Why you should give commercial drivers more room

We all know that delivery services have gone up during 2020 for two big reasons: stay-at-home orders and people just generally buying into the convenience of shopping online. It’s common sense that there would be more truck drivers on the highways and residential streets. But with more of these large commercial vehicles using the roadways, what has that done to vehicle crashes?

In March 2020, a report from the National Safety Council stated that fatal crashes have gone up nationally 14%, and crash fatalities are up 17% in New York. This is surprising when the average consumer is likely driving less because of stay-at-home orders, working from home, unemployment and furloughs, and numerous delivery options.

Some accidents in the news

In addition to the fatal crashes, many accidents involving commercial trucks are resulting in serious injuries and fatalities, such as these recent incidents:

Commercial drivers include not only long-haul truckers such as semis and tractor-trailers, but food delivery services are also on the road now more than ever such as Grub Hub, Uber Eats, Door Dash, Bite Squad, not to mention every delivery pizza chain. Good delivery services such as FedEx, UPS and DHL are now commonly seen driving down residential streets. The Amazon smile painted on the side of trucks whizzes by. All of these increased commercial vehicles on the road add up to more severe accidents and more need for drivers to be cautious. The increased use of commercial vehicles during this time has added to the severity of crashes for several reasons.

Why you might be in danger

Understanding what it’s like to be in the shoes of a large vehicle driver may help you to know why you need to yield to them whenever possible. Three main conditions may cause you to be in danger when these delivery vehicles and other large vehicles are near:

Poor visibility – You may have heard this before, but it bears repeating. If you can’t see the driver’s mirrors, they can’t see you.

Driver can’t feel collision – In a semi-truck or even down to the size of a pickup truck, the driver may bump or scrape your car and not even feel it.

Time pressure and deadlines – Delivery services are in high demand and this leads to pressure to deliver more items in less time. This pressure can lead to speeding and less care for safety, which puts you on the risk while sharing the road.

Increased delivery windows – The United States Post Office delivers packages and mail sometimes on Sundays while in the past the service would be closed that day. Other delivery services have followed suit such as in the collision referenced above where the pedestrian was struck after 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday night.

All these factors point to people needing to be more careful – for their own safety – when driving and being near commercial vehicles. If you were injured in an accident with a commercial vehicle, seek legal advice. The claims process may be complicated by the commercial nature of the vehicle and the driver’s personal insurance policy. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help ensure your injury claim includes all possible avenues for seeking compensation.

Campbell & Associates named in most notable verdicts

We are proud to announce that the ­New York Law Journal has recognized two of the verdicts we achieved in 2019 as among the most notable in the entire state:

Gumas vs Niagara Frontier Transportation Agency, a jury verdict in Erie County Supreme Court (Buffalo) in a case involving injuries to a bus passenger was named as the #1 Highest Verdict in a Transportation case in the state.

Maggio vs Kahle,  a jury verdict in Chautauqua County Supreme Court (Mayville) was named as the 15th Highest Verdict in a motor vehicle crash case in the state.

4 ways to advocate for a loved one in a nursing home

Not being able to see a loved one regularly when they are in a care facility can be stressful and worrisome. Knowing that many people are falling ill or dying from coronavirus and its complications only adds to this distress and worry about people you care about.

As of May 3, 2020, 15 states have passed laws in an effort to protect nursing homes from being held accountable during the pandemic. New York is one of those states. ABC7NY news reported 20,000 deaths nationwide in nursing homes since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The health and care decisions have become literally life and death for workers in these facilities, so the laws were enacted to make medical decisions easier for the workers. But what about the loved ones? How will you know if your loved one is receiving the care and attention they need during this time, especially when you can not see the resident in person? How will you know how they are doing? Even if you can’t see your loved one in a nursing home face-to-face, you can still stay involved in their care.

Staying involved from a distance

Here are some suggestions on how to stay involved, even in the most difficult circumstances.

  1. Be proactive – Don’t wait for the nurse or staff at the facility to reach out to you. Pick up the phone and call the front desk. They will be able to direct you to the best contacts to get your questions answered, including nurses, aides, dietitians, and administration. They should also be able to provide emails for these contacts so you can send a message, which also gives you answers in writing for ease of future reference.
  2. Be consistent – Set up regular chat meetings with your loved one such as weekly or monthly. Perhaps before the pandemic, you visited your loved one every Friday or every other Wednesday. Try to set up a similar schedule so you will have regular check-ins to see how mom, dad, grandma, grandpa or other family members are doing.
  3. Be a video-conferencing expert – Use technology to see your family member online if you are unable to be there in person. Many video conferencing technologies have become household names during 2020 such as Zoom, Facetime (for iPhone users), Google Duo (app for non-iPhone users), Google Chats and Skype.
  4. Be prepared with questions – Video visits with a loved one may be shorter than in person visits, so having a list of questions to ask your loved one and the staff at the facility can help you feel prepared and empowered. Here are some questions to ask:
    1. Are they eating meals?
    2. Are they getting enough liquids to stay hydrated?
    3. Are they talkative?
    4. Are they responsive?
    5. Are they up and out of bed for the day?
    6. Has anyone checked their feet lately?
    7. What are their vitals (blood pressure, temperature, oxygenation)?

Accountability should never be optional

If you’re think a loved one is being neglected or injured in a nursing home, there is help. Speak with an attorney well versed in representation of nursing home injury cases. Nursing homes should still be held accountable, even in the worst of times.