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When someone is involved in an auto accident caused by another driver, they are typically able to file a personal injury lawsuit and recover damages for their injuries. However, what happens if they are in accident with an emergency vehicle?
Emergency vehicle car accidents, although rare, do occur. There are approximately 30,000 firetruck crashes each year, according to the United States Fire Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Injury claims for emergency vehicle car accidents can be complicated due to government liability; however, a personal injury plaintiff may be able to recover damages from an emergency vehicle car accident under certain circumstances.
While laws vary by state, those who provide emergency medical services generally have governmental, or sovereign, immunity. This means that firefighters, police officers, and ambulance drivers are generally exempt from liability and may not be held liable in civil actions. In Delaware, responsible public safety personnel who render emergency care or rescue assistance are not liable for any civil damages if they have the required training or certification, and if they did not cause the injuries or death willfully, wantonly, or recklessly by gross negligence.
Drivers of emergency vehicles are permitted to speed, run red lights, and break other traffic laws that the general population must follow. However, they are still required to exercise due care, such as using lights and sirens to alert other drivers to their presence. If an emergency vehicle driver is found to have willfully, wantonly, or recklessly caused an accident, they may be held liable in a personal injury lawsuit.
Those who are injured in emergency vehicle car accidents will typically face more obstacles when it comes to obtaining compensation than those who are injured in regular car accidents involving at-fault drivers. In Delaware, an injured party may file a claim against a government agency or its employee only if the claim refers to a lawful action performed in the scope of the government employee’s duties. If the injury resulted from an unlawful action, the claimant may only sue the individual who caused the accident personally, not the government agency that the person works for. If successful, claimants may be able to recover damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Drivers can avoid getting in a car accident with an emergency vehicle by taking certain precautions. When an emergency vehicle is approaching, slow down and observe the surrounding traffic before pulling over to the side of the road. Also, exercise caution even when the emergency vehicle is not moving; Delaware law requires drivers to reduce speed and move to a lane not adjacent to the vehicle when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle.
If you were injured in an emergency vehicle car accident due to the driver’s negligence, you may be eligible to collect compensation. There are special legal rules pertaining injury claims against the government, such as shorter statute of limitations and notice requirements. Our experienced Bear car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will evaluate your case and help determine if you are eligible for compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484 to schedule a free consultation. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also represent clients in Elsmere and Seaford.
Personal injury law covers an extensive array of cases ranging from car accidents to product liability. There are many ways an injured person can seek damages from someone responsible for their injuries; likewise, there are many types of personal injury lawyers available to represent a case.
The circumstances of the case will determine which area of personal injury law applies to your case. By extension, your choice of lawyer should be influenced by how well suited they are to argue your case and to fit your personal situation. There are some important elements to consider while seeking a personal injury lawyer for your case.
An attorney with experience in a case like yours will be familiar with the legal issues your case might entail and can foresee common problems and viable solutions to address them. A lawyer with connections in the field may be able to tap experts to support your case.
While the name on the billboard may be the person you interview, you should know that a lot of the work might be handled by paralegals who draw up legal documents and perform other research and support functions. If your case will be assigned to a junior associate, you should know that too. Although it is possible that the case will be overseen by a senior attorney, the arrangement should be disclosed. Keep in mind that the use of lower level employees is likely to save you money in legal fees.
You should be aware of the payment arrangement before you decide on an attorney. Many personal injury attorneys work on a contingency basis where they only collect fees if the case successfully yields monetary damages. The typical range for contingency fees is 25 to 40 percent of the amount agreed to in settlement or what will be awarded in court.
Be sure to ask how the payments are broken down and how costs factor in. Costs can include court filing fees, administrative expenditures, fees for expert witnesses, or evidence-collection expenses. In the best scenario, costs may come before the attorney’s fees. Otherwise, the costs will come out of the amount left after the lawyer takes their percentage-based cut. Usually the costs are part of the contingency arrangement, but find out if the costs will be your responsibility if the case is unsuccessful.
Many personal injury cases end in settlement. That can be the best scenario, but you should be confident that your lawyer is prepared to take the case all the way to court, if necessary. Knowing how comfortable your lawyer is with arguing your case in court can mean that you can avoid pressure to settle because it better suits your attorney.
When you experience a personal injury, it is best to have an experienced attorney at your side armed with extensive experience winning legal battles for clients with your type of injury. Our knowledgeable Bear personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow have the knowledge and resources to support your case and get you the compensation you deserve. Contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484 to schedule a free consultation. With offices located in Wilmington, Bear, Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.
Work-related injuries that affect the head and neck are among the most serious injuries that an employee can suffer. Many of these injuries are life-altering, and the person may no longer work again or find themselves unable to perform the duties of their current job.
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) often occurs in a workplace accident when an employee is directly hit on the head. The mildest form of a TBI is a concussion, and most people will recover within a few weeks. However, debilitating effects of a concussion can last longer for some individuals, and it may take months for a full recovery. Signs of a concussion include:
Moderate to severe TBIs may result in long-term or permanent impairment. In a worst-case scenario, other than a fatality, the person may lose mobility, the ability to communicate, or require full-time care. One example is a diffuse axonal injury, which results from the brain shaking within the skull due to the forceful trauma. Tissue inside the brain is torn, and death, coma, or severe brain damage can occur.
The most frequent cause of brain injury is trauma, and that may occur from a slip and fall in which a worker’s head hits the floor or a sharp or hard item. Objects falling and hitting an employee may cause a TBI and falls from heights. Workers driving while on the job are also vulnerable to brain and neck injuries if they are in a car accident.
Neck injuries may happen due to heavy lifting, repetitive tasks, or long hours spent at the computer. While TBIs occur suddenly, neck injuries often develop over time due to strain and wear and tear. Early signs of neck injuries include:
Any type of head injury is a medical emergency. The worker should go directly to an emergency room, and they will require transportation. Report the injury to a supervisor immediately. Not all TBIs are apparent right away, but the longer a worker waits to seek medical treatment, the more likely continued brain swelling can cause long-term damage. Failure to go to the doctor quickly may cause the insurance company to allege the injury did not result from a workplace accident, seriously harming your claim.
A neck injury, if more gradual, still requires reporting and medical treatment. Unless the condition comes on suddenly, the worker may have to visit a healthcare provider recommended by the employer’s Workers’ Compensation insurance company. The injured worker should document workplace activities that are contributing to the neck pain.
There are more serious neck injuries, such as fractures, which may cause paralysis. Of course, these injuries also require treatment in the emergency room.
If you experienced a brain or neck injury due to a workplace accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our dedicated Wilmington work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will fight to protect your rights and help you obtain maximum compensation. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.
Car accidents can result in catastrophic injuries. Some are horrendously graphic, involving broken bones and profuse bleeding. Others are less obvious but are often quite painful and distressing. Some of the most common car accident injuries are injuries to soft tissues. Soft tissues injuries include bruises, sprains, or strains. Because painful symptoms are less observable, soft tissue injuries seem to be less significant. However, for many who have experienced such an injury, the pain can be substantial, and recovery can be incredibly difficult.
Soft tissues are muscles, ligaments, and tendons. In most car accidents, soft tissues are damaged. Damage to these areas occurs from the body being twisted or overextended from a significant, violent, or sudden force. These type of forces often occur in car accidents, making soft tissue injuries rather common.
Whiplash is the most common type of soft tissue injury from a motor vehicle accident. This injury is caused by a sudden jolt that results in the neck and head being jerked and violently hyperextended. This type of injury is technically a sprain of the soft tissues in the neck. Other common soft tissue injuries include sprains and strains to other parts of the body, as well as bruises.
Soft tissue injuries are not easily recognizable, sometimes they can be overlooked. In the chaotic moments after a crash, an injured party may not immediately realize that they have been injured. Overexertion is identifiable, but the extent of the damage may not be immediately apparent.
Hyperextension injuries and sprains are more noticeable. Common symptoms associated with soft tissue injuries include soreness, swelling, and stiffness. Visible bruising is another observable result of soft tissue damage. Although, bruising can be internal and less evident, so it is important to seek medical attention immediately to determine the extent of your injuries.
Soft tissue damage in the neck is especially significant. Unlike many other similar sprain injuries, the pain and damage involved in a whiplash injury may not appear immediately. The symptoms may take time to develop. Possible symptoms of whiplash include neck stiffness, sharp neck pain, back pain, and even difficulties with memory and concentration.
If you were in an accident that involved a significant jolt or impact, you should be evaluated by a medical professional. If you experience delayed complications, you should report them to a doctor immediately to evaluate the extent of your injuries. It is important to protect your health and soft tissue injuries, especially whiplash injuries, can have long-term consequences if left untreated.
Also, seeking medical attention is a good way to maintain a record of your injuries that are directly linked to the car accident. This is vital information if you need to litigate a case against the responsibility party that caused your injuries.
If a car accident has left you with significant soft tissue damage, you may be eligible for compensation for your sufferings. Our dedicated Delaware car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you collect damages to pay for the costs of your mounting medical bills. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.
Side-impact car accidents happen when a car is hit perpendicularly, they can be extremely dangerous. In most cases, vehicles lack major structural reinforcements where side-impact collisions occur on the car. For this reason, side-impact accidents often result in catastrophic injuries. This includes serious injuries to the head, neck, and spine.
According to the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, around 8,000 people are killed in side-impact collisions every year in the United States. The data shows that these collisions are significant. It is important to understand why side-impact car accidents occur and what do to if you are involved in a side-impact collision.
Side-impact crashes often happen at stop signs or stoplights where oncoming vehicles fail to yield to another vehicle that is crossing the intersection. If the oncoming car is traveling at a high-speed, the force of the crash can push the other vehicle into traffic, causing a secondary crash or even a rollover event. There are several reasons why side-impact collisions occur. This can include:
Your health and safety should be priority after a car accident happens. Assess the situation and call emergency services immediately. Even if you do not have visible injuries, internal damage is a strong possibility. Be sure to get checked out by a doctor as soon as possible.
The reasons why these collisions occur matter greatly, proving fault is essential when filing a personal injury claim. For that reason, if you are involved in this type of crash, thoroughly document details of the scene and contact law enforcement to complete an accident report.
If anyone witnessed the car accident happen, make sure they talk to the police. Be sure to obtain the witness’s contact information, this will help you if you have any questions in the future. Do not admit fault at the time of the accident, and contact your auto insurance company. Your attorney will review your case to determine if you are entitled to compensation for damages and injuries.
If you were suffered injuries from a side-impact collision, you may be eligible for compensation. All car accidents can be frightening, and treatment for injuries can be costly. It is crucial to contact a lawyer as soon as possible to review your case. Our Milford accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will help you recover compensation for your injuries, damages, and mounting bills. Contact us online or call us at 302-422-6705 for a free consultation regarding your case. Located in Milford, Bear, and Wilmington, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.
Good weather makes the roads safer. Unfortunately, clear skies and warm temperatures do not occur every day. Drivers must often contend with unpleasant weather conditions such as snow, sleet, rain, and fog. Many times, these conditions change rapidly, and the risk for a car accident increases. Drivers should be aware of essential tips that will help reduce their risk for a car accident.
Every motorist should learn to ease off the gas when weather becomes poor. The posted speed limit is for ideal weather conditions, so drivers should adapt their speed to current road conditions. If the safest speed is significantly less than the posted limit, drivers should turn on emergency hazards to alert others on the road.
Car lights are extremely useful when visibility plummets. However, not all conditions warrant high-beams. In fact, low-beams are required when there is fog because high-beams can reflect off water particles, causing the bright light to obscure the driver’s view. On the other hand, high-beams should be used during snow, rainstorms, and certainly at nighttime.
Sunlight may cause significant windshield glare, particularly during dawn and dusk. If the glare becomes too intense, it can make navigation nearly impossible for drivers. Many car accidents are caused from sun glare, and the easiest way to avoid glare is to drive during low-glare times. If that is not realistic for commuters, they should wear anti-glare sunglasses and use their vehicle’s visors.
Snow and ice limits traction between the wheels of a car and the surface of the road. Certain types of winter weather tires can help increase the likelihood of traction by gripping the highway. Additionally, motorists driving on snow or ice should slow down to safer speeds while trying not to suddenly stop. If skidding occurs, it is best to turn the wheels towards the direction of the skid rather than away.
Wind can become a hazard on the road. Very windy conditions may make handling any vehicle difficult. Truckers trailing high-profile cabs may be susceptible to tipping when the wind becomes intense. Consequently, motorists should drive cautiously in wind and pay attention to the prevailing gusts, compensating as necessary.
All drivers on the road need to eliminate distractions. Distracted driving leads to car wrecks and serious injuries; many of these wrecks are preventable. All drivers should only eat while the vehicle is stopped and put away cellphones to avoid distractions. Most importantly, do not drive while extremely fatigued or intoxicated.
If you were injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Winter weather causes serious hazards on the road. Even while using extra precautions, drivers can still get into a collision. Our experienced Milford accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will give you legal guidance about your case. Contact us online or call us at 302-422-6705 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford.
Seniors encounter both physical and mental challenges as they age. These challenges often affect the driving ability for the elderly. It is important for seniors to stay safe while driving in order to prevent a potential car accident that could result in auto-injuries. Aging does not necessarily mean that you need to stop driving. However, there are some tips to help senior drivers be safe on the roads.
As a senior, more physical challenges arise. The following are some physical challenges that seniors may face:
In order to safely operate a vehicle, a senior driver can do the following:
If you or someone you know was injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for compensation. Our experienced New Castle car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow support victims who have suffered injuries in a car accident. Contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 for a free consultation regarding your potential case. Our dedicated lawyers will fight to protect your rights. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we also serve clients in Elsmere and Seaford, and throughout the state.
When a person enters an intersection after the light turns red, they committed a traffic violation. This is referred to as running a red light. The only exception to this is when right-on-red turns are allowed. In this case, a driver failing to stop fully at the red light before turning is considered to have run a red light.
Running red lights is dangerous and has caused hundreds of traffic-related deaths each year. Over half of these deaths involved pedestrians or bicyclists. A recent analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that more than two people are killed every day in crashes from someone running a red light. Unfortunately, the frequency of fatal accidents caused by running red lights is on the rise. Further, running red lights causes many serious injuries. A recent study found that over 130,000 people were injured in red light accidents in a single year.
Research shows that knowledge of the serious risk of running red lights does not translate well into appropriate action. A recent survey by the AAA Foundation found that while most of those surveyed viewed running red lights as dangerous, one in three of them admitted to running a red light within the past 30 days.
Stopping people from running red lights has not been easy. In order to create a deterrent effect, most states impose substantial penalties for running red lights, which may include fines and issuing points on the driver’s license. Insurance companies will typically raise rates on customers having points on their license. Fear of getting ticketed alone does not provide an effective deterrent effect.
Sometimes the yellow light on the signal is too short and does not give drivers enough advanced notice to stop. Adjusting timing of the yellow light to values established by the Institute of Transportation Engineers has been shown to decrease the frequency of violations, as well as the number of crashes from red light running.
Use of red light cameras to monitor intersections and enforce traffic laws has proven to be a useful tool. The cameras are mounted on traffic signal poles and photograph vehicles that run red lights. The photographs can be reviewed, and tickets issued of clear evidence of a violation is found. The cameras also serve as a visual cue to warn drivers to think twice before running a light. Before and after studies of crash data at intersections equipped with cameras showed significant reductions in the number of crashes from red light running.
Since pedestrians and bicyclists are at an increased risk of serious injury in the event of a crash, it is important that they stay safe at intersections. AAA recommends:
If you or someone you know was involved in a red light accident, contact a Delaware car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. For a free consultation, call us at 302-427-9500 or complete an online form. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel holidays of the year. Millions of people across the country will be hitting the road to celebrate with loved ones. With traffic much higher than usual, it is more important than ever for drivers to stay safe on the road. Below are some tips for travelers to minimize their risk of a car accident.
Safe Thanksgiving travel begins well before the trip. Proper planning can make all the difference on long journeys, starting with making sure vehicles are in good working condition. Drivers should check their tires, brakes, and windshield wipers to make sure they are fully functional and check their fluid levels before hitting the road. Drivers should also make sure they are well rested for the trip; if they are going long distances, they should plan to rotate drivers.
Be Prepared for Emergencies
Most drivers use a GPS for long trips, but drivers should still familiarize themselves with their routes in advance and carry a map just in case it fails. In late November, many areas in the U.S. experience winter weather. Drivers should check the forecast not just for their destination, but along their route, to see if they will encounter any inclement weather. If they do get stuck in severe weather, drivers should have emergency supplies with them, including a flashlight, radio, batteries, first aid kit, bottled water, jumper cables, blankets, flares, a fire extinguisher, and non-perishable foods. Drivers should always start their trip with a full tank of gas and make sure the tank does not get too low in case they have to stop.
When on the road, drivers must engage in safe driving behaviors, maintaining safe following distances and obeying posted speed limits. Leaving early can help avoid peak congestion, and drivers will not feel the need to rush if they get stuck in traffic. Drivers should always keep their eyes on the road and away from distractions, such as cell phones or food and drink. As always, drivers should wear a seat belt and never drive while under the influence.
AAA estimated that 54.3 million drivers would be traveling over 50 miles during Thanksgiving weekend, and that number is likely to increase. With that many cars on the road, the risk of an accident is exponentially higher. Thanksgiving travel accidents can cause serious injury, especially those involving more than two vehicles or large vehicles, such as tractor trailers.
If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident during holiday travel, call the New Castle car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow. Our knowledgeable lawyers have successfully represented accident victims in all types of cases. We will thoroughly review the facts of your case to determine who is at-fault for your injuries and obtain the maximum compensation to which you are entitled. With offices conveniently located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we help accident victims throughout the state, including Elsmere and Seaford. Call us today at 302-427-9500 or contact us online for a free consultation.
On Saturday evening, a fatal car crash in Greenwood, Delaware caused one driver to succumb to his fatal injuries. The accident involving a car and an SUV occurred at the intersection of Sussex Highway and Woodyard Road when the car pulled directly into the path of the SUV and hit its back-left side. Upon impact, the SUV rolled over several times and landed upside-down, leaving the driver fatally injured at the scene of the fatal car crash. The passenger of the SUV sustained critical injuries after being ejected from the vehicle while the driver of the smaller car suffered from minor injuries.
Accidents commonly occur in intersections for many reasons and may range from a minor collision to a serious car crash. Oftentimes, intersection accidents may result from driver negligence such as running a red light or failing to obey the traffic signs. About 40 percent of crashes occur in intersections and put car occupants and even pedestrians in extreme danger.
If you or your loved ones became seriously injured in a car crash, call our Milford car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout Delaware, including those in Wilmington, Hockessin, Newark, Glasgow, Bear, Middletown, Smyrna, Dover, Milford, Lewes, Georgetown, Elsmere, and Seaford, as well as communities in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County, from our offices in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware.