Articles Posted in Car Accident

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Pedestrian accidents are on the rise. In the past week there have been several pedestrian accidents in the news. Downtown Little Rock is one of many places in Little Rock that pedestrian accidents are becoming more of an issue than ever before. The downtown area is a very highly populated area during rush-hour traffic times, and with more people on foot as they walk to their cars a after a busy workday, coupled with the pedestrian traffic of tourists visiting our beautiful city, it is more important than ever to slow down, put our cell phones down as we drive, and pay attention to the traffic lights and crosswalks. Pedestrians should feel safe when they enter a crosswalk. Taking our eyes off the road for mere seconds could have devastating results. As we all know, there are many times when pedestrians cross the street in areas where there are no crosswalks, so we can’t assume that just because there aren’t crosswalks in our path of travel that there will be no pedestrians stepping in front of us.

It is known that most injuries from pedestrian accidents usually occur in cities. However, fatality pedestrian accidents are distributed evenly between cities and rural areas. Most fatalities involve males above the age of 25, and the majority of injuries involves males ranging in age of 5 to 14 years. Most pedestrian accidents happen during daylight hours.

It is important that we are aware that pedestrian accidents are becoming more frequent. When you are behind the wheel, please be aware at all times of your surroundings. Your attentiveness just might save a life.

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I am reading more and more about tragic wrong-way accidents happening on the roadways. Today I read in an out-of-state paper of an unfortunate accident in Washington which took the life of a 6-year-old boy and critically injured two others. Recently it was in the news that 11 people died in wrong-way crashes in Tampa, Florida and Pomona, California. It is hard to hear of innocent lives being lost to such a preventable error. Like most, these accidents are avoidable if drivers would pay more attention when they are behind the wheel of a vehicle.

In a 2012 report by the National Transportation Safety Board, it was reported that 3 percent of all crashes are wrong-way crashes and are 27 percent more likely to be deadly crashes. It states that 60 percent of these crashes are caused by a drunk driver traveling too fast. The study also indicates that elderly drivers, 70 years of age and older, were the cause of 15 percent of these types of crashes. The primary cause of wrong-way accidents was found to be vehicles entering via an exit ramp. Often highway design is the problem, with the on and off ramps being next to each other. In an effort to prevent wrong-way crashes, officials suggest lowering the ‘Wrong Way’ signs, making them bigger, adding a second set of signs farther up on the ramp, and installing rumble strips to the pavement so they know they are going the wrong way. And interestingly enough, 78 percent of these types of accidents occur between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., and most collisions reportedly take place in the lane closest to the median.

If you or a family member have suffered from being involved in a wrong-way accident, it is important to speak with an Arkansas accident lawyer to discuss your claim and rights as soon as possible.

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I recently read an article that discussed an injury lawsuit in which a woman was awarded $1.14 million in a texting and driving accident. According to the article, the Plaintiff suffered extensive injuries, including a minor traumatic brain injury and exacerbation of a lower back pain condition. The Defendant, State Farm Insurance Company, argued that her injuries were not related to the wreck. They also did not admit liability until just before trial.

Texting and driving accident cases are becoming more common. It is important to determine the cause of the auto accident to make a proper claim to a judge and to a jury. As this personal injury case proves, insurance companies often take extreme positions to “wait out” the injured party. It is important that information about the wreck is gathered so that these insurance company tactics are not used to deny the injured person justice. Additionally, we find that insurance companies often argue that the injured person’s medical condition pre-existed the wreck. The insurance adjusters fail to understand or give little weight to the fact that the car wreck often aggravates a prior medical conditions like back pain. Arkansas has a jury instruction that handles this situation. AMI 2203 Measure of Damages-Aggravation of Pre-existing Condition. It reads:

In this regard you should consider the full extent of any injury sustained, even though the degree of injury is found by you to have proximately resulted from the aggravation of a [condition][disease] that already existed and that predisposed to injury to a greater extent than another person. [However, you may not award [him][her] damages for any (pain)(mental anguish)(disability) (__________) which [he][she] would have suffered even though the accident had not occurred.]

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A recent published study pointed out that In the past 10 years, fatal accidents in the state of Arkansas decreased by more than 30 percent. In 2004, more than 700 people died in car and truck crashes. In 2010, that number of auto accident fatalities went down to just more than 560. Last year there was another decline with 473 fatal accidents in Arkansas.

There are many reasons for this decline. These include increased seat belt use, driver education, increase in safety technology, decrease in DWI accidents and a recent change in Arkansas driving law. The study pointed out that the Graduated Driver License (GDL) law was expanded for Arkansas teens in 2009 to help provide a safe environment for young automobile drivers by placing restrictions on when and with whom they may drive. The Arkansas law was designed to allow teens to gain driving experience through the use of restrictions. The Arkansas driving law provides for teen driver’s licenses in three levels: learner’s license, intermediate license and unrestricted/regular license. The different levels allows drivers a staged learning progression. The study found “that significant reductions in crashes and crash-related fatalities were found. This is especially true for the youngest drivers who obtained their intermediate license to drive for the first time without an adult.”

My own law practice involving personal injury cases has seen this decline in teen accidents as well. Car accidents involving young persons can be some of the more difficult cases to handle since kids are involved. However, as the study found, car accident rates and fatality rates are going down for this set of drivers and we should all encourage young people to take part in driving education courses. Teenage driving is one of the exciting milestones in a child’s life and making sure they are safe is paramount.

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Drivers hitting the roads for Thanksgiving have a greater risk getting in a accident, according to one recent study. Some people have named the day before Thanksgiving “Black Wednesday” because car accidents increase between 8 p.m. that evening and 3 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

Although I see that auto accidents increase during this time, I see many different reasons in our law practice. The most obvious reason for the dramatic increase in car accidents in Arkansas is more people are driving at night and in unfamiliar places. However, I believe that is only one of the reasons. The weather around this time of the year also plays a huge part in the uptick in car crashes in Arkansas as well as people driving under the influence of alcohol. DWI accidents are typically very serious and involve serious injuries. Arkansas drivers need to be aware that accidents increase this time of the year and we must all be diligent in making sure the roads are as safe as possible.

If you or a loved one are involved in an Arkansas car or truck accident, please seek medical attention immediately. I have seen many cases where injuries go undiagnosed for a long period of time because people wait to seek medical attention believing that they do not have the money to cover the medical bills. An Arkansas lawyer can help make sure auto medical payment insurance (Med-pay) and health insurance cover these expenses. Please contact an Arkansas injury lawyer if you have any questions.

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A recent article I read indicates that more automobile accidents occur the week following daylight savings. I was surprised to read the effects the one-hour time change has on our bodies. In addition to an increase in motor vehicle accidents, the time change also increases our chances of injuries at work, an increase in heart attacks, developing cluster headaches, and apparently more time is spent surfing the internet this week. Attached is a link to the article I read if you would like to read more about the effects the time change has on our bodies. http://now.msn.com/daylight-saving-effects-include-more-accidents-headaches

Use extra precaution this week when you’re behind the wheel to avoid car accidents or at work. It’s always a hard adjustment to fall back because we have enjoyed those long days, but soon we will all be more adjusted to the change and driving home in the dark at 5:30 or 6:00 will be the norm again. If you need to speak with an Arkansas accident attorney, please contact the Pfeifer Law Firm. Take care and drive safely.

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Some things should be done before, during and after an auto accident. Before an auto accident, it is important for all of us to know what is covered under our auto insurance policy. We should know the insurance deductible, liability limits, towing, and rental car coverage. We also need to know whether medical payments and underinsured/uninsured motorist’s coverage is part of the insurance policy.

After an auto accident, it is important that the accident victim remains calm and only gets out of the vehicle if it is safe. It is important that the police or other law enforcement officials are called to the scene and exchange information with the other driver. This information should include their name, address, phone number, insurance company name and policy number. One important item to ascertain is witness names and addresses. Oftentimes, I meet with clients who know and spoke with witnesses at the scene but they are not included in the accident report. Unfortunately, the client did not get their names assuming that the accident report would include this information. It is almost impossible to figure out their names and addresses after the wreck if they are not part of the accident report. Therefore, it is very important to get this information at the time of the wreck.

Obviously, photos and/or video of the accident scene and damages to the vehicles are important.

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Benton police are investigating a pedestrian accident that left one man dead after he was hit by a vehicle. According to the news report, the Benton Police Department responded to a call of a pedestrian accident on the I-30 South Service Road. Unfortunately, the pedestrian died from injuries suffered in the accident.

Pedestrian accidents almost always cause serious injury and death. The Pfeifer Law Firm has helped families through this difficult time. It is important that the facts of the pedestrian accident are fully understood and investigated. Oftentimes, we find that important information is not included in the accident report and the individuals involved as well as the investigating officer need to be interviewed as soon as possible to gather all the relevant facts.

Insurance companies often look for reasons to deny the claim or find fault with the pedestrian. It is important that an Arkansas injury lawyer become involved in the claim as soon as possible to make sure phony excuses by the insurance company do not jeopardize an injured person’s personal injury claim.

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People convicted of drunk driving should have ignition interlock devices installed on their cars to keep them from starting the automobile if they are intoxicated. Federal safety officials are now backing this car accident safety plan.

The National Transportation Safety Board said this DWI accident policy could be a major factor in preventing traffic collision deaths, especially wrecks caused by a wrong-way driver. About 60% of wrong-way accidents involve an intoxicated driver according to government officials.

An alcohol ignition interlock is a device that prevents the engine from starting until the driver breathes into a device that measures alcohol content to see if it is lower than prescribed limits. Unfortunately, the alcoholic beverage industry opposes a blanket requirement for first time offenders. Some in the industry support ignition interlocks for first-time convictions of people who posted a blood-alcohol content of .15 or higher.

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I am amazed reading about a massive dust storm swirling reddish-brown clouds over northern Oklahoma that triggered a major accident along an interstate near Arkansas. According to news reports, the interstate had near blackout conditions.

The storm caused a multi-car accident. According to news reports the interstate accident involved nearly three dozen cars and tractor-trailers. The dust storm was likely caused due to the lack of rain This is the time of year that many farmers prepare for winter crops by loosening the dirt.

This type of accident occurs in Arkansas from time to time. It is important that Arkansas drivers keep a proper lookout for major dust storms as they travel along Arkansas roads. Complicated liability issues often emerge in wrecks that involve burning fields and dust storms. It is important that someone involved in a wreck contact an Arkansas car accident lawyer to discuss their legal rights as soon as possible after a wreck.