the type of injuries sustained in the crash.

Every year, dozens upon dozens of Marylanders endure spinal cord injuries as a result of a variety of automobile and commercial trucking wrecks. These days, with the ever-increasing volume of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, being hurt as a result of a traffic collision seems to be less of a possibility and more of a certainty. This isn’t to say that overall vehicle safety has waned, but that increasing traffic density may tend to increase the odds of a random collision happening more often to occupants of passenger cars, city and charter buses and those individuals on foot.

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With the number of serious traffic accidents in tens of thousands every year across this nation, it’s surprising that the death rate from car, truck and motorcycle accidents is not higher than it already is. While alcohol and drug use contributes to a vast number of injury- and fatality-related roadway collisions, the percentage of distracted driving incidents has been rising on its own as one of several major factors in modern-day automobile and commercial trucking wrecks.

As Maryland personal injury lawyers, we understand how even the most innocuous distraction — such as a crying child, spilled coffee or in-car conversation — can draw a driver’s attention away from the task at hand. More than a few motorists and their passengers have been killed thanks to a moments loss of focus on the highway.

While the number and frequency of auto and trucking accidents on our nation’s roads can at times be amazing, it is the actions of police, fire and other emergency personnel that can make the difference between a serious car or truck crash and a fatal one. Part of the response equation can involve the often cited medevac helicopter flights that ferry critically injured victims of traffic accidents from accident scenes all around the country to medical facilities for rapid, and hopefully life-saving treatment.

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When it comes to traffic collisions, it certainly doesn’t take much to send a person to the hospital emergency room. Whether one drives in or around Baltimore, Annapolis, Columbia or Washington, D.C., a week doesn’t go by when you might see at least one car, truck or motorcycle wreck on the street. For our part, as Maryland personal injury attorneys and drivers ourselves, we know all too well the hazards and potential dangers of driving in this part of the country.

Of course, one doesn’t have to live in the East to know that teenager drivers, at least as a group, are more prone to being involved in traffic accidents than other age groups. This may sound somewhat pejorative, but statistics from across the U.S. tend to bear this out, which is why parents all over the country tend to dread the day when their kids become drivers, if only because the family’s auto insurance premiums take a big jump up.

While nobody looks forward to a car or truck accident, parents especially can spend sleepless nights worrying about their teen sons and daughters borrowing the family car to drive friends to a movie or to go out to eat after high school sporting event. A phone call from the local police is a nightmare scenario that any mother or father would rather not consider, but they do occur, usually at the most unexpected times.

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Sad as it is to report, car, truck and motorcycle accidents will likely remain a fact of life as we continue to soldier on into the New Year. As Maryland personal injury lawyers, I and my legal staff do not expect that 2012 will deliver and better news in terms of traffic deaths and serious car and trucking-related collisions. Of course, as the economy slowly makes its eventual recovery, the increase in commerce and relative prosperity will likely mean an increase in commuting and business miles.; with that inevitable rise in traffic activity comes the very real potential for increased injury accidents.

On that note, we noticed that one of the last days of 2011 saw multiple injuries and traffic fatalities on Maryland roadways. From these kinds of car and truck wrecks, one usually sees a variety of injuries; from the lesser types, like minor scrapes, cuts, bruises, to more serious bodily injury, such as broken bones, compound fractures, as well as serious neck, spinal cord damage and closed-head injuries.

Of the latter, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord damage can result in months or years of costly medical care, recuperation and rehabilitation. For families living on the ragged edge of financial existence, an event such as a bad car or commercial truck-related crash can spell disaster, especially if the victim is one of the key bread-winners for that family. Costly medical care combined with lost wages can quickly ruin a family’s meager savings and result in all manner of financially-related misery.

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These days, with the economy still struggling to get a foothold, many people are cutting corners to make ends meet. Similarly, many retailers and service providers are cutting their prices to compete with the limited pool of discretionary monies in family budgets. While taking a cab or hiring a limo may not be something that many cash-strapped individuals are doing much of, there is still a need for these services and it’s a fair bet that a percentage of potential customers may be looking for the cheapest ride available; cue the unscrupulous cab operator or limousine company.

While the numbers may be small, at least when compared to the universe of automobile, trucking and motorcycle collisions, victims of taxi cab-related traffic accidents represent a smaller percentage of personal injuries. Nevertheless, as Maryland auto and trucking accident attorneys, my office is aware that many people put their well-being in jeopardy on a regular basis when riding public transportation.

Here in Baltimore, as well as Annapolis, Rockville, the District and Gaithersburg, accidents involving service vehicles are certainly not unheard of. In fact, taxi cabs, hire cars, limousines and shuttle busses have all been part of a traffic wreck from time to time. As personal injury lawyers and occasional passengers of these kinds of vehicle ourselves, we understand how easily one can be seriously injured in even the simplest of automobile accidents, not to mention ones that do not provide seatbelts for occupants’ use.

You don’t have to be a physics major to know that an unbelted occupant of a motor vehicle can receive serious bodily injury, such as broken bones, cuts and lacerations, and even closed-head trauma and other potentially debilitating injuries.

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