Archive for the ‘Passenjer Injuries’ Category

Road Safety – Bicycles

Each summer we can’t wait to get outside and enjoy the warm weather and sunshine. Unfortunately, there have been many tragic accidents in Buffalo and Rochester involving bicyclists and motor vehicles this summer. These types of accidents are likely to result in serious injuries or fatalities. Please use caution in sharing the road with bicyclists to help prevent a fun day from turning tragic.
Some bicycle safety tips to remember:

  • Always wear a properly fitted helmet with the straps fastened.
  • Wear bright clothing and reflectors so that you’re highly visible to drivers, even during the day. You can buy reflectors, headlights, and taillights to place on your bicycle for nighttime rides.
  • Remember that on a bike you have the same rights and responsibilities as your fellow motorists, including obeying traffic signs and signals.
  • Ride with traffic. This is not only the law, it’s for your own safety. Motorists will not expect you to be riding against traffic, and statistics show this increases the risk of an accident substantially.
  • Do not wear anything that could become caught in your bicycle chain, like straps or loose clothing.
  • Signal your turns so motorists are aware of your intentions.
  • Remain alert as you ride. Watch for motorists who may turn or pull out in front of you, and watch for open car doors. Do not pass cars on the right.
  • Do not ride on the sidewalk. It is especially dangerous to re-enter road traffic from the sidewalk as you will be virtually unseen by motorists.
  • Make sure your bicycle fits you properly and is in good repair.

Motorists, please be aware you share the road with bicyclists and so you are also responsible for their safety. Use caution when driving. Be sure to check carefully for bicyclists before opening your doors, making turns, or merging into a bicycle lane.

I also encourage avid bicyclists to check the SUM (Supplement Uninsured Motorist) coverage on their auto insurance policies. This insurance will cover you on your bicycle as well as in your car. SUM insurance is supremely important should you get into an accident with another driver who is under-insured (or not insured at all), and generally it is not very expensive. If you do not own a car and cannot obtain SUM coverage, some insurance companies are beginning to offer insurance policies specifically for bicycles.

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Rear-end collisions common cause of New York State accidents. Know the facts.

You’re driving down a busy street. There’s a stop light ahead. The light turns red, you slow down. Next thing you know, the car behind you slams straight into your vehicle. You’ve just been involved in a rear-end collision. And you’re not alone.

Each year, more than 2.5 million rear-end collisions take place nationwide, according to the National Safety Council. That’s a rear-end accident every 12 seconds! Just recently, police in Western New York responded to numerous rear-end collisions due to icy road conditions throughout the region.

Snow and ice-covered roads often result in rear-end collisions. Other common causes of rear-end collisions include:

  • Distracted drivers. Motorists talking or texting on cell phones often don’t realize they’re about to drive into another car.
  • Excessive speed. Drivers traveling too fast often times don’t have enough time to stop or avoid a rear-end collision.
  • Defective equipment. A car might have defective parts, have not been repaired correctly or may even be subject to a recall.

Rear-end collisions sometimes happen at low speeds in parking lots or near crosswalks. But even when vehicles are not traveling fast, rear-end collisions often result in injuries. Many accidents result in cervical or lumbar strain injuries. Other times, people sustain more serious injuries such as herniated cervical or lumbar discs. Rear-end collisions can even result in death.

What would you do if you were injured in a rear-end collision? What if you couldn’t work for weeks or months? How would you pay your bills? You need someone experienced with handling such complicated cases. You need someone who understands New York State’s complex legal system. You need someone determined to get results for you. You need the Law Offices of James Morris.

James Morris was selected by SuperLawyers in the personal injury field in 2009 and 2010 as one of New York State’s best lawyers. When you choose James Morris, you get an attorney dedicated to working tirelessly to win your rear-end collision case.

Don’t let a rear-end collision derail your life. Demand justice. Contact James Morris today.  We mean business.

The information contained in this communication is provided for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as legal advice on any subject matter.

Seatbelt usage on the rise in New York State. What’s driving the increase?

Many people automatically put on a seatbelt when they get in a car. It wasn’t always this way. And while seatbelts save lives, seatbelts are not always perfect.

As seatbelt use has increased, the fatality rate for car accidents has declined. In 1994, just under 60 percent of motorists wore seatbelts. That year, the fatality rate for car accidents was 1.4 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, the standard measurement for accidents. By 2006, the fatality rate dropped 21 percent to 1.1 deaths and 80 percent of motorists wore seatbelts.

What changed? The rise in seatbelt use coincides with tougher seatbelt laws in many states throughout the country. States like New York have primary enforcement seatbelt laws. This means police in New York can pull someone over for not wearing their seatbelt and issue them a $50 fine. States with primary seatbelt laws report that 88 percent of motorists wear seatbelts. States without such laws report that 75 percent of motorists wear seatbelts.

But seatbelts aren’t perfect. Sometimes, a defective design can leave a seatbelt not functioning right. A gifted young professional baseball player, Brian Cole, was killed when his Ford SUV rolled over and his seatbelt failed to hold him in place. An investigation found that Cole had his seatbelt on at the time. Recently, a jury ordered Ford to pay Cole’s family $131 million, claiming the seatbelt did not operate correctly and contributed to Cole’s death.

Accidents happen fast. Your life can change in an instant. What would you do if you were injured? How would you pay your medical bills? What if your insurance company refused to cooperate? Knowing what to do can be difficult. Finding answers to your important questions can be frustrating.

You need an action plan. You need someone who understands New York State’s complicated legal system. You need someone who will demand justice. You need an advocate on your side who will fight tenaciously for you.  You need the Law Offices of James Morris.

Our lawyers have years of experience successfully representing car accident victims in New York. We know the scare tactics some insurance companies and car makers use to avoid paying victims. Show them you mean business. Contact a law firm committed to getting results for clients. Contact James Morris today.

The information contained in this communication is provided for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as legal advice on any subject matter.

New York school children safe? Get the facts. Be prepared.

We trust our schools. We rely on them to protect our children. We expect them to keep them safe. But accidents happen, often when we least expect them. Sometimes in the classroom. Other times just coming or going to school, especially in New York State, where roads can turn treacherous quickly in winter.

People especially need to be aware of children walking to school. Sometimes, children get distracted or caught up in the excitement of seeing a friend and unexpectedly dart out into a street. That’s when pedestrian accidents happen.

Sadly, a staggering number of pedestrians injured and killed are under 15 years old. In 2008, pedestrians sustained 69,000 injuries and 4,378 deaths in accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those statistics include 15,000 injured and 316 killed under 15 years old.

The statistics are even more startling for bicycle injuries and deaths for children. Cyclists under 14 years old account for 24 percent of all bicycle-related deaths and 50 percent of all bicycle-related injuries.

Why so many accidents? Sometimes, children don’t pay attention while walking to their bus stop, riding a bike or walking to school. Other times, it’s the driver doing something besides driving. Texting while driving, talking on a cell phone, fiddling with the radio – all of these activities distract drivers and put us all at risk.

Accidents happen. Everyone feels sorry. But actions have consequences. Don’t let someone else’s irresponsible behavior ruin your family’s lives. You need a team you can trust to fight for your rights. You need the Law Offices of James Morris.

Serving clients throughout New York State, James Morris has years of experience defending families traumatized by accidents involving school children. We know how precious your children are to you. An accident can instantly change your lives. Let us do everything in our power to right any wrongs done to your children.

Don’t be a victim. Take action. Contact James Morris today. We’re on your side.

The information contained in this communication is provided for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as legal advice on any subject matter.

Passengers at risk in New York auto accidents. Are you safe?

What is the safest place to ride in a car? Is the driver more likely to survive a car crash? Or are you safer riding in a vehicle as a passenger? Depends on where you are in a car.

If you’re riding in the back seat, you’re much safer than the passenger riding in the front seat. But if you’re riding in the front passenger seat, the driver has a much better chance of surviving a car crash than you.

But sometimes, no matter where you are in the car, you can sustain an injury. That’s what happened recently when a car and a tractor trailer collided on Interstate 90 near Buffalo. Several passengers and the driver in the car all sustained injuries and had to be taken to the hospital.

Every 13 seconds in America, someone sustains an injury in a car accident. That’s more than 2.3 million people injured in auto accidents every year, according to the latest government statistics from 2008. Around the world, 1 in 10 hospital beds are occupied by victims of auto accidents.

Car accidents cause a wide range of injuries. The most common injuries in car accidents are to people’s head, neck or back. And even though you might not feel injured immediately after an accident, serious injuries can develop days or even weeks later. That’s why it’s crucial you seek immediate medical attention after being involved in a car accident.

What would you do if you were injured in a car accident? Do you have an action plan? How will you pay your bills? Who’s responsible? Your insurance company? The driver’s insurance company? You need someone who understands the law. You need someone who knows how to get results and will vigorously fight for your rights. You need the Law Offices of James Morris.

Please allow one of our skilled attorneys to evaluate your case for free. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Contact James Morris today. We’re on your side.

The information contained in this communication is provided for informational purposes only and should not be constituted as legal advice on any subject matter.