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ARCHIVES: January 2018

Federal Government Loosens Truck Safety Regulations

Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers discuss the loosened federal government safety regualtions for the trucking industry. The federal government recently decided to loosen trucking safety regulations and truckers are welcoming the deregulation of an industry that they say lawmakers do not understand. However, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulators feel that motor carrier safety should not be undermined at a time when truck accidents are on the rise.

The sleep apnea rule, drafted by FMCSA regulators under the Obama administration, is among the halted safety regulations, which would have required drivers to be screened and treated for sleep apnea. Rules requiring speed-limiting devices, underride guards, and automatic emergency braking systems on trucks have also been put on hold.

The Impact of Drowsy Driving

The chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) stresses the importance of regulations aimed at drowsy driving, citing a recent crash involving a tour bus and a semitrailer. Drivers of both trucks allegedly fell asleep behind the wheel and likely suffered from undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea. The crash fatally injured 13 people, injured 31 others, and was named one of the deadliest highway crashes in recent years.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that drowsy driving causes up to 100,000 accidents per year. In a study, the FMCSA found that up to 28 percent of commercial truck drivers suffer from sleep apnea, which can cause drivers to become drowsy and fall asleep behind the wheel. The executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition notes that there are over 4,000 fatalities a year attributable to truck accidents. He states that with that number going up steadily, it is troubling that the administration is pulling back on rules aimed at reducing those numbers.

Truck Drivers vs Regulators

However, certain truck drivers complain that regulators do not understand the needs of the trucking industry. Several owner-operators and owners of small trucking firms recently spoke at the House Small Business Committee hearing, Highway to Headache: Federal Regulations on the Small Trucking Industry. The president of the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association states that regulations like the federal hours of service rule, which limits truckers to drive 11 hours per day followed by a mandated 10 hours of rest, does not consider common hang-ups of the job like traffic delays. Many truckers resent the rule because they are paid by the mile, not the hour.

Truckers’ hours will be strictly regulated when electronic logging devices (ELD) become effective. To date, truckers are permitted to use paper log books to track their hours, a system that allows records to be easily falsified. Many midsize and large trucking companies are already using ELDs, however smaller trucking companies and independent drivers claim that the rule is cost prohibitive. ELDs cost about $500. A new FMCSA regulator will soon be confirmed, and it remains to be seen what stance will be taken on ELDs and other trucking industry safety regulations.

Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Represent Victims of Negligent Drivers

If you have been injured in a truck accident due to drowsy driving, an improperly maintained truck, a trucking company’s failure to abide by trucking regulations, or any other instance of negligence, contact the Columbia truck accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600.

We represent victims of truck accidents throughout South Carolina, including Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, Newberry County.

Doctor and Lawyer-Owned Pharmacies

York County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers weigh in on the problems of doctor owned pharmacies. A conflict of interest occurs when physicians own their own pharmacies and there is an incentive for them to prescribe drugs for profit. A similar conflict of interest occurs when lawyers own their own pharmacies and stand to profit from clients who are prescribed medication.

A Workers’ Comp law firm in Philadelphia recently opened its own pharmacy; the law firm requests that all physicians have their Workers’ Compensation patients’ prescriptions filled by their pharmacy. This raises several concerns for those injured in workplace accidents in any state in which doctors and lawyers enter into such entrepreneurial endeavors.

South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Law

On Sept. 1, 1935, the South Carolina Industrial Commission (now the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission) was created to administer and enforce the state’s Workers’ Compensation law. While the laws have changed over the years, the six basic objectives of Workers’ Compensation have remained the same:

  • Provide expedient income and medical benefits to those injured on the job or to their dependents, regardless of fault
  • Reduce delays and other costs associated with personal injury litigation, instead providing a single remedy
  • Reduce the financial burden to charities due to uncompensated workplace accidents
  • Minimize the legal fees and time associated with trials and court appeals
  • Provide employers with an incentive to ensure employer safety and rehabilitation
  • Promote focus on research regarding the causes of accidents to reduce preventable accidents in the future rather than concealment of fault

With a few exceptions, South Carolina employees are generally covered by the state Workers’ Compensation Act. Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina covers necessary medical treatment, lost wages during periods of disability, and provides compensation for permanent disability or disfigurement.

Amounts of compensation are dependent upon the nature of the injury and the average wage of the employee. South Carolina workers are covered for both injuries by workplace accident and occupational disease.

Accidents must be reported to the Commission by employers within ten days of receiving notice or having knowledge of the accident. The Commission is responsible for monitoring the payment of medical treatment and compensation provided to workers and ensuring that the Workers’ Compensation system is fair, equitable and responsive to the needs of South Carolina citizens.

Potential Conflicts of Interest

When doctors and lawyers own their own pharmacies, potential conflicts of interest are present. Although prescriptions may be dispensed faster, they can also be more expensive. Standard pharmacies often charge a fraction of the cost for certain drugs that doctor or lawyer-owned pharmacies dispense.

The Rules of Professional Conduct in many states prohibit lawyers from entering into a business transaction with a client that is averse to the client’s pecuniary interest unless certain requirements are met, one of which is full disclosure of the situation to the client.

However, clients are often unaware that their doctors and lawyers are profiting from their prescriptions. A doctor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Medical School describes the setup as ripe for corruption and an issue of legitimate concern.

York County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Injured South Carolina Workers Vulnerable to a Corrupt System

If you or a loved one is looking to obtain Workers’ Compensation, contact a Workers’ Compensation lawyer in York County at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. Complete an online form or call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 to schedule a free consultation. With locations in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, we represent workers throughout the state of South Carolina.

Two-Vehicle Accident Causes Fatality in Pawleys Island

Two-Vehicle Accident Causes Fatality in Pawleys IslandA two-vehicle accident that took place on Sunday night in Pawleys Island, South Carolina caused a fatality. Right before 6 pm, the fatal two-vehicle accident occurred when an SUV attempted to make a left turn on Highway 17 near Professional Lane, and then collided with another SUV carrying three occupants. The 58-year-old man from New Jersey who was driving the first SUV sustained fatal injuries while the victims in the SUV that was hit incurred a variety of undisclosed personal injuries.

In the evening, car accidents may occur due to lowered visibility in the dark or a profusion of lights that may create confusion on the road. Other contributing factors to motor vehicle crashes include distracted driving, intoxicated driving, or drowsy driving. Many times, SUVs that are engaged in a collision could roll over, which may cause drivers and passengers to suffer from serious head or spinal injuries.

If you or your loved ones sustained personal injuries in a car accident, our Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will dedicate their time and effort to your case. 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 towns of Columbia, Lexington, Irmo, Chapin, Rock Hill, Aiken, Sumter, Newberry, Florence, and Spartanburg.

Multi-Vehicle Wreck in James Island Hospitalizes Eight

Multi-Vehicle Wreck in James Island Hospitalizes EightOn Sunday morning, eight victims were hospitalized after a multi-vehicle wreck in James Island, South Carolina. Three vehicles engaged in the car accident around 10 am at the intersection of Folly Road and Camp Road. No other information was available regarding the level of injuries for the victims involved in the multi-vehicle wreck.

Motor vehicle accidents that occur in busy intersections take place on a frequent basis. Depending on the speed and types of vehicles involved, the crash could result in a minor incident or a catastrophic collision that causes severe personal injuries or even fatalities for drivers and passengers. In some cases, a driver may make a dire mistake by driving through a traffic light or stop sign without carefully assessing the traffic or attempting to outrun a yellow light.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident, our Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will guide you in filing a claim. 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.

Man Fatally Injured After Aiken County Crash with Trash Truck

Man Fatally Injured After Aiken County Crash with Trash Truck

An elderly man sustained fatal injuries after his pickup truck crashed into a trash truck in Aiken, South Carolina. On Friday morning, just before 8 am, the 72-year-old man was traveling on Old Barnwell Road when he rear-ended a trash truck. Two sanitation workers sustained personal injuries, and were transported to the University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia while the man driving the pickup truck succumbed to his fatal injuries at the scene of the truck accident.

Many truck accidents result in catastrophic injuries for most parties involved. The impact of a smaller vehicle slamming into a larger one could lead to personal injuries or even fatalities for victims occupying the vehicles engaged in the accident. If victims survive the crash, they may suffer from mental distress, debilitating pain, and be unable to earn a living.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a truck accident, our Columbia truck accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will assist you every step of the way. 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.

Tractor-Trailer Collision in Greenville Fatally Injures Driver of Car

Tractor-Trailer Collision in Greenville Fatally Injures Driver of CarOn Wednesday morning, a tractor-trailer collision left the driver of a car fatally injured. Around 7:45 am, in Greenville, South Carolina a car slid underneath a tractor-trailer, and the victim sustained fatal injuries at the scene of the crash. During the incident, snow was falling, which may have contributed to the truck accident.

Poor weather conditions create hazardous roadways, which contribute to the likelihood of motor vehicle accidents. Ice and snow further complicate driving, and could lead to spin-outs and collisions with other cars as well as personal injuries and even fatalities for any parties involved. In some cases, drivers may fail to use caution or lose control of their cars when traveling on icy streets.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a truck accident, our Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will protect your rights.  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.

Five Victims Hurt in Greenville County Car Accident

Five Victims Hurt in Greenville County Car AccidentFive victims sustained personal injuries in a Greenville County car accident on Monday night around 8:45 pm. The three-vehicle accident occurred in Greenville, South Carolina when a man crossed the centerline on White Horse Road, and slammed into two separate SUVs. A woman from Simpsonville, South Carolina was driving one SUV while the other SUV contained a woman and two children who needed medical treatment. All five victims were transported to a local hospital, but their injuries were not disclosed.

Visibility decreases at nighttime, and motorists are at-risk for driver fatigue at the end of the day. Both of these factors may create conditions for a serious motor vehicle accident where drivers and passengers may suffer from a spate of personal injuries or even fatalities. When a collision involves more than two vehicles like the Greenville County car accident, the outcome of the crash may be catastrophic.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident, our Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will stand by 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.

Multi-Vehicle Crash in Spartanburg Causes Fatality, Multiple Injuries

Multi-Vehicle Crash in Spartanburg Causes Fatality, Multiple InjuriesOn Interstate 26, a multi-vehicle crash caused a fatality and multiple personal injuries for at least five individuals. Around 8:15 pm, on Monday evening, the accident occurred in Spartanburg, South Carolina after a 47-year-old male driver from Clyde, North Carolina crossed the median, and then headed in the wrong direction, hitting three vehicles in the process. One driver succumbed to his fatal injuries at the scene of the multi-vehicle crash while two passengers from an SUV required hospitalization. A man from Inman, South Carolina and the child who accompanied him sustained injuries in the crash. In total, six victims were taken to the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, and their conditions are unknown.

A multi-vehicle crash may occur after one crash takes place on a congested road, which leads to additional collisions that may be from failing to stop in time or recklessly driving around the accident site. Otherwise known as a chain reaction accident, motorists and passengers involved in the crash may incur a variety of injuries and potential fatalities. Oftentimes, an accident of this nature may bring catastrophic results.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident, our Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell, Arden, P.A. & Smith will guide you every step of the way. 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.

Fatal Car Wreck in Ravenel Claims Victim’s Life and Injures Others

Fatal Car Wreck in Ravenel Claims Victim’s Life and Injures OthersA fatal car wreck claimed the life of one of the drivers on Sunday afternoon in Ravenel, South Carolina. Just after 5 pm the accident occurred when a sedan turned on to Savannah Highway, and then smacked into an SUV. The driver of the sedan succumbed to fatal injuries at the scene of the crash while the driver and passenger of the SUV required hospitalization for serious injuries. They were both transported to the Medical University of South Carolina after the fatal car wreck.

When side-impact collisions occur, the drivers and passengers of both vehicles may incur a variety of personal injuries or even fatalities. During evening hours, visibility may decrease, and motorists may experience driver fatigue, which contributes to motor vehicle accidents. Even if victims survive a collision of this nature, they may endure debilitating injuries, and be unable to earn a proper income.

If you or your loved ones have been injured in a car accident, our Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. will protect your rights.  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.

Volvo Trucks Launches No-Accident Safety Initiative  

Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers discuss the launch of Volvo Trucks No-Accident Safety Initiative. According to data collected by the United States Department of Transportation, over 3,800 people suffered fatal injuries in accidents involving large trucks in 2015. Passenger vehicles are no match for the size, weight, and force of tractor trailers and other large trucks. To answer the high number of truck accident fatalities, global manufacturer, Volvo Trucks, recently launched Zero Accident Vision, an ambitious safety program. Zero Accident Vision employs safety training and technology to eliminate the most crashes from human error.

Understanding Truck Accidents

In 2015, the most recent year that crash data is available, the number of fatalities caused by large truck accidents was 22 percent higher than in 2009, the year with the fewest crashes on record. Truck drivers and passengers fatally injured in crashes were 34 percent higher in 2015 than in 2009. Trucks require more time than cars to stop. On wet or slippery roads, that distance increases. Without sufficient space between trucks and vehicles traveling in front of them, rear-end crashes are more likely. Because trucks are higher off the ground and weigh significantly more than other types of vehicles, smaller cars can become pinned underneath trucks during an accident. Laws regulate how many hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel, but research shows many drivers work more than they should, making crashes caused by drowsy driving a concern.

Zero Accident Vision

Volvo trucks are equipped with various innovative safety technologies to reduce crashes caused by human error. Large trucks are more prone to rollovers because of their high center-of-gravity. Using anti-lock braking and traction control, Volvo Enhanced Stability Technology monitors wheel and chassis movement along with driver input to intervene and reduce speed when a rollover is imminent.

Volvo Active Driver Assist is a standard feature on most Volvo trucks. This technology utilizes radar and camera features to detect stationary objects or braking vehicles in a truck’s path, alerting the driver and mitigating a collision. If the driver fails to respond, Volvo Active Driver Assist automatically engages the brakes. The technology also helps drivers maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of them. While Volvo Trucks believe that technology is invaluable in preventing serious truck accidents, they also believe that well-trained drivers are a crucial part of Zero Accident Vision.

Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Advocate for Truck Accident Victims

If you or a loved one has been injured in a trucking accident, you need the guidance of our experienced Columbia truck accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A.. We fight for victims injured by distracted driving, drowsy driving, and drunk driving, as well as vehicle malfunctions. To schedule a free consultation regarding your accident, call 803-929-3600, or contact us online. We have six locations to serve clients in Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, Newberry County, and throughout the state of South Carolina.

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