Category - Wrongful Death

Make the Streets Safer

A large part of defensive driving is being prepared for the unexpected. Defensive driving has been shown to reduce the number of traffic incidents.

The road can be a dangerous place. You cannot control the actions of other drivers. You need to depend on your own actions while driving.

One of the best defensive driving tips is to just pay attention. People who drive while distracted don’t see important things happening in front of them. And, then it’s too late.

You could ram into the vehicle in front of you if you look away from the road and don’t notice traffic slowing down.

Image of a female driver, with a tree in the front grill of her vehicle.

To avoid dangerous accidents while driving:

• Put your smartphone up while you are driving.
• If you are feeling tired, pull over and take a nap.
• Don’t daydream or apply makeup while driving.

 

People often get into accidents without realizing that danger was there until after the crash  has happened. This is especially common when the other car pulls out in front of you. You’ll need to respond quickly or you’ll get hit.

 

You’ve not been paying enough attention to the road if you feel like a car appeared out of nowhere!

 

One way to prevent this from happening is to scan intersections and your mirrors. If you constantly scan the around you, you might be able to avoid accidents.

Too many fender benders happen simply because someone is driving too close to the car in front of them. Don’t tailgate!

 

If you need to stop suddenly, you could end up rear-ending them if they have to stop suddenly. Try to keep at least two car lengths between your car and the car in front of you. If you’re driving in bad weather, leave even more space because it takes longer to stop in slippery conditions. Brake early and often. Don’t wait until the last second to stop.

 

If you see a car swerving on the road – what might happen next?

 

Whether you see a drunk driver or loose materials in an open truck, do your best to get out of their way and avoid that dangerous situation.

You could turn leave the freeway or move into a lane that gives you enough room to pass safely. You might want to report the situation to the highway patrol – after you turn onto a different road.

 

Your goal as a defensive driver, is to spot traffic risks and hazards and predict what could happen if you don’t take immediate action.

 

Image of a semi-truck that jumped the guardrail.

 

Make the streets safer, by being a Defensive Driver. Not everyone will follow the rules. If you have a traffic accident – call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit to get you out of a jam.



We Will Fight For You!


Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

 

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A car lands vertically into a snowbank on Interstate 93 during a snow storm north of Salem, New Hampshire.

Credit: https://www.theguardian.com/weather/gallery/2011/feb/02/winter-storms-us-in-pictures#img-5

Yeah, we hit the big one this time! I’m talking at least eight inches of snow in West Texas this past week. Schools were closed and so were many businesses.  Even businesses that wanted to remain open – struggled for lack of employees that were willing to risk driving in the snow.

 

Driving is treacherous in West Texas – even on sunny days. When you add all that snow and drivers that don’t know how to drive in harsh conditions – that makes it all the more dangerous.

 

I lived in one of the Northern states for more than thirty years.  Eight inches of snow is not that big of a deal there.

First off, the state and county Departments of Transportation send out powerful snowblowers to clear the snow that accumulates. Then, they distribute sand – mixed with salt to make the roads less slippery.

It helps quite a bit.  A study made in 1992, found that putting salt on the roads can reduce car accidents by 87 percent both during and after a snowstorm.

 

Second of all, people are used to driving in the snow for six months of the year.  Slow and steady will get you there safely.  We avoid braking as much as possible.  And, we pump the brakes slowly – if we do have to stop.  We keep an eye out for any possible actions that we might need to brake for.

 

I’ve landed in the ditch a few times because I’ve slammed on my brakes.  Unless one is an adrenaline junkie, that is not a good feeling.  Ugh. Teens need to be specifically taught how to drive in the snow. Teen boys think it’s fun to go fast and then slam on the brakes to see what will happen.  Nothing good comes of that experience.

 

Third, if one does start to skid on the slippery road, turn in the direction of the skid.  This is actually difficult to do.  We have a natural tendency to want to turn in the opposite direction.  You wouldn’t want to turn sharply, as that will make things worse. I can cover that in my next newsletter.

 

Final Point:
The Department of Transportation had closed some of the roads for this snowfall. It’s against the law to drive around the barricades.

I knew that it was a bad idea, but I didn’t realize that it’s also a Class B misdemeanor. This is the same as a DWI. If caught, you might be arrested, have your car impounded, or spend up to 180 days in jail and/or be fined up to $2000. You could also be charged for the cost of your rescue.

The powers-that-be only close the roads when they are not safe for driving. Don’t be foolish and think that you are “special” and will avoid a disaster.  You won’t.

 

This was the most snowfall that Odessa and Midland has seen in the last five years.  If you were injured because someone accidentally rammed into you – you should call our office for advice.

 


We Will Fight For You!


Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

Should the Kobe Bryant Family Sue for Wrongful Death?

Picture of Kobe Bryant, his wife and four daughters.

Credit: https://www.kptv.com/

On Sunday, Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were traveling by helicopter to a basketball game, when it crashed in Calabasas, California. The group were going to a youth basketball game at Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks, CA.

 

It’s been confirmed that the other victims were Bryant’s daughter, Gianna Bryant, Sarah Chester, her daughter, Payton, John Altobelli, Kerri Altobelli, their daughter, Alyssa Altobelli, and Christina Mauser, who was an assistant girls’ basketball coach for a private school. The pilot, Ara Zobayan, also passed away.

 

So many people are devastated by this terrible loss of lives.  Kobe was a true hero to many people. He was such an inspiration! We mourn those poor souls and send our condolences to their families.

 

We might want to analyze why and how this happened:

  • The helicopter was not equipped with a Terrain Awareness Warning System. This could have alerted the pilot that he was flying too close to the mountain.
  • There was crash of the Sikorsky S-76 in Galveston, Texas, in 2004, that killed 10 people. This crash prompted the FAA to recommend to “all existing and new U.S. registered turbine-powered roto-craft certified for six or more passenger seats be equipped with a Terrain Awareness Warning System.” However, this FAA regulation was not mandated.
  • It was densely foggy out. During the flight, the pilot radioed the air traffic tower at Burbank Airport, to request permission to fly under special visual flight rules.
  • Some experts raised questions as to whether the helicopter should have even been flying. Weather conditions on Sunday morning caused the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to ground its fleet of choppers.
  • It was ruled to be a high-impact crash. The helicopter hit the mountain at about 1,085 feet. They know this because someone in the surrounding neighborhood turned in an audio of the helicopter, as it made a rapid descent and crashed into the mountainside.
  • There was no “black box” in the helicopter and the investigation could be hindered by that.
  • Part of the investigation will be evaluating the pilot’s judgment about flying in foggy conditions.
  • The pilot asked for air traffic controllers to provide “flight following” assistance, but was told the craft was too low.
  • In his final message, the pilot told air traffic controllers that he was climbing to avoid a layer of cloud. The last radar contact was about 9:45 am.
  • Aviation experts say the accident might have been caused by the pilot becoming disoriented in the fog.
  • A crash doesn’t just happen. There has to be a cause.

 

Investigations are ongoing. Those are the facts that they’ll need to analyze.

 

Will the families of the Kobe Bryant plane crash sue for Wrongful Death?  We shall see.  Are they eligible to file a claim?  If one of them were a member of my family – I would file a claim in their memory.

 

Other attorneys are watching this case, too.  Click here for more information.

 

If you or a family member need more information regarding personal injury claims – Call the Law Office of Gerald Fugit at 432-301-9252.

Picture of Kobe Bryant, his wife and four daughters.