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CATEGORY: Personal Injuries

I-95 Worst for Road Rage Incidents

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers: I-95 Worst for Road Rage IncidentsWhether it is because of economic improvement, lower gas prices, or other reasons, Americans are driving more, according to a Federal Highway Administration spokesman. Unfortunately, this also means there are more incidents of road rage, especially on busy roads like Interstate 95. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines road rage as angry and violent behaviors towards another motorist, typically stemming from aggressive driving. As aggressive driving escalates, road rage often manifests, leading to physical harm and fatalities.

Road Rage Incidents are Increasing

According to the FHA, I-95, the nation’s busiest highway, has been the scene of numerous road rage incidents over the past few months. Recently, in Florida, a car crash led to a fight between two drivers resulting in one person being stabbed to death. Less than a month later, a mother and son were cursed at and held at gunpoint in another road rage incident.  A few days later in Maryland, two people were arrested for pointing a gun at another motorist.

Road rage is a common cause of accidents in South Carolina as well. Most people have experienced frustration while driving, however road rage specifically refers to the manifestation of those feelings through aggressive and violent behaviors. Intentionally running into another vehicle, running a vehicle off the road, pulling over to engage in a fight, or drawing weapons are all examples of road rage.

How to Respond to Road Rage

It is prudent to avoid road rage whenever possible and to respond appropriately when confronted with it. Here are a few tips for responding to another driver’s road rage:

  • Remain calm
  • Avoid eye contact
  • Roll up your windows and lock your doors
  • Stay on well-lit roads and only pull over in populated areas if necessary
  • Write down a description of the driver and their vehicle
  • Call the police
  • File a police report and/or seek legal counsel

Legal Liability for Road Rage Incidents

Victims of road rage incidents may be able to hold perpetrators liable through criminal and civil causes of action, such as battery. One does not need to hit another person to be guilty of battery; any harmful or offensive contact with something near the person is sufficient. An example of battery during an incident of road rage is pounding on another driver’s car while someone is inside or near that car.

Those injured in road rage incidents may receive compensatory damages for medical bills and lost wages due to injuries or may be awarded punitive damages to punish the defendant and deter future bad actions. Victims may pursue criminal charges against the driver in a road rage incident or, if someone suffered fatal injuries due to someone else’s negligent or intentional actions, the victim’s survivors may be entitled to file a wrongful death claim to hold the person at fault civilly liable.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Represent Victims of Road Rage

If you or your loved one was the victim of a road rage incident, contact a skilled Columbia car accident lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden. We are here to help victims and their families through the aftermath of road rage. For over three decades, our knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers have been representing clients in counties throughout South Carolina, including Columbia, Lexington County, Richland County, and Kershaw County. Contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 for a free consultation.

MIT Distracted Driving Study

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers: MIT Distracted Driving StudyOver 40,000 people suffered fatal injuries in the United States last year, largely due to the increase of distracted driving. There has been an influx of phone usage in cars, likely to be the biggest contributor to fatal and debilitating accidents. Additional distractions while driving include eating, arguing with other passengers, or adjusting music on a device. Researchers are working to better understand how the human brain reacts to such hindrances, and how to use the resulting data to better prevent future car wrecks from occurring.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Age Lab and Touchstone Evaluations are receiving funding from major auto and tech players, such as Honda, Land Rover, Jaguar, Panasonic, and Google. This human factored engineering firm, based out of Michigan, aims to pinpoint how humans interact within their cars. The goal is to find and shape common behavior behind the wheel to decrease the likelihood of car accidents.

Newer model cars are stocked with an assortment of bells, whistles, and other divertissements. These flashy features, however, can cause interferences to driver attention, leading to fatal outcomes. Researchers are aiming to find ways on how to use these features to benefit drivers, not to distract and debilitate them. In 2012, a study was performed throughout six states on 2,600 vehicles, which were outfitted with cameras and sensors for one year. The resulting data provided an objective and detailed database of driving behavior. Many scientists researching accidents only look at footage four to five seconds prior to the crash. However, MIT Researchers decided to delve further and analyze accidents 20 seconds before they occur.

AttenD

An engineer who studies driver behavior says that driver attention failure occurs long before a crash happens. It is crucial that drivers learn how to manage their situational awareness to prevent accidents. Lisa Angell, who previously worked for General Motors, but now heads Touchstone, says they are working towards putting an algorithm in place to capture human attention awareness. This data would help automakers develop better products to enhance cars with. Researchers tested one algorithm, AttenD, that has been used since 2009 to predict what drivers are doing up to 20 seconds before a crash occurs. It will be useful in developing and testing safer car dashboards.

Current divertissements in cars tend to distract, rather than aid the driver because they require attention to be diverted at inopportune moments. Improvements to instrument panel technology could include hard stops on car screens, which would prevent people from navigating through menus to pull up a play list when weather isn’t ideal and thus focus on the road. Another idea is for the screens to queue calls and texts, so notifications don’t come through when a vehicle is being operated, further reducing the likelihood of a driver being distracted.

It could take years for this technology to come into play, and in the meantime, car accidents from distracted driving are commonplace. Cell phone usage on the road has become rampant and a great deal of work needs to be done to find ways to reduce driver inattentiveness.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Understand Your Pain and Suffering

If you or a loved one has been in a car crash, a lifetime of debilitating injuries and financial suffering could ensue. At Chappell, Smith & Arden, we have been dedicated for over three decades with helping our clients recover faster with the compensation they deserve for their injuries. Call one of our experienced Columbia car accident lawyers today at 800-531-9780 or contact us online for a consultation. With six convenient office locations throughout South Carolina, you can rely on us to ensure justice is served.

CPAP Machine May Curb Drowsy Driving

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Fight for Victims of Drowsy Driving AccidentsNew research from the Cleveland Clinic shows that instances of drowsy driving can be reduced in sleep apnea sufferers who follow nighttime treatment guidelines. Sleep apnea affects up to 25 million American adults, meaning roughly one in five Americans has a mild case, and one in fifteen is affected with moderate to severe sleep apnea. This condition causes the upper airways to collapse frequently while sleeping, resulting in interrupted sleep. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has officially classified insufficient sleep as a public health epidemic. It follows that drowsy driving is recognized as an important public health risk.

Drowsy driving is very common in people with sleep apnea as a leading cause of fatality. Statistics from 2014 show that 6,400 traffic-related fatalities in the United States were caused by sleep deprivation, accounting for 21 percent of the total fatalities. Many think of drowsy driving as falling asleep at the wheel, but it only takes a second of inattention at high speeds to cause a catastrophic accident. Mild sleep apnea sufferers experience excessive daytime sleepiness, also. In Canada, physicians are required by law to notify the motor vehicle authorities if a patient is suffering from sleep apnea. In the U.S., only two states, Texas and California, have a similar regulation.

CPAP Treatment

The first line of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea sufferers is often a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. Patients wear it at night to prevent sleep apnea as it provides increased air pressure in the throat. Cleveland Clinic researchers saw a significant improvement in reported car accidents and near-miss accidents when patients used the CPAP machine.

The results of the Cleveland study were presented at the American Academy of Sleep Medicine in Boston, Massachusetts. Questionnaires from almost 2,000 obstructive sleep apnea sufferers were analyzed, focusing on incidents of drowsy driving before and after CPAP machine use. Dr. Harneet Walia was the lead author of the study stating, “There was a significant reduction in the drowsy driving episodes and this reduction was more pronounced in patients who were CPAP adherent.” Those who used the machine regularly in compliance with the treatment guidelines had the greatest improvement.

According to Dr. Walia, obstructive sleep apnea should be treated by a medical professional because it not only affects driving behavior, but can result in cardiovascular conditions as well. Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, pauses in breathing while sleeping, and daytime exhaustion. An overnight sleep study is effective at diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Fight for Victims of Drowsy Driving Accidents

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident caused by drowsy driving, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. Call Chappell, Smith & Arden for an appointment with an experienced Columbia car accident lawyer who will review your case for free. Our committed team of attorneys will make sure you receive all available financial compensation and medical treatment. Call 800-531-9780 today or contact us online. We have six convenient locations serving residents throughout the state of South Carolina.

 

Workers and Lead Exposure

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Fight for Workers Suffering from Lead Exposure Lead is a naturally occurring metal found in the earth’s crust and in our water, soil, and air. Because of its durability and versatility, it has been used from as far back as 4000 B.C. to create tools, paints, and building supplies. Lead exposure over time, even in small amounts, is dangerous. It is especially important that workers who are exposed to lead on a regular basis are sufficiently protected on the job to prevent serious health problems.

How Lead Exposure Affects the Body

The World Health Organization classifies lead as one of the ten highly toxic substances that poses a major public health concern. Lead accumulates in the human body and is stored in the bones and teeth, and is distributed to the brain, liver, and other organs over time. There is no safe level of lead concentration and as exposure increases, so does the severity of symptoms.

Some of the signs of prolonged lead exposure in adults include headaches, fatigue, memory loss, high blood pressure, anemia, and other neurological and reproductive problems. Lead poisoning is extremely serious and is caused by breathing in or ingesting lead. Severe lead poisoning can cause coma, seizures, and result in fatality.

The Data on Lead Exposure

Workers in industries such as construction and manufacturing are at a greater risk for lead exposure because they often work with equipment and substances that contain lead. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that 1.6 million workers in the U.S. are potentially exposed to lead on the job. In California alone, the state Department of Health found that 6,000 workers tested between 2012 and 2014 had elevated levels of lead in their blood.

OSHA established an action plan for employers with workers exposed to lead above the permissible level. Many of these employers work in industries such as painting, demolition, plumbing, bridge work, and building renovation. OSHA’s action plan is designed to not only protect workers during their shifts, but to also prevent lead from getting on their body and clothing.

The action plan requires that employers test lead levels in the air; conduct regular blood tests for lead levels on workers; provide protective clothing and equipment;  and provide showers, hand-washing stations, and changing areas for workers to use after their shifts. Workers exposed to lead should never bring shoes, clothing, and equipment home from work. If they must for any reason, they should be kept in a sealed bag separate from other belongings and always washed separately. These measures not only protect workers, but also their family members at home as pregnant women and children are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead exposure. Employers should also install systems to control dust and fumes containing lead from circulating.

Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Fight for Workers Suffering from Lead Exposure 

Workers who have been injured in a workplace accident or from lead exposure may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. Workers’ Compensation benefits are designed to cover an ill or injured worker’s medical costs and lost income while they are unable to work. Our highly-experienced Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden will fight for you so that you can focus on your recovery. Call 800-531-9780 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout South Carolina at our Charleston, Aiken, Rock Hill, Florence, Sumter, and Columbia offices.

South Carolina Ranked Fifth Most Unsafe State

Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Represent Those Who Are InjuredThe National Safety Council’s report, “State of Safety: A State-by-State Report,” reveals that with over 146,000 fatalities each year, fatalities in the United States are at an all-time high. The NSC investigated state actions and policies pertaining to the reduction of risk for residents and has produced a report containing information gathered over the course of a year. In addition to being ranked the fifth most unsafe state overall, South Carolina received an F for workplace safety and home and community safety, and a D for road safety.

Through leadership, research, education, and advocacy, the NSC has been the leading safety advocate, preventing unintentional injuries for over 100 years. The most recent report sheds light on whether states are acting and implementing policies to support the NSC’s mission of reducing and eliminating preventable fatalities at work, in homes and communities, and on the road.

Preventable Deaths at Work

Over 40.6 million serious, preventable injuries occur each year, many of which happen in the workplace. In 2015, almost four and a half million work injuries and over four thousand work-related fatalities occurred in the United States. The NSC has partnered with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to develop the best practices and compliance tools that will promote workplace safety. The NSC offers workplace training, first aid training, defensive driver training, and an annual safety event to help prevent instances of work injury.

Preventable Deaths in Homes and Communities

Unexpected tragedies can happen at any time. The NSC urges people to be aware of potential hazards, especially those associated with recreational activities, and to take safety precautions. These are some of the most common causes of unintentional injury and fatalities in homes and communities:

  • Poisoning
  • Motor Vehicle Crashes
  • Falls
  • Choking and Suffocation
  • Drowning
  • Fires and Burns
  • Natural and Environmental Incidents

Preventable Deaths on the Road

According to the NSC, approximately 40,000 people suffered fatal injuries last year in motor vehicle crashes. Some of these people drive as part of their jobs and if these workers do not receive proper training and safety management, they are at an increased risk of suffering a work injury or being involved in a fatal car accident. The NSC reports that the three main causes of fatalities on the road are alcohol, speeding, and distracted driving.

How States Ranked in the Report

Not a single state had earned an A, and 26 states received either a D or an F for overall safety. South Carolina was given an overall grade of F, with 34 percent of workplace safety indicators, 15 percent of home and community safety indicators, and 40 percent of road safety indicators in place. The NSC advises that all states should be doing more to create an environment in which safe practices can thrive.

Columbia Personal Injury Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Represent Those Who Are Injured

If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a preventable accident due to another’s negligence, contact a knowledgeable Columbia personal injury lawyer at Chappell, Smith & Arden. Our lawyers have decades of experience successfully resolving various types of personal injury cases and we will vigorously advocate for your right to justice and compensation. Our offices are conveniently located in Columbia, Charleston, Rock Hill, Aiken, Florence, and Sumter, South Carolina. We represent clients throughout the state, including Columbia, Lexington County, Richland County, and Kershaw County. To schedule a consultation, contact us online or call us at 800-531-9780 or 803-929-3600.

Executive Order Halting Truck Speed Limiter Rule

The Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Advocate for Victims of Truck AccidentsIn 2015, 4,311 large trucks and buses caused or were involved in fatal crashes.

After several years of discussion, debates, and truck accident data analysis, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a speed limiter rule applicable to all new large trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds. The proposed speed limiter rule purports that it would decrease the number of fatal crashes involving vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds on U.S. roads that have speed limits of at least 55 mph.

The current administration halted the speed limiter rule, along with hundreds of other regulations, by way of executive order of the President. The executive order affects 43 proposed rules that are designed to improve safety, 10 of those rules focusing on highway safety. The executive order requires agencies to halt two existing rules for each rule implemented, due to unnecessary rules negatively affecting business, slowing down hiring, and impeding economic growth.

The New Rule

The speed limiter rule would require all new trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating more than 26,000 pounds to be equipped with speed limiting devices that set a maximum speed. Trucking companies operating commercial vehicles in interstate commerce would be required to maintain the speed limiting devices in their commercial vehicles at or below the designated speed. The government agencies advocate the speed limiter rule as a life-saving safety measure. In addition to saving lives, the speed limiter rule would save more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued in September 2016 and the public comment period ended, after an extension, on December 7, 2016. As the government agencies tasked highway safety, the NHTSA and FMCSA utilized countless resources and work hours to apply their trucking safety expertise in the speed limiter proposal and rule. The agencies received, considered, and responded to 2253 public comments on the speed limiter rule and the effect on trucking safety in the requisite analysis.

Governmental Intervention

Government agencies undertake the often years-long painstaking rulemaking process with great attention and due diligence, with an eye on reaching a compromise of various business, political, and personal interests of the American public. Rulemaking is an integral part of the democratic process, allowing the public, individuals, and companies alike, to weigh in on the measures that will affect their lives and businesses.

Almost 50 percent of the halted regulations were required, in part, by Congress. As part of our country’s system of government, agencies are required to adopt Congress-mandated rules. Now, due to the executive order, these agencies must eliminate expenditures by cutting other programs and regulations to be able to implement safety measures, including the speed limiter rule which was designed to lower the incidence of truck accidents. The speed limiter rule is one of the costliest pending transportation regulations, and it cannot be implemented until the Department of Transportation cuts existing rules resulting in billions of dollars in savings.

The American Trucking Association and Road Safe America petitioned the NHTSA in 2006 to require speed limiters to increase truck safety and reduce trucking accidents. Road Safe America was formed by the parents of Cullum Owings, who was fatally injured in 2002 when a speeding truck rear-ended his car, which was stopped in traffic. The driver was unable to stop partly due to excessive speed.

The Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Advocate for Victims of Truck Accidents

If you or a loved one has been involved in a wreck with a big-rig or commercial truck, our truck accident lawyers in Columbia are ready and prepared to help you. At Chappell, Smith & Arden, we can help you when a truck accident causes injuries, damage to your vehicle, lost wages, insurance disputes, or other issues. Contact us online or call our offices at 803-929-3600 to schedule a free consultation at one of our six convenient office locations.

 

 

 

Drowsy Driving as Dangerous as Drunk Driving

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving Car AccidentsMost people have heard about the dangers of drunk driving and distracted driving, but few are aware of drowsy driving. An American Automobile Association (AAA) study reveals that drowsy driving presents the same accident risk as drunk driving. Compared to drivers who sleep for seven hours a night, those who miss two to three hours of sleep quadruple their risk of getting in car accidents.

A Good Night’s Sleep is Essential

The amount of sleep a person requires for optimal functioning varies depending on several factors, including age. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that teenagers get eight to ten hours of sleep per night and adults get at least seven hours. The AAA’s Director for Traffic Safety, Advocacy, and Research notes that teenagers, older adults, and people who aren’t getting enough sleep are at the greatest risk of being involved in a drowsy driving car accident.

Drowsy Driving Facts and Statistics

The more sleep-deprived drivers are, the more likely drowsy driving wrecks are to occur. The AAA study found that drivers who get five to six hours of sleep are twice as likely to get in an accident, those who get four to five hours are more than four times as likely, and those who get less than four hours of sleep are almost 12 times more likely to be involved in a drowsy driving car accident. According to the National Sleep Foundation, not getting enough sleep slows reaction time, decreases alertness, and impairs judgment and vision; the same effects and level of impairment as alcohol intoxication. The driving performance of those who are sleep deprived is similar, and sometimes even worse, than those who are intoxicated.

Signs of Drowsy Driving

The National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll revealed that 60 percent of Americans have driven while sleep deprived. However, many people do not realize that they are engaging in drowsy driving or falsely believe that they can overcome their sleepiness. Signs of driver fatigue include difficulty focusing, heavy eyelids, yawning, drifting from your lane, feeling restless or irritable, and having difficulty remembering the last few miles driven.

Preventing Drowsy Driving Car Accidents

At least 100,000 police-reported car wrecks per year are the result of drowsy driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. To reduce your risk of being involved in a drowsy driving car accident, make sure to regularly get a good night’s sleep and, if possible, take a 15 to 20-minute nap before driving. If you feel sleepy, drink some coffee or stop and take a break. When driving long distances, take regular rest breaks and take turns driving if traveling with a companion.

Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Represent Victims of Drowsy Driving Car Accidents

Car accidents are a leading cause of injury and death in South Carolina. If you have been injured in a drowsy driving car accident, contact the Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden. We are here to help you get justice, maximize your financial recovery, and get your life back on track. Our experienced legal team works from offices in Columbia, Charleston, Rock Hill, Aiken, Florence, and Sumter, South Carolina. We also represent clients in counties throughout the state including Columbia, Lexington County, Richland County, and Kershaw County. Contact us online or call us at 803-929-3600 to schedule a free consultation.

Truck Drivers to Face More Sleep Apnea Rules

Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers discuss new Sleep Apnea RulesObstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a medical condition that causes disruption of breathing while sleeping. The upper airways collapse frequently, causing breathing to stop and start, often leaving the person fatigued and with excessive daytime drowsiness. If left untreated, OSA can lead to cardiac conditions. A study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health reports that truck drivers with untreated OSA have a preventable crash rate that is five times higher than truckers without OSA. Drowsy driving causes up to 20 percent of all large-truck crashes.

Opposition from Drivers

Certain trucking companies require drivers with a body mass index (BMI) of 35 or higher to be tested for sleep apnea. A driver who protested and provided a doctor’s note that stated that he didn’t need the test was fired when he refused to comply. The trucker in this case took his employer to court for wrongful termination, alleging his rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) had been violated, but ended up losing the case. He appealed the Eighth Circuit Court’s decision, but the U.S. Supreme Court had decided not to hear the case, meaning that screening for sleep apnea by trucking companies will continue and likely increase.

Some trucking companies not only screen for OSA, but monitor affected drivers to see if they are complying with treatment. The most common treatment for OSA is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, which keeps airways open during sleep by pumping air through a mask worn over the nose and mouth. The treatment must be used consistently to be effective. For this reason, trucking companies monitor usage of the CPAP machine to ensure drivers with sleep apnea are getting enough sleep, aiming for a 70 percent usage rate. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) says this practice violates federal privacy rules on medical records and personal health information.

OOIDA also disagrees with the practice of sleep apnea testing based on BMI. Additionally, the group denies any link between truck crashes and sleep apnea and states that federal collision data shows that only a small percentage of fatal crashes involving large trucks were due to fatigue.

Regulations for OSA

Currently there are no federal regulations for transportation workers regarding tracking and treating sleep apnea. However, two advisory committees to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have recommended sleep tests for drivers with a BMI of 35 or higher. Thus far, the FMCSA has not acted on the recommendations, as FMCSA regulations do not specifically address sleep apnea. However, the FMCSA regulations state that any medical condition likely to interfere with the ability to drive safely should be treated before the driver can be considered medically qualified to drive.

Columbia Truck Accident Lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden Fight for Victims Injured in Truck Accidents

If you or someone you love has been injured in a truck accident caused by drowsy driving or another form of negligence, we can help you. At Chappell, Smith & Arden, our experienced truck accident lawyers in Columbia will fight to make sure you receive the maximum compensation allowable in your case. Call us today at 800-531-9780 for a free consultation or contact us online. We have six convenient locations throughout South Carolina to serve you, including but not limited to residents of Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, and Summerville, South Carolina.

 

Helmets for Motorcyclists

Columbia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers discuss Helmets for MotorcyclistsStudies show that the number of motorcycle accidents with trauma cases have vastly increased since a helmet law in Michigan was repealed in 2012. The law made it mandatory for motorcyclists to wear helmets, however that is no longer the case. The repealed law allows riders to wear helmets at their own accord if they meet the requirements set in place, including obtaining proper insurance coverage, significant training and experience with riding a motorcycle, and if the rider is over the age of 21.

Researchers analyzed motorcycle injury data for three years before and after the helmet laws were changed. The data was gathered from 29 different Michigan hospitals and included reports on over 4,700 victims of motorcycle accidents. The studies showed that the number of trauma injuries more than doubled in accidents involving motorcyclists without helmets, from 20 to 44 percent. It also illustrated that riders who opted not to wear helmets were twice as likely to experience head trauma or a facial injury; a 28 percent increase in facial fractures and a 56 percent increase in soft tissue injuries. The reports also showed the rate of injuries increased from 25.5 percent while the mandatory helmet law was in place, to 37 percent with the appealed law.

Earlier studies show that wearing a helmet can prevent up to 40 percent of fatal injuries and 13 percent of nonfatal injuries. Facial injuries increased for riders not wearing helmets, including scrapes, bruises, cheekbone fractures, and facial cuts. Statistics show that one in three motorcyclists do not wear a helmet while riding, despite the safety risks. Investigators claim this number is higher in states without motorcycle helmet laws in place. Additional information from the study can be found in the June issue of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal. The lead author, Dr. Nicholas Adams, has been urging state legislators to reinstate mandatory helmet-wearing laws to prevent the number of trauma injuries from further increasing.

Columbia Motorcycle Accident Lawyers of Chappell, Smith & Arden Advocate for Victims of Motorcycle Accidents

At Chappell, Smith & Arden, we understand the pain and suffering that comes along with a serious accident. If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident, it is important to know your rights. Call Chappell, Smith & Arden today for a free consultation with one of our experienced lawyers at (800) 531-9780 or complete an online inquiry.

Our motorcycle accident lawyers can offer legal services to accident victims in Columbia, Alken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, and Summerville, South Carolina.

New Bill Makes Bars Liable for DUI Fatalities and Injuries

Columbia Personal Injury Lawyer Instrumental in Passing of New Bill Makes Bars Liable for DUI Fatalities and InjuriesA new bill in South Carolina went into effect on July 1, 2017 making bars and other businesses that serve alcohol after 5 pm liable for fatalities and personal injuries caused by drunk patrons. Under what is called the Dram Shop bill, businesses and individuals who serve alcohol would be required to carry a minimum of $1 million of liability insurance to cover victims who incur injuries, paralysis, or fatalities due to alcohol-related offenses.

Three years ago, a drunk driver hit a former Dillon, South Carolina police officer who now suffers from paralysis and a permanent traumatic brain injury due to the car wreck, which prompted the bill. Since the bar where the drunk driver was served did not carry proper liability insurance, the city of Dillon absorbed the cost of over one million dollars to pay for the officer’s medical expenses.

With the implementation of this new bill, which our attorney, W. Hugh McAngus, Jr., was instrumental in getting passed, victims of drunk driving car accidents perpetrated by drivers who were overserved at bars and other establishments that serve alcohol, will receive proper compensation for their injuries and mental trauma. Businesses who overserve alcohol to patrons who commit alcohol-related crimes will be held liable and accountable for contributing to accidents that do potentially irreparable harm to others.

If you have been injured by a reckless or drunk driver, the Columbia personal injury lawyers at Chappell, Smith & Arden will fight for you. Call us at 803-929-3600 or 800-531-9780 or contact us online. With offices located in 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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