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Category Archives: Auto Accidents

Fall Driving Safety Tips

Bear accident lawyers offer clients fall driving safety tips along with skilled representation.No one can deny that autumn in Delaware offers tremendous natural beauty as the leaves begin to change color. However, along with recognizing fall’s appeal comes specific driving responsibilities related to the time of year. Below are some tips drivers can use to make sure they stay out of harm’s way and avoid car accidents while navigating the roads.

Be Mindful of Children

Now that children have returned to the classroom, drivers need to be on the lookout for buses and walking school children. Often, children will dart in front of traffic without looking. Anyone behind the wheel who travels around known school bus stops should pay special attention to the needs of youngsters.

Prepare for Sun Glare

Sun glare happens throughout the year at different times of day. In the fall, the sun sets earlier in the evening. Drivers may want to alter their route or travel at different times to avoid sun glare. If sun glare is unavoidable, they should wear proper eyewear and drive cautiously during high-glare times.

Foggy Conditions

Cooler morning temperatures, especially after a balmy evening the previous day, can quickly lead to heavy fog. Fog reduces sight lines and makes traveling hazardous and tricky. Therefore, foggy mornings call for an extra element of defensive driving. Remember that high beams will bounce off fog. Using regular headlights works best when driving through fog.

Run Thorough Diagnostics

Use the changing of the calendar as a good excuse to visit a mechanic for a check-up. Have the windshield wipers checked and make sure everything is running smoothly. Winter weather can come suddenly and no driver wants to be caught unaware or without a reliable vehicle.

Watch Out for Animals

Deer tend to run onto highways and may not be visible until they are on the road. When driving through an area with a high deer population, drivers should always exercise extreme caution. That way, they have time to step on the brakes to avoid a collision.

Drive Cautiously on Leaves

Leaves fall everywhere in the autumn, including on the roads. Slippery leaves can cause the same effect as water, snow, or sleet. Drivers should slow down when they are on roads with leaves. Even leaves that appear crisp and dry could hide soggy leaves underneath.

Stay on the Lookout for Early Ice

When the road gets cold enough, ice can develop rapidly. A tiny bit of ice can lead to problems and cause a car to veer off the roadway. The best way to avoid getting into a collision due to ice is to be aware of its potential presence and drive accordingly.

Bear Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Victims Injured in Fall Car Accidents

If you were injured in a car accident, contact the Bear accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow right away. We will review your case and obtain the compensation you deserve for your injuries. Located in Milford, Wilmington, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. For a free consultation, call us at 302-834-8484 or fill out an online form.

Safety Rules for Backseat Passengers

Bear DE Car Accident Lawyers provide safety rules for backseat passengers. Every year, more than 100 people suffer fatal injuries from car accidents on Delaware roads. Thousands more are injured as a result of crashes. Though drivers endure pain from an accident, passengers receive the most severe injuries, especially backseat passengers. Research has revealed that contrary to common thought, riding in the back of a car is not safer than riding in the front. In fact, the backseat can be a surprisingly dangerous place for passengers.

Dangers of the Backseat

When a car stops suddenly, its occupants keep moving forward. Thus, someone who is sitting in the backseat in the middle may fly into the front part of the car, and perhaps through the windshield. Those sitting behind the driver and passenger seats will slam into the seats, potentially forcing the driver and passenger forward at a faster rate of speed.

However, danger of being in the backseat can be mitigated for those who use their seat belts. The backseat is the safest point in the car for children. Delaware parents are routinely told by pediatricians, the public, and law enforcement to buckle up their children and use the highest-quality approved car seats and boosters. As people age, they can tend to get lax about wearing their seat belts when in the back of a vehicle. As a result, injury rates skyrocket among older adults who were in the backseat during car accidents.

Backseats and Belt Safety

Everyone should wear a seat belt when riding in a vehicle. Still, most people who sit in the backseat either forget to buckle up or think it is unnecessary. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety discovered that although 91 percent of people religiously buckle up when they are in the front seat, only 72 percent wear seat belts when sitting in the backseat. Among certain age groups in the study, the younger generation was more likely to buckle up; only 66 percent of adults aged 35 to 54 wore their seat belt compared to 73 percent of adults aged 18 to 34. When taking a taxi or ride-sharing vehicle, such as Lyft or Uber, only 57 percent reported seat belt usage. Wearing a seat belt in the car, regardless of where you sit, is vital and can decrease car accident injuries and fatalities.

Bear DE Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Victims of All Types of Car Accidents

If you were involved in a car accident, the Bear DE car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help. We will hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries and fight for the justice you deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 302-834-8484 or contact us online today. Located in Bear, Wilmington, and Milford, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including Elsmere and Seaford.

Common Unnoticed Injuries

Bear Car Accident Lawyers discuss delayed car accident injuries. Anyone who has experienced a motor vehicle accident probably remembers feeling “out of it” immediately afterwards. This lightheadedness is partly due to the human body’s physiological response to the shock and strain; it produces more adrenaline, which can temporarily lessen the physical pain.

The trauma of a car crash can make it hard for victims to grasp what actually happened. Later on, the body stabilizes and the adrenaline levels decrease. This is when people can better understand the extent of any injuries they may not have immediately noticed.

For some it can take hours; in other cases, it could be days or weeks. These issues can range from mild to life-threatening.

Common injuries that tend to go unnoticed include:

Head and Neck Injuries

A nagging headache that presents itself the day after a car crash may not be immediately associated with the accident. However, it could be a sign of a concussion, back and neck injuries, or other bodily damage. Concussion symptoms include difficulties keeping awake or sleeping, trouble concentrating, blurred vision, nausea, and dizziness.

Whiplash may occur when a person’s neck and head are moved suddenly; this is commonly seen in rear-end collisions. This trauma may lead to neck pain, swelling, and vocal cord, ligament, and muscle damage.

Back and Muscle Damage

Whenever the spinal cord is affected in a car accident, there is a risk for nerve damage. A car wreck can affect a person’s joints and also cause herniated discs. These can definitely worsen with the passage of time, especially if not treated.

Symptoms can include numbness, tingling, and ongoing back pain that can extend to the legs, arms, and other extremities.

Soft tissue injuries to ligaments, tendons, and muscles can also take a long time to show up. Diagnosing them can be complicated since they do not show up on X-rays. These injuries can cause decreased mobility, consistent pain, and swelling.

Other Types of Injuries

Car accident victims may also experience latent injuries to other body parts, including arms, legs, and their extremities.

Even if there are no physical injuries, psychological scars can destroy the lives of accident victims and those who have witnessed shocking motor vehicle crashes. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other forms of emotional trauma can be difficult to diagnose and can also worsen with time.

Post-Accident Advice

Although it may be hard to think clearly after a crash, it is essential to seek medical care. Even if a car accident victim is not experiencing symptoms, a physician may be able to diagnose underlying injuries. Further, a doctor can alert a patient as to what signs to look for in the coming days that could be indicative of an injury.

Contacting law enforcement at the accident scene is also important, since documentation, photographs, and other evidence can show responsibility for previously unnoticed injuries.

Car accident victims should also know that settling a claim offered by the at-fault driver’s insurance company too soon could be a mistake. In many cases, injuries can appear after a release form is signed and settlement has been made. If the victim has already settled, they have waived their legal right to seek additional benefits from that insurance company.

Bear Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Assist Victims of Post-Accident Injuries

If you were involved in an automobile crash and are experiencing post-accident injuries, we can help. Contact an experienced Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow by calling our Bear office at 302-834-8484, our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500, our Milford office at 302-422-6705, or fill out an online contact form. We serve clients in Elsmere, Seaford, and across Delaware.

How to Handle a Car Accident Involving Children

Bear Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on handling car accidents involving children. More than three million people in the United States are injured in car accidents each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). From January 1, 2018 until November 13, 2018, there were 92 car crash fatalities in Delaware alone.

Sadly, children may be in the car at the time of these accidents. Therefore, it is important to know how to handle car accidents involving children.

What to Do at the Scene of the Accident

The first thing to do at the scene of the accident is check if your children are injured. Some injuries like lacerations and penetrating wounds are visible. Others may not be apparent, such as a concussion, a traumatic brain injury (TBI), or whiplash. Children who are strapped into car seats must be carefully inspected for wounds that may not be readily noticeable.

Call 911 to report any injuries and ask for emergency assistance. Keep in mind that certain injuries to you or your children may take time to show symptoms, or may initially present as a minor injury. Therefore, you should always seek medical attention for you and your children after a car accident.

If you are able to, pull over as close to the accident scene as possible, to avoid obstructing traffic or causing any further accidents. Stay calm and assess the scene of the accident and the damage caused. Take notes and pictures of details like the location, time of day, weather conditions, any property damage caused, any injuries you and your children sustained, and other circumstances surrounding the accident.

Exchange Information

Exchange information with the other parties involved, including their:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact details
  • Driver’s license number
  • License plate number
  • Auto insurance details

It is important that your rendition of the events be documented, so if the police were not called to the scene of the accident, be sure to file a police report afterwards.

In Delaware, certain car accidents must also be reported to the Delaware Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), including if the car accident occurred on a public highway, resulted in at least $500 of property damage, or involved a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol and resulted in $1,000 of property damage or more.

It is advisable to speak with a Bear car accident lawyer before making any statements or agreeing to any settlements.

Getting Compensation for Injuries

In Delaware, those who are injured in a car accident may file a personal injury claim against the driver who caused the accident. Children are generally entitled to collect the same compensation that adults can receive, including medical bills, pain and suffering, disability, and other forms of compensation.

Parents of children under the age of 18 may negotiate the claim on the child’s behalf and recover compensation for any medical bills paid on behalf of their minor child.

Bear Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Parents Get Compensation for Their Children’s Car Accident Injuries

If you or your child was injured in a car accident, contact a Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow as soon as possible. In Delaware, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. Our experienced lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at our Wilmington, Delaware office at 302-427-9500, our Bear, Delaware office at 302-824-8484 or our Milford, Delaware office at 302-422-6705. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford.

Checking a Bus/Limo’s Safety Record

Wilmington Bus Injury Lawyers discuss safety records on buses and limos. With Uber and Lyft providing us with transportation literally at our fingertips, many may not think twice about stepping into someone else’s car. However, a deadly limo crash in New York earlier this fall has many rethinking hiring a driving company to take them where they need to go.

An investigation revealed that the limousine had failed inspection the month before and was not supposed to be on the road. With twenty dead, officials are claiming this was the deadliest crash in the nation in the last decade.

Safety of Transportation Options

Although buses and limos are generally considered to be a safe means of transportation, due to their high passenger occupancy and sheer size, any bus collision can be deadly and impact dozens of people.

Several weeks after the horrific New York accident, a Delaware motorcyclist lost his life due to a collision with a bus.

However, passengers do have a way to protect themselves from negligent business practices in the transportation industry. Before calling for a ride, visit the federal website to learn if the bus or limousine company is in violation of the laws put into place to keep passengers safe.

FMCSA Database

Customers can look up a transportation company’s safety record by visiting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) online database. Finding the exact company in the database can be tricky, so have the formal name of the company or the US DOT number handy before searching.

Once the bus or limo company is found, the top of the screen will have the companies overall rating, such as “satisfactory”.

Below this, the database has the following safety categories ready for review:

  • Vehicle maintenance
  • Hours of service (HOS)
  • Driver fitness
  • Unsafe driving

The categories that have violations will have a yellow caution sign attached. Further information on those violations can be viewed as well.

For example, Greyhound lines has an overall satisfactory rating; however, they have 111 violations for HOS. What this means is that drivers were found behind the wheel working beyond the limit of hours that are considered safe 111 times.

However, the FMCSA warns that unless a company has an overall unsatisfactory rating, consumers should not draw conclusions about a carrier’s overall safety, solely based on the data displayed in this system.

Ride Share Vehicle Safety

Although commercial bus and limousine company information can be found on the federal website, consumers should also be wary of the fact that vehicles with unfixed recalls put passengers and others on the road at risk.

Uber and Lyft require a vehicle inspection, but they do not require drivers to fix recall issues.

Customers that have the free MYCARFAX app can type in the rideshare vehicle’s license plate number to check if the car has any open recalls, and what the issues, if any, there may be.

Wilmington Bus Injury Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Those Injured in Bus and Limo Accidents

If you or someone you know has been injured in a bus accident, limo accident, or a rideshare accident, contact an experienced Wilmington bus accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Call our Wilmington office at 302-427-9500 or Bear office at 302-834-8484 or complete an online form to schedule a free initial consultation. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford, with offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford.

Head-on Collision with DART Bus Injures Six, Fatally Injures One

Head-on Collision with DART Bus Injures Six, Fatally Injures OneA head-on collision with a DART bus injured six victims and fatally injured a driver. On Wednesday morning, around 7am, in Newark, Delaware the DART bus and a car collided at the intersection of South College Avenue and West Chestnut Hill Road. The driver of the car succumbed to his fatal injuries at the Christiana Hospital while the bus driver sustained no injuries. Six individuals went to the hospital for medical treatment of their injuries.

Head-on collisions oftentimes result in serious injuries or fatalities for any parties involved. These types of accidents may occur due to distracted driving, speeding, intoxicated driving, or drivers who become lost and drive the wrong way. When one of the vehicles is a large bus, the weight and size of the bus contribute to the severity of the accident.

If you or your loved ones became injured in a bus accident, contact our Bear bus accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. With offices located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Delaware including Wilmington, Hockessin, Newark, Glasgow, Bear, Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Georgetown, Elsmere, and Seaford, as well communities in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.

Guardrails Being Added to Delaware Highways

Bear Personal Injury Lawyers weigh in on needed gaurdrails to help decrease fatal highway accidents. Delaware state officials announced at an August forum that plans were finalized to add cable guardrails to parts of Delaware Route 1 and I-95. This announcement was made about a month after a tragic car accident on Route 1 South that killed five out of six family members riding in a truck.

The meeting was hosted by State Senator Stephanie Hansen and State Representative Ed Osienski, who head the House and Senate transportation committees. Two DelDOT engineers at the meeting stated that federal and state funds would both be used to pay for the four-million-dollar project.

The guardrails on Route 1 will be located from Odessa to Smyrna, and south of Smyrna to south of the Biddle’s Corner Toll Plaza. On I-95, they will be installed from Pennsylvania’s state line to Harvey Road.

Officials reported that DelDOT initiated the project last December, in response to the fatalities that had occurred in the areas. They stated that it was not just a response to this particular crash.

Family Loses Five Members in Crash

The horrific accident occurred over the July 4th holiday, when the family was driving back from an Ocean City, MD vacation. The 61-year old father and four daughters, ages 13-20, all lost their lives when a van swerved, crossed over the median, and hit their truck. The five victims were pronounced dead at the scene.

The wife and mother was the only survivor; she was hospitalized and went through six different surgeries after the crash.

High-Tension Cable

At the forum, the engineers stated that high-tension cable guardrails work better than steel barriers and concrete with certain types of medians. The cable is more flexible, and is therefore more forgiving when hit; vehicles can rebound or deflect off them easier. They are also much less costly than concrete guardrails.

These guardrails are used on roads across the United States, and the Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration reports that they absorb force better than metal or concrete. This reduces driver impact and crash severity.

They are not guaranteed to prevent fatal or severe accidents, however.

Highway Safety Standards

According to the Delaware Department of Transportation Director of Community Relations, back in the 1990s when Del. 1 was built, the safety standards at the time did not call for a barrier in the area where the fatal crash occurred.

At the forum, Senator Hansen explained that former senator James Vaughn had warned senators about the dangers when Route 1 was under construction. She stated that Vaughn thought it was a dangerous highway and was hazardous to drivers.

Now that the project has been finalized, it can go out for bidding. Completion time is set for the end of 2018, although a construction starting date has not been announced.

Bear Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Can Assist if You Have Suffered Injuries in a Highway Accident

Highway accidents are some of the most devastating kinds of motor vehicle crashes and can cause serious injuries and death. If you are the victim of a motor vehicle accident, contact a Bear car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Call 302-834-8484 today, or contact us online to arrange a free consultation. We serve clients throughout the state of Delaware, including Elsmere and Seaford, with offices conveniently located in Bear, Wilmington, and Milford.

Delaware Highlights Concern for Unsecured Cargo

Wilmington Truck Accident Lawyers weigh in on unsecured cargo.Motorists face road hazards from large trucks, and one of the major contributing factors to truck accidents is unsecured cargo. In recent years, the rate of motor vehicle accidents on Delaware roads that are caused by the loss or shifting of cargo has increased by 250 percent. This frightening statistic is one of the main reasons why the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Delaware Department of Transportation, Delaware State Police, and AAA Mid-Atlantic recently teamed up to promote Secure Your Load Day. Originally a grass-roots movement, Secure Your Load is a yearly event that raises awareness for highway safety and focuses on trucks having secure loads while on the road. It is a national awareness campaign to reduce road debris and save lives.

If not secured properly, truck cargo can shift, become unattached from the truck, and fly off into the road. This can be highly dangerous and fatal for other drivers.  Delaware State Police Sergeant Richard Bratz said that “Unsecured loads and road debris crashes are preventable with just a few minutes of time. All items need to be securely fastened to the vehicle.” Bratz is also the State Police Public Information Director.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is a federal government agency that regulates the operation of commercial motor vehicles, with the goal of reducing wrecks involving larger trucks and buses. The agency has rules that apply to cargo securement devices, acceleration and deceleration, tie downs, anchor points, and working load limits. There are additional restrictions for distinct types of cargo, such as logs, metal coils, pipe, and other items.

Road Debris Crashes and Causes

According to AAA, hazardous road debris led to over 200,000 accidents in four years. These include when another vehicle runs over road debris and crashes, contact with hazardous cargo, and being hit by items as they fall off a truck.

These incidences might be attributed to careless driving or negligence by the truck driver or the company they work for. Oftentimes, the drivers are tired or pressured to make delivery deadlines and do not take the time for proper safety measures or inspections. Others could be driving under the influence or traveling at unsafe speeds. Cargo securement devices must also be tested and inspected and replaced if not functioning correctly. Unsecured loads are illegal, with fines capping off at $5,000. However, there are only 16 states that include jail time as a possible sentence.

Preventing Road Debris Crashes

Secure Your Load Day is an excellent resource for educating truck drivers and trucking companies. Drivers who share the road can protect themselves by staying away from trucks that are carrying cargo. It is also smart to watch for unsafe driving behaviors such as swerving, speeding, or switching lanes quickly or without warning. These trucks should also be avoided and reported to highway police immediately.

Wilmington Truck Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Represent Victims of Unsecured Cargo Crashes

If you are the victim of an accident that involves a truck with unsecured cargo, our experienced Wilmington truck accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help with your case. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation. With office locations in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients from the surrounding areas.

Fatal Crash on Route 1 in Townsend

Fatal crash on Route 1 in Townsend, DelawareOne adult and four children have lost their lives in a horrific crash that closed Route 1 in Townsend, Delaware on Friday afternoon. The accident happened just before 4 p.m. on Route 1 near Pine Tree Road in Townsend, New Castle County. A pickup truck was traveling southbound when it crossed a grassy median and hit a car before plowing into a minivan heading in the opposite direction. The minivan was carrying two adults and four children from New Jersey. One adult in the minivan was brought to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Tragically, one other adult and four children, who have not yet been identified, lost their lives in the wreck. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the accident.

Head-on collisions are some of the most serious types of accidents and frequently result in catastrophic injuries and fatalities. If you have been seriously injured or suffered the wrongful death of a loved one, contact the Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. From our offices in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, we represent clients across the state of Delaware. Call 302-427-9500 today or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.

New AAA Study on Drowsy Driving

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers weigh in on a new AAA drowsy driving study. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a new study that shows drowsy driving is a much more prevalent factor in car accidents than previously thought by federal authorities. Federal estimates suggest drowsy driving is a factor in one or two percent of all crashes; but in the AAA study, 9.5 percent of all crashes involved a drowsy driver. In severe crashes, the percentage of drowsy drivers grew to 10.8.

A Common Problem

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 35 percent of American drivers do not get the recommended seven hours of sleep every night. In a survey done by AAA, 96 percent of all drivers said they see drowsy driving as a serious threat, yet 29 percent had to admit there had been times in the previous month when they were driving and having trouble staying awake.

Missing a few hours of sleep may not seem like a big deal, but in fact those missing hours quadruple the risk of a crash. Studies show that a sleep deprived driver functions like a drunk driver, with the same reduced reaction times and alertness.

The only thing a driver can do to regain normal function is to sleep. Fresh air and coffee are no substitute, because the need for sleep will eventually get the better of a driver’s attempts at staying awake.

Video Analysis of Drivers’ Eyes

The AAA study is unique, in that 3,593 drivers allowed cameras to be placed in their own cars for several months to record them driving. The drivers were selected from six different locations across the United States for the study, which took place from October 2010 to December 2013. According to AAA, the study is the most in-depth ever done on the problem of drowsy driving.

Analysis of the videos allowed researchers to assess how fatigued drivers were in the moments before a crash. They defined drowsy drivers as those whose eyes were 80 percent closed, or covering the pupil at least 12 percent of the time, in the minutes leading up to a crash.

The cameras captured 700 crashes, ranging from minor to severe. Thirty-one percent of the wrecks were deemed severe and resulted in either significant property damage, rollover, airbag deployment, or injury.

Preventing Drowsy Driving

Drivers need to make a concerted effort to sleep at least the recommended minimum of seven hours a night. If you realize your car is drifting across lanes, your head or eyelids feel heavy, or you have trouble remembering the last few miles driven, you should not be behind the wheel.

If you encounter this, pull over in the nearest rest stop to take a 20-minute nap. On long drives, take breaks to rest, or alternate driving duty with a well-rested passenger.

Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Advocate for Injured Victims of Drowsy Driving Accidents

If you have been injured by a drowsy driver, the dedicated Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you recover compensation. Our experienced team will investigate your accident and advocate on your behalf to obtain the maximum possible compensation allowable in your case. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or complete our online contact form to schedule your free initial consultation in our Wilmington, Bear or Milford offices.