Dealing With Rental Car Accidents

rented car crashed to a tree

 

Many people go on vacation and believe it’s better to rent a car rather than driving to their destination. That’s very understandable and in many cases, much more convenient.

If you decide to rent a car, what if you get into a car accident? Who has to pay the costs? What are the repercussions? Most people don’t take these questions into consideration until they’re forced to. 

 

First Steps 

First and foremost, you need to make sure that everyone involved in the accident is alright. Health and safety should always come first. Secondly, you’re going to need to exchange each parties’ contact information. If you can, take photos to document what happened so you have proof of what happened. You will then need to contact your insurance company and the rental car company. One of the most important steps, however, is to contact your attorney. 

Depending on the rental company, you’ll be able to review their rules and procedures for dealing with accidents. While it is an inconvenience for you, keep in mind that these companies have dealt with car accidents for quite some time. They can figure out what to do, but remember that their main interests involve saving as much money as possible for the companies they work for. On the other hand, an attorney that works for you will have your best interests in mind. They know how to speak to other companies for you so that you don’t have to. 

The most important precaution is to make sure that you do not publicly post anything that can be used against you. Anything you say can be misconstrued or taken the wrong way. Even a simple Facebook post about your accident could harm your case. An attorney will be well-equipped to provide you with the aid and guidance you need when you have any questions. 

Liability 

Depending on which options you chose, you may have gotten additional insurance through the rental company. This additional coverage could be a beneficial investment for you and your family. All of this depends on the cost, accident, and injuries. Each accident is different. An attorney will be able to look over your insurance and rental car policy to explain exactly what the legalese means because you may be entitled to additional compensation. Deciphering this alone could lead to long hours of confusion and a headache to top it off. 

Moving Forward 

If you are injured in a rental car accident, you still have options. Whether it was the rental car company that failed to service the car they rented to you or someone else was at fault in an unpredictable accident, an attorney can determine your best options moving forward. A car accident is never a welcomed occurrence, especially not on vacation. Attorneys understand this and can help have you move past it while receiving compensation for injuries that you have suffered. 

Contact Us 

If you are involved in a rental car accident, O’Brien can help you. We can advise you on who is at fault and how to receive deserved compensation. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 so that we can figure out what we can do for you. 

Everything You Need To Know About Tractor Trailer Accidents 

tractor trailer rolls over and lands in the median A tractor trailer is a vehicle that is a semi with an attached trailer to it.

People who operate them must drive for many hours, meet deadlines, and obey all the applicable laws.

It takes a lot of patience and awareness to be capable of driving such a large vehicle because they are very difficult to properly drive, especially under the circumstances.

Driving a tractor trailer involves being even more aware of blind spots for other cars and being extra careful while turning. Tractor trailer accidents have caused not only fires and severe injuries, but also deaths and highway car pileups. 

Safety Measures 

When you are driving on the road or highway, you have safety precautions that you should take to avoid accidents with tractor trailers. Some tips are to: 

  1. Try your best to avoid tractor trailers: Although sometimes the traffic flow makes it unavoidable, keeping a safe distance from these vehicles is recommended so that you not only have better visibility, but also avoid potential accidents. It is easy for a tractor trailer to accidentally take a sedan or SUV off the road because of how massive they are, so if you must be near one, try your best to give them plenty of room on the road. 
  2. Avoid being in blind spots of tractor trailers: Because of the lengths of the trailers attached to these types of vehicles, they have more blind spots than a regular car. While driving, keep in mind that the driver may not see you and could merge into your lane thinking that he or she had space. 
  3. Give tractor trailers space when they are backing out or turning: The large length of tractor trailers requires them to make wide turns, often needing to maneuver between driving forward and backward to get onto a road. When you see that a vehicle of this length is trying to turn, give them space so that they can take those wide turns without damaging your car. 
  4. Do not cut off or abruptly break in front of a tractor trailer: Tractor trailers are typically extremely heavy. Therefore, it takes a lot more for one to reach a complete stop while braking. Avoid being rear-ended by keeping an eye of your rearview mirror and try to drive carefully when a tractor trailer is directly behind you and double check that you have room to merge into another lane. 

Suing the Company 

If you become involved in a tractor trailer accident, you may be able to receive money for your damages and/or loss. You can sue the company that the driver was working for because under vicarious liability, the company will be held responsible for the driver’s actions while he or she was within the scope of his or her employment. The company has a duty to drivers on the road to hire authorized, responsible, and competent drivers. Whether you decide to sue the driver, company, or both, our team of attorneys can advise you on the best actions you should take under your set of unique facts. 

Contact Us 

If you have been injured in a tractor trailer accident or if your close family member has passed away from an accident involving a tractor trailer, contact our team of experienced attorneys at the O’Brien Law Firm to see what we can do for you. Call us at (716) 907-7777 today. 

June Is National Safety Month 

Safety SignThe National Safety Council has declared June as National Safety Month.  Each week has a different focus, with the intent of eliminating preventable deaths and injuries at work, at home, in communities, and on the road.  This year, the “No 1 Gets Hurt” campaign covers: 

  • Emergency Preparedness 
  • Wellness 
  • Falls 
  • Driving 

Here are some of the highlights. 

Week 1: Emergency Preparedness 

Emergencies can happen at any time.  Planning for possible emergencies can make surviving and thriving in an emergency more likely.  Planning should include: 

  • Prepare for natural disasters common to your living area, including tornadoes, floods, and wildfires 
  • Create an emergency kit for home and car 
  • Create an emergency plan with your family, including designated meeting spots 
  • Keep important phone numbers and important documents in a fire proof safe 
  • Learn first aid and CPR 

Week 2: Wellness 

The National Safety Council encourages everyone to take some time to focus on wellness.  Easy daily wellness goals can include: 

  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator 
  • Parking your car further from the entrance to increase daily steps 
  • Taking advantage of workplace wellness programs 
  • Eating healthy snacks 
  • Taking breaks to stretch and move throughout the day 
  • Seeing your doctor regularly 
  • Watching for signs of fatigue 

Week 3: Falls 

Falls are the third leading cause of unintentional injury related deaths.  They are the number one cause of death in those age 65 and older.  Preventing slips, trips, and falls at home and in the community can be achieved by following these steps: 

  • Make sure walkways, stairs, and doorways are free of clutter, cords, and other tripping hazards 
  • Spills should be cleaned up immediately 
  • Stairs should have non-slip adhesive strips 
  • Rugs should have appropriate backing to prevent movement 
  • Avoid distracted walking! 
  • Limit cell phone use when walking 
  • Be mindful of busy areas, such as airports or shopping malls 
  • Avoid listening to headphones when walking near traffic  

Week 4: Driving 

94 % of all vehicle crashes involve human error.  Consequently, drivers should avoid unsafe driving conduct to reduce the chance of a car crash.   

  • Do not drink and drive 
  • Recognize other factors can impair driving, such as lack of sleep 
  • Avoid driving after using drugs that may impair judgment, even with a valid prescription 
  • Don’t use a cell phone while driving 
  • Wear a seatbelt – always 
  • Make certain children are in age appropriate restraints 
  • Lock the car when not in use 
  • Never leave a child in a vehicle alone 
  • Pay attention to vehicle recalls 
  • Do not rely on safety features to replace judgment 
  • Be mindful of vehicle alerts and warnings 

Safe driving requires attention before driving as well as while driving.   

Stay Safe This Summer! 

At The O’Brien Firm, we want you and your loved ones to be safe this summer.  Injuries can happen in an instant.  Being prepared can help lessen the injury in some circumstances.  In other cases, implementing safety plans can prevent injury all together.  If you or a loved one has been injured in a fall or a driving accident, please contact our office. Our lawyers practice exclusively in the area of personal injury.  We are dedicated to helping the injured get their lives back. Call us today to talk about your case at no charge at (716) 907-7777.