What To Do After A Car Accident

When you’ve been in a car accident, the fight or flight response is activated. Unfortunately, you don’t have the option of fleeing. In this situation, you’re backed into a corner, and you have no choice but to deal with the consequences of unforeseen events head on. Even though your mind is flooded with unbelievable stress hormones, you should immediately make a checklist of the things you need to do.

First and foremost, ensure your own safety. Directly after a car accident, pull off to the side of the road. If the immediate area isn’t safe, try to signal any other drivers involved and pull into a nearby parking lot. If either vehicle is put out of commission and cannot be moved, mark the site of the accident with flares if you have them, and then move to the side of the road.

Once you know you’re safe, immediately alert the police that an accident has occurred. Although the police will try to find out as much as possible about what happened and who was at fault, be careful to limit what you say. Answer questions without elaboration and never admit fault.

If you have a camera, begin taking photographs of the site of the accident–but only if it’s safe to do so. You’ll want pictures of license plate numbers, the vehicle from every angle, and close-ups of any obvious damage to any vehicles involved in the accident. If you were hurt, take a quick picture of your injury.

After that, start trading information with anyone else involved. Find out insurance policy information, and then record license plate numbers and the make and model of the vehicles. If there were bystanders who witnessed the accident, record their contact information. If anyone gives you a hard time about getting information, simply inform the police when they arrive. Don’t risk getting into a heated argument or a physical confrontation. It won’t be worth it in the long run.

In the days following your accident, document medical bills and other expenses. Take pictures of any injuries on a daily basis. Create a journal in order to record your thoughts and feelings and other information about the accident. When you find a lawyer, this documentation can help tremendously.

Common Car Accident Injuries

Most Common Car Accident Injuries

AmbulanceWhen you are involved in a car accident, there is a good chance that at least one of the parties will suffer from some sort of injury. Car accident injuries range from mild, like cuts and cruises, to severe, like spinal cord injuries, and sometimes can result in death. A car accident threatens all areas of your body. Mostly, injuries happen to the upper body. This is due to the force of the airbags and the proximity of the steering wheel, windshield, and front dashboard.

Some of the most common car accident injuries are:

  • Head Injuries
    • Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
    • Concussions
    • Skull fractures
    • Brain contusions
  • Back Injuries
    • Spinal cord injuries
    • Fractured vertebrae
    • Herniated disk
  • Neck Injuries
    • Whiplash
    • Muscle, ligament damage
    • Vocal cord paralysis
  • Chest Injuries
    • Bruised or broken ribs
    • Collapsed lung
    • Traumatic cardiac arrest
    • Internal bleeding
    • Damage to internal organs
  • Other Injuries
    • Broken Bones
    • Bruises or cuts
    • Ligament damage
    • Severed limbs
    • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Car accident injuries can have life altering effects. Some injuries, like spinal cord injuries or traumatic brain injuries, can have long lasting effects. Typically, if you suffer a serious injury you will lose time at work and the medical expenses will begin to add up. If this sounds like your scenario, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney immediately. A car accident attorney will analyze your individual case and determine if you are entitled to compensation. Please, do not hesitate to contact an attorney.

If you are wondering how you are going to pay an attorney, it is important to know that most personal injury attorneys do not charge for an initial consultation nor do they charge you for a lost settlement. So basically, you only pay if you win.

How to File a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

When you enter a loved one into a nursing home, you are putting your trust in others to take care of that individual. Unfortunately, nursing homes have been plagued various abuse cases including verbal and physical harm, overmedication, and other forms of abuse. This can have harmful effects on your loved one, sometimes shortening heir life. If your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, you should file a complaint and contact an attorney immediately. Navigating the waters of a nursing home abuse lawsuit can be difficult on your own. If you or a loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, make sure you have the proper guidance to ensure that your loved one is taken care of. Contact an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer that will best represent your needs and get you the compensation you deserve.  

Steps for Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

When you realize that your elderly loved one is being abused, whether it is severe or mild, you should look for legal assistance. Here are some of the steps you can follow:

 

  • Hire an attorney

 

      • The first step you should take is hiring an attorney who specializes in nursing home abuse cases. Nursing home cases can be complex and confusing. Look for legal assistance to guide you through your lawsuit and get your loved one the compensation he/she deserves.

 

  • Prepare to file

 

      • When you are getting ready to file a nursing home abuse lawsuit, it is important to gather the necessary documents. Some documents you will want to get your hands on are:
        • Nursing home contracts
        • Medical records
        • Witness statements
        • Photographs or video
    • Complaint/Petition
      • When you file a nursing home abuse lawsuit, it is referred to as a complaint or a petition. The complaint will contain information regarding claims made by you, the plaintiff, against any defendants. In addition, the complaint will contain information on the legal basis for the claim, facts relating to the claim, and the relief being sought.

 

  • The legal process

 

    • After the complaint has been filed, the process of gathering information begins. Your lawyer will begin to ask questions, interview witnesses, and prepare your case. Nursing home abuse cases do not have a set timetable, it depends on the lawyers involved and how long it takes to gather the necessary information for your attorney to build a case.

Each step to filing a nursing home lawsuit is important in its own way. The more information your attorney and you can gather regarding the abuse, the better. These cases can be a long and stressful process. Find an attorney that will guide you and/or your loved one through this process, take the stress off of you, and represent you and/or your loved one in the best light.

Wrongful Death & Survival Action Lawsuits

When your loved one is a victim of an accident and is severely injured, it can be a very a difficult time in your life. Taking care of your injured loved one while they recover can be a financial burden not only of them but also on you. Together, you decide that filing a personal injury lawsuit is what’s best to help recover lost wages, medical expenses and the pain and suffering your injured loved one is going through. But then, something tragic happens – your loved one dies in the middle of his pending lawsuit. What do you do? What are your legal rights? There are currently two options available: filing a wrongful death claim as well as filing a survival action.

Wrongful Death Lawsuit

If you are family or a loved one of someone who was killed due to someone else’s negligence (whether immediate or a few weeks after the fact), you have the right to file a wrongful death claim for damages. Damages include pain and suffering while your loved one was injured, current and future income they may have been lost during your loved one’s injury, funeral expenses and outstanding medical bills associated with your loved one’s injuries.

Survival Action

A survival action is slightly different. You are seeking damages on behalf of your now-deceased loved one. In layman’s terms, you are continuing the personal injury case. Usually, the person who files for a survival action is the executor of your loved one’s estate. The estate files a survival action to seek damages relating to the pain and suffering of the victim, medical bills and lost earnings, similar to what your loved one could have recovered in a personal injury lawsuit if they would have survived.  Any compensation awards to the estate is then dispersed directly to the estate and then distributed according to the victim’s last will and testament.

If your loved one died at the hands of someone’s recklessness, give us a call for a free consultation to discuss your case. You might be entitled to file a wrongful death claim and/or a survival action.

 

 

Is Domestic Violence A Personal Injury?

Domestic violence is an epidemic not only affecting couples in the United States but around the world. According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 4 women will be victims of severe domestic abuse by an intimate partner at some point in their life. For men, the odds are slightly better at 1 in 7. A report from the World Health Organization also told us that a man or woman that is exposed to domestic violence as a child is 3-4 times more likely to abuse their partner. The most alarming statistic comes from a survey from Domestic Violence Statistics that stated: “a woman is beaten every nine seconds in the U.S.” If you are a victim of domestic violence, you should alert authorities then try to have a restraining order granted. Once you are away from the situation and safe, you can proceed by inquiring about a divorce and check out if a civil suit is applicable in your scenario.

Is a Divorce Necessary?

A divorce is likely necessary to enforce any kind of damage award in a civil suit. This is because in the court of law, a married couple’s assets are considered joint-property. Technically, the court cannot make a jury decide a verdict that “takes” money from one spouse and “gives it to the other.

You do not have to finalize a divorce before filing a civil lawsuit. If you file for a civil lawsuit during the divorce process, the damages you are owed will be factored into the reward of the divorce. In an ordinary divorce, the assets will most likely be split 50/50. For example, if a couple is determined to be with 500,000, they would split the money $250,000 – $250,000 even. If the wife is suing for domestic violence and is awarded $75,000, the new split would be $325,000 to the wife and $175,000 to the husband.

Types of Civil Claims

The victim of domestic violence has three types of claims that they can file against the abuser: assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. In theory, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress do not have to involve physical contact. Battery, on the other hand, is only involved when there is physical contact involved.

If the abuse is physical, the reward will be determined by the severity of the abuse. Even if there are less severe damages, such as bruises, or no physical harm at all, the victim of domestic abuse can still sue for emotional pain and suffering. Many of the domestic abuse cases that have been recorded are not only for one instance of domestic abuse, they are usually built up with numerous occurrences over months or sometimes even years. The damages being sued for do not have to be for just a single reported case, if the victim had been abused by the same abuser more than once over a period of time, there can be a cumulative effect on damages.

When creating a case for emotional pain and suffering, an expert witness may be necessary. An expert witness could be a psychiatrist, psychologist,or any other mental health physician. The expert witness will give a testimony on the victim’s behalf that solidifies the claim of the abusee stating that the mental health issue the victim incurred is a direct result of the abuse suffered. The most common mental health issue that is associated with domestic abuse is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD can affect victims for a lifetime and it is required that a medical professional supplies the court with proof of the disorder and testifies on the victim’s behalf.

Domestic violence between partners is a growing epidemic throughout this country and the rest of the world. Many think that domestic abuse can only affect women, but it can also affect men. It is important to continue increasing the awareness of this crime that is committed not only by ordinary people but by athletes and celebrities as well.

What To Do With Your Estate After You Win A Lawsuit

All right, great: you just won a big lawsuit or snagged a decent settlement, and you’re content to be swimming in a sea of cash for the rest of your life. But with great money comes great responsibility, and you’ll need help determining how to organize your affairs, both in life and in death. If you received enough cash, then it’s important to know that you could be looking at a sizable estate tax from your good friend Uncle Sam. Either way, you’ll want to speak with an estate planning lawyer and a financial advisor to determine the best next steps for you and your family.

Here are just a few things to think about, including actions you can take right now in order to prepare yourself for what happens when you receive an influx of wealth.

Estate planning after winning a lawsuit can be a headache, but it doesn’t have to be any worse than it already is. First and most importantly, discuss with your lawyer the gross worth of your assets. If you hold real estate, then have the total worth of those properties on hand. If you don’t know, then have the properties appraised as soon as possible. This will help your trusted advisors calculate the base tax on your estate. The benefit in doing this as soon as possible is that there are ways of avoiding some of the tax burden. The benefit is nicely complemented by the fact that it’ll relieve your beneficiaries of some financial burden and the added pressures of trying to negotiate your estate’s affairs on their own.

If you’ve got the money to do so, then eliminate your debt immediately. Hire a financial advisor to help you determine the best course in distributing your assets through investment. Now that you’ve got a bit of wealth, you’ll want to accumulate more. A lot of people who receive settlement cash or lottery winnings have a difficult time adjusting to the new wealth, and don’t control their spending. Be careful, and take some time adjusting to the new numbers in your bank account.

Don’t forget that any donations you make to charity organizations can be deducted from your taxes. If you’re a supporter of a cause, then feel free to give some of the new cash away.

If you have children of your own, or would like to support the children of other friends or loved ones, then consider opening trusts in the names of potential beneficiaries. Investing in someone else’s future can be rewarding, and knowing that your kids won’t be in debt if they decide to get into higher education is a fulfilling exchange.

Your estate planning lawyer will also help you draw up a will, or amend one that you already have. You’ll know exactly where your assets will end up when you pass away, and exactly how the transition will take place. This knowledge will relieve a burden you never knew existed.

After you’re done putting the finishing touches on concrete plans for your future, it’s time to have fun. Start traveling to the places you’ve always wanted to see, and doing the things you’ve always want to do. Take some time off of work–but don’t quit until normal retirement age, because you’ll live longer. Spend some time with family. You know yourself, and you should do what’s best for you.

Can You Sue A Store Over An Ice-Related Slip And Fall Accident?

Slip and fall accident victims often wonder if they are entitled to compensation. There are some serious accidents that happen, and plaintiffs have for sure been awarded settlements. Do slip and fall accidents have to occur inside a store in order for you to have a case? The short answer is no. If you were indeed to slip and fall on ice outside a store and injure yourself, you could be entitled to a cash settlement. There are certain stipulations when it comes to personal injury law in regards to these types of cases, so let’s take a look.

First and foremost, it must be proven that the store should have taken action to clear conditions in order to prevent customers from having a slip and fall accident. Whether they had notice of conditions that could cause a slip and fall is only part of the equation. It has to be determined whether they should have had notice. There are naturally many types of accidents that fall into this category, so to get a clearer picture of whether or not you have a case regarding a slip and fall on ice outside a store, check out identical cases to yours. You will find overviews of similar cases, and they can give you an idea of what to expect.

Of course the best proactive stance is to get in touch with a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to see what he or she has to say. Remember, the point is it must be proven that the store knew or should have known about the ice and conditions and failed to take reasonable action in a timely manner. When you think about what has happened to you and consider the legal guidelines, what is your opinion about your case? If you feel that you have a case, reach out to a personal injury lawyer.

WHO IS LIABLE IN AN UBER ACCIDENT?

Uber, the pioneering rideshare firm, has exploded as a transit option in major metropolitan areas. Ridesharing provides services that are convenient, reasonably priced and make for easy arrangements from an app on a mobile device at mere minutes’ notice. These can be the kinds of qualities that make ridesharing in some ways superior to taxicabs and public transportation.

As a natural progression develops, where more and more Uber and other rideshare drivers hit the roads around the country, there becomes a bigger risk that one of these vehicles will get involved in a car accident, regardless whether the Uber driver is at fault or not.

An accident that involves an Uber driver or a vehicle with an Uber fare aboard, can have a more complex liability equation than a simple carpool or other passenger driving situation. After all, an Uber vehicle is kind of a hybrid between a taxi service that collects fares, and a carpool situation where a person shares his or her vehicle with others.

As accidents involving Uber drivers are becoming more common, the calculus of liability is a bit complicated; while Uber vehicles are similar to taxicabs, here are different regulations and policies governing the two different types of transit options.

If the unfortunate occasion happens that you are an Uber fare caught up in an accident, the liability insurance will be necessary to know in case a claim needs to be filed.

Uber knows it might rain, so it has an umbrella.

What this means is that Uber requires all its drivers to have at least a state-required minimum amount of liability coverage for the vehicle that will be used for Uber fares. If an insurance claim is filed, the Uber driver’s personal liability insurance is used first to pay the claim, then Uber’s umbrella coverage kicks in after an additional deductible is paid above the personal vehicle liability limit. The umbrella policy is in force while an Uber driver is using the app, either going toward or carrying a fare. The coverage ends when the passenger is dropped off and is away from the vehicle a safe distance.

Uber claims that it does a background check on all potential drivers, but when it comes to a driver’s driving record, Uber can only vet the last seven years. That could be problematic if the driver’s record is actually longer than that. Should there be an accident involving an Uber driver, getting a full driving record of the driver may be valuable information should a claim be filed.

So let’s assume that an Uber driver has a clean record (as far as Uber knows), and there is an accident involving an Uber driver who was actively transporting a fare. How does the liability for that accident shake out?

States have different laws and regulations governing rideshare companies that operate in those states, and state courts have had wide-ranging interpretations about liability in a car accident. What seems to be in common among all the court decisions is that the driver is the first line of liability in an accident and should be considered such first and foremost.

It’s possible, however, that Uber may have some liability, especially based on answers to these vital questions, which should come up ina good accident investigation:

  1. Is the driver covered at the state-mandated minimum liability coverage?
  2. Was the driver active on the app when the incident occurred?
  3. What does the driver’s full driving record reveal (past the most recent seven-year window)?

Liability for an accident involving an Uber driver can be a little more complicated than a normal driving situation, so ti’s important to get as much information as possible at the scene and get a police report. From there, get sound legal advice, especially from an attorney who specializes in rideshare laws, to determine the feasibility of a claim and to make sure the right entities are held to account for what happened.

WHO IS LIABLE IN A MASS TRANSIT ACCIDENT?

Whether you ride a subway, railroad, trolley car, bus or any other public-transit or mass-transit system, any accident that occurs which involves one of these vehicles can cause multiple serious injuries and perhaps more than one death, depending on the severity.

Public transit, or mass transit, involves a small or large group of people on a single vehicle, which means any accident will impact more than a couple people – and the more people involved, the higher the cost of the accident may be to families and insurance companies, not to mention the municipality or third-party contractor that is operating the mass transit system.

A mass-transit accident is very rarely simple when it comes to determining liability for the accident and the subsequent injuries or casualties. Take a bus, for example. Sure, the driver of the bus could be held liable for the accident, but what if the brakes went out so the driver couldn’t stop? What if the intial accident cause only minor injuries, but then the gas tank of the bus exploded, killing a couple people and putting firefighters at risk? The driver can’t be the only one liable in these situations.

What if there was an altercation between passengers on the bus that caused the driver to get distracted and lose control of the bus? Or perhaps a passenger was not seated and was too far forward on the bus and the crash caused the passenger to go through the front windshield and smash it, causing additional injuries?

Very few of these accidents are “clean” and uncomplicated. As you can see from a hypothetical, this kind of accident is not all that far-fetched or rare. There can be so many moving parts in terms of what causes an accident and what causes the majority of the injuries. Liability may not necessarily rest on a single person or entity, so it’s vitally important to let law-enforcement and your legal representative do their due diligence in investigating the accident and gathering all the pertinent information about the accident, as well as before and after timelines, to paint an entire picture of what happened and the full result of the dominoes that fell.

If you are injured in a mass-transit vehicle accident, filing a legal claim with a mass transit lawyer NYC may involve suing several different entities, depending on the facts of the case. No matter who you claim is liable, you as the victim will have to prove that each defendant acted negligently in order to win a case. You can win against one defendant even if you have three or four, and that one defendant may be forced to pay compensatory damages, but negligence has to be proven against each defendant individually.

Many states have “common carrier” laws on the books, which are laws that are directed at mass-transit and other public transportation systems. While a petitioner still has to prove negligence, the “common carrier laws state that these public or mass-transit systems have a duty to achieve a higher level of care and due diligence in order to meet the standard of a reasonable expectation of safe transport for all persons on the vehicle while it is in operation.

“Common carrier“ laws can be the “secret sauce” In winning a case against a public-transportation operator, vehicle manufacturer or any other entity involved in a mass-transit accident liability. That higher standard essentially lowers the bar for proving negligence, but again it takes a thorough investigation to ensure that all the defendants which may have liability are included in any claim. Otherwise, there may be an opportunity missed.

These Are The Most Common Brain Injuries

Not only are brain injuries some of the most devastating and life-threatening that you can possibly endure, but they are also some of the scariest. No one wants to think that their mental faculties could be placed in jeopardy following an accident or because of some rare disease, and recovery can be painful or sometimes impossible. So what are some of the most common brain injuries? It probably won’t come as too big a surprise that getting hit in the head tops the list!

Concussions are perhaps the most common head injury, and they occur when an impact causes blood vessels to stretch or prevent nerves from carrying out their normal functions. Most often they’re caused by a blow to the head, but firearms can also result in similar cranial consequences. Concussions can be difficult to diagnose if symptoms aren’t obvious. It’s possible that someone who suffers a concussion might lose consciousness for a brief period of time. Even if you stay awake, you might feel dizzy or confused. Be sure to seek medical evaluation when you might have had a blow to the head.

Impacts can also result in contusions, which is simply bleeding in the brain. These don’t always require surgery, but larger ones need to be removed.

More serious, yet still common, brain injuries are caused by kinetic, mechanical impacts, such as when you are involved in a vehicular collision. A closed brain injury happens if your head undergoes a massive rush of moving forward or backward and then slows quickly. Think of whiplash. When you experience a closed brain injury, the brain tissue itself is smashed and stretched, which causes torn nerve tissue. These injuries can result in a wide array of symptoms depending on how bad the damage is and where it occurred in the brain.

Anoxic injuries occur when your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen. This may cause cell death to occur and symptoms vary. It can be caused by spending too much time underwater without access to air, drugs, chemicals, electric shock, or kidney failure.

Those are some of the most common, but “locked in syndrome” is one of the rarest conditions someone may have the misfortune to experience. It’s basically just what it sounds like: the person with the syndrome is conscious, but cannot move any part of the body outside of the eyes. Although this makes communication difficult, eye movements make it possible.

Because brain injuries can result in such grave injury, it’s important to be aware of the consequences to these injuries and know how best to avoid them depending on what you do day-to-day. Be careful to wear a seatbelt while in any vehicle, and wear a helmet during activities that should require one. Anything else is not worth the risk.