Construction Accidents 

If you work in the construction business, you will likely be required to drive and maneuver large construction trucks and heavy equipment. Although it may be part of the job, it can still be dangerous and has led to life-threatening injuries and death. Some accidents are unpredictable and unavoidable, but if you recognize the dangers so that you can take precautions, you’ll vastly lower your chances of being involved in a construction-related accident while working. 

Cement and Dump Trucks On The Roads 

Both cement and dump trucks weigh a lot. They are hard to turn in tight spaces and it can oftentimes be difficult to brake. Their multiple blind spots also make them difficult to maneuver as drivers won’t know if other drivers or objects are nearby. Furthermore, accidents involving these large trucks can be far more severe because of the large impact and lack of protection. It is often difficult for experienced drivers to drive these trucks, let alone inexperienced people. 

On the road, truck drivers need to be aware of their surroundings, well-trained, and of course, sober. It can take a toll on drivers because they need to be even more cautious while driving these trucks rather than driving a regular to mid-sized vehicle. Cement and dump truck drivers need to be confident and proficient in their ability to operate these trucks. 

Heavy Equipment 

Heavy equipment includes: 

  • Backhoes 
  • Excavators 
  • Cranes 
  • Bulldozers 
  • Loaders 
  • Graders, and more 

Constructing structures requires heavy equipment to move and build. Construction areas are typically blocked off to the public so the professionals can complete their jobs. In fact, trespassing in a construction zone is oftentimes a felony. Trespassers will likely be fined and can be imprisoned for entering a construction area without permission. 

The reason why construction zones are so heavily regulated is because accidents can easily happen so having additional people there that aren’t trained can be a detriment. While operating heavy equipment, drivers and people around them need to be additionally vigilant because one wrong move can cause property damage, serious bodily injuries, and/or death. Even though this equipment doesn’t move quickly, their strength can easily cause a damaging impact. 

What To Do If You Are Involved In A Construction-Related Accident 

When you are involved in a construction-related accident, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention. Your health and well-being should always be your number-one priority. You should also inform the person in charge of the construction area, as he or she will likely have insurance and may be liable to you. One of the most important things you should do is contact an attorney. Attorneys will be able to help you receive compensation for injuries and guide you through the steps of a personal injury lawsuit. Whether you were on the job or an innocent bystander, these accidents can be devastating and a big shock. 

Contact Us 

Construction-related injuries caused by heavy trucks and machinery have caused a lot of damage and harm but no one should have to deal with that alone. If you are injured in a construction accident, you need a lawyer to help you receive compensation for your injuries. Call us today at The O’Brien Law Firm: (716) 907-7777.

School Bus Safety 

School Bus Safety Caution SignWithin the past recent years, parents and police have been increasingly monitoring school buses and the drivers who ignore traffic laws. Disregarding these rules have led to injuries and even deaths. These laws are necessary to protect children and drivers because school buses are large, slow, have multiple blind spots, and are difficult to maneuver.

How To Keep Your Children Safe

School buses typically pick children up in the early hours of the morning at the corner of a neighborhood street. Oftentimes, it’s still dark out. Open communication with your child is key to explain the dangers of walking outside so early in the morning without adult supervision. When you can, you should always walk with your children to the bus stop, but it has become quite common for children to walk alone. When your children walk alone, make sure you tell them to:

  • Always walk on the sidewalk and stay off the road
  • Wear reflective clothing and use flashlights in the dark
  • Keep a fully-charged phone on them at all times
  • Watch out for vehicles that might not be paying attention
  • Stay in the street lights as often as possible

Regulation

One school bus law is to stop whenever a school bus’s stop signs are out. This is an indication that children are either boarding or leaving the bus and therefore will be near the road. Drivers are required to stop behind the bus, even when the bus is pulled to the side or there is room to pass.

It might be tempting to rush and go around a school bus, but you never know when a child might jump out of nowhere into the middle of the road. Unfortunately, drivers over the years have been ignoring these laws and often pass school buses. This had led to accidents that could have easily been avoided if the drivers had simply followed the law.

Enforcement

Parents, police, news outlets, and school districts have realized that people are breaking these laws and have been making efforts to stop these offenses by monitoring school buses:

  • Parents: Parents now often walk with or drive their children to bus stops. When parents see a violation, many also video-record it to show the authorities and bring awareness to other parents.
  • Police: Police often park near school buses and school zones as a warning and to pull over drivers cutting off, driving around, and speeding near school buses when they clearly have stop signs out.
  • The Media: News outlets have also picked up on these multiple infractions and often broadcast it. Occasionally, reporters will film right at the bus stops to show proof of drivers breaking the law.
  • School Districts: Many school buses now have cameras installed to record traffic violations to show police and find ways to make school buses safer.

Contact Us

No matter how much of a hurry you might be in, you should always follow your state and county’s road regulations not only to protect yourself, but also the people around you, other drivers, and passengers. If you are ever in a vehicle accident, you need a personal injury attorney. Contact us today for a free initial consultation: (716) 907-7777.

How To Deal With Trucking Accidents

Big truck that burned on side of road after accidentTruck accidents have caused pile-ups on the highway as well as fatal accidents that would have been minor if it was a regular sedan.

Trucks are much larger and heavier than regular cars, so when a truck accident takes place, it is likely that multiple people and vehicles will be involved.

Due to the potential travesty that a truck accident can cause, additional expertise is required to operate one and truck drivers are required to be licensed to drive any kind of commercial truck. 

What Truck Drivers Deal With 

Driving for hours and hours can be exhausting. Truck drivers have to put up with: 

  • The sun causing eye strain 
  • The same monotonous scenery of trees, roads, and cars 
  • Driving for hours at a time 
  • Meeting pressing deadlines 
  • Lack of communication and companionship with friends and family 
  • Not having much downtime 
  • Maneuvering a large and heavy vehicle 
  • Finding places to eat that might need to meet their dietary restrictions 
  • Traffic jams, detours, and road construction 
  • Other drivers and their errors 

Taking all of this into consideration, it is understandable that truck drivers tend to be tired, stressed, and even depressed. Regardless of their state of mind, they are still required to meet their deadlines while driving responsibly with additional care and precision. 

How Truck Drivers Can Prevent Accidents 

Even though a truck driver may need to meet a deadline, everyone needs a break. Studies have shown that people can get back to work and be even more effective after taking a break to rest their minds. It would be unreasonable for a truck driver to also never take breaks. At rest stops, hotels, and restaurants, it is important for truck drivers alike to: 

  • Stretch 
  • Call, FaceTime, or text friends and family 
  • Play a relaxing game on their phone 
  • Eat a balanced meal 
  • Take a nap 

While driving, Podcasts, Audiobooks, and new music are all good choices to stay awake and focused, presuming drivers can play audio without handling a phone as this could require taking their eyes off the road. 

How Other Drivers Can Prevent Accidents 

Often, truck accidents are caused by other drivers on the road. Sometimes, such accidents could have been prevented if other drivers were more careful. Even if you’re not driving a huge vehicle, always remember to: 

  • Be aware of your blind spots and those of others 
  • Allow trucks room to turn, brake, and change lanes 
  • Stay focused and refrain from distractions such as texting and eating 
  • Continue to be informed about accident prevention 
  • Look up exactly where you have to go and whether you may run into traffic 
  • Do not drive while emotional 
  • Keep your car well-maintained to avoid mechanical failures 

If An Accident Occurs 

If you are involved in a truck accident, you should always contact an attorney. You should not speak with an insurance company until you consult with an attorney because insurance companies may try to settle your claim for less than you deserve. If a family member passes away due to a trucking accident, you may also be able to recover in their place. 

Contact Us Today 

If you are injured in a truck accident, our experienced attorneys at O’Brien can help you receive compensation for your injuries. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 for a free consultation and we can discuss your possible remedies. 

Commercial Truck Driving Consequences 

Blank poster ready truckPeople who drive large commercial trucks for companies are required to obtain special commercial licenses and they must also be more vigilant while driving such massive motor vehicles.

 

Large trucks have caused severe and fatal wrecks on the highway including pileups and freak accidents.

 

Each state has its own requirements to obtain a commercial license, but regardless of the requirements, truck drivers are held to a higher standard because of how deadly these vehicles can be.

Vicarious Liability

Companies that hire truck drivers need to make sure that they hire suitable drivers because, with vicarious liability, they can be held liable if one of their drivers is the cause of an accident. Companies need to conduct background checks on their drivers and make sure that they have the correct commercial licenses, especially when driving through interstate traffic.

If a company fails to act reasonably and negligently hires a poor driver, then an accident victim could not only sue the driver, but also the company that hired and provided a company truck to the driver.

Drivers’ Health Problems

Truck drivers are usually required to drive for long hours throughout the day and night. This can lead to many health risks such as:

Sleep Problems

Staying up for excessive hours while staying alert can lead to losing sleep while remaining strained. If a driver falls asleep at the wheel or doses off for a few seconds, it could lead to a severe accident; so many drivers will drink multiple cups of coffee to stay awake and alert. This interferes with drivers’ sleep cycles and forces them to stay awake for many more hours at a time than normal.

Depression

Driving alone on the road for many hours at a time can understandably become lonely. Trucks drivers will have to be away from their families and friends and spend a lot of time without human interaction.

Stress

Driving a regular car on a day-to-day basis can be stressful as it is, but truck drivers have added stress as they have to handle such a large vehicle, as well as know that they had added pressure to remain even more attentive to smaller cars. Commercial truck drivers know that this is their livelihoods, and they cannot afford to make a silly mistake on the road, as that could cost them their jobs.

Obesity

Being on the highway and away from home to meet deadlines will inevitably lead to eating at restaurants that will serve a quick meal so that drivers can get back on the road. Eating at restaurants is clearly not as healthy as eating at home, especially if a driver will want a fast meal and opt for a fast food joint.

Prevention

Although you cannot prevent driving on the road with another commercial truck around, there are ways that you can lessen your chances of an accident. If you see a truck, know that they have lowered visibility and cannot brake as quickly as a light-weight car. Try to stay away from their blind spots and be sure you have enough room when changing lanes in front of a truck. The best thing you can do is to be informed of the dangers of commercial trucks and be on high-alert when near one.

Contact Us

If you or a close family member has been injured in a truck accident, O’Brien Law Firm can help. Contact our skilled attorneys today for a free, risk-free consultation to determine what your options are. Call (716) 907-7777 today so we can help you receive compensation.

Moving Truck Accidents 

Logging Truck Accident On Highway Hiring a professional moving company can sometimes cost thousands of dollars depending on the distance, number of belongings, and company prices.

Renting a box truck to move everything yourself is not only more convenient than using a regular car but is also usually much less expensive.

However, most companies only have valid license and age requirements, so inexperienced people can rent moving trucks without realizing the potential dangers. 

Safety Concerns 

Moving trucks are much larger and heavier, making them harder to maneuver and guide than a regular car. Furthermore, because of the large box-size without windows, there are many more blind spots, so you can’t see behind yourself while driving in addition to lowered visibility. An inexperienced driver may not realize whether anything is wrong as well. For example, there have been cases where the back latch was not securely fastened, and items spilled out. This can cause severe accidents for other drivers on the road and could cause immense traffic jams. 

Driving a moving truck requires: 

  • Using additional caution 
  • Making wider turns 
  • Taking note where your blind spots are 
  • Guidance when backing out, as you will not be able to see behind your rental 
  • Driving slowly and patiently 
  • Carefully maneuvering the large size of the truck when driving through narrow streets 
  • Securing the back latch securely to avoid belongings spilling out 
  • Paying close attention to your surroundings 
  • Adhering to the rules of the road 

Who Is Liable? 

If a company allows someone without a valid license to rent one of their trucks, they could be held liable for injuries following an accident. Likewise, if a company rents to someone who has clearly been drinking or under the influence of drugs, they will not escape liability. Furthermore, they are required to complete a safety check prior to renting to make sure that the latch, lights, and brakes are in proper working condition. Companies are required to upkeep and maintain their trucks. Proving that a company was negligent in the rental process or inspection could allow you to sue them following a wreck. 

On the other hand, the driver of the moving truck can also be liable. Just like driving a regular car, drivers must abide by the laws and drive safely. Inexperience and the fact that the rental company properly rented a truck to the driver, does not mean that the driver won’t be held liable for his own negligence or mishandling of driving a rental truck. Because moving trucks are much harder to drive than a regular car, you must be confident in your ability to drive one and take all the precautions listed above. Otherwise, you should thoroughly consider spending the extra money on professional movers to avoid an accident, injuries, and possible liability. 

Contact Our Attorneys 

If you or a close family member has been involved in a moving truck accident, you should contact our skilled attorneys as soon as possible to see what we can do for you. We will be able to review and evaluate the unique facts of your case and let you know what your options are to pursue a suit. Call us at (716) 907-7777 today for a free consultation.

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.