2011 June Archive

Omaha Drunk Driving Accident Kills Doctor, Injures his Two Sons

By Cullan & Cullan on June 30, 2011 - Comments off

A 28-year-old man pleaded guilty to felony motor vehicle homicide and a felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol, causing serious bodily injury, according to an article in The Omaha World-Herald.
The man was driving west on Harrison Street in Omaha when he hit a curb, jumped the median and struck the car of a doctor who was taking his two sons to school. The doctor died at the scene while the children required hospitalization, but recovered.

The driver responsible for the collision had a blood alcohol content of .30, which is almost four times the legal limit of .08. The man told his lawyer that he had been drinking the night before the accident but had gone to bed before 2 a.m.

The man faces up to 25 years in prison. The widow of the doctor says that she and her children have chosen to “move forward and find that healing…We love and miss [him]. We talk of him daily.” Read the rest »

Staying Safe from Fireworks Injuries on the Fourth of July

By Cullan & Cullan on June 28, 2011 - Comments off

For many families, the Fourth of July is a festive time of food, fun and fireworks. Some people may choose to enjoy fireworks by attending a professional show. Others choose to purchase fireworks to set off at home. However, those who set off fireworks themselves should be aware of the fireworks safety tips provided by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

  • Be sure fireworks are legal in your area before purchasing or using them.
  • Never allow young children to ignite or play with fireworks. Monitor children carefully around fireworks.
  • Don’t throw or point fireworks at another person.
  • Light fireworks one at a time and move back quickly after lighting the fuse. Never try to re-light or pick up a firework that didn’t go off.
  • Keep a hose or bucket of water handy in case of emergency. Always douse fireworks after you are done to make sure they are completely out before throwing them away. Read the rest »

Top Safety Marks from IIHS for F-150 and Tundra Pickup Trucks

By Cullan & Cullan on June 23, 2011 - Comments off

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently released new safety ratings for some of the most popular large pickup trucks on the road. The new evaluation rates roof strength and measures how safe riders would be in the event of a rollover crash. The test was applied to the crew cab models of the Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra, Nissan Titan, Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra and Dodge Ram.

The test measures the strength of the truck’s roof by pushing a metal plate against one corner of the roof at a constant speed. Analysts are looking to see how much force the roof can withstand before collapsing 5 inches. That force is compared to the truck’s weight to find the strength-to-weight ratio. This ratio tells analysts how well the structure of the truck will hold up, and therefore protect passengers, during a rollover crash. Read the rest »

Don’t Forget Important Documents When Evacuating Flood Areas

By Cullan & Cullan on June 20, 2011 - Comments off

As the waters of the Missouri and Platte rivers continue to rise, many residents in eastern Nebraska have had to leave their homes due to flooding. The state Department of Health and Human Services wants to remind Nebraskans to take their important legal documents with them when they evacuate. This includes driver’s licenses, passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, Social Security cards, wills and insurance policies. These types of documents are difficult to replace and may be needed in the aftermath of the flood.

State officials are also asking residents to contact the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to report information about damages and losses. The information will be used to decide whether certain areas qualify for federal assistance. Residents who have evacuated their homes, have suffered damages to a business and those whose jobs have been affected by the flood should call NEMA at 855-211-2453 or 855-211-2454. Read the rest »

“Teens and Trucks” Campaign Teaches Youth About Semi-Truck Safety

By Cullan & Cullan on June 17, 2011 - Comments off

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), almost 4,000 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 were killed nationwide in crashes involving big trucks between 2005 and 2009. In response to these worrying statistics and an ongoing need for awareness, three organizations have teamed up to educate teens about safe driving around semi-trucks. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) as well as the National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS) have launched a campaign called “Teens and Trucks”.

The campaign aims to teach youth about the hazards of driving in the large blind spots of semi-trucks, dubbed “No Zones” by the program, where the driver of the truck is unable to see a passenger vehicle. To emphasize the point, teens participating in the program were able to sit in the driver’s seat of a semi while fellow students stood in the “No Zones”. Program organizers hope that by giving them a chance to see what truck drivers can and cannot see, students will make safer choices on the road. Read the rest »

IIHS Petitions Government for Safer Big Rig Underride Guard Standard

By Cullan & Cullan on June 15, 2011 - Comments off

Crashes between passenger vehicles and large trucks, such as big rigs, are serious, especially when a truck has an underride guard that is not designed to the safest degree possible. Truck underride guard accidents occur when the front end of a car slides under the rear of the semi-trailer, crushing the upper part of the passenger compartment. In a recent study of large truck crashes, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that 78 percent of crashes involving a passenger vehicle striking the back of a semi-trailer also involved an underride guard. In 82 percent of the accidents where a fatality occurred in the passenger vehicle, there was severe or catastrophic underride damage. Decapitation is a serious threat in underride big rig accidents.

The main preventatives of injuries caused by underrides are rear guards on the semi-trailers meant to keep the smaller vehicle from sliding under the truck. However, the IIHS is finding that the standards in place for rear guards are not strict enough. There are gaps in the current regulations that allow many large trucks to go without guards entirely, while guards that are in place on other trucks may not be strong enough to work properly. Read the rest »

Two Bills in Congress Debate Truck Size and Weight Limitations

By Cullan & Cullan on June 14, 2011 - Comments off

Tulsa World reports that two bills are currently being debated in Congress that relate to limits placed on truck size and weight, and would have a significant impact on motorist safety.

The Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation Act (SHIPA), seeks to maintain the current limits placed on truck weight and seize (up to 80,000 pounds and up to 53 feet) and enlarge the current ban on triple-trailers from the Interstate Highway System (IHS) to the 160,000 mile National Highway System (NHS). Most weight and size restrictions already apply to the 44,000 mile IHS, but the bill would get rid of ambiguities that permit overweight trucks and would also implement an enforcement program to guarantee compliance.

Its competition is the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA), which seeks to allow states to permit larger and heavier trucks up to 97,000 pounds on interstates within state borders. The higher weight limit would only apply to big rigs that have six axles instead of five. Read the rest »

Car Collides with Semi-Truck in Fatal Highway 81 Crash in Norfolk

By Cullan & Cullan on June 10, 2011 - Comments off

At approximately 4:30 a.m. on June 8th, two young men were tragically killed in a crash with a semi-tractor trailer on Highway 81 in Norfolk, Nebraska. According to The Norfolk Daily News, the driver of the 1992 Honda Accord was a 21 year old from Norfolk, who may or may not have been wearing his seatbelt. The passenger was a 15 year old from Meadow Grove and while he was wearing his seatbelt, the accident proved to be fatal.

According to the police investigation, the truck was headed south on Highway 81 when the westbound car struck it in the driver’s side. The driver of the truck, a 43 year old from Racine, Wisconsin, was transported to the local hospital for treatment of his injuries. The truck was owned by a trucking company from Des Moines, Iowa. The semi-tractor trailer accident in Nebraska also knocked out power to the area for several hours. Read the rest »

Two Injured After Semi-Trailer Truck’s Wheels Come Off, Crash into Vehicle on Interstate 80

By Cullan & Cullan on June 8, 2011 - Comments off

The Omaha World-Herald reports that two people were injured after two wheels from a semi-trailer truck came off the truck and struck their vehicle on Interstate 80 close to the Gretna/U.S. Highway 6 exit in Nebraska.

According to the article, the two injured victims were traveling east in a 1998 Honda Civic when two wheels from a semi-trailer truck came off, crossed the highway’s median, and struck their vehicle head-on at about 5:15 a.m. The accident damaged the front end of the Civic and shattered the vehicle’s windshield. The driver and his passenger, both from Nebraska and aged 44 and 43, respectively, were taken to the Nebraska Medical Center with injuries that were reported to be nonlife-threatening.

The 65-year-old truck driver from Idaho was not injured in the collision. According to authorities, the truck driver did not realize what had occurred and continued driving west. About an hour after the accident, the driver was found at a truck stop close to the 48th Street exit on Interstate 80 in Lincoln, Nebraska. An inspection was conducted and authorities discovered that two wheels were missing from the fourth axle of the semi-trailer truck. The truck was taken out of service for repairs. Read the rest »

“Octomom” Doctor Loses License

By Cullan & Cullan on June 6, 2011 - Comments off

In January 2009 Nadya Suleman made national news by giving birth to only the second full set of live octuplets born in the United States. She conceived the octuplets through in vitro fertilization (IVF). As time went on, the controversy about Ms. Suleman grew as it was revealed that she was already mother to six children and was unemployed and dependent on government assistance at the time. Attention soon turned to the doctor who helped Suleman become pregnant with the octuplets (as well as her six previous children).

The California state medical board began an investigation on Suleman’s doctor, Dr. Michael Kamrava. The investigation found that the doctor implanted Suleman with 12 embryos; about ten more than is typical for a woman of her age and health. The board called this action an “extreme” departure from the standard of care. The board also stated that Kamrava “did not exercise sound judgment, committed gross negligence, repeated negligent acts, and [showed] incompetence.” He is being cited for the Suleman case as well as two other cases involving fertility treatments. As a result of all this, the state medical board has revoked his medical license.

As patients, we rely on our physicians to make the best decisions about our care. Especially at such a sensitive time as conceiving a child, doctors must use excellent judgment as to what is best for the patient. Unfortunately, as is evidenced in this case, doctors do not always fulfill their duties. If you have been the victim of medical negligence, the medical malpractice Omaha lawyers at Cullan & Cullan can help you. We have experience in both the legal and medical fields, giving us the edge our clients need in their medical malpractice cases. Call Cullan & Cullan today at 1-402-397-7600 to see how our knowledgeable team can help you.