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Rockford falling cargo accident lawyerGetting into a car accident can obviously cause significant personal injury. Such an accident can also result in significant financial losses, as well. Even automobile accidents which are not your fault can end up costing you and your family thousands of dollars. Imagine this scenario: You are driving down the highway when a flatbed truck pulls in front of you. Suddenly, cargo from the bed of the truck comes loose, falls, and strikes your windshield. You veer out of control and crash your vehicle, resulting in significant vehicular damage and several broken bones. Who is responsible for your injuries and the damage to your vehicle? Often, the answer to the question of liability in loose-cargo accidents is not clear-cut.

Falling Cargo Can Cause Fatal Car Accidents

A 2016 study conducted by AAA found that falling cargo was a factor in over 200,000 crashes between 2011 and 2014. Improperly secured cargo was the most common cause of these accidents. Road debris resulted in roughly 39,000 injuries and over 500 fatalities during the same time period. Loose cargo and road debris can cause serious neck and spine injuries, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, and worse. Even more devastating, some people injured by loose cargo are left in thousands of dollars of medical debt and are unable to work.

Is A Truck Driver Automatically Responsible for Falling Cargo?

Many people who are injured in a cargo-related truck accident assume that the truck driver is at fault. While this is sometimes true, there are many other factors that one must consider when assigning blame in a loose cargo traffic accident. For example, say a motorist’s vehicle is struck with items falling from a flatbed truck carrying farm equipment. The loose cargo may be due to driver error, improper loading, faulty restraints, or issues with the farm equipment itself.

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Winnebago County personal injury attorneyMost sighted people take their ability to see the world around them for granted. Sadly, it is often only after a person experiences vision loss or impairment that he or she recognizes the sense of sight as the gift it really is. When a person is blinded or sustains a serious eye injury after an accident, they might be unable to work or enjoy the same quality of life they had before. When a person or entity’s negligence causes another person a life-altering injury, the negligent party should be held accountable. Read on to learn about the most common types of eye injuries that can be caused by auto accidents.

Airbag Injuries Are More Common Than You Might Think

Many people incorrectly imagine airbags as soft pillows designed to cushion the driver and passengers in the event of a crash. Although airbags are tremendously helpful at reducing fatalities in car accidents, they can also be the cause of certain injuries.  Airbags contain nitrogen gas and other chemicals which are activated during a car crash in order to rapidly fill the airbag with gas. The average airbag deploys at a speed of up to 186 miles an hour and is filled within about 0.03 seconds. While airbags are designed to prevent more traumatic head injuries, they have been known to cause retinal detachment and traumatic cataracts.

Traumatic Brain Injuries Can Cause Vision Problems

Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are often caused by serious car accidents. TBIs are usually caused by forceful blows to the head. Head and skull trauma can also have a major effect on the eyes.

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Rockford distracted driving accident lawyerBy now, you have almost certainly heard the warnings about the dangers of texting while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, AT&T, AAA, nonprofits, and other organizations have spent millions of dollars on campaigns to stop texting and driving. However, there are many other ways that drivers become dangerously distracted on the road, often leading to devastating accidents.

Children Can Be More Distracting Than Texting

If you have children, you probably spend a great deal of time transporting them to and from school, friends’ houses, and after-school activities. According to several studies, when your children are in the car, you may be driving while distracted. One study showed that children were twelve times more distracting to a driver than texting was. Research has also shown that parents with children in the car spend, on average, three minutes and twenty-two seconds with their eyes away from the road for every sixteen minutes they are diving.

Surprising Dangers on the Road

Distracted driving can also be caused when a driver attempts to multitask while driving. Many of us have extremely busy lives and often eat or drink while driving to save time. While the coffee and donut on the way to work may help you get your day started, experts believe that even this puts drivers at an increased risk of being in a car accident. A study conducted by Erie insurance found that smoking while driving is equally dangerous. Individuals who reach for a cigarette or go to light one take their eyes off the road for just a moment, but it only takes a moment to be involved in a crash.

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Winnebago County distracted driving accident lawyersBy now, most people have heard about the dangers of texting while driving or other types of distracted driving. However, studies show that a significant number of motorists are still dangerously distracted while operating a vehicle. In 2017, over 3,000 people nationwide lost their lives in accidents involving distracted drivers, and countless more were injured. If you or a loved one were hurt in an accident caused by a negligent driver, you may be able to receive compensation for your damages.

Types of Distracted Driving

Although we often hear about the dangers of texting and driving, this is not the only form of distracted driving which causes serious auto accidents. Some motorists have actually admitted to checking social media or using other phone applications while driving too. GPS devices are also a major cause of distracted driving. However, electronic devices are not the only thing that takes our attention off of the road. Studies have shown that activities like eating, changing the radio station, searching through a purse or wallet, and smoking while driving also increase the chances of being involved in an injury-causing motor vehicle accident.

Perhaps the most under-recognized type of distracted driving occurs when a driver is distracted by his or her passengers. A study conducted by Monash University found that children are an astounding 12 times more distracting than cell phone use while driving. In fact, researchers found that parents take their eyes off the road for an average of over three minutes per every 16-minute trip.

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Winnebago County truck accident lawyersMany people feel uneasy driving behind a large semi-truck or other vehicles carrying cargo. Looking past the steering wheel and seeing large crates or other objects strapped the vehicle in front of you can be unnerving to say the least. Unfortunately, these fears are not completely irrational. While most truck cargo is loaded and strapped down securely, loose cargo can and does sometimes fall out of trucks. The debris can easily hit another vehicle or cause an accident. Sadly, people have been seriously injured and killed due to improperly loaded or loose truck cargo.

Trucks with Unsecure Cargo Are in Violation of Federal Law

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) mandates that truck cargo is to be properly secured by using equipment like wedges and/or tie-downs so that it does not shift during transportation. The use of inflatable bags and similar materials as filler or padding between pieces of cargo or between the cargo and the trailer walls may be necessary to prevent cargo from moving within the truck and causing problems. Cargo that is not adequately secured can shift during transportation and easily throw an 18-wheeler off balance. This can result in a jack-knife accident or other serious collision. Loose cargo that falls into the road can also be a deadly hazard.

Transportation companies who do not take appropriate measures to secure cargo are not only in violation of the law, but also put the driver of the truck and other motorists’ lives in danger. Companies who fail to uphold proper loading procedures can be held liable for accidents, injuries, and deaths caused by the loose cargo.

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