Archive for December, 2010

Drunk Driving During the Holiday Season Continues to Claim Lives Kansas

Friday, December 31st, 2010

Despite stricter laws, tougher enforcement and extensive public education campaigns, drunk drivers continue to be a leading cause of auto accidents especially during the holiday season. Driving while under the influence of alcohol remains one of the greatest risks to the safety of drivers. Drunk driving claims the lives of approximately 12,000 accident victims annually. Alcohol related fatalities constitute almost one-third of all motor vehicle accident fatalities. A person is killed in the U.S. by a drunk driver every 45 minutes. Over 1.4 million drivers are arrested for DUI annually which though a staggering number amounts to less than one percent of the 159 million self-reported cases of alcohol-impaired driving annually.

During the holiday season, the number of serious auto accidents spike as people drive home after drinking at Christmas and New Years Eve parties. A study showed that the number of fatality accidents in the U.S. rises from 36 per day to 54 per day during the New Years holiday. At Cummings  and Cummings, L.L.C., we have been representing the victims of drunk drivers for over 20 years. We know the pain and anguish that accompanies such a tragedy and our team of caring attorneys will work closely with your family to help you deal with the tragedy and seek just compensation.

The most tragic aspect of drunk driving accidents is that they are easily prevented. The attorneys at Cummings & Cummings, L.L.C. aggressively pursue claims against drunk drivers responsible for car crashes involving serious injuries and fatalities. In Kansas, a driver can be charged with a DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) if the person operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (B.A.C.) of .08 or more. If a chemical test at the time of a car accident establishes a driver’s blood alcohol level was over the legal limit, the finding alone is often sufficient to establish liability. Tennessee drunk driving accident law not only provides for compensatory damages for your injuries and pain and suffering but also permits recovery of punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish and discourage drunk drivers from engaging in the dangerous practice of getting behind the wheel of their car while intoxicated.

Social hosts or businesses that serve alcohol to a drunk driver may also be legally responsible for damages caused by alcohol related auto accidents. This is especially true where alcohol was sold to an underage person or to a person who was visibly intoxicated at the time of sale. Kansas law permits drunk driving accident lawyers to file suit against all responsible parties who contribute to drunk driving collisions. A business that is hosting a New Years Eve Party and serves a person who is obviously intoxicated may be liable for serious injuries caused by the drunk driver.

Many people attend New Years Eve parties without planning for a safe way home or arranging for a designated driver. Consuming any amount of alcohol will impair your judgment and affect your ability to drive a car, truck or SUV safely. Alcohol negatively adversely impacts one’s driving in a variety of ways:

• Reaction time for braking and maneuvering to avoid obstacles is slowed considerably

• Alcohol can cause double vision or blurred vision

• Judgment and decisionmaking are negatively affected

• Drivers who have been drinking have a greater tendency to fall asleep at the wheel

If you plan to attend a New Years Eve celebration where you may consume alcohol, you should arrange for a taxi, designated driver or some alternative mode of transportation. A drunk driving accident affects not only those involved in the accident but their families. A tragic car collision resulting in catastrophic injuries and fatalities is not the way to ring in the New Year.

In personal injury cases, we work hard to get our clients the maximum amount of compensation possible.  Our clients can rely on the three decades of courtroom skill and experience we have to offer them. For a free consultation with one of our experienced Kansas auto accident lawyers, stop in and see us at our conveniently located downtown Wichita law office or contact us directly right now.

Cummings & Cummings, L.L.C.

129 East 2nd Street
Wichita, KS 67202
Phone: (316) 264-1548
Fax: (316) 264-4704

Kansas Aviation Accidents and Hiring a Kansas Aviation Accident Lawyer

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) predicts that the volume of air travel will double during the next 20-year period which means that the risk of being involved in an aircraft accident will also increase. Aviation accidents involving both commercial and private aircraft almost always result in catastrophic injury or death yet is highly complex to litigate. Aircraft accidents are extraordinarily complicated because they may involve federal and state regulations, industry standards, and technical aspects of aviation. The complexity involved in handling an aircraft accident requires experienced Kansas aviation accident lawyers like those at Cummings & Cummings, LLC. The attorneys at Cummings & Cummings, LLC understand that importance of familiarity with such issues as federal, state and maybe even international law, federal rules and regulations, product liability law (law related to defective products/components), questions of venue, and aviation engineering.

Two separate federal agencies share primary responsibility for regulation of air travel and investigate all aircraft accidents specifically the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The FAA establishes safety rules and regulations covering pilot conduct, flight operations, aircraft manufacturers, and aircraft maintenance. When an airline accident occurs, the NTSB investigates the aviation accident and promulgates safety standards directed at reducing the risk of future airline accidents. Liability may be based on failure to comply with industry standards related to the operation of the aircraft, engineering or regulatory standards.

The causes of aviation accidents are fairly diverse including pilot error, poor weather conditions, engine failure, maintenance issues, and collisions. Aviation accidents may involve multiple causes, and there are frequently multiple potential responsible parties including but not limited to the pilot, airline maintenance staff, and the manufacturers of the aircraft or component parts, the airline or aircraft owner and even the government. The attorneys at Cummings & Cummings, LLC will carefully investigate the circumstances of any aircraft accident and analyze all potential responsible parties.

While the responsible party and cause of every aviation accidents may be diverse based on the unique circumstances of the accident the most common legal theories are based on negligence or product liability or in some cases a combination of both. The prevalence of federal regulations means that the failure to comply with these rules and regulations may often form the basis of liability. Negligence is a legal theory based on failure to act as a reasonable person under similar circumstances to protect others from a foreseeable risk of harm. Aircraft pilots, maintenance personnel and commercial airlines are often liable under a negligence theory of liability.

The aircraft manufacturer or a manufacturer or supplier of a component part or system on the aircraft may be liable under a product liability theory where a product defect contributes to an aviation accident. Where product liability law is applied, the manufacturer or supplier may be liable for a defective product that contributes to the aircraft accident based on a strict liability theory. This means that negligence need not be proven rather the manufacturer or supplier is liable if the defective product contributed to the aviation accident. A commercial airline is also often held to a higher standard of liability as a “common carrier” which holds itself out as willing to carry any members of the public who purchase an airline ticket.

At Cummings & Cummings, LLC, we have the resources and experience to handle the complexity and sophistication involved in aviation accident litigation. Our knowledgeable attorneys work closely with aviation experts to determine the precise cause of an aircraft accident and the appropriate responsible parties. Cummings & Cummings, LLC will work hard to see that you or your family are aggressively represented against large airlines corporations and their insurance companies.