Personal injury is a term describing an injury to the body, mind or emotions as a result of the negligence or fault of another party. There are many different types of personal injury, some of the most common being injuries from road accidents, accidents at work, slipping and tripping accidents and accidents in the home. If you have suffered a personal injury which was not your fault, there are a number of ways in which making a compensation claim can help you.
An injury can affect not just your working life, but also your personal life, in ways which can seem almost impossible to recover from. Fortunately, there are laws which mean that you should be able to claim compensation for your losses without paying a penny. Here are three ways in which compensation could help you following an injury.
1. Recovering lost earnings
If you have been seriously injured, you may well have been forced to take time off work, and therefore time without your salary, resulting in lost earnings. This may have led to severe cash flow problems, not just for you but for your entire family. Reclaiming those lost earnings is likely to be a crucial step towards getting you and your family back on your feet. As well as lost earnings, you may be compensated for other work-related issues such as disadvantage in the labor market, loss of promotion, loss of any other work-related opportunities and even future loss of earnings should you have to leave your job. With all of these taken into account, and depending on the severity of the injury, the compensation you are entitled to can potentially add up to a very large sum.
2. Compensating for pain and suffering
A serious injury can be very difficult to cope with, not just because of what you are not capable of doing during recovery, but also because of the suffering you may be experiencing. Pain and suffering is the legal term referring to any physical or emotional stress caused by an injury, and these may form part of the compensation package you are awarded. In addition to pain and suffering, other hardships resulting from the injury, such as an inability to carry out day to day tasks or hobbies, may also be taken into account in the compensation awarded.
3. Preventing a similar injury from happening again
When you make a personal injury claim, it is because another party has been negligent, and it was their negligence led to you being injured. Negligence means that they failed in their duty of care towards you, for example as an employer or as a public body which is required by law to make all reasonable steps to look out for your safety. If that party has failed to do so, it’s likely that others are at risk of being injured, as well. Making a personal injury claim will highlight the safety issues present and may prevent others from suffering from similar injuries in the future. And remember, you cannot legally lose your job for making a claim.
When an individual is the victim of an accident or assault, in many instances they could be entitled to a settlement beyond what might be offered by the responsible party or an insurance company. Each case is unique, as there are numerous variables that factor into whether someone has a legitimate “personal injury” claim. If negligence can be proven on the part of the responsible party, there may be a good chance the victim can be compensated for medical bills, time lost on the job and pain and suffering among other things.
But first, it would be wise for the victim to hire an experienced personal injury attorney to discern whether they have a solid case and if so, the level of compensation they might receive. Reaching a settlement can be a difficult and confusing process. Having a reputable personal injury lawyer to provide guidance in this sometimes arduous process can offer a sense of comfort. Most people have a broad understanding of personal injury law. However, it’s important to remember each state has its own personal injury laws. Here is a general overview of components factoring into a personal injury claim.
Negligence is the determining factor in injury cases. In law circles, negligence is considered a “tort” or a “civil wrong.” Generally, it points to the party responsible for an accident or injury, not adhering to the level of responsibility expected of a reasonable citizen. This can also be translated into “carelessness” on the part of the at-fault party.
Pain and Suffering
“Pain and suffering” covers a fairly wide range of issues related to physical injuries a victim of a negligent act sustains. It encompasses possible psychological after effects of those injuries as well. These after effects include whether a victim loses a limb or is disfigured in some way, as well as the length of recovery and struggles that might be incurred during that process.
To determine the level and legitimacy of pain and suffering claims, here are a few factors that courts will take into consideration:
• Did the victim immediately seek medical treatment for their injuries?
• Will the victim recover from their injuries, or will physical damage be permanent?
• What kind of treatment will be necessary, and for how long?
• How do the victim’s injuries affect their daily life?
Liability and Compensation
When a party is found to be liable in personal injury lawsuit, this means they are responsible for the injuries suffered by the victim through their negligence. There are many contributing elements that go into the determination of liability. This is why it’s important to retain an experienced lawyer with a proven track record in cases like these. Even though every case is different, chances are a successful personal injury attorney will at least be familiar with what to look for and will be very efficient in their fact-gathering efforts.
Once the responsible party is deemed liable, the compensation process begins. There are many contributing factors that must be taken into account to determine a settlement. Unless a case is relatively cut and dried, negotiations may take some time and eventually lead to an out-of-court settlement or the involvement of a mediator. Regardless, the skill, expertise and experience of the victim’s personal injury lawyer will go a long way toward determining the outcome.
Everyone is vulnerable to personal injury. There are different ways a person can be injured. If you are injured, it is wise to hire the services of a personal injury lawyer to make a claim against what or who caused your injury. You need to understand why a victim of an injury needs to get the legal representation of an attorney for filing the proper lawsuit against the person who has caused your suffering. This should be your primary concern before you move on to any other task related to your injury.
Top Reasons why You Need to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
When it comes to personal injuries, it is not enough that you simply get the services of any lawyer. This is because claiming for personal injuries has need of adequate expertise – something that only this type of lawyer can handle and offer to you. There are many benefits that you could gain if you pay attention to and carefully choose a good personal injury lawyer. The following are some of them:
• You need someone with an in-depth knowledge about laws that apply to many types of personal injury cases. One thing that you need to understand that not every person who has been injured has succeeded in claiming full compensation for the negligence done to them. This is why you need to talk to a personal injury lawyer specifically for a clearer discussion about your rights.
• You want an attorney that has a thorough familiarity and understanding what most injuries are worth. This is due to the fact that they have enough exposure in these types of cases and most probably have encountered the same case as yours. This qualified attorney also has a clear idea on what matters or factors can augment or decrease the compensation that you are entitled to claim. For this reason, the insurance adjuster and the lawyer on the other side cannot feign your personal claim’s actual value.
• The insurance adjuster will be more apprehensive with your claim if you are represented by a personal injury attorney. The insurance adjuster knows attorneys are determined to take the case into court. Why are they afraid to go to court? They know that the insurance company that they are representing would certainly be forced to pay more than what they intend to pay you. As a consequence, the insurance company would be motivated to offer you higher compensation instead of allowing the case to go to court.
• Having an attorney to stand by your side when it comes to personal injury claims will give you the chance to recover more easily and get fair compensation compared to the outcome you would have from representing yourself.
You have much to gain with the services of a good personal injury lawyer. In choosing a lawyer, you need to consider their experience and reputation. It takes a little time and effort but certainly worth the effort to make certain you hire the best one to help you with your personal injury claim.
Looking at the numbers of car accidents in this country every day, it looks as if we are all driving with our eyes closed. There is a reported car accident every five seconds in the United States. Every five seconds a deadly machine, a car, hits another car.
CAR HITS CAR, NO GOOD
Car crashes never end well. We all know that. Even the best accidents, if that even applies, result in property damage and a colossal waste of time filling out paperwork and dealing with insurance companies. In the worst cases, people die, families are ruined, medical mills skyrocket and lives change.
CAR HITS CAR, PEOPLE GET INJURED
This is serious business. More than 3 million people get injured every year in moving vehicle accidents – truck accidents, motorcycle accidents and car accidents. Millions of Americans have to visit the hospital as a result. Millions of Americans have to miss work due to injuries. Millions of Americans lose billions of dollars due to medical expenses and/or property damage. Among those millions of potential victims of negligent accidents are Americans just like you who could have, who should have contacted a personal injury attorney after their car accident. Why? Why should victims of moving vehicle accidents contact a qualified, aggressive personal injury with a proven track record?
PEOPLE GET INJURED, THEY DON’T ASK FOR HELP
Most victims of motorcycle, truck, bus or automobile accidents have no idea that they are victims and that they may be entitled to considerable monetary awards for what they have suffered during the accident. They have no idea because they don’t ask for help. They don’t take a few moments to understand their legal rights by having a simple, confidential, complimentary consultation with an attorney.
PEOPLE GET INJURED, THEY WALK AWAY WITHOUT KNOWING THEIR RIGHTS
That’s right. They just accept whatever check the insurance representative waves in front of them and never understand that the amount they got from the insurance company is probably a small fraction of what they would have been entitled to under the law.
I HAVE BEEN INJURED, I WANT TO KNOW MY LEGAL RIGHTS
Good! Have you or a loved one been injured in an accident? Yes? Do you think someone else negligently, carelessly or willfully caused the injuries? Yes? Then contact an attorney as fast as possible. Time is of the essence in all personal injury lawsuits and you will want your lawyer, your partner in this, to have the time he/she needs to protect you and your loved ones.
HOW LONG DOES A LAWSUIT TAKE?
No two personal injury cases are the same.
HOW MUCH WILL I GET?
The size of the financial awards vary as much as the nature of accidents. There are countless factors involved in each and every case, like the severity of damages, extent to which the negligent party is responsible and countless other elements. Needless to say, if your case goes forward, you and your loved ones will be informed every step of the way as your claims are aggressively pursued.
Personal Injury from car accidents
The state laws provide corresponding penalties for the crimes committed in injuries and death resulting from a car accident. The usual issue in court in these cases is not incarceration, but compensation.
How much money could you really get if you were seriously injured in car accident? The realistic question is, how much could the accused compensate in exchange for your relative’s life? Apparently, these are legal questions. But no one can suppress you in answering them based on your judgment. The law permits you to ask what is just to you, but is not also unfair to the accused.
If you are a victim of any kind of car accident, you can claim compensation for the damages to your property, loss of income from work and insurance, hospital bills and other related expenses. You may also claim for future burden that you might be experiencing such as specific instances like you cannot normally perform your work and you have lost your enjoyment because of the disability caused by the accident.
The settlement for death compensation, however, is different for it includes emotional and/or other non-economic damages for the family of the deceased victim, giving a huge burden to the offender.
To be more specific, the said damages are categorically divided into special and general. The first are damages which can be calculated such as loss of income and expenses in hospital and transportation services. The reason why receipts are very important for you to get this kind of compensation; they will serve as proof for your claim in court. The latter is contrary for it has no standard basis for any monetary calculation; it is about the “internal” suffering of the victim. It requires no receipts and can only be proven through medical or legal examination in one’s health and lifestyle. Hence, the subjectivity of this matter is weighed and given judgment based on the affecting consequences of both parties.
It is an assumption that the goal of compensation is to help the victim/s recover from the accident and bring back his/their normal life as soon as possible. And in this case, the role of law as mediator between opposing parties takes effect.
And for you to have the best outcome, it is necessary to hire a competent lawyer who has had a lot of the same cases won in the past. Your attorney must be specialized in car accident cases. If not, your chance of claiming compensation is mitigated by your wrong decision. Your lawyer has a critical role in your fight; you should not file a claim without legal assistance.
In the grand scheme of things is the realization that money can never replace life or the worth of “immaterial” things lost.
Car accidents cause not only a lot of pain, but also a “flood” of risks. It causes suffering of victims and untimely deaths.
The most apparent causes of accidents are negligence, recklessness, and lack of sense of safety. These are also the usual explanation given accident investigators after a car accident. They seem to be an alibi and a means of avoidance of drivers and do not justify the tragic end of innocent lives.
Victims who are ignorant of their legal rights and court’s procedure become helpless when such a situation occurs. What a victim doesn’t know is more vital than those which they already knew about the laws. Knowing the preventive measures in car accidents and the basic laws is a necessity.
The following are some important safety and legal tips for an accident case:
Seek medical help – You need medical assistance even if you or your passenger look okay. It is necessary because there are some injuries that cannot be seen by your eyes alone. And be sure to get a medical report if you have injuries so you can use it as evidence when filing for a compensation.
Be observant – Getting data about the accident is important. You should note the license plate of the other vehicle so you can be confident that he cannot hide from facing his penalties. If there are eye witnesses around the area, it is advisable you request them to be interviewed by police officers.
Speak with the authorities – It is an essential part of the accident investigation to talk with police officers so they can reliably record the facts about the case. At this point, you should honestly reveal everything about the accident.
Take photographs of the scene and the cars or people involved – Photos taken at the scene of the accident are very helpful evidence to prove your claims before the court. Especially take pictures of the damages of your vehicle or any other property.
Have a copy of the police report – Securing a police report is really essential in compiling evidence. You must examine the accuracy of the document and inform the officer or your lawyer if there is an error.
Talk with the other party – Exchanging information with the other driver could help minimize the risk of further
conflicts. Avoid discussing the details of the accident with the driver because he might deny his negligence. The only information you should obtain are their names, contact numbers, and addresses.
The risk of car accidents is always present in every corner of the road, and the only way to avoid it is to be responsible in driving by following the traffic laws and safety guidelines provided by the law. If you ignore the things which could prevent accidents, there will be no change in the pattern of car accidents.
If you are a car accident victim or one who is charged with the violation of the traffic law, feel free to contact us and we will seek for justice for you.
Punitive damages, also referred to as exemplary damages, are only awarded in car accident cases where the driver’s conduct was so egregious as to constitute an indifference or reckless disregard of the health or safety of others. This means that the driver acted deliberately and was fully aware of the consequences of his or her actions. Punitive damages are designed to punish the offender and to deter similar conduct in the future.
The case for punitive damages will arise where the liable driver was under the influence of alcohol and/or had a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08 percent. It is rare for punitive damages to be awarded for any other type of driving conduct. Even recklessness or grossly negligent driving does not warrant an award for punitive damages.
Drunk driving accidents, however, continue to be one of the major causes of car accidents in the U.S. despite massive efforts by schools, law enforcement agencies, groups like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Drivers (SADD). Even the adult beverage industry has weighed in to remind drivers to act responsibly.
Drinking impairs a motorist’s judgment and muscular coordination, although many motorists feel empowered after drinking and believe they can drive faster and better than anyone else on the roadways.
Thousands of people are killed and even more are injured by intoxicated drivers each year. In recent years, the legal limit for driving has been reduced from 0.10 blood alcohol content (BAC) to 0.08 percent. Though each state can set the legal limit at any level, the federal government will withhold millions of dollars in highway funds for any state that does not adhere to the 0.08 percent level. Accordingly, each state has adopted this standard.
For minors, or those under 21, many states have adopted even lower levels. In many states a minor with a blood alcohol level of 0.02 percent can lose his or her license. In some states, any detectable level of alcohol found in a minor while driving is illegal. A violator can lose his or her license for one year and up to three years if the minor driver refuses to take a blood alcohol test.
Any injury caused by the negligent driving conduct of another can be compensated in a personal injury claim. Any person who drives a motor vehicle is under a legal duty to operate his or her vehicle in a reasonable and safe manner. This includes driving below the speed limit if the traffic or weather conditions warrant it. The failure to adhere to the standard of a reasonably safe driver under the conditions presented can be considered negligence.
Should a driver choose to drink and then drive, it is presumed that the motorist acted negligently.
In most cases a driver with a blood alcohol level of at least 0.08 percent or who is considered to be under the influence of alcohol, regardless of the percentage, will have caused the accident and the resulting injuries. In these cases, it can be relatively easy for an injured party to collect compensation.
Injured auto accident victims can collect compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
If you have been injured by an intoxicated driver, if your case goes to trial and you have included a clause for punitive damages in your complaint, you will first have to obtain a verdict in your favor. Once that is achieved, a second phase of the trial determines the amount of punitive damages, if any, that the court or jury will award. A jury will consider the defendant’s financial condition in assessing the award although an excessive award will nearly always be reduced either by the trial judge or an appellate court.
Texas law does not require that auto insurers pay punitive damages. This will have to come from the driver personally. Your attorney will typically have found out what assets the driver possesses that are subject to a court judgment and seizure before a trial or settlement to determine if it is worthwhile to pursue such a course of action.
Negligence can never be a justification in the strict rule of justice; it is only an accessory for the defense of the accused. There can be no other reason to support this fact, except the inadmissibility of an absurd argument. It’s not a point to counter; it has a truthful basis in so far as the “premise liability” law is concerned.
It is stated in the law that the negligence of the owner of an establishment or property is a ground for a lawsuit which can be pursued by the victim. If proven that the owner has the duty to secure the safety of the person and the security of the property within his premises. If he did nothing to prevent the foreseeable accident, then he could be liable to pay for the injuries or damages of that person. It should, however, be proven first in court that the negligence was really on the part of the owner for and the victim was not the cause. In that case, the owner has no responsibility to compensate. But if both parties are at fault, then the law provides that the owner would share to the expenses of the victim.
The “negligence” may be a simple term to be understood in its ordinary sense, but in legal understanding, specifically, in the issue of negligent security, it is quite broad to comprehend. In order to prove the negligence in some rare cases, there must be a pattern of negligent acts. For instance, if there were already records of robbery in a private establishment which has no CCTV cameras and not enough security guards and the owner neglected this issue and sustain the same practice of operation, and the incident happens again. In this case, there is a negligence on the part of the owner because he had not taken any action to resolve the foreseeable problem. The victim of the robbery could then file a claim for compensation for damages from the company.
Hence, to preclude the the occurrence of negligent security cases, there must be a mutual cooperation between the owner of the establishment and his customers. The owner, as part of his function, should ensure that there are enough security devices, and the place is always in good condition to avoid accidents within his premises. The customer or visitor, on the other hand, should be very cautious in all his acts inside the private or public place.
Though the law is strict and the penalty for its violation is extreme, there is still a “hole” for a crime to exist when safety measures are left neglected. No surprise that because of negligence, the crimes for negligent security in the United States is still rising. There are incidents of stealing of credit cards and other important properties and accidents which have injured or taken lives of the innocent people.
It can be considered as one cause of wrongful deaths and permanent disability for those unfortunate individuals who have put their trust in businessmen or friends who have taken it for granted. The only fight they can pursue is the compensation for their injuries or damages.
Nothing will be awarded to the victim if he doesn’t have a competent attorney on his side who will fight and defend his rights in the court. It is a necessity to hire the best lawyer to secure the due process and fair trial. This kind of attorney is available at our firm.
If you don’t want to neglect your right for compensation as a victim, or your chance for acquittal as a defendant, call us.
Negligent car accidents where the victim is eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit happen every minute of every day in this country. People fall down. People get hit. Products fail. Hospitals make mistakes. Trucks hit cars. Trains hurt people. Victims wind up in the hospital. Loved ones wind up dead.
Is that you?
Have you or a loved one been injured in a car accident?
By a distracted driver?
By a drunk driver?
By a truck, bus or train?
if you have been injured in any way, shape or form and you know that another party, people, manufacturer or corporation is responsible you very well may have a case. You should immediately contact an attorney.
ARE YOU CURIOUS ABOUT FILING A LAWSUIT?
Auto accidents where a victim has been negligently, carelessly or willfully injured occur on our nations streets and highways. They happen to people of all ages and in both white-collar and blue-collar neighborhoods. Worst of all, car accidents affect every aspect of the victims lives: property damage to the vehicle, time spent dealing with repairs, injuries suffered, hospital visits and all of the psychological and emotional strain it puts on the victims and the families. Also, injuries can wind up costing thousands in medical bills and lost wages.
DO YOU KNOW HOW EASY IT IS TO SEE IF YOU HAVE A CASE?
Take a few moments to:
Feel more secure
Know your rights
Protect your family
Learn about financial justice
That’s right. It takes only a few moments to pick up the phone and start to know your legal rights. To speak with a qualified, aggressive attorney with a proven track record who will, if the suit goes forward, be at your side and walk you and your loved ones through the entire process.
If you’ve suffered an injury of any type and you think another party is responsible, it is critically important that you understand your legal rights. Insurance companies are incredibly good at making sure the victims (you and/or your loved one) are paid the absolute least amount of money possible. To protect yourself and your family, take a few moments, find out what your legal rights are and what the best next step is to make sure you are protected under the law. Qualified, experienced back and spinal injury attorneys are only a phone call away and they have the expertise and proven track record to get you the financial compensation you deserve.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF I THINK I HAVE A CASE?
You may be entitled to recover lost wages incurred when you couldn’t work.
You may be entitled to punitive damages (compensation) for emotional or psychological stress suffered due to your injury.
You are definitely entitled to a free, confidential consultation with a seriously qualified personal injury lawyer to find out the extent of your legal rights.
Your injury was serious. Your lawyers should be as well.
Being injured in an auto accident can cause a domino effect of struggles. It won’t take long before the piling bills turn into nagging phone calls from collectors. When you have been injured due to the actions of another, you need our legal assistance.
Although we will work with virtually all auto injury cases, our areas of expertise lie in the following:
Motor vehicle accident cases
Car accident cases
Trucking accident cases
Motorcycle accident cases
Wrongful death cases
Head and spinal cord injuries
Unlike other legal offices that may promise personal attention only to hand you off to one of their novices, we work with each of our cases personally.
The costs of our services will vary from case to case. Because every case is unique, we don’t have a set rate established; however, you are guaranteed that if we don’t win, you don’t pay a dime in legal fees.
When you have been in an auto accident, the first priority is for you to receive proper medical attention. After your immediate medical needs have been considered, give us a call. The sooner we are able to address your case, the greater the likelihood of success.
The duration of each case may vary. For some, a case may only require a few days before resolution is obtained. For other cases with multiple layers of complexity, it may take a number of months. When you visit with us, we will be able to offer you an estimated timeline.
When you have been injured in an accident due to the negligence or fault of another, it may not take long before your life begins to spiral downward. The pain and suffering, increasing medical bills, and inability to live life to its fullest can be difficult to handle.
Most insurance companies offer the minimum amount of assistance at the time of injury. They are businesses and want to ensure they limit their costs as much as possible. As a former insurance attorney, we have all the experience necessary to work with your insurance carrier and defend your rights.
The last thing you want to consider when suffering a personal injury is paying lawyer fees. Fortunately, if you don’t win, you pay us nothing. When you are looking for some hope and perhaps the needed compensation, look no further than our firm. We have over 20 years of experience, delivering personalized representation for cases like yours.
We understand that after suffering an auto accident, you may not have the ability to walk into our legal offices. Fortunately, we do provide the convenience of home and hospital visits.
If you are not sure if you have a case on your hands, give us a call. You have absolutely nothing to lose. We will provide you with a complimentary consultation in order to carefully assess your situation and consider the best steps to move forward.
Was Your Doctor Mistaken? Cases of Misdiagnosis Highlight the Importance of Getting a Second Opinion
The Wall Street Journal’s reported that seeking second opinions from doctors can lead to drastic changes in diagnoses. It is not unheard of for mistakes to occur during the process of diagnosing an illness. It is possible for the reading of radiology slides and biopsies to be entirely incorrect or just false enough to leave a patient seeking the wrong treatment.
Second opinions have, for example, revealed malignant tumors to be benign; and, in some cases, what was initially thought to be asthma has later been diagnosed as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. To say the least, seeking a second opinion can be an effective safeguard against misdiagnoses.
Misdiagnosis is one of the leading reasons for medical malpractice lawsuits as patients can waste valuable time seeking treatment they do not need, or undergoing surgery which proved to be useless to their condition. Some of the most common misdiagnoses involve:
Salivary gland cancer
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Coronary artery disease
It is good to remember that doctors are human and, as a consequence, are not perfect. They can occasionally become entrenched in a diagnosis, unintentionally overlooking evidence which would either disprove their diagnosis or indicate a different diagnosis. A fresh set of eyes, as it were, can be vital to getting to the core of your ailment. Remember, you are entitled to take slides, pathology reports, and other information to another doctor for your second opinion.
Of course, we know you can’t always afford to obtain a second opinion for your diagnosis or treatment plan. Sometimes you simply have to accept what your medical professional has told you. This why it is important that your primary care physician is someone whom you trust and respect.
If you decide to seek a second opinion for your diagnosis, here are some questions to ask so you can get the most out of your second opinion:
“Are the test results contestable? Could a second round of testing prove useful?”
“Are you positive that this is the disease I have? Is it possible that there are other explanations for my symptoms?”
“Do you agree with the original diagnosis? If so, are you able to suggest any alterations or modifications to my treatment plan?”
“Have we explored all possible options?”
When it comes to your health you should try to be as informed as possible. The more you know about yourself and your condition, the more you can help your doctors treat you. If you feel you have a malpractice case, please feel free to contact us to answer your questions.
What is the process of a personal injury case?
The process of a personal injury case is always the same, no matter what type of case it is (medical malpractice case, civil rights case, car accident case, fall down case).
Once you provide us information about what happened to you, what medical injuries you’ve sustained, and the sort of treatment you are receiving, we obtain all medical records and do our investigation. In a car accident case, for instance, we go to the scene of the accident, take photographs, speak to witnesses, and so on.
Once the investigation stage is done, we send all the itemization to the opposing insurance company, and the settlement negotiations are started. If the parties cannot reach a settlement, we file suit.
Once the lawsuit is filed, the court sets certain time tables, telling us by what date we must complete our discovery (depositions, interrogatories, and so on). After that, the court will set the trial date.
Before the trial date, the parties usually go through a pre-trial settlement conference. You may or may not be involved in the pre-trial settlement conference, but you will always be informed of what happens at the conference. If the parties cannot reach an agreement there, the trial date will be set and the parties will go to trial, at which point you will be fully engaged in the trial process.
What Information Should You Document Following Your Car Accident?
A car accident, motorcycle accident, or other motor vehicle crash can be a disorienting ordeal to go through. Because a car crash can be a difficult experience, our law firm tries to provide you with important information which can help you find your bearings during a trying time. In this article, we will tell you what information you should collect at the scene of your accident. Following our checklist will greatly help you in your car accident case.
You should make sure to do as much of the following as you can:
Document the exact location of the accident, including as much geographic information as you can.
Document the positions of all vehicles prior to and following your accident.
Photograph any objects–including signs, telephone poles, trashcans, buildings–that may have contributed to the accident.
Record the information of anyone involved in the accident; this means the names and addresses of all drivers and passengers.
Record the information of anyone who may have witnessed the accident; this means the names and addresses of any bystanders.
Record the information of all vehicles involved in the accident, including make, model, and license plate information.
Record all insurance information for all vehicles.
You should always inform the police of an auto accident. If the police were involved in investigating the accident then there will be a police report.
For more information on what to do following a car accident, including filing a personal injury claim, call our office for a free consultation.
Top Causes of Car Accidents
Here is a short list of some of the most common causes of car accidents:
Texting (Radio/music accessories: i.e., iPods, MP3 players, CD players, tape decks, radios
Reading, checking e-mail, or eating are also fairly common and incredibly dangerous.
Using an interior mirror; for instance, when applying makeup.
Paying too much attention to your passengers or being distracted by passengers.
“Rubber-necking,” or slowing down in traffic to inspect an accident scene or construction site, causing sudden stops or changes in speed that endanger everyone on the road.
Disregarding posted speed limits.
Reckless speed in certain conditions (i.e., night-time, rain, snow, ice, etc.).
Speeding on different road types.
3. Drunk or intoxicated driving
Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driving ability is impaired. There is no one alive who “drives better after a few beers.” If you plan to drink, don’t drive. Car accidents involving drunk or otherwise intoxicated drivers are usually devastating– for everyone involved. Fatal accidents are hundreds of times more likely to occur (the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety estimated that a drunk driver is 385 times more likely to be in a fatal accident than a sober one) when drivers are drinking.
4. Reckless driving & racing
Reckless drivers do not take into account other motorists on the road. They may race, change lanes without signaling, and basically treat the road like their personal playgrounds. These drivers endanger not only themselves, but others.
5. Rain & water
Rainy conditions obscure vision.
If your wipers are in bad shape, your visibility is shot. It’s important to remember to check your windshield wipers and replace the blades when necessary. You can also save your wipers some wear and tear by leaving them up (off the windshield) in the winter.
6. Disobeying traffic signals
Running stop signs. Also, the “the rolling stop” is not considered stopping at a stop sign. Practice waiting a few seconds at a stop sign before proceeding. This will statistically reduce your chance of a collision with another driver approaching the intersection
Chasing yellow lights is incredibly dangerous. Do not attempt to “make” the light by accelerating. If you aren’t sure if you have enough time, do NOT try. Many accidents occur from these scenarios, whether someone has chased a light or has tried to speed through one. It is just as important to give ample time to stop as it is to wait before crossing an intersection.
Failing to yield the right of way.
7. Teenage drivers
More easily distracted and more typically more reckless than older, more experienced drivers, teenagers should be educated that the myriad electronics are simply excessive and unsafe to have in the car. That applies to their passengers as well. When teaching teenagers to drive it is vital to stress the importance of focus while on the road.
8. Night driving
Light and distance perception are altered.
Be sure not to try to drive when you are tired.
9. Vehicle defects
Manufacturer faults– most notable are tire and brake failures. It is important to know your vehicle’s appropriate tire pressures and to maintain your brakes.
10. Unsafe road maneuvers
Sudden lane changes, or lane changes without signaling
Sporadic braking and uneven speed are incredibly dangerous on the road
Not leaving enough distance between cars to maneuver
Try to establish distance between yourself and the cars around you, this will allow for reckless drivers to avoid you and give everyone ample time to react to any sudden traffic pattern changes
12. Snow & ice
Slick surfaces like bridges are much more likely to be icy than roadways
Un-plowed roads should be avoided or reported to the appropriate authority. Snow on the road covers such hazards as water, rocks, and black ice.
13. Road rage
Frustration on the road can lead to reckless driving.
If necessary, pull over (where and when it is safe and appropriate) and take a moment to calm down. Drive with a clear head to ensure your own safety and the safety of others.
14. Road defects
Changes in road gradients, slopes and surfaces require more attentive driving.
In construction sites, lane shifts and other tactics are meant to keep drivers safe. When you are instructed by signage to “Stay IN Lane,” that usually means the pavement ahead is uneven and may cause you to lose traction or a safe driving line.
15. Tire blowouts
Incorrect tire pressure accounts for a large number of blowouts. Make sure your tires are riding at the appropriate pressure.
Unsafe road conditions from obstacles that are strewn around in the road can cause a blowout.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, please contact us for a free consultation.
Elder Abuse Warning Signs — How to Identify Nursing Home Neglect
Elder abuse is defined as intentional neglect by a caregiver, particularly in a nursing home setting. Reports of elder abuse and neglect have been steadily increasing in recent years, and with nearly 1.8 million senior citizens presently residing in nursing homes, elder abuse requires immediate attention. For more than a decade, the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has been spreading awareness on the issue of nursing home abuse, releasing a steady flow of literature helping Americans prevent and identify instances of elder abuse. If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, check out these NCEA tips for preventing neglect and abuse in nursing home settings.
Report the Abuse
First and foremost, if you believe abuse is taking place in any way, you should report it. Even if you believe the issue has already been reported, you should insist that the problem be investigated. Two ways to file such a report are with local law enforcement or with a local adult protective service agency.
One of the most common circumstances in cases of elder abuse is isolation. A resident has withdrawn from his or her community, spending a lot of time alone. This often occurs if the resident has been suffering from some form of abuse. A good way to help prevent nursing home abuse is to stay in contact and make sure your loved one is content and sociable. Furthermore, going out of your way to talk with the withdrawn resident may encourage them to speak up about abuse.
It can do wonders for residents of nursing homes to see fresh faces in the facility. If you have the time, see about volunteering in your loved one’s home in any way you can. Not only can the presence of volunteers lift resident’s spirits, it can also help to deter employee abuse.
Lastly, you should be observant. Watch your loved one and other residents in the home. See how they interact with the staff. Make note of any peculiar markings on their persons; i.e., bruises, scrapes. Be aware of residents who seem fearful, nervous, or depressed.
If you have a loved one living in a nursing home, you should do your best to make sure he or she is safe and content. If you feel they are a victim of abuse, notify the authorities and contact our office for a consultation.
Keep Your Loved Ones Safe from Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect — Tips on How to Inspect a Nursing Home
In the US alone, there are currently more than 1.5 million senior citizens receiving care in more than 17,000 nursing homes. Unfortunately, the safety of these residents cannot be guaranteed. Nursing home abuse and neglect was reported in 30 percent of all the nation’s nursing homes for a two-year period of time. That is roughly 9,000 abuse reports in a span of two years. Shocking, to say the least.
Elder abuse and neglect has become an increasing problem in this country, with some studies showing that the problem is growing exponentially every year. The senior and disabled residents staying in nursing homes are largely unable to defend themselves against the verbal, physical, and emotional abuse that plagues them. This is why it is important for family members to carefully inspect a nursing home before committing their loved ones to live there. The following are some ways that you can vet a prospective nursing home:
Visit the Nursing Home: Do not trust brochures, websites, or quick tours to give you a full and accurate picture of the facility. Visit the facility at different times of day. Compare your morning visit to your evening visit. See if the energy level of the staff and residents is noticeably different. Keep an eye on hygiene. Is the place dirty? Is there an odor?
Speak with Residents: When making sure a nursing home is safe for a loved one, the best people to ask are current residents. Do they seem content or depressed? Do they have positive things to say about the home? While talking with them, take a close look: Are they well groomed; meaning do they have good skin care, oral care? If you can, speak with family members of residents. See if they have any concerns or comments.
Find Out About Staffing Levels: One of the leading causes of nursing home abuse and neglect is understaffing. Many employees who abuse residents do not take pleasure from it; some are overworked, frustrated, poorly paid, and poorly trained. Their stress causes them to act out. If the staff at your prospective nursing home seems burnt out or overwhelmed with their duties, you may want to keep looking.
Elder abuse in nursing homes is a serious problem. If you are considering placing your loved one in a facility, we advise that you take your time and carefully make your decision.
If you have a loved one already living in a nursing home, you should do your best to make sure he or she is safe and content. If you feel they are a victim of abuse, notify the authorities and contact our office for a consultation.