5 Most Common Types of 18-Wheeler Accidents

truck accident injury lawyerAccording to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as many as one out of every ten fatal vehicle collisions involves a large truck or tractor-trailer. Driver errors are often to blame. However, even when driven properly, 18-wheelers present a greater danger to other drivers than standard vehicles. In this article, we’ll take a look at five common causes of 18-wheeler accidents.

Knowing What to Watch for to Avoid Truck Accidents

Equipment Defects, Malfunctions, and Failures
From defective parts coming right off of the assembly line to issues resulting in improper installation or maintenance, there are any number of ways that equipment problems can lead to 18-wheeler accidents. Faulty brakes, worn tires, tire retreads, engine problems, and transmission issues can all cause truck drivers to lose control.

Unsecured Cargo
18-wheelers often carry tons (literally) of cargo. To prevent this cargo from falling off the truck, the trucking company must be sure to secure it properly before the driver hits the road. Even minor errors and oversights can result in loose loads; and, especially at highway speeds, loose loads are prone to break free, littering the roadway. This can wreak havoc on the traffic situation and often leads to severe multi-car accidents.

Road Debris and Dangerous Road Conditions
Road debris, potholes, unpaved construction zones, and other dangerous road conditions are frequent culprits in 18-wheeler accidents as well. Between the choices of swerving to avoid the hazard or else driving through it, truck drivers are left with two options that are both less than ideal. In either scenario, the driver risks losing control and causing an accident.

Bad Weather
Bad weather is also a common cause of 18-wheeler accidents. Truckers and trucking companies often operate under tight deadlines, and weather conditions usually aren’t justification for a delayed shipment. Rain, snow, fog, and high winds can all create extremely dangerous conditions for 18-wheelers.

Driver Error
Of course, this list would not be complete without mentioning driver error. Many truck drivers get their commercial driver’s license, follow the rules, and pride themselves on maintaining an accident-free record. However, others don’t, and even safe drivers can make mistakes. Each of the following is a common example of driver errors that can lead to a serious or fatal collision:

  •       Drowsy driving and falling asleep behind the wheel
  •       Speeding (including driving too fast for the road conditions)
  •       Aggressive driving
  •       Changing lanes or turning into a vehicle in the driver’s blind spot
  •       Failure to maintain control after a swerve
  •       Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs

18-Wheeler Accident Attorneys Serving Missouri and Illinois | Carey, Danis & Lowe

The truck accident attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe have decades of experience representing victims and their families in insurance settlements and litigation. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in an 18-wheeler accident, call (877) 678-3400 or contact us online today.

 

How to Prepare for Your Free Consultation at Carey, Danis & Lowe

personal injury lawyerAt Carey, Danis & Lowe, we offer free initial consultations to individuals who have suffered injuries in car crashes and other accidents, or as a result of medical malpractice. The initial consultation is a chance for us to learn about you and for you to learn about us. To get the most out of our meeting, there are a handful of things you can do in advance to prepare.

Things to Do before Meeting Your Personal Injury Lawyer for the First Time

1. Do Not Stress Out
The first thing you can do is take a deep breath. We know that meeting with an attorney for the first time can seem like an intimidating experience. However, the reality is that what you’re preparing for is just a conversation. We are there to listen, answer your questions, and let you know how we can help you.

In fact, we’re the ones who should be nervous. We want you to choose us as your legal representation, but you are free to go with whichever law firm you choose. Our goal is for you to leave the consultation feeling confident that you can rely on us to successfully handle your case.

2. Do Your Research on Local Personal Injury Law Firms
To that end, you should research Carey, Danis & Lowe and other local law firms prior to our initial meeting. Browse our website, read our blog, and compare us to our competition. When we meet, feel free to ask us any questions you may have about our services or what sets us apart from other law firms.

3. Bring Any Documents that Might Potentially Be Relevant to Your Case
Be sure to bring with you anything and everything that you think might be relevant to your case. The more, the better. If we don’t need it, we can set it aside, but it’s better to have everything available so that we can fully assess your situation and evaluate your potential claims.

4. Think about What Questions You Have
Finally, many clients find it useful to come to the initial consultation with a list of questions about what happens after the consultation is over. We will be sharing a lot of information with you, but if you have specific questions, we will be more than happy to answer them. No question is too big or too small. This is your case, after all, so we want you to feel fully informed and engaged from start to finish.

Speak with a Missouri or Illinois Personal Injury Lawyer about Your Case

Of course, don’t feel like you have to be completely organized before you come in. If you’ve been injured in an accident or as a result of medical malpractice, we want to hear from you. If you can be fully prepared for your initial consultation, that’s great. If not, don’t worry. We will walk you through everything we need to get started and make sure you feel comfortable every step of the way.

To schedule your free, no-obligation consultation with Carey, Danis & Lowe, call us at (877) 678-3400 or contact us online today.

Which Cars are the Safest? Which are Least Safe?

mechanic checking carEach year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) releases its list of top safety picks for domestic and foreign vehicles. It recently released its picks for 2015.

Vehicle Crash Statistics

Before we get to the list, let’s take a look at some statistics on vehicle accidents. Notably, fatalities from car collisions continue to decline year over year. Compared to 33,561 fatalities in 2012, there were 32,719 accident-related deaths in 2013. Comparing vehicle years, 2011 model-year vehicles caused fewer deaths than their 2008 counterparts—dropping from 48 fatalities per million vehicles to 28 per million on average. A record nine 2011 models have a driver death rate of zero. These included a mix of luxury models (such as the Audi A4 AWD) and standard brands (the Kia Sorento 2WD).

These figures are consistent with the IIHS’s findings that new cars are – for the most part – considerably safer than older models. This is due to significant technological advances that are both (i) reducing the number of accidents, and (ii) providing greater impact protection when collisions do occur.

IIHS Top Safety Picks for 2015

Still, not all vehicles are created equal. The following are some of the IIHS’s top safety picks for 2015 (all vehicles listed are 2015 model year):

  •       Acura MDX, RLX and TLX
  •       Audi A3
  •       Chevrolet Trax, Spark and Volt
  •       Dodge Dart
  •       Ford C-Max Hybrid and Focus
  •       Honda Civic (multiple models), Fit, and Odyssey
  •       Mazda 3 and CX-5
  •       Mercedes E Class and M Class
  •       Volvo S60, S80, V60 and XC60

Other manufacturers with models making the list include: Buick, Chrysler, Hyundai, Infiniti, Kia, Lexus, Mini, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Toyota, Scion, Subaru, and Volkswagen.

Least Safe Vehicles According to IIHS

On the other end of the spectrum are the least-safe vehicles according to IIHS. This was measured using the number of deaths per million registered vehicles. The three least safe vehicles are:

  •       2011 Kia Rio (149 fatalities per million registered vehicles)
  •       Nissan Versa (130 fatalities per million registered vehicles)
  •       Hyundai Accent (120 fatalities per million registered vehicles)

It is interesting to note that each of these manufacturers also produced models that made the top of the IIHS’s safety list.

How to Choose a Safe Vehicle

While consumers should always do their research before purchasing a vehicle, the IIHS’s statistics shed light on some trends among safer vehicles. For example, SUVs and large four-door sedans tend to fare better than smaller vehicles. Models with four-wheel drive also fared better overall. However, these rules are not absolutes, so always take care to learn about your specific vehicle before making a buying decision.

Experienced Representation for Auto Accidents in Missouri and Illinois

The attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe represent auto accident victims throughout Missouri and Illinois. To speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer about your case, contact us today.

Do Warning Signs Prevent Recovery for Slip-and-Fall Accidents?

Premises liabilityAt Carey, Danis & Lowe, we frequently get questions about whether certain facts and circumstances might prevent someone from obtaining financial compensation for their injuries. One area in particular where this comes up is slip-and-fall accidents.

Factors to be Considered in Slip-and-Fall Accident Litigation

We are often asked if a warning sign (e.g., “Caution – Wet Floor”) is enough to protect a property owner from liability if someone slips on a wet floor. The answer is a simple one, because it depends on the situation. There are a number of factors to be considered, including:

  •       Whether the sign provided adequate warning
  •       The extent of the victim’s injuries
  •       Statements made by the victim after the accident
  •       What the property owner does after the accident
  •       The type of location where the accident occurred

Understanding Rules of “Comparative” Fault

The laws of the state where the accident occurred can also impact your ability to obtain financial compensation for a slip-and-fall accident. One type of law that is particularly important and also varies widely from state to state is the law of comparative fault.

Comparative fault determines whether and to what extent accident victims are entitled to damages when they are also partially responsible for causing their own injuries. Perhaps you can see how this would come into play in a slip-and-fall scenario where there was a sign warning people to stay away.

A Hypothetical Slip-and-Fall Scenario

Let’s consider a hypothetical scenario where someone slips and falls in a grocery store. Suppose the jury finds that the grocery store was 33% at fault because it didn’t completely block off the isle, but finds that the plaintiff was 67% at fault for failing to heed the warning sign. Total damages are $100,000. Is the plaintiff entitled to recover? If so, how much?

Comparative Fault in Missouri and Illinois

In this scenario, the answer will vary from state to state, and even between the two states where Carey, Danis & Lowe has its offices: Missouri and Illinois.

  •  Missouri – In Missouri, the plaintiff would be entitled to recover $25,000 dollars. This is because Missouri follows the rule of “pure” comparative negligence, which makes each party financially responsible for its own negligence.
  •  Illinois – In Illinois, the result would be different. Here, the plaintiff would not be entitled to any recovery. Under Illinois’s “modified” comparative negligence law, a party that is 51% at fault or more is barred from obtaining financial compensation. Basically, if the accident was mostly your fault, you are responsible for your own losses.

As you can see, the facts and circumstances will weigh heavily in determining your right to financial compensation following a slip-and-fall accident. Our attorneys are experienced in handling these types of personal injury claims. We can help you understand your rights and pursue maximum compensation for your injuries.

Speak with an Experienced Slip and Fall Attorney Today

To schedule a free initial consultation, contact Carey, Danis & Lowe today.

The Risks of Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgery - medical malpracticeAll forms of surgery carry some level of inherent risk. From undergoing anesthesia to the simple fact that you are being cut open by another human being, there are any number of different ways that surgery can result in aftereffects and long-term complications.

Plastic surgery is no different. Complications can – and do – happen with regularity. In this article we take a look at some of the most common risks associated with undergoing cosmetic surgery.

Risks of Undergoing Anesthesia

Health Conditions that Increase Risk

For most healthy individuals, anesthesia (when administered properly) does not present a significant risk for long-term complications. However, various health conditions can increase the risks of anesthesia-related complications significantly. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Medical conditions affecting your heart, lungs, or kidneys

Risks of Improper Administration of Anesthesia

As with all medical procedures, undergoing anesthesia carries the risk that the doctor will do something wrong. Improper administration of anesthetics is a form of medical malpractice that carries significant risks for all patients. Delayed administration, overdose, and lack of oxygen are examples of some of the errors that can result in:

  • Anaphylaxis (a severe and dangerous allergic reaction to anesthesia)
  • Anesthesia awareness (feeling pain but being unable to communicate)
  • Asphyxiation
  • Birth defects
  • Brain damage
  • Coma
  • Heart attack
  • Hypertension
  • Pneumonia
  • Stroke

Toxic levels of anesthetics can also result in death.

Surgery-Related Risks and Medical Malpractice

Of course, anesthesia is not the only risky part of undergoing plastic surgery. In fact, the Mayo Clinic notes that the risks tied to the associated surgical procedure are typically greater than with general anesthesia.

The risks vary depending on the type of cosmetic procedure. For example, a face lift carries different risks than a breast implant. In general, these are some of the risks facing individuals who elect to undergo plastic surgery:

  • Bleeding
  • Infections at incision site (which may result in scarring or the need for a follow-up surgical procedure)
  • Internal infections
  • Cardiac and pulmonary issues
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Fluid build-up in the body
  • Nerve damage (which can result in weakness, numbness, or tingling and may be permanent)
  • Persistent pain
  • Skin discoloration and irregularities
  • Skin loss

Cosmetic procedures also carry the risk that the final product will not live up to the promised results. Problems such as asymmetry, unsatisfactory scarring, and persistent visible deformities are all real possibilities that may be permanent or require additional surgery.

Speak with a Medical Malpractice Lawyer at Carey, Danis & Lowe

The attorneys at Carey, Danis & Lowe are familiar with the risks of surgery and they have represented numerous victims of medical malpractice in Illinois and Missouri. If you are suffering as a result of a flawed surgical procedure, contact our firm today to schedule a free consultation.

NHTSA’s New Chief Warns of More Recalls

NHTSA RecallIn recent years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has taken heat for failing to fully pursue automakers for vehicle defects. High-profile examples include its failure to identify a deadly ignition switch defect in General Motors vehicles, and its failure to address an air bag defect affecting millions of vehicles across the United States.

Upon assuming his role as NHTSA’s new administrator on December 22, 2014, Dr. Mark Rosekind acknowledged that changes needed to be made and he promised improvements to come. In particular, he pledged to dedicate the resources necessary to crack down on dangerous vehicle defects.

Improving the System to Identify More Vehicle Defects

Dr. Rosekind intends to seek additional funding to bolster the NHTSA’s defect-spotting efforts. With planned improvements to both staffing numbers and the agency’s technology systems, Dr. Rosekind believes the NHTSA can reach a position where vehicle defects can be completely addressed and this unpleasant situation can be put behind the company.

These improvements would allow the NHTSA to proactively force recalls rather than respond to major problems after the fact, which is is Dr. Rosekind’s goal. Auto Blog quoted the new Administrator as saying, “I think we could actually see an increase in the number of recalls…I’d rather have people be preemptive than waiting too long and making a mistake, because you can’t save those lives after they’re gone.”

The Risks of Vehicle Defects

This quote points to the obvious risks inherent in a system that responds to problems rather than seeking to prevent them in the first place. Once a defective vehicle hits the road, there is no telling the injuries and damages it might cause. When you multiply this scenario by the millions of vehicles that get sold in the United States every year, the likelihood of serious accidents and injuries rises exponentially.

There is no shortage in the variety of types of vehicle defects. Examples of common types of defects include:

  • Defective airbags
  • Defective brakes
  • Defective fuel and accelerator systems
  • Defective ignition switches
  • Defective seatbelts
  • Defective tires

What to do if the Manufacturer Issues a Recall for Your Vehicle

If a manufacturer issues a safety recall for a vehicle that you purchased from a dealership, you should receive a notice in the mail. However, you can also search for vehicle recalls on the NHTSA’s website.

Once you learn of a safety recall, you should take your vehicle to the dealer and have the issue corrected. This can be an inconvenience, but the safety improvements for you, your family, and the other drivers on the road will be well worth the investment.

Contact Carey, Danis & Lowe

If you have been injured in an auto accident and believe a defective vehicle might be to blame, you should speak with an experienced attorney about your case. The lawyers at Carey, Danis & Lowe represent injury victims in Missouri and Illinois. You can contact the firm online or call (314) 725-7700 to schedule a free initial consultation.

Avoid Over-the-Counter Medication With Babies

Children's Liquid MedicationIf you go into any pharmacy or drugstore and look through the cold and flu aisle, you are going to see a range of products marketed. Most of the major products for fever, headaches, and nasal congestion are marketed for different age groups. There is also a wide array of products specifically marketed for babies and toddlers. However, the Food & Drug Administration has recently come out with a broad statement that parents of babies should avoid using certain of these products. It has been determined that most babies and toddlers have no need for these types of medication and doing so could put them at risk for side effects.

Children younger than two years of age are particularly at risk for reactions to medicines because their bodies have not yet fully developed. Colds and fevers are the natural method by which the body deals with an introduction of a virus and reduces its effect in the future. It can be stressful to see a child with a fever or serious cold, but rather than giving them medicine, care and rest are the best treatments.

A cold from a virus is going to run its course, regardless of the medicine used. In fact, most medicines just temporarily mask a symptom; they don’t actually eliminate what is causing the sniffles, mucous, fever, or aches. The body takes care of this naturally, which usually runs about a week or two with a normal cold, per Dr. Amy Taylor, an FDA medical expert.

There is the impulse to give antibiotics with a serious cough infection or fever, but these are pretty much useless against a virus and can actually create bacteria that could be worse. While coughing can be disturbing, it’s a natural process for the body to expel material the white blood cells have captured. Suppressing a cough can result in keeping mucous inside the body instead of getting rid of it. Instead, providing warm fluids helps a child create more moisture to soothe the throat and stay hydrated.

Parents should work with a doctor whenever the following occurs instead of relying on over-the-counter meds:

  • If a child has a fever greater than 102.
  • If breathing is labored and difficult, as if there is a blockage or the lungs are filling with fluid.
  • If the child’s color is not normal, such as yellowing or bluish pale in the skin.
  • If the child’s behavior is irrational, such as dizzy, severely cranky, inability to listen to basic commands.
  • If the child is vomiting and/or getting dehydrated.
  • If the child is suffering from severe ear pain and imbalance.

Anytime there is a high fever, parents should contact their doctors. Don’t trust simple medicines to deal with the issue. A child’s health can suffer much faster with a serious fever, which is why direct medical care is so important.

If you or someone you know has been negatively impacted by over-the-counter medicines or marketing, call us today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Steps to Take If You Are Hit By A Drunk Driver

Drunk driving accidentIf you are involved in a car accident with a drunk driver, the Law Firm of Carey, Danis & Lowe can give you advice about what to do during a traumatic event of this nature.

We understand that as a victim, you will need to be able quick assistance as it relates to personal injuries of you or other passengers. Whether you are critically injured at the scene of the collision or suffering minor injuries, we would like to suggest some important factors and practices to keep in mind if you should ever find yourself in a traffic infraction involving a drunk driver.

At the Scene of the Accident

Depending on the severity of the accident, it will be crucial to gather as much information as possible for your insurance company and legal associates.

  • If you are physically able to do so, call 911 immediately to report the collision.
  • Check all other passengers in your vehicle to see if there are any injuries.
  • Check all other involved parties to see if there are any injuries.
  • Assess the damage of your vehicle.
  • Take as many photos of the damage as possible, including surroundings if visibility allows.
  • Exchange insurance information with all involved parties.
  • Do not leave the scene until authorities AND the Emergency Response Team arrives.
  • Provide the authorities with a detailed account of how the accident occurred.

Once You Leave the Scene

Once you leave the scene, you should contact your insurance company immediately and let them know you have been involved in an accident. This is a legal expectation that is part of all car insurance policies. Get a folder to hold copies of information related to the accident. This would include:

  • Citations that may have been issued at the scene
  • Hospital visit, doctor, or specialist visits/appointments
  • Medical bills and receipts related to the accident
  • Insurance claim correspondence from all involved parties
  • Printed photos from scene and personal injuries
  • Tow truck, car rental, and/or auto mechanic receipts
  • Estimates of any services for medical, auto, and insurance establishments
  • Family Medical Leave Act documentation from employer, if appropriate

Follow-Up Responsibilities

  • Attend all hearings, depositions, and legal related appointments.
  • Keep open communication between you and your attorneys by providing immediate documentation or feedback when requested.
  • Do not respond to your insurance company with negotiated settlements until discussing them with your attorney.

The aftermath of any accident can cause a ripple effect in your ability to recover physically, financially, and mentally. Here at Carey, Danis & Lowe, we want to make sure you fully understand your rights and responsibilities before signing any legal waivers and documents. As with any legal consultative matter, we will readily avail ourselves to assist our clients with getting their lives back to normal as much as possible. Allow us to handle all your legal concerns during this process. Call us today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

How to Choose a Personal Injury Lawyer

Lawyer SealChoosing a personal injury lawyer can make the difference in the outcome of a case. Careful research should be conducted in order to make sure the most qualified attorney is hired.

Education and Certification

The best personal injury lawyer has obtained a bachelor’s degree and received a law degree from a reputable law school. An attorney should have also passed the examination administered by the American Bar Association. It is possible to contact the American Bar Association to get recommendations of local lawyers who have successfully passed their examinations.

Experience and Performance Record

Reputable attorneys typically have worked closely with experienced lawyers in the early stages of their career in order to obtain training from attorneys who are experienced.   It is also a good idea to find out the number of years an attorney has been in practice you are considering hiring and the number of cases he or she has handled. Personal injury attorneys who have tried a number of similar cases should be high on the list of attorneys that you would want to hire.

Strong Speaking and Presentation Skills

If a lawyer is not able to present themselves and all evidence pertaining to a case in a confident manner, hiring that particularly attorney could prove to be detrimental in court. An attorney should also be able to speak clearly and in a way that concisely expresses all critical points involved in a case. One of the best ways to gauge a lawyer’s confidence and presentation skills is during the initial consultation.

An Eye for Detail

Personal injury lawyers are required to handle many details while working on a case. The best professionals will be able to look at every aspect in an orderly fashion so that a solid argument can be presented in court or while attempting to reach a settlement. Lawyers in this field should also be capable of explaining all the important details in a way that is easy for clients to understand.

Fee Structure

Most personal injury attorneys handle cases on a contingent fee basis; the advance all expenses and are paid back only from the recovery.  If there is no recovery you will not owe  the attorney anything. If you need a personal injury lawyer to represent you, Carey, Danis & Lowe will be glad to help. Call us today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

Whiplash injuries

WhiplashWhiplash is a generic term used to describe injuries most often sustained in motor vehicle collisions. The most common whiplash occurs when one vehicle is stopped and another vehicle collides with its rear end. The person in the stopped vehicle is usually at highest risk of a whiplash injury.

How it Occurs

As a result of impact, a sudden and violent backward movement of the head and neck (called extension) occurs and then the victim is thrown forward (called flexion). This hyper-extension, hyperflexion action causes injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and discs in the neck. Whiplash can also occur from side to side movement if a vehicle was broadsided.

Symptoms

Whiplash symptoms can be sudden, but it’s not at all unusual for them to arise many hours after an impact. They can get worse over the next few days. The symptoms can include neck stiffness with loss of range of motion, headaches, pain between the shoulders, arm pain and/or hand pain, jaw pain, dizziness, and blurred vision.

Whiplash Diagnosis

In cases involving any indication of a neck injury, x-rays of the cervical spine (neck) are almost always taken. They’re often taken again about a week later for purposes of comparison. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often performed if something more serious than a cervical sprain/strain is suspected. The MRI is better suited than x-rays to detect neck injuries involving spinal disc displacement and/or herniation.

Whiplash Treatment

The usual and customary conservative course of treatment for a whiplash injury involves a course of an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory, and/or chiropractic, massage therapy or physical therapy. Recovery time depends on the extent of the whiplash injury. Average recovery time is between a month and six weeks, but some people suffering whiplash injuries take longer than six months to recover. Some never fully recover.

Surgery for Whiplash Injuries

When conservative treatment hasn’t resulted in improvement, surgery might be the best option. A herniated intervertebral disc between two vertebrae can cause persistent significant arm pain and weakness. This might call for removal of the disc and implantation of an artificial disc or spinal fusion at the affected level. If a narrowing of the spinal canal occurs, or a narrowing of the space where a nerve exits the spinal canal occurs, other procedures might be involved like partial removal of a disc or bone.

Damages sustained as a result of a whiplash injury can be claimed in a lawsuit. They can include bills for treatment, surgery and rehabilitation, lost earnings, future lost earnings, pain and suffering, and permanent disability. We have built strong cases against negligent drivers. Call us today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.