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If you are someone who loves adventure on the water, then boating can be a great sport for you. Boating involves many fun-filled activities because it allows you to navigate lakes, rivers, canals and even open oceans.
Boating activities are a great way to spend a weekend with friends and loved ones. However, the fun ends when you meet accidents along the way. Boating accidents can be a terrible tragedy. The sad thing is that, many people underestimate the eventuality of a boating accident. Many of these accidents catches the persons involved, unawares, even the one who caused it.
Boating accidents are usually because of negligence. Some happen as result of natural disasters. It can involve cruise ships, navy vessels and other maritime crafts. It can also happen to small crafts such as water runners or jet skis.
If we look into the U.S. Coastguard Boating Safety web site, the statistics they report about the occurrence of boating accidents can be sobering. Boating accidents may take place on navigable waters or non-navigable ones like lakes, canals or rivers.
What?s more, during the accidents, many are injured and a not-to-be ignored number are killed. Moreover, many properties are also damaged, like sea walls, docks, and other equipment for boating.
Have you or someone you know been a victim of an accident on board a boat? Then, you need someone who would understand your situation perfectly.
Whatever magnitude the type of boating accident and the injuries that happened involving you, or a loved one, a boating accident attorney can be a great help in evaluating the legal implications of your case, whether you are qualified to file a claim for damages or not.
A lawyer or attorney specializing in boating accidents is well versed with the admiralty and maritime laws that may apply especially if the accident occurs on open ocean. Likewise, they are also aware of the state laws that apply if the accident happened to be on non-navigable waters.
Boating accident lawyers can help fight for the financial compensation a victim is entitled to and can help protect the victim’s rights. If an accident resulted to death of the victim, then the victim?s family can file a wrongful death suit.
Boating accidents causes a chain reaction of family suffering, financial difficulties and loss of income. While the family is experiencing the pain of having a loved one injured or killed, there are the other worrying concerns like medical expenses, costs for treatments. Meanwhile, if the victim is the breadwinner of the family, then the financial crisis extends further. These concerns can be greatly helped if an experienced boating accident attorney would handle the case for you. You have to look for someone with the excellent knowledge in handling similar cases and an impressive professional background.
By hiring this kind of attorney, you can expect that your case will be evaluated expertly and all legal grounds can be covered for you to attain the amount of compensation you deserve.
Many boating accident attorneys can be contacted locally or online. Friends or co-workers who have similar experiences can also be asked for recommendations. If you know a lawyer who specializes in other legal issues, you can ask him or her if he knows an associate who have outstanding record in boating accident-related cases.
A fellow lawyer?s recommendation is as good a recommendation you can get. Meanwhile, there are also referral services online where they have a list or attorneys screened previously where you can find one that may match your requirements.
Wherever source you look for, make sure that you are hiring a proficient specialist on boating accident cases.
Once you find one, expect that he will guide you throughout the process until a successful outcome has been attained. He must also have all the tactics necessary to win your case as soon as possible. Anything less does not deserve you.
Lala C. Ballatan a.k.a Kay Zetkin discovered the pleasure of writing through her daily journals way back when she was 10. With writing, she felt freedom ? to express her viewpoints and assert it, to bring out all concerns — imagined and observed, to bear witness. For more information about our Boating Accident Attorneys log on to http://www.askaccidentlawyers.com.
Even if you failed to prevent yourself from getting involved in a car accident, you can still do well by having a legal specialist to safeguard your rights and fight for the recoveries/compensation for damages and injuries you are entitled to receive.
You need an attorney who will be both aggressive and compassionate enough to understand your needs and to help you face the challenges of filing for accident claims and demanding for compensation.
You also need someone who has qualified experience in handling court trial cases of car accidents.
Be sure to accomplish this as soon as you are well enough from the injuries you have suffered or as soon as you can have a family member or friend to do it for you:
1. Find proficient accident attorneys with expertise and substantial experience in handling cases involving car accidents. They are the ones who can likely unwind the complications and legal concerns arising from the accident.
They are also the ones who can help support your claim against the party/parties who have been clearly liable for the accident where you have been an innocent victim.
2. Having an aggressive car accident attorney with practical experience in handling other types of motor vehicle accidents is a very viable candidate to be your legal counsel.
As your case develops, you will be facing many types of adversaries. Be on guard since even your own car insurance company may attempt to shortchange the insurance amount you deserve.
Before finally hiring a lawyer though, remember the dos and don’ts regarding retaining the expert car accident attorney:
1. Do retain an attorney who is able to negotiate excellently with your insurance company representative and the other party’s or the defendant’s insurance company representative. An attorney must also have particular expertise in building your settlement and getting offers from the insurance companies. This is the tactic for you to receive just compensation.
2. Do not attempt to do the legal researching all on your own. Hire an accident attorney experienced in car accident caseloads.
3. Find an attorney who knows how to build up adequate rapport with the defendant’s lawyer. An attorney who is capable of establishing good communication with the opposing party’s legal counsel has the ability to ease the interactions and clarify issues concerning settlements.
4. Check out if the car accident attorney has license to the local California State Bar Association, as well as the Los Angeles City Bar Association. Make sure that you research his/her reputation in the legal community.
Our law firm’s highly experienced Los Angeles car accident attorney http://www.mesrianilaw.com/Automobile-Accident.html can be relied upon with regards to automobile accident cases in Los Angeles, California.
What should I do immediately following a car accident?Who is liable for paying for my physical injuries as well as any personal property damage?Who is responsible for an accident involving my vehicle and a city street pothole?Should I take the settlement my insurance company is offering me?What issues will I face in making a claim for my injuries sustained in an auto accident? What if I cannot afford to pay my medical bills?When will my personal injury claim be resolved?What is a permanent injury?I did not feel pain at the scene and refused medical treatment. Now, a few days later I am in pain. What should I do?
What should I do immediately following a car accident?
If you are not severely injured, collect all pertinent information from the other drivers – driver’s license numbers, address, telephone numbers, insurance card information, etc. Keep a daily journal beginning with the date of the accident to document all physical and mental injuries, as well as document your view of the accident. Notify the arriving North Carolina police officer of the events of the accident that you can recall.
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If I am partially responsible for an accident, can I still make a claim?
In a no-fault state, you and the other driver will collect from your own insurance companies. In a fault state, whether you can make a claim depends on whether the state applies contributory negligence or comparative negligence rules.
Under contributory negligence rules, you will not recover if you were partially at fault.
Under comparative negligence, you can recover a portion of your damages if you were partially at fault. For example, if you were 40% at fault, then you would recover 60% of your damages.
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Who is responsible for an accident involving my vehicle and a city street pothole?
Responsibility for damage caused by improper maintenance or repair of North Carolina’s roads and highways generally lies with the government agency responsible for the upkeep of such roadways. If it were a pothole on a city street, the city would be responsible, etc.
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Should I take the settlement my insurance company is offering me?
You should not take any settlements offered by an insurance company without first speaking with an experienced North Carolina auto accident lawyer. Insurance companies typically offer a minimal amount of money in return for your signature stating that you will not sue them. Never take an insurance check without first consulting an attorney.
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What issues will I face in making a claim for my injuries sustained in an auto accident?
The three categories of issues that typically arise in a tort claim after an automobile accident are:
Liability – who is at fault and to what degree
Damages – injuries or losses that were caused by the accident
Insurance Coverage – what the insurance company will pay for after an accident
A claim for injuries usually is based upon carelessness or negligence. In worse case scenarios, it involves an intentional or reckless act.
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What if I cannot afford to pay my medical bills?
If you suffer injuries from a car accident, you will likely have medical bills from physicians, hospitals, physical therapists, and other health care providers. Under North Carolina’s law, you are primarily responsible for paying your bills, regardless of the cause of your injuries. The at-fault person’s liability insurance carrier is responsible for paying you reasonable compensation for damages incurred, which includes medical bills, but the insurance carrier is not responsible for paying your doctors, hospitals, and other providers. Sometimes the amount the insurance company is willing to pay is far less than the actual amount you owe.
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When will my personal injury claim be resolved?
Personal injury claims can be resolved in a matter of a few weeks or months. However, they can take up to several years depending on the complexity of the case. It is best to speak with an experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney about your specific case.
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What is a permanent injury?
A permanent injury is an injury that will be with you for the rest of your life or for some period beyond the settlement of the claim. In most cases, the injured party is entitled to compensation from the at-fault party or their insurance company for all medical bills incurred to date and into the future for all injuries caused by the accident.
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I did not feel pain at the scene and refused medical treatment. Now, a few days later I am in pain. What should I do?
You should immediately consult your medical provider regarding any pain, discomfort or possible injuries from a car accident, even if you think they may be only minor injuries. Even if you did not complain of injuries at the scene of the car accident, you may be entitled to payment of your medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, loss of earnings capacity, and emotional distress due to personal injuries. You should consult an experienced North Carolina car accident attorney to discuss whether you need representation on your claim.
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Every day a new automobile gets added to the New York traffic and every day at least one New York auto accident attorney gets a call on a fresh car accident.
The busy life, heavy traffic, and congestion are enough reasons to cause small accidents but skipping traffic signals, driving under the influence of alcohol and negligence are causing fatal accidents that claim lives.
A New York auto accident attorney is a must in these scenarios. The auto accident attorney helps the victim in recovering claims and compensation.
Services Offered by Your New York Car Accident Attorney:
If you are considering a New York accident lawyer, you probably want to know what you can expect the lawyer to do for you. An accident lawyer NY, does the following
1. Files a law suit.
An attorney files a case against the defendant for the victim. The attorney will prepare you for the trial interrogations; he also helps you with the necessary paperwork.
2. Fights for compensation.
The New York car accident lawyer fights for your innocence and compensation for any injury and any property loss due to the accident. Though it looks very plain, proving a victims innocence or a defendants negligence in an accident is not an easy task.
If the negligence of the defendant is proved, only then will the victim get the fair compensation for his loss. But remember no defendant would confide his mistake easily; in fact, the defendant may come prepared to turn the game by disproving the charges against him or by counter claiming. An experienced New York lawyer may be necessary to win an auto accident case.
Following are the compensations which your auto accident attorney could claim for you:
Foremost the defendant is liable to pay the victim’s medical expenses.
Rehabilitation; any future medical expenses related to the injury caused by the accident.
Compensation for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
Car rentals for commotion till victim gets back his vehicle.
In case the victim is not able to work and he is facing a loss of income, then his salary should be compensated.
Even a victims spouse may be able to claim compensation if their quality of life has been affected due to the accident of their loved ones.
3. Insurance Claims
The good New York auto accident attorney helps the victim in recovering the maximum claims from the insurance company. At the least, he aims to get a reasonable amount or the amount the victim deserves.
The car accident lawyer helps the victim in submitting an appropriate claim to the insurance company.
The adjuster from the insurance company analyzes the insurance policy, the type of accident, and the damages. The claim adjuster might approach the defendant to get a better idea of the facts of the accident. He may also question the witnesses to draw a conclusion on the settlement amount.
A skillful attorney will help the victim through these, and will try for the reasonable settlement amount. Also the attorney will try to wrap up this process as fast as possible.
Accident Attorney NY
Always remember if you go through any car accident and you feel you deserve compensation, never make any delay in contacting a New York auto accident attorney.
The attorney will surely smooth out the process for you and will help you in getting the quickest possible compensation.
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Do you need a New York Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been the victim of an accident and have suffered pain or loss, you may well be asking yourself that very question.
Some people rush to call New York auto accident attorneys at the drop of a hat.
I guess that’s the “sue-happy” world we live in these days. America has become a very litigious society.
On the other hand, there are those individuals who wait far too long to get a lawyer involved in their situation.
It’s really great if you can work with your insurance company to get a fair and just settlement for an accident or injury you’ve experienced as the result of a collision.
In a perfect world, you would report your situation, turn in all the necessary evidence (accident details, medical reports and receipts, repair estimates, etc) and be given compensation for your losses.
Unfortunately, we are not living in a perfect world!
You need to know when you’re up against the wall and you need professional assistance.
Is your insurance refusing to pay?
Is their insurance company refusing to pay?
Do you have medical bills that aren’t being dealt with?
Did the other party not have insurance at all?
These are all reasons that should lead you to seriously consider an Accident Lawyer NY. Unfortunately, insurance companies have power and money on their side. If they refuse to be honest and fair, you’re left with very few alternatives.
Thankfully, I’ve never had to sue anyone, and I hope I never find myself in that situation. But, I hope that I’d have the good sense to consider a qualified automobile accident attorney should I ever really need one.
A good New York accident attorney does a lot of groundwork to determine whether or not you have a legitimate case they think you can win. They’ll go over the accident report, witness statements, and photos of the accident scene.
It’s important to consult with a lawyer who has a thorough understanding of New York’s No-Fault Law as well as Underinsurance and Uninsured Motorist Coverage issues.
If you don’t have much money to hire a top notch auto lawyer in NY, but you really feel you have a case, be aware that there are many good law firms in New York who will consider your case.
Some accident firms have a policy of only charging you a fee if they win your case for you. You then pay the New York auto accident attorney a percentage of the money they recover for you.
Have you had any experience dealing with an auto accident lawyer? Tell us about it. Doesn’t matter if it was good or bad, we’re interested in hearing your car accident lawyer review.
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A Florida truck accident attorney is one who specializes in Federal truck laws and, specifically, truck accident laws of Florida State.
Truck accidents usually involve huge asset losses meanwhile the results of accident are fatal which creates a necessity of a truck accident lawyer to handle these cases.
Trucks and Truck Accidents
Semi trucks, tractor-trailer, 18 wheelers or commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds come under the legal system of trucks.
Just the weight can give you an indication of the impact if there is an accident or collision between any truck and a vehicle. The results are devastating and can devastate many lives.
A commercial truck include vehicles used for transportation of goods and hazardous materials like any type of fuel. These commercial trucks usually belong to trucking companies and sometimes these trucking companies will have a Florida truck accident lawyer as an adviser to the organization to help them out with truck laws and regulations.
Commercial trucks are the most dangerous vehicles existing on the road. An accident with a truck carrying a flammable material is very dangerous, simply because it can lead to ignition of fuel.
A Commercial truck accident can happen due to a variety of reasons. These may include
negligence of the truck driver
improper maintenance of the vehicle
the actions of some other person on the road.
In all of the above instances the Florida truck accident attorney should offer suitable advice and the best solutions to the victim of the truck accident and the companys interests.
Federal Truck Laws
A truck driver and/or the truck company should have a pretty good knowledge of their state and federal truck laws before they put a truck on the road.
Truck laws are different in some ways to laws and restrictions relating to other vehicles. It is not only the difference in drivers license requirements, but a drivers age, qualifications, and physical fitness is very important to verify.
Even when it comes to truck machinery, regular inspection, repair, and maintenance do make a difference in the performance of the vehicles on the roads.
A truck kept in a bad condition is always a perfect recipe for disaster. Here is a glimpse of some federal trucking laws that may interest you.
The state of Florida adheres to all of the basic Federal truck laws and regulations with a few exceptions. They have their own specific driver qualification requirements as well as the hours of service and permissible loads on trucks.
A good Florida truck accident lawyer is always very easy to reach and very approachable for advice on these matters.
Truck Accident Compensation
If you are a victim of a truck accident, then you have the legal right for compensation from the truck owner or driver. The victim is eligible for any sort of compensation that falls under personal injury.
You can also claim compensation for medical bills, loss of pay, and any type of loss caused to you as a result of the accident, including pain and rehabilitation compensation.
A Florida truck accident attorney is a must to deal with a truck accident lawsuit for many reasons. The truck attorneys advice and guidance will help you out in dealing with many issues related to the truck legislation. These accidents deal with huge compensation and insurance claims, so knowledge on whom to sue, the truck driver or the trucking company, and other truck laws are necessary to solve cases on truck accidents and get the best results for you.
Ask Advice from Florida Truck Accident Attorneys
If you need advice from a Florida truck accident lawyer, there are many to choose from. Most of the Florida accident law firms have their own websites and toll free numbers.
If youre a victim of a truck accident, find out the best lawyers in the truck accident laws, call them up, narrate your story and listen to what they have to say.
Speaking to a few different Florida lawyers should definitely give you an idea of their knowledge and their experience. Many of these attorneys are very generous in advising. So approach the right Florida truck accident attorney to fight for your compensation.
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Basic drunk driving facts are important for both teenagers and parents to know.
The irrefutable truth is that drunk driving is one of the most common and controversial causes of car accidents.
A car accident automatically becomes alcohol-related if one driver is found to exceed the legal blood-alcohol level of .01 gram per deciliter.
It doesn’t take much alcohol intake to reach that level and so many people think they’re “fine” to drive when the truth is that they are over the limit.
How many times have people declared with confidence that the alcohol, whether beer or wine, that they have consumed is not impairing their judgment?
Such a statement in and of itself is proof that their judgment is impaired. Alcohol intake affects your reflexes, your brain response time, and other important functions that are of great importance when operating a motor vehicle at high speeds.
Imagine how many lives would be saved each year if every person made a firm commitment to never get behind the wheel if they have consumed even ONE alcoholic beverage!
Drunk Driving Statistics Through The Years
Over the years, car accident statistics have been plagued with drunk driving cases. In the 2004 drunk driving stats from the CDC, more than 4,700 teenagers were killed in car crashes, and 33% of these cases involved drivers with over .08 blood-alcohol level. That’s a heart-sickening statistic that should wake us all up to the DUI dangers.
In fact, car accidents, particularly drunk driving cases, cause half of the total teenage fatalities.
According to further studies in the United States, one person is killed by a drunk driver every 40 minutes. Every day, there are 36 deaths linked to drunk driving. Aside from that, there are 700 injuries linked to the same reason. Most unfortunately of all, in 2006, one out of every six fatalities of drunk driving car accidents are children.
Moving on to 2007 statistics, drunk driving deaths reached 15,300, which makes up almost 40% of the total fatality record. This is already at a decreased level compared to the 1982 statistics.
Also, statistics say that alcohol-related car accidents have already caused more than $50 billion damages. And as further proof of the large scale at which alcohol-related car accidents occur, statistics say that 30% of all Americans get entangled in drunk driving mess even just once in their life. Moreover, out of all drunk drivers, 81% are male.
Drink Driving Stats In 2010
In 2010, 211 children were killed in drunk driving crashes. Out of those 211 deaths, 131 (62 percent) were riding with the drunk driver.
~ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
According to fatality statistics for car accidents in 2010 (the most recent year on record), of the 32,885 deaths recorded from car crashes, 10,228 of them were alcohol related. That’s about 31% of the total.
What does that mean? Over 10,000 people could still be alive from that year alone if everyone had made the decision either to not drink alcohol or not to get behind the wheel after they did.
Currently, the top 4 states when it comes to drunk driving statistics for number of fatalities are California, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania.
Drunk Driving Kills And More…
The worst statistic of all drunk driving facts is that it almost always causes fatalities. Sometimes, the fatalities are of the involved parties, but sometimes, they are innocent civilians who happen to be in the wrong place at the right time.
Aside from that, it is also quite common among young drivers who are still brimming with enthusiasm over having received their new driver’s license.
Drunk driving is also associated with several other complications that continue to plague the involved parties even after the accident. DUI cases are usually harder to deal with and you would need a car accident lawyer with specialty in drunk driving to help you settle the case.
Most drink driving drivers, which happen to mostly be underage, are driven through a grueling process of an arrest followed by a civil trial after the accident. If not fatal, drunk driving can be extremely traumatic.
Do’s: Be a responsible driver. In the event of a drunk driving car accident case, look for a good car accident lawyer with experience in handling drunk driving cases.
Don’ts: Don’t drive when drunk, or better yet if you have had ANY alcohol at all!
The Verdict On Drunk Driving Facts
Drink driving behavior is probably more common than you think. Through the years and up until now, drunk drivers have continuously taken lives and ruined the prospects of many young teenage lives.
Getting the truth about drunk driving facts is important to protect yourself and your loved ones from the dangers of drunk driving. Use every car accident story and fatal car accident report you can to drill home the truth about the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Have A Drunk Driving Story To Tell?
Have you been affected by the result of drunk driving in some way? You may have been a driver or passenger. Maybe a family member, friend, or loved one was lost in drunk driving deaths.
Either way, tell your story as a memorial to a loved one, or a warning to other drivers. Let this tragedy make a difference…
More Drunk Driving Stories…
Click the links below to see the drunk driving stories that other visitors have shared.
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Be it newspaper articles on car accidents, TV reports, and Internet news, the media is full of reports regarding various types and levels of car accidents.
In Washington, the same period last year was characterized by 108 deaths, but the number was reduced to 91 this year.
The positive change was attributed to road design, rapid emergency medical response, safety features on new car models, public awareness, and seatbelt use. Most of the car accidents that occurred were linked to DUI, speed driving, and aggressive driving.
Despite the improvements, car accidents are still very much active in the country. Here are some recent car accident articles at the time of this writing that remind us of the dangers of the road.
The car accident was a rollover case followed by a fire as reported by the Los Angeles Daily News car accident articles. The investigations are still ongoing, and no names have been released.
The reason behind the car crash is not yet confirmed, but auto product liability and driver error are being considered as well as the involvement of another vehicle.
This is just one of the many cases of car accidents that occur in the busy city of Los Angeles. The National Highway Traffic Safety reported that in 2007, car accidents caused 712 deaths and 56,000 injuries.
Another rollover car accident occurred in Santa Maria, Los Angeles, killing a 76-year-old woman. The rollover case involved a Ventura County Star. The accident occurred along Highway 126 in April of this year.
The driver was said to have lost control of the car, causing the car to roll over and land on its roof, pinning the driver to the car. The victim was pronounced dead on the spot. In Ventura County alone, 71 fatal car accidents and more than 3,00 injuries occurred in 2007.
The accident almost split the Ferrari into two after it spun out of control and hit a pole. The luxury vehicle was extremely damaged, while the white Porsche was able to drive away, but police caught up with it and arrested the male driver on suspicion of DUI and over-speeding.
The man was driving his Hyundai sedan along 73rd street in Miami when it hit the rear end of a Miami-Dade transit bus, which had just pulled away from its stop.
No reports have been released regarding the reason why the Hyundai sedan hit the bus. Aside from the Hyundai’s driver, there was no other fatality or injury, except for neck pains suffered by the passengers of the bus.
Recent auto accident articles and reports show us just how accidents are a part of life. Take from the car accident reports and drive safely to ensure your safety.
If you’d like to submit your own accident article, car news report from your local area, or tell a car accident story that you, your friends, or family members have experienced, we’d love to hear from you.
Have you had the bad luck to be involved in an auto accident? You may have been a driver or passenger. Either way, the experience is usually quite memorable. Tell us about it…
Click the links below to see the car accident stories that other visitors have shared.
Car Accident a Blessing in Disquise My Car Accident – A Blessing In Disguise
I would say about December 2009, I had gotten into a car accident that I guess I could consider a blessing …
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My husband, my 2 year old daughter, and I were involved in an interesting accident.
While driving in traffic my husband …
Cause of Teenage Car Accidents
What’s the Story Behind the Alarming Numbers?
A lot of people do not stop to wonder what the most common cause of teenage car accidents are. After all, teenagers are exposed to drugs, alcohol, and so on. However, the occurrence of car accidents are consistently high and this includes an alarming number of teenage car tragedies. And in order to help stop the growth of this number, the factors behind teenage car accidents should be looked into.
When people hear of this, the blame is often pointed to drunk driving and illegal drug influence. While these reasons are valid causes of car accidents, there are other common causes not very much known or that people commonly ignore.
These, however, are important to know because they can help prevent car accidents. It is, thus, extremely important to uncover the number one cause of deaths in youths 15 to 20 years old.
First, let us start with one of the most common cause of teenage car accidents: drunk driving. Parties all-night-long, overflowing drinks that they never seem to get tired of. Teenagers have a whole lot of energy and, obviously, you can’t expect them to sit all day and all night at home.
And alcoholic drinks are often fixtures in such parties. Sometimes, with peer pressure that most commonly leads teens to ignoring their personal limits, they do what they think their peers find cool, which includes drinking alcohol.
Unfortunately, teenagers who drive their cars naturally have to drive themselves and sometimes, their friends, home. This is when most teenage car accidents happen.
In connection to this, another cause of car accidents is driving during dark evenings. Most of the recorded cases of teenage car accidents occur during the night. This may be related to the fact that parties end very late at night or during the wee hours of the morning.
This is when drunk teenagers drive or those under the influence of drugs are on their way home, sometimes alone or sometimes with some of their friends. And even when they’re not drunk, the dim road makes it hard for the drivers to see and thus makes it more probable for a car accident to occur.
Rules and laws have been imposed regarding underage drinking, drunk driving, and using illegal drugs. However, people often break them and teens are not an exception.
Do not Distract
Another common cause of teenage car accidents is distraction from passengers. Young or new drivers are most vulnerable to this since they are not yet used to being the drivers. As opposed to being a mere passenger, the driver has to have complete focus and presence of mind while driving.
Passengers, on the other hand, have the option of chatting endlessly with other passengers, playing with handy gaming consoles, eating, reading, and the likes. Drivers may get dangerous distractions especially on long trips that could cause serious car accidents. Too much noise, which is also very common to young groups of friends on the road, may be a very big source of dangerous distractions.
Aside from distraction from passengers, distraction from one’s own gadgets is also something we may want to prevent. Some drivers might think texting or talking on the phone while driving wouldn’t do them any danger, but research proves that wrong. According to several researches, the number of car accidents caused by cellular phone distractions increase every year.
When you text while driving, teens sometimes let their pinky finger do the steering or even let their knees balance the wheel. This is very dangerous, counting the fact that driving behaviors and reaction speeds may change when one is distracted. Yes, teens love their cellular phones, which is their ultimate link to the world, and this is why this counted as a very common cause of teenage car accidents.
Aside from that, studies also show that teens tend to get rather sleepy while driving. This is why sleepiness is also pointed as a common cause of teenage car accidents. If driving with companions gives dangerous distractions that may cause accidents, driving alone, on the other hand, sometimes make people sleepy and also cause crashes.
Sleepiness may cause the driver to just doze off while on the wheel, and this is very dangerous both for him and for other motorists. There are several reasons for sleepiness; teens, who go to school and sometimes goes out with friends at night, usually don’t get enough sleep. However, sometimes, sleepiness is brought on by medication or by a sleeping disorder.
Not the Driver’s Fault, at Times
Aside from the common causes of teenage car accidents enumerated, we shouldn’t forget that sometimes, someone else other than the teenagers had been negligent. Drivers aren’t always the ones to blame for car accidents. A poor traffic system may also cause accidents, unexpected road blocks without reflectors, and other such things.
Teenage drivers must be responsible enough to prevent the occurrence of car accidents, but both parents and the traffic system should provide guidance and help in preventing the common cause of teenage car accidents.
Do’s: As parents, teach teens how to be responsible drivers. As teens, recognize the dangers you are in once you take the wheel, and be mature and responsible drivers.
Don’ts: Do not drive when you are not in the best condition to.
The rate of car accidents involving teenagers are continuously increasing. To help prevent such accidents, it is important to look into what could be the main cause of teenage car accidents. These causes should then be dealt with and protected against to help save the lives of thousands of teenagers whose life are put to risk each time they take the wheel.
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Injuries can take place anywhere, anytime and without any warning. While you may not have much say in whether or not you are injured, you can take control of the process needed to get compensation. The information in the article below will help you to navigate your way through your personal injury case when the time comes. You will receive useful tips in this article to help you with your personal law case.
It is important to make your accident report as detailed as possible. Do not forget anything, including small cuts and bruises. In addition, if any bumps and bruises pop up in the future, write them down as well. Remember also to include mental problems that may emerge down the road, such as a fear of driving.
Even if you have a preexisting condition, it’s still possible to file a personal injury claim. Be honest about your prior injuries when you speak to your attorney. You want to make sure he or she is aware of everything, so that they aren’t surprised while in court.
Asking your friends and family for personal injury lawyer recommendations can land you a great attorney. By doing this, you stand a much better chance of finding a lawyer you can work well with and who will get the outcome you desire. This is such an important topic that it is crucial to invest time and energy into the process.
Go to the ABA (American Bar Association) to begin searching for an attorney. This is the best way to check an attorney’s reputation and track record in their community.
It is important to keep close track of any and all paperwork pertaining to your case. Include all doctor correspondence, as well as bills and care instructions. You should also keep any emails between you and your doctor.
You are paying an attorney for his service, so he should treat you respectfully and give you plenty of time to ask questions. If your lawyer brushes you off and doesn’t respect you, fire him and find a new attorney. If you have trouble reaching your attorney, you might want to look for a new one.
Remember that insurance companies do not have your best interests in mind. You will probably deal with one or more insurers in the course of your case, so use caution. Their aim is to settle things quickly while paying as little as possible. Always consult an attorney before agreeing to, or accepting money from, an insurance company.
During your first meeting with an attorney, don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as necessary. They can be about fees and how the process works. You may become more comfortable once you start asking questions.
If you’re currently going through a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to keep all doctor’s appointments and keep records of all documentations. In order for things to go your way, you need to prove you were injured and you’re doing all you can to get better. A lack of this proof makes you look like nothing more than a scam artist, attempting to get over on an insurance company or on the court.
A personal injury lawyer is your only logical choice. While it may sound simple, many people believe that any one with a license will work out equally as well. It is essential that you find a person with vast experience in this practice area and who has handled many such matters. Otherwise, you’ll handicap your case.
Those who are considering representing themselves in a personal injury case would be wise to discover all policies the defendant has. You might be able to make more than one claim. If you make this request and the other person is not forthcoming, you can obtain an affidavit to require their cooperation.
It will likely take a good bit of time for you to get a settlement after an injury. Don’t expect to see any money right away. You have to be very patient. It is not at all unusual for a complicated case to take years to resolve. You need to have realistic expectation and educate yourself before taking legal action.
Take pictures of your injuries so you have visual evidence for your case. Photo evidence will substantiate your claim and provide proof of your injuries. Pictures that properly depict the extent of your injuries can make or break your case.
Write down all the details about your injury to share with your lawyer. Make sure you always write down license plate numbers or any other important information. Know the names of any insurance companies that may be involved. Make copies of any and all tickets that were given at the site of the accident. The more you prepare, the better off you will be.
Reading takes only a few minutes, but the results can be significant. A good lawyer will work hard for you, but you should always know what’s going on. It is important to do some research and assess the extent of your injuries carefully before you decide to go to court.
You probably have heard bad things about lawyers, but it is important to research facts if you need to hire one. Lots of critical functions would not happen without lawyers. It’s obviously very important to find a quality lawyer when you need one. The advice you’re about to read can help you do just that.
If a lawyer is desperate for you, then don’t hire them. Usually, this is a scam that you will want to avoid, especially if you are going through an issue that is going to cost you a lot of money. Do your due diligence and hire the best lawyer on your terms.
Always know how to get a hold of your lawyer should you need him. Many people complain about this in their reviews. If you lawyer is out of pocket, you could be left in a quandary.
Define your problem before you seek out a lawyer. First, you should think about whether you really need a lawyer. Divorces, criminal charges or being part of a lawsuit mean you do. You may also need a lawyer’s expert advice on a financial matter or a business matter.
What you tell your lawyer is confidential. This means that any business records, or sensitive information given to your lawyer, cannot be shared with any other third party.
Don’t play “Pin the Tail on the Lawyer” with the aid of the Yellow pages. You need to thoroughly research your options so that you obtain the best lawyer. You don’t want to find out that you choose the wrong lawyer and end up losing your case. Be careful when choosing legal representation.
If your lawyer tells you something, listen, but know you don’t have to act on it. If you don’t understand something they say, ask questions. Although you lawyer wants the best for you, keep in mind that your case is not the only one they are working on.
Don’t be afraid to ask your lawyer anything. Lawyers will be happy to give you updates. If your lawyer keeps you in the dark and won’t explain how your case is going, it might be time to drop him like a bad habit.
Each time you meet with a lawyer, make a log. Write down any pertinent information like date and time, what was said, and how much the session will cost. This can help protect you from problems that may arise such as large fees.
Don’t give a retainer over without great forethought. If your lawyer requests a large retainer, make sure you know what this is paying for. You may also want to shop around for lawyers who will take a smaller retainer, then charge you any extra.
Use a legal referral service to find an attorney. A lot of times these services will help cut out a lot of the bad ones. The quality of the screening service varies since some list only attorneys with specific qualifications and a minimum amount of experience. Others list any favorable lawyer by the state bar’s standards that keeps liability insurance. Find out what qualifications are necessary on any site you consider.
If you go to your initial consultation with a lawyer and he makes any guarantees of victory, the best thing that you can do is leave. A good lawyer is aware that guarantees are not possible; the ones who make those claims are just attempting to sell their services. Use this as a warning sign for hiring lawyers.
You need to consider many different criteria when searching for a competent lawyer. By keeping these tips in mind, you can help make sure that you find the best person for the job. When you have the help of a good attorney, the chances of winning your case are good.
It is not easy to find a lawyer that you like. After all, there are a lot of attorneys out there so you have to be careful and trust the right one. Fortunately, this article will help your search for the perfect lawyer a lot easier.
Make sure to be familiar with a lawyer’s history. Lawyers aren’t always reliable just because they are licensed. Therefore, ensure you check out his or her record in order to increase your confidence that he or she is right for you.
One thing to consider when you think about hiring lawyers is that you’re able to reach them whenever you need to. Having a lawyer that is hard to contact is a common issue. You might pull out your hair if you have to wait too long.
Clearly settle what your problem is before you go looking for a lawyer. First you must think about if you’re really in need of a lawyer. For example, a lawyer is needed if you’re charged with an offense, have a lawsuit coming up or if you’re in a divorce. Even if none of these apply to you, you may need expert legal advice if the matter involves a complex business transaction or large sums of money.
Although the high cost of hiring a specialty lawyer can be daunting, it is well worth it. This is because a lawyer who does not specialize in an area will need to research similar cases while a specialist will already have the information needed to try your case.
Make sure your attorney has won other cases similar to yours before you sign a contract. Advertising the ability to work on such a case is very different than having the background and experience needed. If your lawyer is not willing to provide you with information on their past cases, then you should think about hiring a different lawyer for your situation.
Your lawyer you hire should be one you trust. If you need a lawyer for professional or business matters, then this is extremely crucial. They are more likely to ask for a retainer or permission to sign checks on your behalf. Your financial fate is literally in their hands, then. Try to keep yourself protected as much as possible.
You need to make sure you’re asking enough questions. They should have an answer for all of it. They have the knowledge, so you can run anything by them. If you are not comfortable with a certain lawyer, then you need to look elsewhere.
Before you take on a lawyer, talk to your local bar association to find out whether they have had complaints in the past. One or two complaints should not break a deal, but avoid those who have many complaints.
When searching for the best lawyer, your selection should be one who specializes in your particular case. There are many types of law, so you will want to be wary of this. Knowing this beforehand and researching your options can help save you much time later.
If your attorney is too busy with other matters, yours may suffer. Talk to them about their schedule. Your attorney should be honest with you about what he can reasonably do.
There are many online services to help you find a local lawyer; however, don’t choose a lawyer based on their recommendation alone. Do as much background research as possible to find out more about the lawyers you find listed on these services before you contact them to ask more questions.
You should have everything prepared ahead of time before your meeting, as this will save you both money and time. You will get an estimate that’s more accurate on what an attorney will charge you if you have things prepared. Efficiency is key to saving yourself some dough.
While your case may be your main concern, the lawyer won’t see your case the same. It’s more likely that your lawyer is currently working with many more clients who have urgent cases as well. Keep in mind that your level of urgency will not affect your lawyer’s level of urgency, so stay calm.
Just because someone is great at their job, it does not follow that they should be your lawyer. It is just as important that you get along with them. You will have to establish a good relationship if you are to achieve success.
If you think your lawyer is failing you, keep in mind that winning is important to your attorney, too. They have lots of experience in these cases and know how to produce a winning outcome.
Meet with several potential lawyers, even if the first one seems like a good choice. Legal problems can take some time to solve, and that means you’ll need to know that you’re able to deal with your lawyer. Making the right choice at the beginning of your legal case can make all the difference!
Before hiring a lawyer, consider how much time and money you wish to invest in a lawyer. You need to think about the income that will be lost as well through time away from your duties. Put in time for research to find out all the costs the lawyer has and what it will do to your budget. After all, you shouldn’t spend a lot of money on a lawyer whenever your case doesn’t involve very much.
Lawyers almost never come cheap. If your lawyer charges you by the hour, then you should control the amount of money you’ll be spending. It is your money, and you should have access to a detailed breakdown of where it goes.
A good, honest lawyer is necessary when you have a legal issue. Use the tips here to help you find a great lawyer. This decision is crucial since a bad lawyer can add more stress to your stressful situation.
Victims should seek advice on how to find the best Michigan Motorcycle accident attorneys due to the rising number of motorcycle accidents in Michigan.
If you have been a victim of a motorcycle accident, you require an attorney who is aware of what you are experiencing. All accidents are sad and can be devastating, but motorcycle accidents have specific concerns that need to be addressed.
The best attorneys are those who have specialized or are specializing entirely on motorcycle accidents.
This enables them to build up familiarity and experience with the relevant and current state legislation and insurance regulations.
It is with this experience and commitment that the accident victim may be compensated at the earliest opportunity and in accordance with the extent of damages.
A motorcycle accident can leave a casualty utterly incapacitated for a long period or even a whole life span. Depending on the extent of one’s injuries, a sufferer may no longer be capable of working or living their life in a normal fashion.
A motorcycle accident victim may even need part-time or full-time help just to get through basic day-to-day activities. All of these possibilities need to be considered in the aftermath of a tragic motorbike accident.
Of course, bikers should be ready to familiarize themselves with laws related to motorcycle riding before they take to the road. It is your responsibility to take every possible precaution to avoid an accident in the first place.
Remember that the Michigan motorcycle accident law has lots of exceptions, and is unlike those for car or truck accidents. You can’t control the other drivers on the road, but you can be as prepared as possible yourself.
Below are some basic steps to follow immediately after an accident occurs. These are 6 of the most important safety tips to follow:
Call the police. It’s very important that you have an accident report on file.
Seek medical attention immediately. Even if you “think” you’re fine, you may have injuries that reveal themselves later. If you don’t get checked out in the first place, you’ll have a hard time claiming compensation later.
If the injuries are too severe that you can’t wait for the police or you are unable to get the information of the other party, asks someone to gather them for you.
Attempt to identify any witnesses at the seen. You may really need their testimony later if you have difficulty with your claim.
Record, write, or be very attentive to what the other party says. Note down any admissions and let it be clear to the officer at the scene.
Do not accept responsibility or allow the other party involved tell the police that your injuries were somehow your own fault (unless it it is true). Do your best to be strong, firm, and convincing even though you will be very shook up.
With this information, the Michigan accident lawyer you choose will have adequate information to fully commit to work hard and exhaust their resources on your behalf.
The goal of the best attorneys is to always uncompromisingly advocate for their clients’ privileges to help them concentrate on getting well and to secure the most fair compensation possible.
They will fight to the end to see to it that the client is not only compensated for their medical operating cost and lost wages, but also for their pain and torment and diminished standard of life.
Since motorcycles are different from cars, if you opt to use a motorcycles as your means of commuting, you need to keep some safety tips in mind.
If you have any specific questions regarding your situation, speak to a few Michigan Motorcycle Accident Attorneys for advice and legal suggestions.
Michigan Motorcycle Accident Attorneys to Michigan Accident Lawyer
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When thinking about Michigan auto accident lawyers who lose cases for their clients even if they are winnable, you need to understand the circumstances behind the losses.
Let’s face it. No one is perfect; not even automobile accident attorneys! There is always human error in every profession. People DO make mistakes.
When it comes to dealing with automobile accident claims and getting fair compensation, there are certain principles to follow that help insure you get the best possible results.
When a Michigan car accident lawyer loses a case, the fault may lie in one of these common mistakes. Be sure that you and your Michigan auto accident lawyers are avoiding these basic problems.
First fault: Lack Of Communication With Client
Communication has proven to be the most convenient way of information dissemination. Michigan car accident attorneys should always advise their clients to call, chat, and even physically communicate any information that would be useful on the case.
Before and after each hearing, the Michigan auto accident lawyers should always try to extract any additional information from their clients since a victim might not remember everything all at once.
According to Michigan traffic laws, blood tests are usually done to check for cases of drunk driving. The auto accident attorney should also inquire about arrests or fines in case of traffic violation or qualifications in driving.
Truth always matters, and it is important for an accident lawyer to be given true and accurate information so as to avoid mortification by being blind-sided in the courtroom. Be honest and up-front with your automobile accident attorney so that they are prepared for every possibility.
Second Fault: Waiting Too Long To Seek Expert Advice
Lawyers should always advise their clients to pursue litigation promptly, while also referring them to other specialists if and when needed.
Justifiably, many personal injury attorneys are capable of resolving and winning cases on their own. However, in spite of excellent intentions, an accident lawyer may wait too long to refer a client to an appropriate professional. The result can be damage to the success of the case.
For example, when references to see a doctor are too late, serious and absolutely devastating wounds are often missed, and proof of the cause of the injury is forfeited.
In many cases, accident victims are unaware of the serious possibilities of injuries. In such situations, they do not pursue proper medical attention. This is a serious oversight particularly given that Michigan no-fault law states clearly that all accident injuries must be documented.
Third Fault: Lack of Photos of Victim and Accident Scene
Michigan auto accident lawyers should do all in their power to be sure to get as many photos as documentation of the accident scene as possible. Pictures make compelling evidence.
It is through sight that a jury can understand the severity of an accident more so than by a mere description. Proper accident scene photos make the injuries real, believable, and vivid.
Auto accident victims hold more water in their cases by showing the impairment – not pain. The State’s law says by “showing” pain you prove your sufferings more effectively than feeling pain which is not visible.
Fourth Fault: Failing to Give Proper Counsel
Michigan auto accident lawyers should always counsel and advise clients in a way that adequately prepares them for what they should expect in court.
They may have to endure ridicule or censure from the opposing side as they try to turn the mindset of the judge and jury. Being prepared for this and knowing how to respond is extremely important in winning your case. Perception is often what ultimately sways a journey one way or the other.
As disclosed above, those are just the few mistakes that a Michigan car accident lawyer can make. Don’t allow you or your automobile accident attorney to make these mistakes and lessen your chances of winning your case.
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Most people will need a lawyer one day, but it is often difficult knowing where to find one. This article’s goal is to help guide you with that.
Lawyers have the experience necessary to take care of your issue.
Make sure you lawyer is easy to reach. One of the most common complaint people have about lawyers is being unable to get in touch with their lawyer. You probably don’t want to avoid being left wondering what’s going just because he is out playing golf.
Think about your problem really is before looking for a lawyer. The first step is to figure out if you really need a lawyer or not. You are likely to require a lawyer when you have been criminally charged, charged with a crime or have an upcoming lawsuit.
You should tell your lawyer if it makes you don’t like. Although you lawyer wants the best for you, they also have many clients.
Keep a journal of when you interact with the attorney. Take note of the day, time, subjects of discussion and any mentions of billing issues. This will help you if there are any disagreement about charges that may appear later.
When choosing your lawyer, be sure you learn whatever you can about their reputation.
Try using lawyer referral service. These services will help you find some good layers. Others list good lawyers based on the state bar’s standards that keeps liability insurance. Find out more about different referral services and listings before deciding which one to use.
You need to communicate with your lawyer. If you have deadlines coming up, make sure your lawyer has all the information needed. This will only help the chances of your case.
The lawyer will be able to provide you with a better estimate of their charges if they have all is involved in your case. Being efficient and prepared can save you quite a bit.
It will be easier to work with your lawyer so that you get along well. If you don’t feel comfortable with your lawyer, you will never have an ideal client-lawyer relationship no matter how experienced the lawyer is. Trust your feelings and pick a lawyer.
A great lawyer is aware that guarantees are not possible; the ones who make those claims are just attempting to sell their services. This is definitely something that must be looked out for when you’re going to hire your lawyer.
Do some research prior to filing a Workman’s Compensation paperwork. Each state maintains different laws with regards to court proceedings. Worker’s compensation is different from other claims in court claims. There are things that are slightly different standards to adhere to.
A good tip to remember if you have doubts is that you can always get a second opinion. A second opinion is a better idea before you make any decisions.
Just because a person is the best in their field doesn’t mean you need to work with them. You need someone who is highly skilled, but it’s important to also remember you will spend lots of time with them working. You need to communicate with them personally in order for things to work out.
Lawyers have malpractice coverage for situations in case they failed to follow the law intentionally or accidentally. They don’t want these premiums to go up, so they want to complete your case in morally responsible and legal way.Always have faith in your lawyer is working hard to protect you.
Interview a few lawyers before choosing one, even if the first one seems like they’ll work. Legal problems can be lengthy, and you’ll need a lawyer you can stand to be around. Choosing well in the first place is a big difference.
Legal aid helps find you a good lawyer that might take your case for little or no charge. These attorneys volunteer some of time to help the public. You should be able to find the number to the legal aid office in the white pages phone book for your town.
Don’t choose your lawyer based on flashy television ads. While these may catch your eye, they are usually meant to hide the fact the lawyer might not be competent in that field. There are many more important considerations besides this.
Don’t pay anything to the lawyer until you know all the costs involved and what you’re getting for that money.Many lawyers ask for retainers before considering your case. This fee ensures that the lawyer will be available for consultation with you.
Some cases require the need for legal representation. These will include the times you are charged with some crime like a DUI, or and other type of lawsuit.
Lawyers can be used for things other than handle criminal cases. If you want to file for bankruptcy or for a divorce, they can give you legal advice. They will allow you get back on things that have to do with contracts like a job contract too.
You should have your questions you want to ask to the lawyers. You might consult with your lawyer by telephone or on the phone. Ask them directly about consultation to avoid surprise bills.
Sometimes you just need to trust your instincts. If you feel comfortable with an attorney, they’re usually the one you should pick.
The state bar keeps records of issues that have arisen with that particular lawyer. You need to hire a lawyer that has high ethical and ethically.
If you are looking for legal representation after getting into a car accident, follow your lawyer’s advice to a tee. There are certain deadlines about when you get injuries treated after this kind of incident. You can end up in a sticky situation if advice is not respected.
Finding your way through the legal system is tough. The information above will get you on the right track. If you have lots of knowledge about finding lawyers and how to work with them, you will feel much more confident as things proceed.
Practice Areas/ Motorcycle Accidents
When you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, your personal injury case in Chicago or in Illinois turns on The Rules of the Road and your lawyer’s familiarity with handling motorcycle accident cases.
Every personal injury case involving a motorcycle accident in Chicago Illinois (or in any State for that matter) turns on the Rules of the Road because the injured person has to prove that the accident was the other guy’ fault. And traffic laws are different from State to State.
When evaluating whether you have a good motorcycle accident injury case, you, and especially your personal injury lawyer, must be familiar with the Rules of the Road in Illinois, but especially as they apply to motorcycles and riders. Individual cities, like Chicago, have their own ordinances regarding trucks, cars, motorcycles and bicycles, so you need a lawyer who is knows what Rules to apply to determine who had the right of way and therefore, who was at fault for your accident. Having a lawyer with personal experience riding motorcycles is important, too.
Injuries in motorcycle accidents can vary from temporary muscle strain type injuries like whiplash and a thrown out back, to cuts from broken glass, contact with the road, to broken bones from the tremendous impact forces, to knee and shoulder injuries, to even paralysis and death. Remember, all vehicles, on two wheels or more, propel the human body faster than it can go by itself and that causes the body to be exposed to forces in a crash that it was never designed to handle. And on a motorcycle, you have less protection than you would in a car.
So not only does handling such personal injury cases require knowledge of liability law (Illinois Motor Vehicle Code, local Municipal Codes, and possible Federal trucking law and regulations), but skill and knowledge of a broad base of medicine to handle proof of the injury aspects of the case.
And, insurance companies these days do everything in their power to defeat an inured person’s claim right from the beginning, before the injured person knows their rights. They do things like take recorded statements from witnesses and injured people before they know their rights, and get injured people to sign papers before the injured person knows what is at stake.
Here are the Top Five Guaranteed Ways to Destroy Your Injury Case
1. Fall For What I Call the “Good Cop–Tell Me All About It” Routine. This is when the insurance adjuster acts like he is she really cares about you, your injuries, and your financial needs, especially after a motor vehicle collision. They call you, tell you not to worry about the medical bills, that “everything will be taken care of. Be aware, they are doing this so that you open up, let your guard down, and provide them with a recorded statement, or sign away your rights on paperwork they send you to sign. Once the insurance adjuster uses the skills he or she has in getting the RIGHT kind of answers out of you (RIGHT for the insurance company, but WRONG for you and any chance of getting a fair recovery) and once the Medical Payments coverage is exhausted, their attitude changes. They got what they wanted, and now, you cannot get a return call or any help whatsoever.
2. Give a Recorded Statement. Every insurance adjuster out there is trained by insurance company lawyers about WHAT questions to ask, and more importantly, HOW to ask them to get the answers they need to defeat your claim. That’s why the ONLY time I allow one of my clients to give a statement is when they are in my office and being represented and advised by me.
3. Sign the paperwork. This sounds like a horror story out of a book. And it is so underhanded and rotten, I can barely believe it myself. But early in my career, I was contacted by an elderly gentleman who could not read too well. He got hurt in an accident. The Insurance company told him “sign these papers we send you and we will send you $1,000.00 for your pain and we will pay all of your doctor bills. Guess what? He got the $1,000, but because he could not read too well, he did not realize that notwithstanding the promise to pay the doctor bills he was told on the telephone, he signed away his rights forever. Even highly educated people’s eye glaze over when an insurance company sends them a document with teeny tiny print using legal mumbo jumbo. But that “legalese” can kill your chance at fair compensation.
4. Tough it our and don’t see a doctor (or see a doctor 3 months after the accident). When a seriously injured person fails to be seen by a doctor after an injury, it is like Thanksgiving, Chritmas, and New Years Eve all rolled into one foran insurance company. They love it. Now, you and I know that MOST people do not like going to a doctor, and MOST people put it off until they just cannot stand it anymore. But, when someone tries to explain that at trial, juries are skeptical. They think “this guy is asking for money for his injuries–how bad could the pain have been if he waited a month to see a doctor?”– EVEN WHEN THEY THEMSELVES HAVE PUT OFF SEEING A DOCTOR FOR MONTHS OR EVEN YEARS FOR THEIR OWN MEDICAL CONDITIONS.
5. Try to Hide a Prior Medical Condition, Old Accident (or Lie About Anything, Really). When I was a young lawyer, I heard stories about lawyers who told their clients to keep old injuries a secret, or to try to suppress they fact that they had a car accident before. Aside from the fact that this is completely unethical, a lawyer can lose his license for suggesting this, and a client can lost their case, it is just plain stupid to try to do this. We live in the computer age. Believe me, there are databases that track everything about you, including prior accidents, prior medical treatment, you name it. You are just asking for trouble. I always advise my client to tell the whole truth. As Benjamin Franklin said: If you always tell the truth, you do not have to remember anything.
Obviously, these are just the top five–I see many, many more mistakes made in motor vehicle accident cases all the time, but the above five are probably the most common.
The best way to level the playing field and ensure that your rights or the rights of a loved are protected are to order my Special Injury Report and Audio CD, to arm yourself with the knowledge you need to protect your rights. And consider hiring a skilled, aggressive, and ethical personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies hate it when a good lawyer gets involved in the case, because they know the shenanigans stop, and the injured person then has their best chance at fair compensation–the very thing the insurance company goes to great lengths to avoid.
I hope that this information has been helpful to you. If you have any questions or would like to consult with me about handling your case, you can contact me HERE.
For more info, check out: Chicago Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawyer
Elements of Bus and Large-Van Damages Claims
There are many different sizes and shapes of buses and large vans. Those types of mass transit most commonly involved in serious collisions include
School district buses
San Antonio public buses
Private interstate buses
Charter and Tour buses
Large, 15-passenger vans and access buses
One sad constant is that these top-heavy vehicles are all subject to rolling over at the time of the crash. This is a major reason why van collisions are the cause of serious injuries. Vans are traveling at fast speeds and often are larded with heavy cargo and much human weight.
One of the first essential tasks for the lawyer to seize upon is determining the potential defendants for a claim or lawsuit. This is not as straightforward as it might seem. Bus arrangements can come in various forms and involve parties not initially apparent. This is especially true as to tour buses. But learning who owns the bus and controls its management can demand considerable input.
The driver may be an independent contractor or may have been hired from an agency. The travelers may have signed waivers of liability. If so, our experience is that the bus company can be counted on to argue that they are insulated from judgment. Whether a waiver is valid under Texas law may depend on a complex of nuanced facts. But first it is necessary to find out exactly who hired or rented the vehicle.
School Bus Accidents
The traditional large, yellow school bus is America’s favorite means of transporting nearly 30 million youths every morning and afternoon, to and from school. When there is negligence, when something goes wrong, the price is paid by young innocents.
Each year in the United States, nearly 20,000 children are injured in school bus accidents. And every other week a child is killed. Those riding bicycles or walking comprise about 25% of the deaths.
Few municipalities require seat or shoulder harnesses, which adds to the vulnerability of children.
After a serious collision involving a child, it can be counted on that there will be multiple defendants responding to civil claims for money damages. Bus contracts with schools can be unwieldy instruments to sort out. However all potential sources of recovery must be determined, along with related liability issues.
Many times the school district or the school board is named in a court action, along with the bus driver. Many school districts contract out all buses to private firms, and include insulating language in their contracts. School bus cases are universally notorious for not having obvious defendants to target.
Many bus accidents involve children who are not on the school bus at all. Rather, they are pedestrians who get struck by moving buses. The government figures even put this figure as high as two-thirds of all children hurt by school buses. In our experience handing school bus accidents, in San Antonio and the southwestern Texas area, most of these are due to driver inattention or reckless drop-offs. Sometimes it is another motorist who is at fault.
San Antonio and other Municipal Buses
Public transportation buses, whether operated in San Antonio or wherever, are mostly non-profits. They can count on only about one-third of their needed revenue coming from fares, with the reminder often from taxes.
Operating within the city limits, they are usually controlled by the city government and some other overseeing entity. The San Antonio Regional Transit Authority controls the Metro busses in the city limits. These companies define the specific routes, determine the charges, schedules and maintenance. They also are charged with the most important function – hiring the drivers who have great responsibility for the commuters relying upon them.
Passengers transported by municipal buses amount to only one-half the number of school children using bus service. As a general rule, city bus service is fairly safe. This is true in terms of the number of passengers per day, as compared to the number injured or killed. Buses are huge and heavy and must be navigated in tight, urban confines. When there is a collision, the passengers have no real internal protection. Public transit lacks air bags and seat belts, so the jolt of impact is felt directly by the victim. This amount of force can be devastating.
Private Interstate Buses
Interstate motor coach companies include Greyhound and Trailways, although today there are over 4,000 such businesses. Many of them concentrate primarily within a specific geographical region.
All the companies in this industry account for nearly a billion traveling miles a year for passengers. These swift moving behemoths are responsible for relatively few of the roadway mishaps in the United States. However when there are wrecks, they tend to be catastrophic for all the commercial passengers.
Most private interstate drivers are hired by the bus company and are direct employees. Some contract out to other firms or hire independent contractors. In any case, the owner of the bus in responsible for any negligent driving misconduct. Buses are known in the law as common carriers. This is a shorthand way of stating that they have a very high legal responsibility. Many of the legal presumptions are against them because of the serious duty owed by the bus company to protect passengers and pedestrians.
Charter and Tour Buses
Charter buses are privately retained forms of transportation, by a specific group for a specific destination. These particular-purpose forms of travel are hired to take a group of like-minded individuals to shows, concerts, sporting events and other programs. Sometimes they are tour buses, which carry specific-interest travelers from out of town. However, except for major corporations bringing in tourists from South America and Asia, they are infrequent in the South Texas area.
Charter buses are almost always owned and managed by private companies. This usually makes it easier to identify who has control over the hiring, training and conduct of the drivers. When filing lawsuits, there often are fewer named defendants.
Theories of liability can focus upon the driver’s operational negligence. Sometimes the fault is poor maintenance – especially of the tires. If there has been noncompliance with specific safety regulations imposed by the government, this could be a meritorious claim as well.
Large-Van and Access Vehicle Accidents
Each year about 150 people are killed in the US as a result of larger-size vans, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of these, almost a quarter of the deaths are the result of these vehicles rolling over before crashing. When a heavily-loaded van quickly changes direction, even a slight amount, there is a danger of control loss. The center of gravity with these vehicles can shift to the side or rear and pull the van or access vehicle out of its lane.
Van accidents are common in South Texas. They offer an ideal form of transportation for smaller groups that do not require the expense of a bus. Of the larger sizes of vans, many are rented vehicles that may carry with them a number of hidden corporate defendants. Each one must be identified through careful detective work, as well as analysis of incorporation articles and other Texas state filings.
Commonly used for mid-sized groups are 15-passenger vans. All varieties of social groups can achieve geographic mobility – sports teams, religious groups, day care centers, social and youth organizations and senior citizen programs. Rowdy individuals within groups, going to games and tournaments, can sometimes cause a wreck which injuries other group members who were in no way negligent.
Interestingly, nearly one-half of all fatal van involve one-vehicle crashes. Transportation experts have studied this significant number and debated the cause. It is believed that many groups are traveling long distances and the driver falls asleep. Others believe it is more the result of distractions inherent when a number of bored riders cause high-spirited, dangerous diversions.
Tour Bus Accidents
Attention must be paid to investigating who in Texas hired the bus company and what is the corporate structure of that business entity. It is not uncommon for negotiated contracts to involve various side deals between certain businesses along the route. They benefit from patronage that is brought to them. This is a standard practice for non-school bus hiring that involves commercial destinations.
Commissions are often derived for the bus company which promotes and encourages Texas customers to be funneled into an arranged destination. This is especially true if the Texas tour bus was retained by a contracted arrangement with another tour company, a hotel or a travel agency.
Sometimes a third party could be involved, and therefore subject to civil judgment for compensatory damages. This is almost always true if there is an subsidized benefit as part of the bargain. Fraternal associations, schools, civic associations, and retirement facilities are the most common variety found in tour bus accidents.
South Texas Dog Bite – Animal Attack Lawyer
Much of the law involving animal attacks and dog bites is surprisingly similar throughout the United States. There are some important but nuanced differences, as well, among the states. But most are like Texas in holding domestic pet owners fully responsible for injuries caused by their animals.
Victims of an animal attack or dog bite usually have a claim against the owner. Our office has represented many clients with terrible injuries, involving serious bites and even catastrophic mauling. Larger animals, especially certain dog breeds, even cause bone fractures as a result of their crushing jaw power. The extent to which these injuries cause extreme pain and scarring, including disfigurement, cannot be understated. Most victims sustain severe emotional trauma that never fully heals.
Successful representation of animal attack claims
Most animal attack claims are against the homeowner’s insurance policy of the person who controls the vicious animal. And statistics bear out what is seen in our practice, that nearly 80 percent of biting dogs belong to a family member or friend of the dog owner. Moreover, about half of vicious dog bites take place on the dog owner’s property.
Sometimes it can be difficult to specifically identify the owner of the animal. This puts a premium on time – you must quickly find the animal and clarify ownership of it. At the same time, it is vital that all evidence be preserved, especially the names of witnesses. Photographs and video of the scene, and certainly of the fresh injuries, must be recorded. The police report, animal control records and medical records must all be obtained.
As a general rule, plastic surgery is required. For adults it is often one or two years post-trauma before a surgeon can evaluate the scope or projected success of scar revision procedure. Children, because they are developing, often need about ten years before scar revision can be considered. In the meantime, they must go through their most delicate, self-conscious years while disfigured.
The most dangerous dogs
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta has ranked the most dangerous dog breeds in the order of the number of serious maimings caused by them:
These breeds are responsible for a disproportionate number of the dog bite victims each year in the United States. Some insurance companies will not even issue homeowners coverage for families with one of these dogs. They know that the actuarial risk is simply too great.
Although fatal injuries are rare, the states of Texas, Georgia and Tennessee lead in the number of deaths caused by dogs. Various theories have been suggested to explain this.
Children are often the victims
It is particularly sad that many victims of animal attack, especially of dogs, are children. For them, getting bitten by a dog is the 5th most frequent cause of emergency visits. The median age of child dog bite victims is 15 years; boys age 5 to 9 have the highest incidence rate.
Children often have difficulty gauging a dog’s capacity for abrupt violence. Many kids have never been properly trained in how to approach a strange pet. And because children often have their heads closer to the proximity of an animal’s jaws, many of the injuries suffered by children involve their faces. In fact, 77 percent of the time the face is the dog’s target, especially the lips, nose and cheeks.
Many dog bites could have been prevented with better supervision of the animal. Texas law makes the owners and keepers of dogs strictly liable for any injuries caused by their pets. This means that fault does not even have to be shown – just ownership and control.
We have represented many animal attack victims, over nearly 30 years, in the South Texas area. Most of these claims have involved significant losses:
Ambulance and hospital expenses
Medical expenses including specialist physicians
Extensive debridement, skin grafting and cosmetic procedures
Plastic surgery revision
Psychological care and emotional counseling
Lost school days or lost wages
There are nearly 5 million animal attacks on humans, every year, in the United States. This is sad an unnecessary. And many of the owners of these animals never do assume responsibility for the harm they have allowed to take place.
In nearly every case we have handled, there has been significant emotional trauma on the part of the victim – deep and long-lasting upset. This is true irrespective of whether they have been an adult or a child.
San Antonio Area Distracted Driver Accident Lawyer
A Simple Distraction Can Result in Cataclysmic Consequences
Driving distracted is a significant contributor to highway collisions. One federal report even refers to distracted driving as a national epidemic.
It is easy to minimalize the impairment of a vehicle operator, when they are inattentive or distracted. But the reality is that they are much slower to attend to even the simplest driving tasks. They suffer from a subtle delay in recognizing roadway data which they must respond to instantly. Driving no longer is their primary activity; it is reduced to secondary status.
Generally speaking, the drivers who cause major crashes fall into certain personality and lifestyle demographic profiles. Most of the irresponsible drivers who engage in really egregious conduct – such as running stop signs, driving drunk or recklessly, are generally out of control in all spheres of their lives.
When it comes to distracted driving, however, many of the accidents are caused by people who otherwise are very sensible. Even usually responsible people often underestimate the danger they put themselves, and others, when they drive distracted. This can involve either their eyes being diverted from the road, or it could be just the cognitive slippage which results from being lost in thought.
While texting and cell phone usage has preoccupied the media, more mundane tasks can prove deadly. Changing the radio station is a common culprit. Risky behaviors include eating or drinking, reaching for an item, brushing hair, and adjusting the GPS navigation system.
A Distracted Brain is a Lethal Weapon
Hands-free phones are thought of as safe. But new statistics are bearing out that, in fact, they also are a hazard. Dialing them can be just-distracting-enough. Voice-activation car phone systems are safer but still require multitasking.
About 6,000 driving fatalities occur each year as a result of people driving while distracted. And, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, well over 20% of vehicle collisions annually are the result of nothing more than inattention of a driver.
Drowsy Driving is Under-Reported
According to study results from the National Sleep Foundation, less than one half of Americans claim they get a good night’s sleep. And nearly a third admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel. Sleep researchers tell us that a person awake for 20 hours has an impairment equal to a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08. That’s the legal limit for unlawful driving after drinking, throughout the United States.
Public funds have allowed for the federal government’s Drowsy Driving Prevention awareness campaign (www.drowsydriving.org). It is important that the general level of national awareness on this issue becomes more elevated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has underscored that 16 percent of all drivers under age 20, who caused fatal collisions, were the result of being drowsy.
Preventing Tragedies Caused by Cell Phone Distraction
At the Distracted Driving Summit meeting in Washington recently, remedies were proposed to halt this social problem. The emphasis was on using new technologies to combat the hazards caused by communication technologies themselves. It is clear that people are not able to resist using their cell phones when they are driving. Ways to prevent cell phone use in moving vehicles are being developed in laboratories. When they are perfected, there may be shifts in the law to encourage their use.
Certainly the voice technologies are helping to reduce collisions caused by distracted hands and overwhelmed eyes. Individuals overlook the cognitive overload present when operating a vehicle while dialing and talking on a phone. The Department of Labor is working in conjunction with the Department of Transportation to campaign against the fatal consequences of distracted driving. Whether these changes encourage fewer collisions, as has been true with intoxicated driving, will be interesting to follow.
It is believed that highway improvements have helped to curb many distracted driving wrecks. Those roads with technological improvements, such as raised lane markers, startle some drivers into an awakened state. Corrugated road edges which create warning sounds also make our roads safer. The wider the road the easier it is for the inattentive driver to take corrective action. The new technologies have also allowed for highway lights and posts which break away. These have caused greater municipal expense, but the savings in lives are being demonstrated every day.
South Texas Motorcycle Accident Lawyers
Motorcycle Accidents are Unique
Motorcycles are becoming more popular in the United States, for a number of reasons. They are much desired for recreational transport. But also are finding favor because they are inexpensive on upkeep and have unparalleled fuel economy. An increasing number of accidents involving motorcycles has been noted among the US monitoring agencies which analyze roadway trends.
The motorcycle claims we have handled have involved some of the worst injuries we have seen, including death. Each year, around 3,000 motorcyclists are killed. And many of them die because of other vehicles driven in error. Usually the negligent driver says they never even saw the motorcycle. Their inattention, of course, excuses nothing.
Statistics underscore that in three-fourths of motorcycle accidents, it is the fault of a passenger car.
Most of the collisions we have represented have involved either the motorcycle, or the other vehicle, entering the roadway from a driveway or side street. The second most common collision cause has taken place when the negligent driver has made an illegal left hand turn in front of the motorcycle, failing to properly yield the right of way. Running stops signs would be the next most common source of accident cause. Lastly would be following too closely.
Roadway defects such as potholes, cracks and ridges are the cause of only 2% of accidents involving motorcycles. Animals are involved in 1% of mishaps.
Bias Against Motorcyclists Must Be Overcome
Motorcycles have their own handling requirements that make them different machines than cars, vans and trucks. The driving public often does not understand these differences. This endangers motorcycle operators, and also can present problems in obtaining compensation from insurance adjusters and juries. They need to understand clearly that maneuvers which are safe for a four-wheeled vehicle can be very hazardous for a motorcycle.
We have been representing injured motorcyclists for nearly 3 decades. And we know that many motorcycle insurance policies have unfair limitations on the amount of medical coverage.
The injuries sustained by the motorcycle operator and passenger are invariably more severe and debilitating than those to the offending driver. The motorcycle provides very little protection in a wreck. This is why all motorcycle training programs emphasize the need for operators to drive defensively. Even low-speed wrecks can cause catastrophic injury.
Motorcyclists who have been severely injured or disabled require extensive proceeds which may be obtained from other sources. Knowing how much a case might be worth, and who will be covering the medical bills, are threshold questions. Claimants and their families understandably want answers quickly.
Protecting Your Claim from the Beginning
The most important piece of physical evidence, following a motorcycle collision, is the motorcycle itself. It must be preserved with as little alteration as possible. The motorcycle should be transported to a safe location indoors. No one should touch it before the traffic reconstruction expert, and the product defects expert, have carefully inspected.
Sometimes a collision will be caused by a part of the motorcycle which is defective. There should be no attempt made to fix the motorcycle or remove any items from storage compartments. It is also necessary for a family member to find all documents pertaining to the motorcycle. This would include owners’ manuals and repair booklets. Warranties and other purchase papers should be given to legal counsel for review.
There are many questions which arise immediately after the medical crises is being effectively managed by the healthcare providers. Payment of the medical bills is an urgent question. Later on, considerations will turn more to compensation for future medical care.
Severe injuries carry with them overwhelming physical pain and mental suffering. The nature and scope of the medical treatment will suggest a timeframe for returning to work, if in fact that will ever be possible.
Loss of earnings issues will become vital, as will recovery of future loss earnings. These require maximum recovery, along with other matters such as property replacement and payment for all of the non-medical out-of pocket-expense.
South Texas Car Accident Attorneys
Getting Hit From Behind – A Very Common Accident
The rear-end collision is the most common. Often it is the result of the other driver going too fast or being distracted. Many times the at-fault driver was adjusting the radio dial or dialing their cell phone. These collisions especially are severe in rush hour traffic on I-275, I-75 and I-71, when sudden lane changes take place. They also are common around construction corridors, because some motorists fail to adjust for the changed traffic flow.
These collisions cause a variety of injuries, including
Low, middle and upper back pain
Bone injuries, particularly the hand and elbow
Whiplash and Others Associated Injuries
Probably the injury most often associated with this variety of collision is the hyperflexion-hyperextension cervical problem. This is known by everyone, simply, as “whiplash.” It is unfortunate that this injury has been maligned by the media because some individuals have falsely represented their symptoms. Medical science has not yet produced a reliable and definitive diagnostic measurement for these “subjective” injuries.
It is the nature of these connective tissue whiplash injuries that there is a delay in symptoms. Sometimes the neck, back and headache pain does not onset for a day or two. The medical journal Spine has reported that lower back pain can take many days or even weeks to become genuinely hurtful.
Claims Adjusters are Skeptical of Rear-End Collision Injuries
The human cervical column is not very effective at sustaining pronounced impact. The fact is that nearly any variety of vehicle can transfer tremendous vibrating impact and force, from its steel frame, to those inside. Especially vulnerable are the head and neck, which can snap violently with even minimal jolting. The position of the head and body at the moment of impact can make a large difference in the type and degree of injury. But rear-end collisions can result in serious pain and even disability.
Many rear-end collision claims can be processed by the victim, without the input of a lawyer. Commonly, victims of rear-end collisions assume early on that they have a strong case. Since they were not at fault – often waiting for the light to turn green – they expect to receive fair pain-and-suffering compensation.
The reality is that insurance companies usually are dismissive towards claimants who are injured when struck from behind. If the medical bills are not that high, then it might be best for the victim to process their own claim.
Games Insurance Adjusters Play
If the collision was not substantial, and your injuries could be designated as relatively minor, then you can expect the other driver’s insurance company to act in predictable ways.
The adjuster will say that since there was rather minor damage to the vehicle, therefore there could not have been serious injury to you. This will be argued, even though engineering expert witnesses have no trouble revealing the dishonesty of this position. It is well known that the impact of vehicles cannot be a reliable predictor of the extent of bodily injury for occupants. Expert witnesses are expensive and so the adjuster will bank on you not hiring one.
The adjuster will claim that since your car has a head restraint, you could not have suffered injury. Many peer-reviewed studies have exposed this assertion as untrue. The often-cited “ramping effect” underscores the physics of cars at impact. The force from behind ramps up the front of the car. This forces the driver’s body upward as their seat shifts downward. This can be up to at least 2 inches in even a small wreck.
If you did not complain of pain to the responding officer, then the argument of the insurance company will be that it is “common sense” you were not hurt. However any medical provider can tell you that, with connective tissue injuries, it is to be expected that symptoms appear later. The delay-of-symptoms reality, even well known among laymen, will not deter the adjuster from denying your claim, or offering little. The adjuster will guess that if it’s not worth taking to court, you effectively have no recourse anyway.
If there is a lack of objective findings, such as x-rays or MRIs, to establish bone fracture, then your injuries will be derided. Diagnostic measures, such as x-rays, are not able to establish pain of the soft tissue variety. The adjuster will claim your subjective soft tissue injuries cannot be proven.
The adjuster will say your muscle strain is minor and that they heal within a few days or weeks. Many medical studies offered by orthopedists demonstrate the contrary. The majority of vehicle accident whiplash patients do not resolve for about 6 months. And many such injuries can persist for many long months before there is relief.
Insurance companies have a favorite line of attack. They regularly argue that the claimant suffered from a pre-existing degenerative disc disease, and that is the real cause of symptoms. The reality is that these processes are related to normal aging and that even people in their thirties have this at play. Compensation should be deserved for the increased vulnerability of the cervical column. It sustains injury when the cervical discs are disrupted or ruptured, because of the negligence of the bad driver. Degeneration and natural drying out of the spinal column should increase the settlement amount, not lessen it. This is because you were at even greater vulnerability.
If you have been involved in a significant wreck, struck from behind, and have suffered incapacitating injury, then you likely have a claim that a lawyer should aggressively pursue.
South Texas Truck Accident Lawyers
Trucks Pose a Great Danger on our Highways
Large commercial trucks are given many names. They may be known as 18-wheelers or as tractor-trailers. Sometimes they are called semi-trucks or just “big rigs.” What does not vary, year after year, is the mayhem they cause on our nation’s highways. Every 16 minutes, a person in the United States is killed or injured in an accident involving a truck.
Over the past decade, the number of crashes involving large trucks has increased by 10%. Each year there are about a half million wrecks in America involving these metal behemoths. And government figures underscore that large trucks are involved in more fatal collisions than passenger automobiles. The average truck operator drives 125,000 miles each year, at the minimum.
Large Trucks are Advantaged Roadway Vehicles
This dismal profile is not likely to improve much in the future. The trucking industry generates nearly a trillion dollars worth of business each year, and that is expected to increase. And the lobbyists for the trucking firms in the United States are always importuning Congress for special favors. Regulations get rewritten, and often to the benefit of an industry which strongly subsidizes the campaigns of senators and congressional representatives.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has attempted to make our roads safer by implementing new procedures to combat the long hours truck drivers are on the road. The FMCSA has made inroads as to cutting back the number of wrecks due to exhausted drivers. But these rules are always under attack. And there are still many people killed each year because of a rig being operated recklessly from an overworked trucker. The US National Transportation Safety Board states that driver exhaustion remains a major highway hazard.
Interstate transport drivers have had to follow the federal guidelines set forth in 2004. But many drivers still operate big trucks outside the scope of these rules. Drivers may haul 11 hours in a work shift. They are not allowed to drive 14 hours after their prior shift. They must have at least 10 consecutive hours of off-duty rest in order to begin a new shift.
Further, the practical fact is that trucks are so much bigger and heavier than cars and smaller trucks. This is why about 80% of those inside a regular car get injured or killed when the other vehicle is a tractor-trailer. It’s simply not a fair fight. And the speed of the truck can be pivotal: an 18-wheeler travelling at 70 miles per hour has double the energy of a truck going 50 mph.
Causes of Trucking Disasters
We have handled the cases of those injured and also killed by collisions with large trucks. Despite the dangers of driving in darkness, well over half of the serious wrecks involving trucks take place in the daylight hours. Some collisions involve truckers pushing themselves hard in order to get home for the weekend or for a holiday. Sometimes they drive too long because they have had traffic or weather delays.
Nationally, some of the main causes of trucks hurting and killing drivers and passengers of cars include trucker fatigue and drowsiness, negligent lane changing, unstable loads, and defective tires. Nearly 70% of trucking collisions take place in rural areas.
Complexities of Pursuing Compensatory Damages
If a driver is criminally prosecuted, the civil case of the victim is usually made easier and sounder. The US Transportation Department requires interstate operators to maintain detailed logs of their times and miles. This offers key evidence when bringing a claim. Invariably, we pursue matters against the driver, the insurance company, and the company for whom the driver is employed. Many companies are self-insured and many companies hire independent contractor drivers. But the funds must be sought in order to provide compensation for the victim and their family.
We were successful in winning a closely-watched case, before the Supreme Court of Texas, involving a truck and car collision. Stanton v. Nationwide allowed for greater sources of insurance revenue to be attached. This opened the door wide for significant compensation for victims, in providing for their physical and emotional suffering.
Because the trucking industry is heavily regulated by the federal and state governments, claims involving trucks must embrace the many complexities of special codes and rules. Whether the mechanism of the crash involved a truck rolling over, jackknifing, or an unqualified driver – layers of government requirements always become key to the investigation.
Seatbelts Can Cause Major Injury
Seat harness systems are responsible for saving many American lives. Paradoxically, however, harnesses also inflict major injuries. About 16,000 people die – each year in the United States – as a result of chest injuries. About 25% of these are related to specific thoracic injuries.
It is not uncommon for lung pain to result from the occupant’s body being thrust against the restraint system. In severe impacts, if the membranes of the lungs are punctured, then pneumothorax can be expected to occur. This is because fractured ribs poke through the lungs, leading to respiratory collapse. If serious or untreated, death can result.
Cardiac trauma can also result from a car collision of true force. There can be severe contusion, created in a fraction of a second, when the person’s body is forcefully slammed into the automatic tightening of the belt.
If the chest strikes a harder surface, such as the steering wheel, the trauma can cause costochrondritis. Usually the ribs or cartilage of the chest are involved in a significant way. Inflammation results, producing pain at the upper chest, at the front near the sternum. This extremely painful condition can be found along with swelling and redness. It is known as Tietze’s Syndrome.
Chest Wall Trauma
Many people involved in car collisions suffer chest wall injury, where the sternum lies at the middle part of the chest. This is the area of the body between the lower part of the neck and the upper area of the abdomen. Involved anatomical parts also include the ribs, the thoracic vertebrae and costal cartilage which are made up of fibrous tissue.
Life squad paramedics and ER providers are always alert to the nature and degree of chest injuries. They can include damage to organs including internal bleeding. If the kidneys, spleen or liver are possibly ruptured, ER monitoring will be extremely rigorous. There is a real danger that a broken rib punctured an organ.
One of the most upsetting aspects of these injuries is that it is difficult to know what to expect for days after the event. Because of the multiple and interrelated organs, there are many unanswered questions in the ER and trauma center. This results in difficulty as to providing clarification related to diagnosis and treatment – when time is of the essence. Admission is often necessary. If a collapsed lung has been suffered, a chest tube will be inserted.
A ruptured abdominal aorta can easily be overlooked, causing a host of serious problems. This could be the result of blunt trauma – through impact with the shoulder harness, steering wheel, air bag or some part of the car interior.
The 12 pairs of bones which make up the ribs are very vulnerable to blunt impact. All of the ribs are curved and of unequal length. The “true ribs” are the top seven. Costal cartilage works to attach these ribs to the breastbone, also known as the sternum. The ribs known as “false” are those numbered 8 through 10, and they are separate from the breastbone. Most people are familiar with those numbered 11 and 12. These are known as the “floating ribs.”
Ribs are not easily broken, and it takes a major amount of energy transfer to cause that variety of injury to the occupant of a vehicle. Anyone who has suffered rib pain knows it is painful and long in healing. Physicians can do little beyond recommending patience during the unusually long recovery.
The crushing nature of the chest wall, even without rib fracture, creates severe bruising that can affect multiple organs. Pulmonary dysfunction sometimes results from severe chest contusion. Often this is not picked up by x-rays.
Emergency room personnel are well-trained to evaluate chest symptomatology carefully. Subtle indicators of significant, underlying trauma can be concealed. Certainly rib fractures can suggest tearing at the spleen or the diaphragm. Any presence of blood will almost certainly result in the patient being admitted for further examination. When fractures involve the sternum as well as the ribcage, it is difficult for the patient to move at all or even just breathe.
The Complexity of Back Injury
The spine (backbone) is comprised of 3 areas:
The cervical spine is the neck
The thoracic spine is the mid-back
The lumbosacral spine is the lower back
One of the most common injuries is back strain or sprain, usually involving trauma to the muscles or ligaments. As a medical category, this variety of back problem is often referred to as “musculoligamentous injury.” The back can be affected severely when the victim’s head is turned to the side at the moment of impact.
In pronounced situations, back pain can result in extreme, constant misery. Beyond that, it can also result in functional loss of the legs. In the most severe situations, there can be compromise of bowel or bladder control. An orthopedist or neurologist will have to treat if the pain includes tingling or numbness of the back or neck. There may be radiating dysfunction to the legs and arms.
When the back is subjected to great trauma, there can be various injuries inflicted.
Compression – is extreme pressure causing injury
Corticospinal – the tracts of the cervical spinal cord are traumatized
Bruising – when the force applied causes direct impact skin-and-muscle injury
Lacerations – wounds resulting from the body striking against an object
If the spinal cord injury has occurred in the neck region, the legs can be as affected as well as the arms. At the thoracic or chest level, the symptoms are usually experienced in the legs. Whatever the level affected, the entire body will suffer. This is because the spinal cord involves the entire nervous system in all its massive complexity.
Back Injuries are Difficult and Slow Healing
One of the reasons back injuries are so common in vehicle collisions is that the paraspinal muscles, which support the spine, are large and vulnerable. They are charged with supporting the full weight of the upper body – while also supporting the critically important spinal column. When a person’s head is violently hurled forward, this is hyperextension. When the head is rammed backward, this is known as hyperflexion.
When damaged, inflammation of the tissues causes tremendous pain. Serious damage can result to various body parts, including the ligaments, nerves, muscles, discs and joints. Spasms can also result. Medications initially can promote some relief, but healing over months can be expected. The treatment plan may include physical therapy to include applications of heat, cold, electrical impulses, massage and home exercises.
Often, there is little that medicines can do to accelerate the healing of these soft tissue injuries. It is difficult to remain patient over weeks or months while the muscles, ligaments, and the interlocking bones slowly, frustratingly heal.
Prescription anti-inflammatory medications are often ordered, to supplement over-the-counter analgesic. If a neck collar is prescribed, this should be worn exactly according to the doctor’s instructions. As days pass from the initial accident and trauma, swelling and pain may decrease. In the meantime, most of the daily activities of life are severely restricted or halted entirely.
There are no definitive, objective diagnostic measurements to clarify the degree of injury. As a result, back injuries can be problematic claims when asserted in court. The quality of the medical charting, and the credibility of the treating physician, will be important to the strength of the damages claim. An orthopedist, who in court is an articulate advocate, can help the jury to understand what the patient has been through.
Coping with Herniated Disc
The 26 vertebrae are a series of connected bones that protect the spinal cord. They surround the spine, and signal pain when damage occurs, by way of an elaborate circuitry of nerves. The brain monitors all of this data, and instructs the muscular skeletal system as to operating instructions.
When a disc is herniated (bulging), it pinches one of the nerve roots.
Since discs hold the vertebrae together, they must act to cushion from outside forces. In turn, the vertebrae connect to each other by these discs, as well as by double-sided joints known as facets. The spine’s vertebrae are able to twist, rotate and even bend from side to side. This is allowed by the facet joints working together with the discs.
Each disc is made up of resilient connective tissues. The outer surface of each disc is comprised of annulus fibrosus, which is vital to the security of each disc. Damage to the disc can result in herniation or disc rupture. This violent re-distribution is significantly painful. A violent twisting from an accident causes the outer annulus fibrosus to tear. Then the nucleus pulposus shifts out of its position and causes severe pressure on the nerves of the spine.
Much litigation results because of the necessity of proving the nature and degree of disc herniation. A clinical examination will focus on whether there is abnormal sensation or inconsistent reflexes. Often the physician will order a CT scan or MRI to supplement the ER x-rays. If any radiating pain or numbness is present, there may also be ordered electgromyograms, discograms and even bone scans.
Distinguishing a Sprain from a Strain Injury
Many people coming out of an emergency room question the difference between a strain and a sprain. The former occurs when the fibers that make up the muscles are stretched excessively and even torn. A strain injury involves a painful injury to the muscle or tendon; both are tissues which connect the muscles to the bones.
A sprain takes place when the ligaments are actually separated from whatever they are attached to. These tissue bands are essential for maintaining the structural integrity of the skeletal system. When they are stretched or torn, the tissue damage can be extensive along with debilitating pain. This is especially true if the larger muscles of the low back are involved.
Since both strains and sprains often affect a person in similar ways, they can be difficult for medical personnel to distinguish. As a general rule it does not much affect the treatment plan, since both injuries often follow the same course.
You are entitled to damages if you have suffered an injury because of the fault of another. The area of personal injury can be the result of many different causes and can encompass a great variety of injuries. It can be helpful to be familiar with some of the key terms.
Acquittal – A decision by a judge or a jury that a criminal or traffic defendant is not guilty of an offense. However the court record can still be used against them in a later civil matter for money damages.
Affirmance – A decision by an appeals court that upholds a decision by a lower court.
Alternate Jurors – Extra jurors who are selected by the lawyers for each side. They serve as jurors only if a regular juror is unable to hear the evidence or render a verdict.
Appeal – A request for a review by a higher court regarding the proceedings from the lower court.
Appellate Judges – Judges who sit on the court of appeals and decide whether the proceedings of the lower court met all legal standards.
Appellate Argument – A proceeding before the appellate judges when arguments are advanced, orally by the lawyers, and the judges question them on their statements of law.
Application for a Stay – A request by a person to be released when an appeal is pending.
Assault and Battery – These two words are often used together. However, they are actually separate legal concepts. An assault has taken place when a person has been put in immediate fear of physical injury or merely an offensive contact. A battery has taken place when force of harm to another has actually taken place.
Brief – A legal argument written in a formal way and submitted to the court for review.
Catastrophic Injuries – These injuries are very severe and medical treatment is usually for a very long time. Often the injuries are permanent. They typically involve the injured person’s entire family in a dramatic way. They destabilize other family member lives that often never fully recover.
Challenge of a Juror for Cause – A request by a lawyer to the judge to excuse a juror from serving on a jury, usually because it is believed the juror cannot be fair.
Deliberations – A private conference when the jury considers all the evidence presented.
Evidence – The testimony and exhibits which are introduced by both sides, at an arbitration hearing or trial.
Hearing – A proceeding authorized by a judge. Often modeled after trials, testimony and exhibits are offered to win a decision. Legal arguments are also advanced.
Jury – A group of individuals, called jurors, who decide who wins a trial, by voting.
Jury Box – The restricted area reserved solely for the jurors.
Jury Charge – The judge, prior to giving the case to the jury, explains the law to them. Also known as “Jury Instructions.” The courtroom door is locked during this period.
Jury Panel – A large number of people from whom the jury is selected.
Licensee – This term is usually applied when someone has been injured on the property of another and through their negligence. Often these are “slip and fall” claims. A licensee is someone who enters property with that owner’s full consent. Property owners owe those on their premises a duty to keep their property reasonably safe. They are under an on-going duty to warn the licensee of any known dangers. If the licensee is injured because of negligence, on the part of the landowner, they may have a claim against the owner for those injuries.
Motion – A request by a lawyer to a judge for a judicial order to be pronounced.
Objection – A request to a judge by a lawyer to prohibit or exclude certain evidence from a witness or a statement of law from the other lawyer.
Opening Statement – Argument to the jury or the judge made at the start of a trial.
Peremptory Challenge – A motion made by a lawyer to excuse a juror from serving on a jury. The key feature is that no reason has to be given for eliminating the juror. Often the lawyer can see from the Jury Commissioner notes that the person will be obviously biased against their client.
Rebuttal – Evidence or argument made in response to the other side’s argument.
Soft-Tissue Injuries – Soft-tissue injuries are often the result of trauma to the body. They can be caused from a single event which is then made worse by subsequent activities or injury. These injuries – typically resulting in sprains or strains – are painful. Sometimes they result in bruising. The muscles, ligaments and tendons are customarily affected. Treatment is difficult for physicians to predict. If internal organs or bones are involved, they are usually not soft-tissue injuries. However many soft-tissue injuries are bone-related.
Transcript – The official record of everything that is said in court, taken by a stenographer.
Trial – A court proceeding at which a judge or jury decides which side is to prevail in a legal contest.
Vacate – An order that a prior court order is to no longer have any legal effect.
Waive – To voluntarily give up a legal right.
Wrongful Death – A wrongful death action results when one’s life is ended by the wrongful actions of another party. These claims are usually brought by a survivor of the person killed. Other loved ones become a part of the wrongful death claim in seeking monetary compensation for their losses. In Ohio, the probate judge has the final say on a wrongful death claim.