Road trips are relatively inexpensive and can be fun for the whole family. They can also prove dangerous if proper precautionary steps are not taken. Even if your car is relatively new, it is important that you perform a mechanical check before hitting the roadway. It is particularly important to check the fluids, hoses, belts, tires, and brakes. If you are uncomfortable with performing this type of check on your own, take your vehicle to a trusted mechanic for an inspection.
Here is what you should look for if you perform the inspection yourself:
- Check when you will need an oil change. If you will need one during the first couple days of travel, you might as well get one before you leave. You should also inspect your vehicle’s oil levels. If you are going to pull a trailer, you may need fully synthetic engine oil for extra protection from thermal breakdown.
- There are other fluid reservoirs to check in your car as well. For example, you need to check your transmission and drive axle levels.
- Look closely at the hoses. Hard, cracked hoses can spurt fluids putting you at risk of breaking down.
- Check the belts in your car by turning them on their side to look at the friction surface. If it is ragged, cracked, or torn, you need new ones.
- Check your coolant levels. Newer vehicles are designed to travel more than 100,000 miles with the same engine coolant, but it is still advisable to make sure you have enough.
- Your tires should have adequate tread and pressure. A tire blowout on the highway can result in serious injury car accidents.
- If your brakes are squishy or squeaky, you should get them checked by a professional.
The knowledgeable Oklahoma personal injury lawyers at the Maples Law Firm wish you safe summer travels. If you or a loved one is injured as the result of a negligent driver, please call our offices at (888) 226-6159 to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.
A 60-year-old driver was killed when his Mack truck collided with a train and caught fire. According to The Associated Press, the fatal train accident occurred at U.S. Highway 64 and Oklahoma Highway 108 in Perry. Officials say the driver was turning when his truck was hit on the driver’s side by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train. He was trapped inside the burning wreckage and fatally injured. No injuries were reported on the train. It is unclear why the accident occurred or if the location had functioning railroad crossing warning signs.
The Federal Railroad Administration’s Office of Safety Analysis compiles data regarding railroad accidents throughout the country. According to a May 10 search of their records, there were 160 railroad accidents and incidents in Oklahoma in the year 2012. During that same year there were 45 train accidents, three train accident deaths, and one train accident injury in Oklahoma. Human factors were the cause of 13 accidents and 18 accidents were caused by track conditions.
The size of trains makes them capable of causing fatal or catastrophic injuries at even low speeds. Whenever a fatal crash occurs, there are many questions that must be answered. Was the train operator inattentive or otherwise careless? Were the tracks poorly maintained? Were the safety devices in proper working order? Did the improper maintenance of the train contribute to the crash?
Depending on the nature and circumstances of the crash, it may be possible to hold various parties liable for injuries, damages, and losses suffered in train accidents. The experienced wrongful death attorneys at the Maples Law Firm help families of fatal train accident victims get fair compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses. If you have suffered a loss in an Oklahoma accident, please call our offices at (888) 226-6159 to discuss your legal rights and options.
It is essential for all Oklahoma motorists to share the road responsibly. Sadly, many motorcyclists are injured or killed because of the negligence of a driver. To help reduce the number of motorcycle accidents, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is promoting May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
There are a number of tips provided by the NHTSA to motorcycle riders and drivers to reduce the number of fatal collisions.
- Ride sober: NHTSA reports that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal accidents is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers.
- Always wear a helmet: Wearing a helmet saved 1,829 motorcyclists in the year 2008. Helmets help reduce the severity of head injuries and they do not interfere with vision or hearing.
- Obey right-of-way laws: Motorcyclists are given the same rights and privileges as motor vehicles under the law.
- Avoid blind spots: It would be in the best interests of motorcyclists to make themselves visible and for car drivers to check their blind spots before changing lanes or making a turn.
- Stay alert: Individuals who are driving while distracted are more likely to fail to see a motorcycle until it is too late.
- Use turn signals: It is important for all drivers and motorcyclists to use hand signals when changing lanes and merging with traffic to make sure that motorists see them.
- Allow plenty of space: Remain about three or four seconds behind the vehicle in front of you. This will help you avoid rear-end collisions.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motorcycle crash, an experienced Oklahoma personal injury lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options. Injured victims and families of deceased victims can seek compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses.
Traumatic brain injuries can result in life-long impairments in cognitive, physical, behavioral, and even social function. It is common for victims of serious traumatic brain injuries to never fully recover from their devastating symptoms. With proper diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation, however, it may be possible to improve a brain injury victim’s quality of life and help him or her recoup at least some of their physical and mental abilities.
Rehabilitation following a traumatic brain injury is most effective when approached in an interdisciplinary manner. The list of medical professional who aid in rehabilitation and their respective responsibilities include:
- Physiatrist: Responsible for providing rehabilitation management and physical medicine.
- Nurse: Coordinating everyday patient care.
- Physical therapist: Focusing treatment on mobility including ambulation and balance.
- Speech-language pathologist: Evaluate and treat communication, cognition, hearing deficits, and swallowing disorders.
- Occupational therapist: Assisting the patient to regain the ability to function at work.
- Respiratory therapist: Evaluating and treating a patient’s breathing.
- Neuropsychologist: Providing support to the patient and the patient’s family as they deal with issues related to disabilities.
- Therapeutic recreation: Assisting the patient in reentering his or her community and enjoying leisure activities.
- Case manager: Coordinating the implementation of treatment plan. A case manager can also communicate to the family issues related to insurance benefits.
Rehabilitation after a traumatic brain injury can cost millions of dollars. Unfortunately, few health insurance providers cover all of the expenses related to traumatic brain injuries. In fact, a number of rehabilitation costs end up being paid out-of-pocket for many patients and their families. If you or a loved one has suffered a head injury because of the negligence or wrongdoing of another, please make sure you contact an experienced personal injury lawyer in Oklahoma to discuss pursuing compensation for your significant losses.
When purchasing a used car, it is important that you do more than just “kick the tires.” Even vehicles that appear to be in perfect condition may have dangerous safety issues that have never been fixed. Before purchasing a used car in Oklahoma, it is advisable to run a vehicle history report to see if it has been involved in a major collision or if it has defective parts that should have been replaced.
A recent study by Carfax.com found that more than two million used cars were for sale nationwide in the year 2012 with open safety recalls. This means that they had parts that were recalled by the manufacturer, but the defects were not fixed. While some used car dealers provide buyers with a vehicle history report, they often fail to mention if the car was recalled. There is no current federal law requiring car dealers to identify or fix vehicles with an open recall before selling it.
This puts the responsibility for researching auto recalls on the consumer. If you are looking to purchase a used car from a dealer or from an individual, it is important that you perform a recall search. You can also call the auto manufacturer directly with the Vehicle Identification Number. Not all vehicle history reports include safety recall information. Carfax includes recalls in their vehicle searches and an app called Snafu Scan can inform you of vehicle recalls as well. The vehicle you are purchasing could have brakes that suddenly fail, airbags that do not operate properly, or a gas pedal that sticks and forces it to accelerate beyond your control.
If you are involved in an Oklahoma car accident that was caused by a defective car, it is important that you preserve your vehicle for a complete inspection by an expert. The experienced car accident attorneys at Maples Law Firm will analyze all aspects of the case and ensure that your rights are protected. Please contact us at (888) 226-6159 for a free and comprehensive consultation.
A spinal cord injury can occur when an individual sustains damage to any of the 31 vertebrae in their spinal column. These bones protect the spinal cord, which is a central bundle of nerves that transmits signals between the brain and the rest of the body. If a vertebra is damaged and the spinal cord sustains trauma, the resulting symptoms may include temporary or permanent neurological impairments.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are responsible for 46 percent of all spinal cord injuries. Wearing a seat belt can reduce your chances of suffering an injury by 60 percent. It is important to exercise due care while driving and to wear a seat belt because the physical and financial consequences of a spinal cord injury are severe.
The CDC reports that the average annual medical cost for a spinal cord injury is $15,000 to $30,000 per year. The estimated lifetime cost for this type of devastating injury is between $500,000 and over $3 million depending on the severity of the trauma.
The average cost associated with an injury goes up significantly when the trauma is in the neck area or the injuries include paralysis. A 2011 study by the University of Alabama National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center broke down the cost of medical expenses during the first year after the accident and each subsequent year. According to the report:
- Damage to the CI-C4 vertebrae will cost $1,023,924 the first year and $171,808 each subsequent year.
- Damage to the C5-C8 vertebrae will cost $739,874 the first year and $109,077 each subsequent year.
- Paraplegia will cost $499,023 the first year and $66,106 each subsequent year.
- Incomplete motor function at any level can result in $445,170 damages in the first year and $40,589 each subsequent year.
The experienced personal injury lawyers at Maples Law Firm help Oklahoma victims of serious injuries receive fair compensation for their current and future losses. We make sure that our clients receive the support they will need for the rest of their lives. Please call us today at (888) 226-6159 if you or someone you love has been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing.
Ten students were injured in an Oklahoma vehicle accident when their school bus crashed into a light pole. According to a News On 6 news report, the school bus carrying high school students crashed near Stillwater High School. The students were in Stillwater for a track meet. Several students complained of back and neck pain and were transported to a nearby hospital. Officials have not released information regarding why the accident occurred.
School buses are among the safest vehicles on the road because of their size. However, accidents can happen and children can get hurt. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were 1,236 fatal school transportation-related crashes between the years 2001 and 2010. In those accidents, 1,368 people were killed, which is an average of 137 fatalities per year. The majority of the fatally injured victims were occupants of other vehicles, but occupants of school transportation vehicles did account for 7 percent of the fatalities.
Oklahoma school bus accidents may not occur very often, but they do have the potential to result in devastating injuries. Children who are inside a bus during a collision may suffer a number of different injuries, including spinal cord trauma, brain injuries, concussions, bone fractures, lacerations, broken teeth and whiplash injuries. If your child has been injured in a school bus accident, it is crucial that you seek prompt medical attention.
Regardless of what caused the crash, victims of school bus accidents can pursue financial compensation for their losses. It is important to have an experienced Oklahoma City bus accident attorney on your side who will analyze all aspects of the incident and help determine fault and liability.
A bus carrying more than 40 people was on its way to Oklahoma when it went off the roadway and crashed, killing two people and injuring at least 36. The Associated Press reports that the fatal bus accident occurred on President George Bush Turnpike in Irving, Texas. Officials say the bus was weaving across the highway before striking two concrete barriers and toppling on to its side.
The passengers were thrown inside the bus and many landed on top of each other. Two people were killed in the crash and dozens of others were hospitalized with injuries ranging from minor to critical. A representative with the Texas Department of Public Safety says that many of the surviving victims suffered bone fractures. It is unclear what caused the Oklahoma-bound Cardinal Coach to crash or how the incident could have been prevented.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that there was a decrease in fatal bus accidents from 325 in the year 2000 to 249 in the year 2010. During that same decade, inter-city buses accounted for 12 percent, school buses for 40 percent and transit buses for 35 percent of all buses involved in fatal crashes.
Injured victims of Oklahoma bus accidents have the right to pursue financial compensation for their suffering by filing a claim against the bus driver and/or the bus company. The family of a deceased bus accident victim may pursue financial compensation for their losses by filing a wrongful death claim. An experienced Oklahoma personal injury lawyer will be able to help injured bus accident victims and their families better understand their legal rights and options.
More than 1.3 million vehicles in the United States, and 3 million worldwide, have been recalled for defective airbags that can deploy and injure passengers. According to a news report in USA Today, the auto defect recall involves vehicles sold by Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, General Motors and BMW. Owners of the vehicles involved in the recall will need to bring their vehicle to a dealership to replace the faulty canisters that hold the propellant, which can activate the airbags.
Vehicles included in the recall include:
- GM: 2003 Pontiac Vibe
- Honda: Certain Civics, CR-Vs and Odysseys from 2001 to 2003
- Lexus: SC 430 from 2001 to 2003
- Mazda: Only 149 vehicles including Mazda6 sedans from 2003 and 2004 as well as the 2004 RX-8
- Nissan: Maxima, Pathfinder, Sentra
- Infiniti: I35 and QX4 from 2001 to 2003
- Toyota: Certain Corolla, Matrix, Sequoia and Tundra
According to the report, the defective propellant canisters deploy with tremendous force, propelling shrapnel into the vehicle and causing airbags to inflate so quickly that the bag rips or tears. No injuries or deaths have been reported as a result of the defect.
This is not the first time that the air bag manufacturer, Takata, has had to issue a recall. In December of 2011, Honda issued a recall for overly powerful driver’s side airbags that had deployed with such force that they had the potential to cause serious injuries or fatalities. That particular Takata airbag recall was linked to 19 injuries and two fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured by a defective auto part, you can pursue financial compensation for your losses by filing a claim against the at-fault manufacturer. The experienced Oklahoma auto recall attorneys at the Maples Law Firm help injured victims of defective auto products obtain fair compensation for their losses. Please contact us at (888) 226-6159 for a free consultation and comprehensive case evaluation.
A 39-year-old woman has been killed in an Oklahoma car accident involving a head-on collision with a semi truck. According The Oklahoman, the fatal truck accident occurred on U.S. 270 southeast of Seiling. Officials say a Mack truck crossed the centerline and struck the vehicle. The victim was pinned in her vehicle for two hours before being freed by the Seiling Fire Department. She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. A passenger in her vehicle was hospitalized with head and leg injuries. The truck driver was treated and released at the hospital. It is unclear why the accident occurred or if the truck driver will be cited for the collision.
Injuries that result from a head-on collision can be devastating due to the velocity of the vehicles involved and the impact of the crash. When head-on collisions involve a large truck, they will more than likely result in serious or fatal injuries to the occupants of the smaller car.
The most common causes of fatal head-on collisions are:
- falling asleep at the wheel;
- letting the truck veer into oncoming traffic while driving distracted;
- losing control due to excessive speed;
- failing to obey road signs and traveling on the wrong side of the road;
- driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol;
- making an unsafe lane change into oncoming traffic while passing a slower moving vehicle.
Drivers who violate the law or who are negligent during the operation of a vehicle may be held accountable for the damages they cause. If you have suffered a tragic loss in an Oklahoma truck accident, it is important that you protect your rights and best interests by speaking with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Financial compensation may be available for your expenses.
The knowledgeable Oklahoma City car accident attorneys at Maples Law Firm provide free consultations to anyone who has suffered a loss in an Oklahoma truck accident. Please contact us at (888) 226-6159 for a free, comprehensive consultation.