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ARCHIVES: October 2017

Pedestrian Fatally Struck by Car on Millwood Avenue in Columbia

Pedestrian Fatally Struck by Car on Millwood Avenue in Columbia

A pedestrian was fatally struck by a car on Monday night in Columbia, South Carolina. Around 9:30 pm, the woman was walking on Millwood Avenue when she was hit. She succumbed to her fatal injuries shortly after the collision took place.

Pedestrians are afforded the same guidelines as motorists and are protected by state traffic laws. Unfortunately, drivers may be unaware of this or fail to drive safely around the pedestrians, which could lead pedestrian accidents that cause personal injuries or even fatalities for the victims. If the pedestrian survives the accident, the victim may suffer from both physical and mental trauma.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a pedestrian accident, our Columbia personal injury lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will fight for you. You may schedule a free consultation by calling 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online. With offices located throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those in the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Halloween Safety

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers offer advice on how to keep your family safe on Halloween. Halloween will soon be here, with many children, teenagers, and adults ready to dress up and go trick or treating. While the holiday is fun, Halloween can also result in serious and sometimes fatal injuries. The American Academy of Pediatrics has put together a safety checklist that can help keep you and your family safe this Halloween.

Costumes may seem harmless, but they can be one of the biggest risk factors in falls that result in injury. Bulky material, long lengths, masks, and props make traveling from house to house a bit cumbersome. Costumes should be hemmed to a safe length, preferably above the ankle to help avoid tripping accidents. Non-toxic face paint is a safe alternative to masks that can obstruct vision and limit peripheral sight. Swords, daggers, brooms, and fairy tale wands add the ultimate touch to a costume, but they should be made out of soft, flexible material to avoid injury.

It is often hard for cars to see children that may run out into the street or dart out between parked cars during evening hours. Reflective tape added to a costume and flashlights or glow sticks attached to treat bags or props can help keep children visible. Children and adults should refrain from cell phone use during trick or treating. Distracted drivers and pedestrians can be seriously injured when sidetracked by their phone.

Adult Supervision and Driver Safety

Children less than 12 years of age should always be accompanied by a parent or reliable adult. Tweens and teenagers should always travel in groups, making sure that they stay together. Parents need to caution older children to never enter a home or get into a car with a stranger, even if their friends think it’s safe. Parents can give their older child some independence by dropping them off at one end of the street and waiting for them at the opposite end. This way, the child will know where to go to seek help, if needed.

Adult chaperones that may be driving through residential neighborhoods need to be especially careful to avoid wrecks with another car or a pedestrian. Cell phones should be off and put away to avoid distraction. Obey local speed laws and pay close attention to areas where children are present. Special attention should be given to places with parked cars on the side of the road. Excited and impulsive children may dart out between cars as they run to keep up with their friends.

Inspect all candy and snack items and discard any with broken or damaged packaging. Look carefully at any fresh fruit for signs of tampering, and only allow children to eat baked goods that came from trusted sources. Small pieces of Halloween candy can be choking hazards to small children and should be avoided by those less than three years of age.

South Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Injured Victims Claim Compensation

If you or someone you know has been injured by the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation. Call our personal injury lawyers in South Carolina at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. at 800-531-9780, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.

Our offices are conveniently located throughout South Carolina and we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Risky Behavior and Car Accidents

York County Car Accident Lawyers: Risky Behavior and Car AccidentsCar accidents have long been linked to risky behavior; however, most studies have not included analyzing the connection between thoughts, behavior, and accidents. A recent study examined whether a driver’s thoughts may impact aggressive behavior, which can lead to risky driving associated with accidents.

Aggressive Thoughts Increase Accidents

The study measured three variables consisting of aggressive thoughts, risky behavior, and aggressive behavior. Researchers analyzed the driving habits of 414 people who drive at least once a week. They were interviewed with two questionnaires. The first questionnaire was titled “Driver’s Angry Thoughts Questionnaire.” It sought to measure aggressive thoughts. The second was titled “Driving Survey.” It measured risky behavior, including the individual’s accident proneness.

The study revealed that aggressive thoughts lead to aggressive behavior, which then triggered a lot of the risky behavior that is often associated with accident-related events. The study also found that younger drivers were most likely to experience anger and express themselves through aggressive behavior while driving.

The Relationship Between Thoughts, Behavior, and Accidents

Studies have found that dangerous drivers share three driving behavior characteristics: physical or psychological aggression, risk taking, and negative emotions. These behaviors are correlated with involvement in wrecks.

Thoughts and behavior characteristics of dangerous drivers have been found to differ from those of safe drivers. Drivers with higher anger trait scores are more likely to be involved in crashes and exhibit stronger negativity biases when processing emotions. Significant differences between dangerous drivers and safe drivers were found in their personalities and traits, cognitive abilities, and information processing. The relationship between negative emotions and dangerous driving behaviors indicate stronger negativity biases in dangerous drivers than in safe drivers. Negativity bias occurs when negative events demand more attention than neutral or positive events. Individuals with a strong negativity bias respond more intensely to negative input than other individuals. This suggests a decreased ability to inhibit control of emotional information, impacting dangerous driving, and an increase in accidents.

Decreasing Collisions by Spotting Risky Behavior  

Clinical psychology may be helpful in dealing with risky and aggressive behavior in a person’s driving habits. It is important to understand the cognitive, emotional, and other mechanisms underlying aggressive and risky behavior. This will help avoid and eliminate aggressive driving behavior and car accidents.

If a person behaves aggressively in a specific way in other aspects of their life, that may carry over into their driving habits. However, if the person who is prone to aggressive risky behavior can be taught to identify that behavior, there is a possibility they can assess the situation. Addressing the risky, aggressive behavior and the thoughts that lead to it may help decrease car accidents that result from risky driving.

York County Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Those Affected by Risky Drivers

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, our experienced Columbia car accident lawyers are prepared to help you. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., our attorneys will fight for you to obtain all entitled compensation for your injuries. Contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 to schedule a free consultation. Our offices are conveniently located throughout South Carolina and we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Industrial Safety

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Industrial SafetyWorkers in industrial environments face many hazards, including heavy machinery, potential chemical leaks, and explosions. Factories are subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) safety regulations that are there to ensure employees have safe working environments to perform their jobs. Despite these regulations, over one million workers around the world suffer fatal injuries in industrial accidents or from industrial occupational diseases each year, according to a recent International Labor Organization (ILO) report.

Industrial Accident Injuries

Industrial accidents may be compensable under Workers’ Compensation if the worker’s physical injury or occupational disease arise out of or in the course their employment. Common injuries suffered by industrial workers are:

  • Lifting injuries
  • Bone fractures
  • Loss of limbs
  • Head injuries or contusions
  • Dangerous chemical exposures
  • Inhalation injuries
  • Slips or falls
  • Burns
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Psychological traumas
  • Death

Causes of Industrial Accidents

The most common causes of industrial accidents are unsafe working conditions, which may refer to defective equipment, poor workplace design, inadequate lighting or ventilation, and inadequate safety devices. Other causes of industrial accidents include:

  • Environmental conditions, including adverse weather conditions, dust, and fumes
  • Psychological reasons, such as fatigue, frustration, or anxiety

OSHA Safety Regulations

To help prevent these types of injuries, OSHA regulations require employees be given protective gear, such as hard hats, eye shields, breathing masks, and gloves. Employees should also be trained on how to properly handle machinery, tools, and chemicals. Under OSHA, employers are required to regularly check the workplace, as well as all equipment, for potential hazards. If found, these hazards must be corrected immediately. Employees must also have access to safety equipment, including fire extinguishers and eyewash stations in multiple locations.

Ways to Improve Industrial Worker Safety

  • Provide ongoing training
  • Display safety posters
  • Purchase newer equipment with additional safety features
  • Label hazardous materials
  • Post signs to make emergency wash stations easier to find
  • Make sure the environment is clean, organized, and reasonably free of clutter
  • Create worker safety teams that will conduct training, identify potential workplace hazards, enforce safety policies, and make recommendations on how to improve
  • Ensure that workers have adequate lighting, heating, ventilation, and flooring

South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Benefits

South Carolina is a no-fault workers’ compensation state. Workers in South Carolina who are injured on the job are entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits. To be eligible, injured workers must report their injuries to their employers within 90 days of the accident or diagnosis. If the employer does not file a claim on the employee’s behalf, the employee has up to two years to file their claim directly with the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission. South Carolina Workers’ Compensation benefits may include compensation for medical care, lost wages, and disability.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Those Injured in Industrial Accidents

If you were injured in an industrial accident or contracted an occupational disease, contact the knowledgeable Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. Our attorneys have the experience necessary to help you obtain Workers’ Compensation benefits in South Carolina. From our six convenient locations, we provide legal services to those in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg. Contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation.

Legislation for Self-Driving Trucks

Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers: Legislation for Self-Driving TrucksRecently, the United States House passed legislation for driverless cars, but neglected to address how self-driving trucks would be covered under this new bill. Senators want to see self-driving trucks on the road and are disappointed that they are not included in the Self Drive Act. Including trucks in the Self Drive Act would encourage manufacturers to speed up the development process in order to get them to market faster. Safety groups that are not yet convinced of the safety of autonomous commercial trucks lobbied to exclude them from the Self Drive Act. The Teamsters Union also worries about the loss of union jobs if drivers become obsolete.

The Self Drive Act, passed in September 2017, paves the way for the introduction of 25,000 to 100,000 self-driving vehicles every year for several years. The bill speeds up the process by excluding autonomous cars from safety regulations that do not apply to self-driving technology. The bill still gives states the power to determine if and when self-driving cars are permitted on their respective roadways. Under the bill, self-driving vehicles must be less than 10,000 pounds, essentially excluding tractor trailers from the legislation.

Safety and Self-Driving Vehicles

Proponents of self-driving cars and trucks cite safety data already available on autonomous vehicles. Human error and negligence cause 94 percent of all car accidents. Proponents suggest that autonomous vehicles would eliminate the potential for human error. Self Drive Act supporters predict that self-driving cars will eventually reduce traffic fatalities by 90 percent, saving 30,000 lives every year. Google’s fleet of self-driving prototype cars were involved in only 13 minor accidents over 1.8 million miles, all caused by other drivers.

Self-driving cars are not far from becoming a real presence on American roads. If some manufacturers have their way, autonomous trucks will not be far behind them. Teamsters hope to stall that progress, lobbying against legislation that encourages their transition to the market. The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee is meeting with safety advocates, trucking industry executives, and law enforcement officials to discuss the future of self-driving trucks.

Uber and Tesla are both working on autonomous commercial truck technology. Uber’s self-driving truck division, Otto, has already tested commercial vehicles in Colorado, completing a self-driving 120-mile beer delivery. A professional driver on board supervised the entire trip, while autonomous technology did the driving.  Uber and Tesla may be onto something with driver-assisted autonomous trucks that preserve jobs while reducing truck accidents.

Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Car Accident Victims

Until experts are able to completely reduce the possibility of human error, car and truck accidents remain a sad reality. Victims injured by the negligence of another driver have legal recourse, helping you receive the maximum recovery for your injuries. Call 800-531-9780 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation with an experienced Columbia truck accident lawyer today. Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. have six convenient locations to serve the residents in the greater South Carolina region, including in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Trucks Carrying Hazardous Materials

York County Truck Accident Lawyers: Trucks Carrying Hazardous MaterialsTrucks that transport hazardous materials, commonly referred to as “hazmats,” are required to carry a higher amount of liability insurance than other trucks. This is because there are few things on the road more dangerous than a hazmat truck. Wrecks with hazmat trucks can result in dangerous explosions and grave injuries.

When it comes to regulating hazmats, the federal government has identified nine specific classes of hazardous materials. Trucks that transport these materials are required to have special permits, and they must be clearly marked according to what kind of hazardous substance is being transported. The nine different classes include: explosives, gases, flammable and combustible liquids, flammable solids, oxidizer and organic peroxide, poison and poison inhalation hazards, radioactive materials, corrosive materials, and “miscellaneous” hazmats.

When a passenger vehicle collides with a hazmat truck, not only can the truck catch fire or explode, but various types of other injuries can occur, including:

  • Thermal burns
  • Loss of hearing
  • Loss of vision
  • Chemical burns
  • Long-term exposure injuries
  • Deformities
  • Disfigurement
  • Amputation
  • Poisoning
  • Exposure to cancer causing chemicals
  • Corrosive burn injuries
  • Leaching of chemicals into local water supply

Rules and Regulations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates carriers of hazmats. Trucking companies are required to comply with these regulations, but unfortunately, they do not always comply with these rules.  The FMCSA also inspects vehicles that transport these substances, provides education to truckers and their employers, and is also involved with enforcement of regulatory violations. Across the country, approximately four percent of all commercial trucks carrying hazardous materials failed roadside inspections and were immediately taken out of service.

Some of the most common violations include:

  • Improper securing of hazmats. This is a very dangerous violation because hazardous substances can shift and move around en route, increasing the chance of a dangerous explosion. Sometimes, an improperly secured vat of hazardous materials can roll off of a truck and spill onto the roadway or strike another car on the road.
  • Failure to properly label the vehicle. Trucks that transport hazmats are required to place a warning placard in a visible location, indicating the specific type of material that is being transported. There are some exceptions to this rule.
  • Driver mistake. Truck drivers who transport hazardous materials bear much of the responsibility for ensuring that their cargo is safely transported. Truck drivers who speed, follow too closely behind another vehicle, disregard traffic signs or signals, and drive while intoxicated, fatigued, or distracted, can all cause hazardous materials to spill.

York County Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Victims Injured by Commercial Trucks

After a hazmat accident, it is imperative to call the appropriate authorities immediately, including police and medical responders as necessary. After seeking medical care, contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in York County. At Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A., we will fight for your rights and help you obtain the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries. To learn more, call us today at 803-929-3600 or contact us online. We provide free, no obligation initial consultations and serve residents of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, as well as the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

With six office locations in South Carolina, we represent clients in the communities of Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout South Carolina.

Columbia Motorcycle Accident Fatally Injures Motorcyclist

Columbia Motorcycle Accident Fatally Injures MotorcyclistA motorcycle accident occurred in Columbia, South Carolina which fatally injured a man on Wednesday night. After making an improper turn and failing to yield to the right of way, a car, driven by a 21-year-old woman, collided with the motorcycle. The 26-year-old man who was operating the motorcycle succumbed to his fatal injuries at a local hospital.

When a motorcycle accident takes place, the motorcyclist may be at-risk for sustaining personal injuries or even fatalities in the crash. Due to the lack of safety features and open nature of a bike, life-threatening injuries are more common. If the motorcyclist survives the accident, the individual may incur debilitating injuries that adversely affect the person’s daily life and ability to earn an income.

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, our Columbia personal injury lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will fight for you. You may schedule a free consultation by calling 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online. With offices located throughout South Carolina, we serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County, including those in the towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

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