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A jury will decide the wrongful death of a man who was crushed between a truck and rail tanker car. The man was sitting in his car outside his employer’s facility when a trucker backed into him. The force of the impact slammed the vehicle backwards into a tanker car, and was ultimately “sandwiched” between the truck and the tanker. The deceased family is seeking compensation for their loss, pain and suffering, and funeral expenses. They allege the trucker driver was being inattentive and driving at excessive speed. The defendant claims he is not at fault, but rather the incident was the result of poor parking lot design and maintenance.

This does not seem to be another case of a stuck acceleration pedal. So, is it simply the case of the pedal misapplication – when the driver presses the accelerator when intending to brake? Was the driver trying to switch from the accelerator to the brake, but his foot stuck in-between the two as he was backing up?

There are many dangers lurking on our roadways besides distractive drivers. The design of a road, or in this case, a parking lot can contribute to accidents if the design makes it difficult to see another vehicle or presents obstacles for the driver. The alignment of a road, the degree to which it is sloped, and the nature and condition of the surface material, can all contribute to road safety/accidents. Road debris, potholes or other wear and tear, and inclement road conditions can also cause have an impact. Although this accident took place in November, there was not mention of inclement weather being a factor.

Even if road conditions are not the sole cause of the accident, the conditions can cause crash injuries to be more severe. Poor road conditions greatly elevate the severity of an injury. Drivers can never avoid all road hazards, such as potholes but safe driving techniques may help avoid a few. It all should begin before hitting the roads. Safe driving starts before the car starts. It is as simple as this:

· Secure loose objects

· Turn off cell phone

· Allow enough time to avoid speeding and aggressive driving

· Read fuel/fluid levels

· Tire pressure

· Use safety belts

· Properly adjust mirrors

Here is some advice to drivers especially during the winter season when roads tend to be more dangerous because repair work stops and wintry conditions are inevitable.

· adjust your driving to the conditions

· reduce your speed

· watch for sudden movement and changes from other vehicles

  • be alert for other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, and cars darting in and out of parking spaces

These reminders could be the difference between safety and disaster. You decide!

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide legal finance cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by plaintiffs involved in pending, personal injury litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association as well as their ABA Advisory Committee, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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