Wrong-Way Driver Arrested for Fatal Car Accident

fatal car accident

DUI Driver Causes Fatal Car Accident After Driving the Wrong Way

fatal car accidentA man was arrested and charged with felony DUI for causing a fatal car accident on Sunday, February 23rd on Interstate 20.

Reportedly, Jessie Samuels was driving the wrong way down the interstate, which led to the fatal car accident. South Carolina Highway patrol officers also believe that Samuels was intoxicated at the time, leading to the felony DUI charges.

According to police reports, Samuels and a passenger were driving the wrong way down I-20 around 5:45 AM on Sunday. Samuels’s Ford F150 Pickup struck another vehicle, a 1996 GMC Sonoma, driven by Donald Jerome Ford.

After the car accident, Ford was transported to Palmetto Health Richland Memorial Hospital where he died of his injuries.

Samuels and his passenger were also transported to Palmetto Health Richland, and their conditions are not known.  Reportedly, Samuels was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the crash.

Car Accident and Wrongful Death Litigation in South Carolina

car accident can transform a routine drive into a life-changing catastrophe. Every year, thousands of drivers end up in a South Carolina car wreck, and on average about 800 of them will lose their lives.

Typical causes of car accidents include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, automobile defect, failed maintenance, failing to be careful, speeding, running stops signs or stop lights, failing to yield the right of way, not paying attention because of using cell phone or PDA, adjusting radio or DVD player, or eating while driving.

If a loved one dies as a result of the negligence, reckless, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit asserts a claim against a person who can be held legally responsible for a death.  Surviving family members may be entitled to damages; money that can help with the expenses caused by the loss of their loved one. Common wrongful death claims arise as a result of a:

A South Carolina wrongful death lawsuit seeks compensation for:

  • medical bills and funeral expenses
  • loss of income
  • loss of consortium and loss of support.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Car Accident Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, whether from a defective product or in a car accident, you may have a wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800

SC May See State-Wide Texting and Driving Ban

texting and driving ban

Senate Subcommittee Approves Texting and Driving Ban

texting and driving banOn Thursday, February 20th, a subcommittee in the South Carolina Senate passed an agreement that stated South Carolina drivers should be subject to a statewide ban on texting and driving.

Bans on texting and driving have passed local governments across the state. Now, state legislators are looking to enforce a ban on texting and driving across the South Carolina.

The bill, S. 416A, created multiple levels of offenses. First offense texting and driving would be a fine of $100, up to 30 days in jail and two points on an offender’s driver’s license; a second texting and driving offense would mean a fine of $500, possible jail time and four points on a driver’s license – meaning the driver’s vehicle insurance rate would shoot up.

Another bill, S. 459, would prohibit drivers with beginner’s permits or restricted licenses from talking on the phone, as well as texting and driving.

Many details of the bill still need to be hashed out, including how police will enforce the ban.

However, this is the first time a texting and driving ban has passed any level of the state Senate or House. “There’s more focus to get it done,” said Sen. Shane Massey, R-Edgefield, in an interview. “A lot of municipalities have started to implement their own bans and prohibitions … Those bans are different, so depending on where you’re driving, you can have different laws on the same trip. That’s not good for anybody. So I think there is more momentum now.”

Both bills will now go before the full Senate Judiciary Committee.

Distracted Driving, Including Texting and Driving, in South Carolina

Distracted driving includes:

  • talking on a cell phone
  • eating and drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming or putting on makeup
  • reading books, newspapers, or even a map
  • using a PDA or navigation system
  • watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
  • playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod
  • texting or writing emails
  • checking social media

It’s a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina roads and interstates.  Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of distracted driving can lead to an accident, resulting in life altering and even deadly consequences.

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers, Including Texting and Driving

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

Business Execs Meet to Discuss Distracted Driving

distracted driving

Senator Calls Meeting with Business Leaders to Help Prevent Distracted Driving

distracted drivingSmart phones, tablets, MP3 players, GPS devices, and Google glass – technology we all love, but which can lead to distracted driving accidents.

However, Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller, of West Virginia, believes that leaders in the automotive and technology industries can help put a stop to the problem.

Rockefeller met earlier in February with executives from General Motors, Toyota, Apple, Google, AT&T and Verizon to discuss the growing problem of distracted driving accidents. With automotive manufacturers adding more new technology to vehicles, like built-in voice command phones and Dominos-Ford app to order pizza while driving, it is increasingly likely that temptation will keep drivers from paying attention to traffic.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, distracted driving kills 9 people every day in the United States, and injures over 1,000.

“I think it is irresponsible for companies to feed into consumers’ almost pathological need for connectivity without regard for the safety implications,” Rockefeller said at the meeting.

“We have to do everything possible to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and get every driver to break this habit that has devastating consequences for public health,” Rockefeller told Hearst Connecticut Media. “Far too many people have suffered because of someone looking away from the road to answer a call or respond to an email or text.”

Although the lure of technology can cause distracted driving, new technology can also help prevent the problem. An app called TXTL8R is currently being tested in Iowa, for free for drivers under the age of 17. The app disables communications on smartphones except for emergency calls while driving.

The US Department of Transportation will also begin to require automotive manufacturers to install vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology, which will help prevent accidents as cars locate other vehicles and determine how fast they are traveling. This new technology could reduce accidents among sober drivers by as much as 80%.

Distracted Driving in South Carolina

Distracted driving includes:

  • talking on a cell phone
  • eating and drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming or putting on makeup
  • reading books, newspapers, or even a map
  • using a PDA or navigation system
  • watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
  • playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod

It’s a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina roads and interstates.  Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of distracted driving can lead to an accident, resulting in life altering and even deadly consequences.

The statistics on distracted driving nationwide are staggering:

  • 20 percent of crashes which resulted in an injury involved a report of distracted driving
  • of the deaths in distracted related driving accidents, 995 involved a report that the driver was using a cell phone
  • in 2009, 5,474 people were killed on US roadways and an estimated additional 448, 000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

GM Issues Vehicle Recall for Older Cars

General Motors Issues Vehicle Recall Covering 778,000 Older Cars

GMGeneral Motors has issued a vehicle recall for 778,000 older compact cars because a faulty ignition switch could shut off engines without warning, or turn off the airbags, which could lead to a deadly crash.

In a statement, GM spokesman Alan Adler said that the company knew of five crashes in which six people died due to the ignition problem.

“All of these crashes occurred off-road and at high speeds, where the probability of serious or fatal injuries was high regardless of air bag deployment. In addition, failure to wear seat belts and alcohol use were factors in some of these cases,” Adler said.

He added that the company knew of 17 additional crashes in which there were no fatalities.

Cars under vehicle recall include the 2005-07 model Chevy Cobalts, and 2007 Pontiac G5 vehicles. The vehicle recall covers 778,000 cars in the United States, plus an additional 153,310 vehicles in Canada and 6,130 in Mexico.

GM said that the ignition switch problem was due to the switches not being tightened properly. If the vehicle goes off-road, “jarring” the switch could be moved to the “run” position, which would turn off the engine and several electrical components of the car. Air bag sensors are included in electrical components, and those would fail to deploy in the event of a crash, which increases the risk of fatalities.

GM dealers will replace the ignition switch, according to the manufacturer’s statement.

NHTSA Reports that Vehicle Recalls Are at 9-Year High

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle recalls in the United States are at a 9-year high.

Statistics from the NHTSA’s report show that automobile manufacturers issued vehicle recalls for 21.9 million cars in 632 separate vehicle recalls in 2013, which is up 9% from last year. It is also a record high since 2004, when automotive manufacturers issued a stunning 600 vehicle recall campaigns and pulled 30.8 million cars off the market.

The NHTSA suggested that part of the reason behind the spike in recalls has to do with vehicle manufacturers using more common parts to save money. However, that means when something is wrong with a part, more cars are recalled due to product problems.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Defective Products and Vehicle Recall Cases

General Motors filed for bankruptcy in 2009, and since then has become a leaner, stronger company. However, this recall notice could make consumers wonder if GM’s recovery is real. Although it is a small recall, it affects several popular vehicles, and the engine problems are potentially deadly

To protect yourself and your family, it’s important to know what products have been recalled because they are defective or unsafe. Federal agencies such as the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and the CPSC (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission) frequently issue recalls for medical devices, drugs, and products that may be harmful to consumers.

If you have experienced a problem with a defective product in your automobile, especially if a defective part has led to an auto accident or personal injury, and a proper vehicle recall notice has not been issued, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We can help you with complicated auto insurance claims, and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve to help you with lost income and medical bills. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in South Carolina, Georgia, and New York. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today at (803) 252-4800.

Greenville Officially Bans Texting and Driving

New Ordinance on Texting and Driving Passes in Greenville

texting and drivingAfter a thorough debate in January, the Greenville city council passed an ordinance that will ban texting and driving while in the city.

The ordinance makes exceptions for emergency workers such as EMTs, and allows the use of hands-free devices like blue tooth headsets and GPS devices while driving.

The texting and driving ban passed the council vote with ease, and will go into effect on April 1st.

Greenville Mayor Knox White said that he decided to support the ban after hearing testimony from doctors who said they had seen an increase in distracted driving accidents, injuries, and fatalities related to checking email, social media, or texting and driving on mobile devices.

One of the bill’s opponents, Tom Barilovits, said that the texting and driving bill is unconstitutional. The ban could cause more accidents as drivers pull over to text, and the ban could give police officers more reason to stop more motorists, infringing on the individual’s right to privacy.

As the texting and driving ban goes into effect, officers will issue warning tickets, then first-time offense tickets of $100 plus court costs, then $100 additional for every offense after that.

More than a dozen cities and counties in South Carolina have banned texting and driving so far this year, but none of them have passed bans on using cell phones in cars to prevent distracted driving.

Distracted Driving in South Carolina

Distracted driving includes:

  • talking on a cell phone
  • eating and drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming or putting on makeup
  • reading books, newspapers, or even a map
  • using a PDA or navigation system
  • watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
  • playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod

It’s a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina roads and interstates.  Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of distracted driving can lead to an accident, resulting in life altering and even deadly consequences.

The statistics on distracted driving nationwide are staggering:

  • 20 percent of crashes which resulted in an injury involved a report of distracted driving
  • of the deaths in distracted related driving accidents, 995 involved a report that the driver was using a cell phone
  • in 2009, 5,474 people were killed on US roadways and an estimated additional 448, 000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving
  • The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers involved the under 20 age group
  • Drivers who use hand held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves
  • using a cell phone while driving, whether its hand held or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a BAC of .08, the legal limit!

The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.

DUI in Southern California Leads to 6 Deaths

DUI

Woman Charged with Felony DUI that Led to Deadly Crash in Southern California

DUIA woman in Southern California has been officially charged with felony DUI after driving the wrong way at over 100 mph, and causing a crash that killed six people.

Olivia Carolee Culbreath, 21, from Fontana, CA, was reportedly traveling over 100 miles per hour and going the wrong way on the 60 Freeway in Diamond Bar on early Sunday morning, February 9th. She has been arrested and charged with suspicion of felony driving under the influence (DUI), and felony manslaughter.

Culbreath suffered a ruptured bladder and broken femur, and was taken to Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center where she is in serious but stable condition.

According to witnesses, Culbreath drove a red Chevrolet Camaro and while driving the wrong way on the 60 Freeway around 4:40 am on Sunday, collided head-on with a red Ford Explorer. Another vehicle was also involved in the accident. At least two people were ejected from the vehicles. Four people were pronounced dead at the scene of the DUI accident, and two more died at UC Irvine Medical Center.

The victims’ names have not been released.

Rodrigo Jimenez, a California Highway Patrol spokesperson, called the crash “a horrific collision” after inspectors at the scene measured skid marks and dug through debris from the vehicles.

Authorities are seeking to have blood tests conducted on Culbreath, but investigators believe they found traces of alcoholic beverages in her vehicle.

DUI Accident and Wrongful Death Litigation in South Carolina

car accident can transform a routine drive into a life-changing catastrophe. Every year, thousands of drivers end up in a South Carolina car wreck, and on average about 800 of them will lose their lives.

Typical causes of car accidents include driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (referred to as driving under the influence, or DUI), automobile defect, failed maintenance, failing to be careful, speeding, running stops signs or stop lights, failing to yield the right of way, not paying attention because of using cell phone or PDA, adjusting radio or DVD player, or eating while driving.

If a loved one dies as a result of the negligence, recklessness, DUI, or intentional conduct of another, you may be entitled to bring a claim for wrongful death. A wrongful death lawsuit asserts a claim against a person who can be held legally responsible for a death.  Surviving family members may be entitled to damages; money that can help with the expenses caused by the loss of their loved one.

Common wrongful death claims arise as a result of a:

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with DUI Car Accident Injury and Wrongful Death Cases

Although many of the people we represent in these cases are from right here in South Carolina, our lawyers routinely take clients from throughout the Southeastern U.S. and, in certain types of product liability or pharmaceutical cases, from across the country as well. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed through no fault of your own, whether from a defective product or in a DUI car accident, you may have a wrongful death case. Contact the South Carolina wrongful death attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free, no-cost consultation today. 803.252.4800

SC House Passes Moped Safety Bill

moped safety

Concerns About Moped Safety Lead to New Bill

moped safetyThe South Carolina House of Representatives passed a new bill on Tuesday, February 4th, to improve moped safety across the state.

The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SC DMV) defines a “moped” as “a cycle with pedals or without pedals and with a motor of not more than fifty cubic centimeters. Its power will not exceed two brake horsepower and the motor is not capable of propelling the vehicle at a speed in excess of thirty miles an hour on level ground.”

The new bill requires moped drivers to wear reflective vests, and the moped itself must have a tail light that continuously flashes while the vehicle is in motion. The moped safety bill also makes it illegal for drivers to take their mopeds on roads where the speed limit is 45 miles per hour or more – mopeds cannot go above that speed, and it is unsafe for them to enter faster traffic.

Reportedly, the moped safety bill gained momentum after a state representative almost had an accident involving a moped driver.

“I was on a 55 mile-an-hour roadway, four-lane, and it was almost dark and I came up on a moped doing about 30. And I barely saw the light. I tried to switch to the left lane, almost hit another car that was coming up,” says Rep. Bill Whitmire, R-Walhalla. “So it’s mainly to protect not only the moped driver but the automobile drivers as well.”

After that, Rep. Whitmire sponsored the bill to help make changes in moped safety, and the bill was filed in early December 2013. However, critics of the legislation believe the bill is going too far.

“I think there’s been between 90 and a hundred deaths in the last few years of moped drivers, so that’s my main focus for this,” he says.

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, 92 moped drivers have been killed in vehicle accidents across the state in the last 3 years.

“There’s a difference between requiring the equipment of a vehicle, to have certain safety precautions. I think it’s a different step if you require the rider of that to have vests or helmets or what not. So to me, it just is incremental step to those kinds of things,” says Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington.

South Carolina moped rider Travis Harmon agrees that moped safety is important, but he thinks it should be a personal choice to wear a reflective vest.

“I think it’s probably going to make riding a moped a lot safer here in South Carolina. I also think it’s a horrible encroachment on our civil liberties. This is a state where to ride a motorcycle you don’t even have to have a helmet,” says Harmon.

Columbia moped dealer Justin Clark also doesn’t like the reflective vests legislation.

“If you see somebody in a reflective vest, you have to get right up on them to actually see it to start with. That’s basically too little too late, in my opinion,” he says. “Now the flashing red light, I agree with that a lot. I like that whole idea. I think it’ll bring attention a lot more, just like a cop car or an ambulance …That’s going to catch your attention a lot more than just a regular tail light on a moped,” he added.

The moped safety bill must pass the Senate next, then go to the governor for final approval before it becomes law.

The Strom Law Firm Accident Attorneys Can Help with Moped Safety and Accident Lawsuits

The Strom Law Firm’s South Carolina bicycle, moped, and motorcycle accident attorneys will carefully analyze all aspects of the sequence of events, road conditions, and mechanical factors which led to the collision. If you have suffered a serious personal injury, or the wrongful death of a loved one due to another person’s negligence, call The Strom Law Firm, LLC at 803.252.4800 or contact us in Columbia, South Carolina, for a free consultation.

Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication Could Reduce Car Crashes

Transportation Department to Announce Next Steps in Vehicle-to-Vehicle Communication to Prevent Car Crashes

vehicle-to-vehicleThe National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced on Monday, February 3rd, that it would begin taking steps to enable vehicle-to-vehicle communication technology in light vehicles, to help prevent car crashes and other accidents.

“Vehicle-to-vehicle technology represents the next generation of auto safety improvements, building on the life-saving achievements we’ve already seen with safety belts and air bags,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “By helping drivers avoid crashes, this technology will play a key role in improving the way people get where they need to go while ensuring that the U.S. remains the leader in the global automotive industry.”

Vehicle-to-vehicle technology uses a certain radio frequency to allow cars to “talk” to each other and exchange some basic data such as position and speed about 10 times per second. Promoters believe that, once a critical mass of vehicles on the road have this technology installed, vehicle-to-vehicle communication could prevent as many as 80% of car crash deaths.

“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children and young adults in the U.S., with approximately 33,000 people killed and 2.3 million injured each year on America’s roads,” said Scott F. Belcher, President and CEO of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America), the nation’s largest association representing the transportation and technology communities. “While the auto industry has made great strides to reduce fatalities and injuries after a crash, the next giant leap is to enable real-time communication between vehicles and with the world around them so crashes can be avoided in the first place.”

The NHTSA’s announcement is unclear on whether the regulatory agency will simply highlight the new technology on vehicles that feature it, or if it will begin to require new cars to have vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Some automakers believe that the NHTSA will aim for the latter.

The Transportation Department completed a 12-month study in August 2013 that involved 3,000 cars linked together with vehicle-to-vehicle communication, and concluded that the technology could help prevent car crashes. Additional research suggested that safety benefits will be seen with as few as 7 to 10% of vehicles in any given area equipped with the new technology.

Once automakers begin equipping cars with vehicle-to-vehicle communications technology, it will take about 15 years for half of the cars on the road to have this technology.

“V2V crash avoidance technology has game-changing potential to significantly reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths on our nation’s roads,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “Decades from now, it’s likely we’ll look back at this time period as one in which the historical arc of transportation safety considerably changed for the better, similar to the introduction of standards for seat belts, airbags, and electronic stability control technology.”

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Car Crash Injury Cases

Automobile accidents, commonly called car crashes or wrecks, occur on a daily basis in South Carolina and nationwide. Even minor car crashes can lead to severe injuries and high costs of repair. As a result, automobile accident cases are not simple. The attorneys at Strom Law Firm, LLC, understand what it takes to protect the rights of victims injured in car crashes. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800

US Vehicle Recalls at 9-Year High

vehicle recall

Agency Says Vehicle Recalls in US at Record High

vehicle recallAccording to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, vehicle recalls in the United States are at a 9-year high.

Statistics from the NHTSA’s report show that automobile manufacturers issued vehicle recalls for 21.9 million cars in 632 separate vehicle recalls in 2013, which is up 9% from last year. It is also a record high since 2004, when automotive manufacturers issued a stunning 600 vehicle recall campaigns and pulled 30.8 million cars off the market.

The NHTSA suggested that part of the reason behind the spike in recalls has to do with vehicle manufacturers using more common parts to save money. However, that means when something is wrong with a part, more cars are recalled due to product problems.

Toyota led the number of recalled vehicles for the fourth year in a row. The Japanese automotive manufacturer recalled 5.3 million vehicles in 15 separate campaigns. Their 2013 total was nearly the same as their 2012 total.

Chrysler Group, LLC had the most vehicle recall campaigns – 36 separate recall notices – but came in second place for number of cars recalled. The company pulled 4.7 million cars in 2013. Reportedly, some of the company’s vehicle recalls came after sparring with the NHTSA, after reported fire risks and trailer hitch problems associated with Jeeps.

Honda Motor Corp showed improvement – in 2012, the company ranked second for number of vehicles recalled, but in 2013 the manufacturer placed third. The company issued 15 separate vehicle recall campaigns and pulled 2.8 million cars.

Hyundai ranked 4th with 2.2 million recalled vehicles; General Motors recalled only 760,000 cars, putting the company in 9th place, but it had the second-highest number of recall campaigns (23); Kia Motors had only 3 vehicle recall campaigns but pulled 1.1 million cars; and BMW North America had 14 recalls but pulled only 960,000 cars.

Statistics from 2013 also show that more automotive manufacturers are issuing their own vehicle recalls when they notice a problem, so the number of NHTSA-influenced recalls fell sharply. In 2012, the NHTSA influenced the recall of 9.4 million vehicles, while in 2013, that number fell to 7 million.

The NHTSA also showed that the agency has issued more and higher fines to automotive manufacturers that fail to issue timely vehicle recalls. For example, Ford paid $17.35 million after the agency found that the manufacturer did not notify consumers of a vehicle defect in a timely fashion. That is the maximum fine under current federal law.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Personal Injury and Vehicle Recalls

If you have experienced a problem with a defective product in your automobile, especially if a defective part has led to an auto accident or personal injury, and a proper vehicle recall notice has not been issued, you may be entitled to compensation. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. We can help you with complicated auto insurance claims, and make sure you receive the compensation you deserve to help you with lost income and medical bills. Our attorneys are licensed to practice in South Carolina, Georgia, and New York. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact us today at (803) 252-4800.

Truck Driver Faces Criminal Charges for Trucking Accident

trucking accident

Driver Faces Criminal Charges for Trucking Accident in Illinois Caused by Fatigue

trucking accidentA truck driver who caused a fatal trucking accident on I-88 in Illinois was scheduled to appear in court in DuPage County on Wednesday, January 29th.

Renato Velasquez, 46, from Hanover Park, faces four felony charges for causing a trucking accident due to driving while fatigued. According to the charges, Velasquez violated “Scott’s Law” by driving for more than 14 hours, which is the maximum he could be approved for, as well as false report of record or duty status. He was also accused of failing to slow down and yield to emergency vehicles.

According to police reports, the trucking accident occurred around 9:45 PM on Monday, January 27th. A disabled semi-truck was pulled over into the right hand lane of traffic and the shoulder, and the tollway truck and a state trooper’s vehicle, with its lights on, were behind it. An illuminated arrow on the back of the tollway truck was also lit, to help drivers know to slow down and avoid the area.

The 39-year-old tollway worker, Vincent Petrella, and 38-year-old State Trooper Douglas Balder, were at the scene assisting the disabled semi-truck, when Velasquez’s truck hit the state trooper vehicle, wedging the tollway vehicle between the car and the semi-truck. The force of the impact caused all three to burst into flames.

Petrella died in the accident, and Balder was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

A trial date for Velasquez’s trucking accident criminal case has not been set.

Trucking Accidents Can Cause Serious Injury and Wrongful Death

Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles such as semi tractor trailers, flatbed or tanker trucks, buses, or construction accidents can often result in a serious injury or death.

Many times truck drivers cannot see in certain blind spots around their large 18 wheeler.  You will also find that many truck drivers do not follow the speed limits and rules of the road.  They are often pressured by deadlines and have been on the road for a while and just want to get to their destination.

Other accidents are the result of driver fatigue.  Drivers will sometimes fall asleep at the wheel or at least lack sufficient attention and readiness to avoid truck accidents.

Some truck drivers also drive while using alcohol or other drugs unknown to their employer which causes them to drive recklessly and put others on the road in danger.

Injuries sustain in these types of accidents can be disabling. Accidents involving heavy commercial vehicles can cause:

  • Hospitalization
  • Rehabilitation
  • Loss of a job
  • Extended leave of absences
  • Family issues

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Injury Cases in Trucking Accidents

Anyone can be a victim in such accident. With careful analysis and investigation we will look at critical factors including:

  • Commericial vehicle crash cases
  • Maintenance and equipment records for the vehicle
  • Oversize and overweight loads
  • Weather, road, and grade conditions
  • Drivers’ conditions

If you or a loved one has been such a victim, contact the Strom Law Firm, LLC trucking accident lawyers.  Whether you were injured in a bus accident, tractor trailer accident, or any other commercial vehicle accident, we can help.