Posts tagged with "fatality"

This design from may have contributed to the death of Trooper Thomas Clardy

This auto design defect contributed to a state trooper’s death

Unfortunately, in our business we deal with tragic events. It’s hard to imagine a sadder situation than what recently happened to one of our State Troopers. Although pulled over on the side of the road in a Ford Explorer, his vehicle was rear-ended by another motorist and as a result, the Trooper was killed. A Ford Explorer is one of the largest non-commercial vehicles on the road, so the question goes begging: How could someone sitting in the driver’s seat of such a big SUV suffer a fatal injury from a rear-end impact? We have looked extensively into this precise fact pattern and have learned some unfortunate truths about the automotive industry as a whole.

It’s clear that front seats in nearly all cars found on the road are inadequately constructed and fail catastrophically in rear end accidents. More specifically, the seats break and thrust the occupant backwards toward the back seat. When the seat is thrust into this reclined position, the seatbelt is rendered ineffective, allowing the occupant to slide backwards, (or “ramp”) most often striking his or her head on the back seat. The result is often a fractured neck leading to either paralysis or death.

Research shows that this problems has existed for nearly 50 years. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration has admitted that their standard is woefully inadequate but has refused to change it due to lobbying efforts from the automotive industry. A renowned expert that we’ve had the pleasure of working with has made it his life’s crusade to expose this problem in an effort to stop these senseless deaths and life changing events. Dr. Alan Cantor has actually constructed seats out of cardboard that have passed the strength test required by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, literally.

Please also know that children in rear car-seats have been killed by the driver’s seat breaking and the driver’s body mass being thrust rearward. Dr. Cantor suggests that parents place child seats in the third row of any SUV that has one, or be placed behind the lighter of the two front seat occupants.

I haven’t had the opportunity to view the Explorer that the Trooper was seated in just prior to his death, but I intend to. I’m willing to bet that, predictably, the seat failed leading directly to his death. As a consumer, please be aware. And if you are wondering, the seat strength of any particular car is not listed anywhere in the car’s specs or in any consumer report because it’s not required to be. Based on our extensive research it would appear that only Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo have seats that are reinforced in a way that addresses this ongoing dilemma.

Autonomous cars could soon reduce accidents in US

Earlier this week, we wrote a blog post on the devastating car accidents that are caused every day in Boston and the rest of the United States because of distracted driving.

The truth is that most serious and fatal car accidents are the result of driver errors, which is why experts predict that these accidents could be significantly reduced after self-driving automobiles become the norm.

While autonomous cars may seem like part of the distant future, experts predict that many of us will own one in our lifetimes. According to a new report by IHS Automotive, many auto manufacturers already have plans to put their first self-driving cars into production.

The report stated that by 2035, about half of the vehicles on the road will drive on their own. The report predicted that by 2050, almost all vehicles on the road will have the ability to operate autonomously.

Perhaps the best part of the new technology is that car accidents are expected to decline steadily as more and more self-driving vehicles hit the roads. Not only that, air pollution and traffic congestion are also expected to improve.

While many people may be eager to get their hands on a self-driving vehicle as soon as possible, experts caution that the first models will be expensive and will likely require a human “co-pilot” to be on stand-by in case of a technology error.

But IHS’s report predicted that by 2030, self-driving cars will be available that don’t require any human involvement. To imagine that distracted driving could be a non-issue in the near future is quite amazing.

Source: NBC News, “Self-driving cars popular by mid-century: study,” Paul A. Eisenstein, Jan. 6, 2014

Massachusetts man behind the wheel in fatal car accident

When a person is killed in a car accident, their grieving family may feel they need some sense of justice that could only be found through a wrongful death claim. However, they should be aware that these claims must be brought in a timely manner, or else they may unintentionally waive their right to any compensation whatsoever.

A Massachusetts man was recently involved in a fatal motor vehicle accident. According to police, the 29-year-old man was driving a pick-up truck when he crossed over into the opposite land of traffic and collided with a minivan being driven by a 42-year-old woman. A 13-year-old boy was also in the minivan at the time of the accident. The woman was rushed to an area hospital, but ultimately succumbed to her injuries. The boy escaped with only moderate injuries. The driver of the pick-up truck was also hospitalized following the crash. The accident remains under police investigation.

When a loved one is killed in a car accident, the victim’s loved ones may wish to pursue a wrongful death suit. However, it is important to be aware that these suits are subject to a statute of limitations. This means that the claimant only has a certain amount of time in which they could file a lawsuit. If the claimant fails to do so, they may permanently give up the right to file suit later.

Usually the time for which a statute of limitations period begins in a wrongful death suit is the minute the claimant is or should be aware of the victim’s death and what caused it. In some states, if the claimant knows of the cause of the victim’s death before the victim actually dies, the statute of limitations period may start to run at that point. This is known as the discovery rule.

When a victim’s loved ones wish to file a wrongful death claim, they must take care to do so within the applicable statute of limitations. Should they fail to do this, it may extinguish any hope they have of recovery from the incident. A personal injury attorney may be able to provide more information on statutes of limitation.

Source: CBS Boston, “Police: Mansfield Man Involved In Fatal NH Car Crash,” April 7, 2013

East Boston man perishes in tragic auto-pedestrian accident

Everyday cars and people must share the road safely as they travel from one location to the next. People walking on sidewalks or on the side of the road must be able to do so without fear of being injured or killed in a car accident.

A devastating auto-pedestrian accident has claimed the life of a 67-year-old East Boston man. The man was struck by a car while walking down the street. The driver of the car remained at the scene of the accident while the victim was transported to an area hospital. Unfortunately, the victim did not survive. The accident remains under police investigation.

Auto-pedestrian accidents can cause serious injuries or even death. In fact, 5,000 people die annually from being hit by a car. It is therefore of the utmost importance that automobile drivers be aware of pedestrians sharing the road. Drivers who speed through crosswalks or fail to use their blinkers while turning could cause a pedestrian accident, because they are not driving in a predictable manner. While pedestrians must take care not to dart out into traffic or otherwise behave in an unsafe manner, they also need to be able to anticipate how the cars in their vicinity will be traveling.

If someone is injured in an auto-pedestrian accident, they may seek compensation for their injuries through a negligence lawsuit. Damages recovered may include past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages. Such recovery may go a long way to helping a victim of an auto-pedestrian accident recoup some of the financial costs associated with their injuries.

Source: The Boston Globe, “East Boston pedestrian dies in Cambridge crash,” April 3, 2013

Massachusetts man killed by an allegedly drunk driver

Some people think nothing of getting behind the wheel after having a few drinks. Some may even think they drive better while drunk. But drunk driving is always a dangerous endeavor. For if a drunk driver were to cause a car accident, not only could it result in serious injuries to innocent victims. It could even result in death.

A Massachusetts man recently perished after the car he was driving was smashed into by an allegedly drunk and high driver. Police estimate the driver was traveling nearly 70 miles per hour when he ran a red light and struck the victim’s vehicle. The driver’s blood alcohol concentration was over .111 when the accident occurred, and the police also believe he may have been high on marijuana. The driver now faces charges of motor vehicle homicide while driving drunk. He has plead not guilty.

When a victim is killed by a drunk driver, that driver could face more than criminal charges. They could face a civil lawsuit as well. To aid in such a lawsuit, the victim of a drunk driving accident may rely on the report compiled by police regarding the car accident. After pulling a suspected drunk driver over, police may question the driver as to whether they’ve been drinking. The police will also take note of anything such as beer or liquor bottles in open view that may indicate the driver was drinking. Another inspection police may perform is a field sobriety test. Finally, police may request the driver to submit to a breathalyzer test that would measure the driver’s blood-alcohol concentration. All of this information would be included in the official police report.

The victim, in this case, was well loved by his community, and they deeply mourn his loss. But for other victims in these circumstances, filing a lawsuit against the drunk driver may be one way for them to find some peace and closure with the tragedy in their lives.

Source: boston.com, “Middleborough man denies drunk driving charges,” March 13, 2013