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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.
From potholes to gravel, road conditions can make driving difficult, even for people who been driving for decades. In fact, thousands of annual highway injuries can be attributed to hazardous roads. For victims of these collisions and their families, personal injury lawsuits can recover lost income, medical treatment costs, and other expenditures.
Road hazards can vary. Common examples include potholes, disintegrating foundations, cracks, lack of rumble strips, and sudden drop-offs. Missing guardrails can also cause issues, as can missing or damaged signs and markings. Roads that have not been adequately treated, especially in cold weather months, can cause accidents.
Unless a road is private, it will be maintained by a government agency. This could be a township, borough, or a federal or state entity. However, this does not mean that the government agency is the only entity that could be held liable for a car crash caused by hazard road conditions.
Consider the scenario of a dump truck that leaves large pieces of cinder and stone on the road because its bed has not been properly covered. The stone causes a driver to slide into another car, leaving the driver hurt and their vehicle totaled. In this case, the road was not a problem because of maintenance but because the dump truck driver was negligent. Other entities potentially responsible for hazardous roads could include third-party companies hired to maintain the road and other drivers.
Drivers and passengers must be diligent after an accident, as their steps can help them if they need to seek damages later with the help of an attorney. As at all crash scenes, they should call 911, seek adequate medical treatment, and exchange insurance information. If possible, they would be wise to gather witness information and take photographic evidence.
Any driver who has incurred injuries and serious property damage will want to hold onto medical documentation to support a possible personal injury case. Other useful information could include an employer wage statement outlining missed overtime opportunities and lost wages, personal notes on the incident, and even municipal survey records to show the road was a known hazard.
If a driver’s injuries after a hazardous road condition accident were minimal, a personal injury lawsuit may not be necessary. However, some injuries can be worse than they seem. Plus, the at-fault driver’s insurance may not want to cover any medical costs. For these reasons, many drivers who have been in crashes involving poorly maintained or neglected roads may want to talk with an attorney.
If you were hurt in a car accident, speak with a Milford car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. Our offices are located conveniently in Milford, Bear, and Wilmington, Delaware, where we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford. Call us at 302-422-6705 or complete an online form to arrange a free consultation.
Approximately four people suffer fatal injuries in car accidents every hour across the nation. Each of their deaths leave behind grieving relatives, including some who may have relied on the victim for everything from companionship to financial wellbeing. In fact, certain survivors of deceased car accident victims may be entitled to file wrongful death lawsuits, usually with the help of a personal injury attorney. Winning a wrongful death suit helps them receive financial compensation for their loss by holding the at-fault party liable for the fatality.
A wrongful death lawsuit may sound confusing, but it can be easily explained as akin to a personal injury lawsuit. When a victim becomes injured during a car accident, the victim may file a personal injury claim against the negligent or at-fault driver. In a wrongful death lawsuit, the victim either died immediately or soon after the collision as a result of injuries. The victim’s close relatives can file for damages.
Every fatal car accident has unique characteristics. Nevertheless, many wrongful death lawsuits point to common causes that led to a victim’s death, including driver distraction, driving while under the influence, driver fatigue, aggressive driving, driving against the rules of the road, and even vehicle defects. Some contributors to highway fatalities, such as a faulty or defective vehicle part, can lead victims to pursue compensation from more than one at-fault party. For instance, if a vehicle’s airbag does not properly deploy, the airbag manufacturer may be held liable, as well as the driver of the vehicle that ran into the victim.
Survivors who pursue wrongful death claims by filing a lawsuit may ask for compensation for a variety of reasons. These can include pain and suffering, cost for medical treatment, funeral costs, burial fees, loss of household income, loss of inheritance, loss of consortium, and even loss of nurturing. A knowledgeable attorney can help clients understand which damages to consider based on the situation and their relationship to the deceased.
In Delaware, wrongful death lawsuits are limited to immediate family members. For instance, a spouse, children, or parents can usually file for wrongful death. However, anyone who feels they have a claim in a wrongful death lawsuit may contact a lawyer to find out if their status qualifies them to formally pursue this type of case.
If the deceased victim of a car accident in Delaware was up to 50 percent at fault, their survivors can still file a wrongful death claim. Delaware follows the rule of modified comparative fault, which means if the victim did not bear more than half the burden of negligence or at-fault behavior, the victim’s survivors may be entitled to compensation. The survivors must meet the burden of proof that the at-fault party was indeed negligent. Lawyers skilled in filing wrongful death lawsuits will make sure that all aspects of the crash have been noted and considered to obtain the maximum damages.
If your loved one suffered fatal injuries in a car accident, contact a Wilmington wrongful death lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow today. We will review your case and obtain the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call us at 302-427-9500 or contact us online. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Drivers tend to take their headlights for granted. If the lights work, they concentrate on other components, such as the amount of gas in the tank or the squeak they hear from the brakes. Yet, headlights are a critical safety feature in vehicles and are starting to get more press. Unfortunately, American headlight technology remains woefully behind headlight advancements helping people in most of the developed world.
Every driver has experienced the problem of not having adequate light while traveling on a winding road or cruising in bad weather, especially after dusk when most crashes occur. The issue is often that the headlights are not properly aimed at objects on the roadway. Instead, they may be too high, too low, or off to the side. Even a subtle headlight misalignment can lead a driver to see something when it is too late. Yet, even when they are installed properly, headlights might not provide enough protection. For instance, a truck with a heavy load can cause the headlights to aim too high despite being in the right place.
One method to make headlights safer is with adaptive driving beam (ADBs) lights and technology. Already used in vehicles around the globe, ADB lights consist of LED lights, which offer brightness without glare. Because they adapt to any circumstance, they effortlessly switch to and from high beams. They can also adjust to intuitively land on obstacles or items, not to mention away from other drivers’ eyes.
In practice, ADB lights quickly detect when something should be more illuminated. Best of all, LED lights are likely to last for years, taking away worries regarding the cost of light replacements. Plus, adding lasers to ADB light beams could improve their range substantially. However, American regulations necessitate that all vehicles have low-beam and high-beam systems that work independently of one another. Consequently, ADB lights are prohibited despite having proponents.
Although various vehicle-related entities agree that headlights are a concern, organizations have been slow to promote new regulations. To be sure, some manufacturers offer high-beam assist and curve-adaptive lights on certain models. Still, testing on a variety of 2019 vehicle models indicated that only 14 percent offered good headlight results. This means that the United States may be years away from making the roads safer.
If you were the victim of a collision caused in part or entirely by malfunctioning or inadequate headlights, the Wilmington car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow welcome the chance to discuss your case, rights, and options. Call our team at 302-427-9500 or complete an online form to set up a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
For many parents, handing over the car keys to their teenage children leads to feelings of apprehension, especially those first few times. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that motor vehicle crashes are the main cause for teen deaths in this country; the teen fatality rates are three times more than for older drivers.
Once school lets out, the summer months present more driving opportunities, and teens must be experienced and prepared for unforeseen circumstances that can occur while they are driving. With teens driving to their summer jobs, weekends away, and driving at night, the roads can become quite dangerous for these young drivers. Though every new driver is required to pass written and road tests, extra support and practice can be helpful.
In order to instill safe driving habits in their teenage children, parents should be closely involved throughout the driver education process. This is key to decreasing the risk of accidents during the summer and throughout the year. Even though they are at the age when they relish their freedom, teenagers are still influenced by their parents and will absorb this useful knowledge.
Each state has its own set of teenage driving laws. Many have a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program, which eases them into full driving privileges. They start with a learner stage, which entails supervised driving before their driver’s test; intermediate, where some unsupervised driving permitted; and full privileges with a standard driving license. Parents should familiarize themselves with these stages. GDL laws also include restrictions such as limited driving hours, number of passengers in the vehicle, and cell phone usage.
Parents should also consider the type of vehicle their teen will be driving. A large truck or powerful sports car may not be the right choice; something smaller and closer to the ground is more manageable. Drivers should also understand the basics of vehicle maintenance, such as checking tire pressure and fluids. Cars can overheat in high summer temperatures or break down, which can be problematic if the teenager is far from home.
The importance of wearing a seat belt cannot be stressed enough. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drivers wearing seat belts reduce their chances of getting seriously injured in an auto crash by half. There are also new technologies that parents can use to monitor their teen’s driving behaviors, including driving speeds and locations.
Teenagers are faced with endless distractions when driving, especially in the summer. The necessity of keeping cell phones turned off, music turned down, and having other passengers stay calm should be reinforced. Reducing the amount of night driving is also important, since that is when a large percentage of teenage driving accidents occur.
Parents should also remember to strongly discourage driving under the influence and speeding, while encouraging a respect for other drivers who share the road. Naturally, parents should also set a good example by exhibiting these safe behaviors themselves.
Parents need to be especially vigilant when their teenagers start to drive, and we can help if you or anyone in your family needs a qualified Wilmington car accident lawyer. Call Rhoades & Morrow at 302-427-9500 or complete an online form today for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Milford, and Bear, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Memorial Day weekend marks the start of warm weather, barbecues, and pool days. Although exciting, this Memorial Day Weekend brings with it some unwanted dangers. If you are traveling, spending the day by the pool, or barbecuing, there are ways to stay safe while celebrating this holiday weekend.
It can be easy to get carried away while celebrating the start of summer but drinking and driving is never a good idea. If you plan to have a few drinks while barbecuing, be sure to have a designated driver or call a cab. Whatever you decide, be sure that you are completely sober before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
If you plan to use a grill on Memorial Day weekend, be sure there are no children or animals around. Avoid wearing baggy clothes to prevent them from catching fire. Never leave a hot grill unattended and before using it, make sure that it is in proper working condition. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case something goes wrong.
Keep an eye out for swimmers, especially weak and young swimmers. Also, avoid consuming alcohol before going for a swim. If possible, take turns appointing designated lifeguards.
If you plan to use fireworks, keep in mind that although they are a great form of entertainment, they are also extremely dangerous. Make sure you know what you are doing and keep children and animals at a far distance away from the area where the fireworks will go off.
Use sunscreen if you plan on spending time in the sun, especially if you plan to swim or engage in activities that will cause you to sweat your sunscreen off.
Memorial Day weekend is the most dangerous holiday for motor vehicle accidents. The National Safety Council estimates that over 400 fatalities will occur during the holiday weekend due to car accidents. If you are driving during Memorial Day weekend, make sure that your car is prepared for the drive. Fill your gas tank and have your tire pressure checked. Planning your trip ahead of time will give you the opportunity to choose the safest and most direct routes to your destination. You should also keep an eye on the weather to avoid driving in dangerous conditions.
If you or someone you know sustained an injury over Memorial Day weekend, the Wilmington personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow will help you through the process step-by-step. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 302-427-9500 today. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
The Delaware Office of Highway Safety and the Delaware State Police joined forces and came up with an innovative plan to cut back on distracted driving and seat belt violations in Delaware. A Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) truck was stationed at a roadside and was used to report incidents of these violations. Information about drivers, vehicles, and types of violations were sent to law enforcement officers who then went to stop the vehicles. The 19 citations included marijuana possession, child restraint and seat belt violations, and cell phone use while driving.
Since 2011, Delaware has followed a hands-free cell phone law, which prohibits drivers from using hand-held devices while driving. If caught, drivers receive a $100 fine for first offenses, and subsequent offenses can cost up to $300. The Delaware State Police and Office of Highway Safety’s Public Information Officer emphasized the state’s zero-tolerance distracted driving policy. She added that non-traditional operations, like the DelDOT vehicle, are being used to ramp up education as well as enforcement for those breaking the law.
A 2016 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that distracted drivers caused 3,450 deaths nationwide. These numbers have been steadily increasing in Delaware and throughout the country since 2012. Studies also show that drivers between 16 and 24-years old show more cell phone usage than other age groups. Other causes of distraction include eating and drinking, grooming, turning to look at an accident, talking with another passenger, and not paying attention.
It is important to stay focused when behind the wheel. One of the best ways to do this is to click on a seat belt, and either put away or use the Do Not Disturb feature for electronic devices before turning on the ignition. Any passenger that sees their driver using an electronic device should ask them not to use it while driving. If you must take a phone call, pull over to the side of the road.
If you or someone you know has been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact the Bear car accident lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow today. We will hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries so that you can focus on your recovery. For a free case evaluation, contact us online or call us at 302-834-8484. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout the state, including the areas of Elsmere and Seaford.
Car accidents can be confusing and complicated between those who are involved. More questions can arise following a car accident if you were required to drive for work. If you find yourself injured in a car accident while working, liability will come into question. It is always best to know the proper actions to take and who to contact after such situations.
The first concern following a car accident is safety; make sure everyone involved is okay, if possible. After contacting the proper first responders and filing a police report, the next best step is to contact your employer and the employer’s insurance company. You should also contact your own auto insurance company for documentation purposes. Your employer should inform all employees prior to an incident on what to do and who to contact.
Normally, the insurance companies will determine liability. The employer would most likely be held liable for any injuries or damages if their employee is found negligent in a car accident. If the other party is found to be completely responsible, then that person’s auto insurance will take care of the injuries to the employee.
Workers’ Compensation insurance will most likely cover your medical bills and other damages if you were injured in a work-related car accident. Workers’ Compensation does not cover you during your commute to and from work, only if you stopped during your drive to run a quick work-related errand or other uncommon scenarios. The employee’s own car insurance will normally be used as well, and in more extreme cases, Workers’ Compensation and the employer’s insurance will take over if the employee’s insurance does not cover the amount of damages and injuries.
Determining if the negligent party was working at the time of the car accident is vital. The victim in a work-related car accident can sue the employer, if that person was working at the time, which is called vicarious liability. Normally, the employer and their insurance company will have deeper pockets than the individual employee. Also, certain insurance companies do not recognize Workers’ Compensation. Because there are so many questions in these scenarios, it is recommended to contact a Workers’ Compensation lawyer for guidance.
If you were involved in a car accident while working for your employer, contact the Milford work injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow to receive the benefits you deserve. Call us at 302-422-6705 or fill out our online form for a free consultation today. Located in Milford, Wilmington, and Bear, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout the state, including Elsmere and Seaford.
A car accident can be a life-altering experience, wrought with physical pain and emotional trauma, and can leave you with many questions and decisions you may not be prepared to face. Regardless of severity, proper medical attention is essential following a car accident. Immediate medical attention is most important; not only for one’s health but for insurance purposes as well.
There are pros and cons to receiving medical attention at an urgent care or an emergency room. Money and insurance policies, or lack thereof, can certainly influence one’s decision on where to receive medical care after a car accident. Convenience and severity of the injuries also play into this decision. The following can help you decide whether to go to an urgent care facility or emergency room should you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
After a car accident, you may think that you do not need medical attention. Often, the adrenaline following a traumatic event takes over, numbing you from feeling an injury. However, injuries can appear days or weeks after an accident, so it is always best to visit a doctor. This is where one would consider using an urgent care facility over an emergency room. Urgent cares are normally very quick, with shorter wait times, and have the same equipment and systems to care for you. Urgent cares are also cheaper for you and your insurance company and are generally more convenient.
However, if your injury is apparent or severe enough, an urgent care doctor may recommend you go to an emergency room. Emergency rooms have their advantages as well. They are just as thorough, if not more, regarding your healthcare than urgent care facilities. Specialty equipment is readily available, as well as advanced surgeons, technicians, and their appropriate facilities. If your injury is severe enough, an emergency room visit has certain advantages that urgent care facilities cannot provide.
The aftermath following a car accident can be overwhelming, regardless of its severity. The important thing to do is to seek medical treatment immediately following a car accident, whether you choose your primary care physician, an urgent care facility, or an emergency room. If you have been injured in a car accident, the Wilmington personal injury lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow can help you receive the compensation you are entitled. We will hold the negligent party responsible for your injuries. Please call us at 302-427-9500 or fill out an online form for a free consultation today. With offices in Bear, Milford, and Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients across the state, including Elsmere and Seaford.
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The situation regarding the COVID-19 virus changes daily. During this uncertain time, we can assure you that the team at Rhoades & Morrow continues to focus on helping our current clients as well as assisting new clients.
We know that legal questions still arise, and we are here to answer your questions and provide the trusted guidance that you have come to expect from us over the years. To ensure the health and safety of our staff and our clients, we are conducting virtual consultations via Zoom and by telephone. We also have the ability to exchange documents via secure e-mail.
We look forward to hearing from you. Stay safe and healthy.