2011 August Archive

Common Causes of Wrongful Death

By Cullan & Cullan on August 26, 2011 - Comments off

The term “wrongful death” refers to the death of a person due to the inaction, malpractice, or negligence of another person. When a wrongful death occurs, the victim’s family has the right to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the person responsible. Although no amount of money can replace a loved one, a successful wrongful death claim can help a family find closure and may also prevent the responsible party from harming others with negligence or malpractice. Wrongful death cases have several common causes, including but not limited to the following examples.

Medical Malpractice

Physicians must provide an accepted standard of care for their patients. If a medical care provider fails to do so, causing the death of a patient, they can be held liable. Several types of medical malpractice can lead to wrongful deaths. Read the rest »

I-80 Rollover Crash Results in One Fatality

By Cullan & Cullan on August 24, 2011 - Comments off

An August 23 car accident on I-80 in Omaha resulted in the death of one woman and life-threatening injuries to another. The driver, a woman from Julesburg, was driving on I-80 approximately three miles west of Brule when her tire blew out. She lost control of the 1995 Ford Explorer and entered a ditch, which caused the vehicle to roll multiple times. The woman, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene of the Nebraska car accident.

Her daughter was also ejected from the vehicle. She was transported by helicopter to Denver’s Swedish Medical Center. A second passenger, a 30-year-old woman from Julesburg, sustained non-life threatening injuries. Neither passenger was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the rollover crash. Read the rest »

Nebraska State Patrol Officers Clock Motorcyclist at 158 MPH

By Cullan & Cullan on August 18, 2011 - Comments off

On August 13, a 20-year-old male motorcyclist led Nebraska State Patrol officers on a high-speed chase that lasted for 24 minutes and covered a total of 32 miles of Nebraska roadway. The Omaha World-Herald reports that police arrested the man for several traffic violations. Local residents complained about unsafe motorcyclists, prompting state patrol officers to watch for safety issues on Saturday night. The man separated from a pack of 20 motorcyclists at approximately 8:00 PM and was clocked riding at 158 miles per hour on West Dodge Road. Police also suspect that the man has a fake motorcycle license plate and an unregistered motorcycle.

Motorcyclists who do not follow basic safety regulations and adhere to driving laws put pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists at risk for serious injuries and fatalities. The same holds true for any motorist of any type of vehicle who fails to adhere to traffic laws. Driving at such a high rate of speed makes it difficult to negotiate turns and stop quickly in the event of an accident or traffic stoppage. When a negligent motorist causes a serious accident, a lawyer can help you recover the financial compensation you need to pay medical expenses and repair or replace your vehicle. Read the rest »

18-Wheeler Runs Over Car on I-80

By Cullan & Cullan on August 16, 2011 - Comments off

On August 7, an 18-wheeler drove over a passenger car, causing extensive damage, reports KETV. Fortunately, the driver of the smaller vehicle sustained only minor injuries. According to officers from the Nebraska State Patrol, it appears that the truck driver hit loose gravel when he veered onto the right shoulder of I-80 east of Greenwood. The driver overcorrected when trying to get the rig back on the road, causing him to drive over the barriers and run over the car. The Nebraska truck accident caused a traffic stoppage on while rescue crews responded to the scene.

Although the victim in this case sustained only a few scratches, many truck accident victims are not so lucky. Big rig accidents in Nebraska sometimes cause disabling brain injuries, paralysis, and death, leaving the families of accident victims with funeral expenses and overwhelming medical bills. Contacting an attorney should be one of the first things you do if you are involved in a truck accident. A skilled attorney will fight for your legal rights and work hard to win the compensation you deserve for your injuries and lost work time, in addition to other accident-related losses. Read the rest »

Effectiveness of Retroreflective Tape Depends on Lighting Conditions

By Cullan & Cullan on August 11, 2011 - Comments off

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) requires all heavy trailer manufacturers to equip their products with red and white retroreflective tape and reflectors at the rear and around the sides. These safety features are designed to make heavy trailers more visible to other drivers and reduce the risk of accidents.

Research by the NHTSA indicates the tape and reflectors work well in the dark. The tape warns other drivers about the presence of a heavy trailer by reflecting off the headlights of other vehicles. Because the tape has a distinctive red and white pattern, it also helps other drivers judge how far away they are from a trailer.

However, the tape and reflectors do not reduce the risk of accidents in all lighting conditions. In daylight, dark-lighted, dusk and dawn conditions, these safety features did not significantly reduce the number of crashes involving heavy trailers. Additionally, dirt on the retroreflective tape reduces its effectiveness. Read the rest »

Cullan & Cullan Client Wins $4 Million Colorectal Cancer Medical Malpractice Verdict

By Cullan & Cullan on August 9, 2011 - Comments off

In September 2007, a Douglas County jury handed down one of the largest medical malpractice awards in county history. The jury awarded $4 million to the family of a man who died from colorectal cancer after the man’s physician failed to remove a colon polyp originally discovered in 1991. The physician also failed to monitor the polyp properly, allowing it to grow into a cancer that went undiagnosed until 2001.

The man, who had a family history of colon cancer, wanted to be proactive by undergoing colon cancer screening in his forties. His physician identified the polyp in 1991 but decided to monitor it instead of removing it. After using a proctoscope – a lighted tube used to examine the anus, rectum and sigmoid colon – clinic personnel could not locate the polyp. The doctor believed the polyp had been evacuated from the patient’s body. In January 2001, physicians found a 2.5 cm rectal tumor that turned out to be malignant. The man died seven months later. Read the rest »

Safety Tips for Driving Near Big Rigs

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

Big rigs weigh thousands of pounds more than the average passenger vehicle and have limited maneuverability and visibility. In 2010, over 5,000 people died in crashes involving large trucks and commercial vehicles, up from 3,200 deaths in 2009. These accidents also resulted in more than 100,000 serious injuries. Taking several precautions when driving near big rigs and commercial vehicles could save drivers and their passengers from the pain of sustaining a life-threatening injury or the heartache of losing a loved one.

Maintain a safe speed when driving behind or near a big rig. Because of their size, these vehicles take more time to slow down and come to a complete stop. Leave enough distance in between your vehicle and the truck to prevent rear-end collisions.

Change lanes carefully. Big rigs have several blind spots, making it difficult for truck drivers to see people changing lanes. If you pass a large truck, do not change lanes again until you can see the entire truck in your rearview mirror. Read the rest »

Consumer Reports No Longer Recommends Honda Civic LX

By Cullan & Cullan on August 5, 2011 - Comments off

As of August 1, 2011, Consumer Reports cannot recommend the redesigned 2012 Honda Civic LX. Formerly a Consumer Reports Top Pick, the Civic now has a cheap interior and allows substantial road noise. However, of even greater concern are the safety issues identified during the rigorous testing process.

The 2012 Civic has long stopping distances, making it more difficult for drivers to stop behind drivers who brake suddenly or turn without using their turn signals. Body lean occurs early into a turn, increasing the risk of rollovers and other motor vehicle accidents. Because the steering wheel gives little feedback, drivers may not know how sharply they are turning, increasing the risk for crashes on curvy roads.

Despite its many built-in safety features, the 2012 Honda Civic LX coupe received lower safety scores than the Civic sedan. This vehicle only received a score of “acceptable” for side impact crash tests. During government testing, the Civic LX received only a two-star rating in side crash tests and an overall score of three stars (out of a possible score of five stars). Read the rest »