Hurt in a Car Accident. What Comes Next?

Auto wrecks can happen at any moment, but even though we know that we don’t always plan for it. Most people have an idea that they are supposed to call the police after an accident, but they probably don’t know what to do beyond that. This page is meant to give you some guidance on what to do after involvement in a vehicle collision.

Contact the Police

Most auto wrecks facilitate the need for the police to put in an appearance. If it’s a very minor crash then it might not be necessary, but you should be cautious and contact them anyway. The police serve a few purposes: 1) performing life-saving tasks, 2) documenting the scene, and 3) gathering evidence.

Get Medical Help

After an injury car accident you should seek medical attention, even if you don’t think you were seriously injured. You can’t be sure that you weren’t injured, as some injuries don’t show up for several days.

Make sure that you document all your medical injuries and doctor visits. Later, this information becomes important in proving your injuries and damages.

Document Your Injuries and Damages

Medical documentation can be important in proving your case, but you should document all your damages. This includes property damage, lost time from work, and even your non-economic damages, such as the pain and suffering you’ve undergone.

All of this documentation is useful in proving your case, but also can be used when calculating the value of your auto wreck settlement.

Gather Evidence

Another important step to undertake after you’ve been hurt in a car crash is evidence collection. Your attorney and the police will assist with this step, but you can help as well. It will be necessary to interview witnesses, take photos and videos of the car crash scene, and make note of all other evidence that you can find.

Remember, the more evidence you have the more solid your case is. The more solid your case is the more likely you are to be paid fair compensation for this accident.

Call an Auto Injury Lawyer

Attempting to handle an auto wreck case on your own is not often the best idea. Claims are complicated and dealing with insurance companies can be a nightmare. Also, there’s no reason not to get a lawyer. Many attorneys work on contingency fees, so you don’t even pay them until after your case has been won.

Here’s a car accident lawyer in Chicago who can likely help you with your case.

Is it Legal to Use Speakerphone While Driving in NY?

Sometimes, you need to make a call, even if you’re on the road. Whether it’s an emergency that has you heading to the hospital, or if it’s a frantic reminder to turn the oven off, you might need to make a call. Unfortunately, that can turn into an expensive call if a police officer spotted you.

Now, you might be facing a ticket, but you were on speakerphone. While New York has laws against texting or talking and driving, what about speakerphone? You weren’t touching your phone, after all. If you were on speakerphone when you were pulled over, you might need an NY attorney on your side.

Distractions are Still Distractions

In many states, you can expect to get into a little trouble if an officer sees you on your phone at all. Because texting and talking while driving causes so many accidents, officers often would rather give you a ticket than let you drive unsafely.

Distracted driving still means you’re distracted, even if you’re using speakerphone. While using speakerphone frees up your hands and lets you talk and hold on to the wheel, an officer might notice you. If you’re showing any signs of distracted driving, they may go ahead and pull you over, even if cell phone use is legal.

As such, you can expect an officer to pull you over if they believe you’re driving recklessly. This may include weaving in your lane, running a stop signal, or changing lanes without a signal.

New York’s Hand-Held Ban

New York’s hand-held band doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily receive a ticket for using your phone on speaker. Instead, New York bans hand-held devices and their use, which can be a major distraction. You’ll need both hands on the wheel to make quick decisions on the road. When you don’t, an officer may choose to pull you over.

Talking isn’t illegal, though, and if you’re hands-free, you may not have to worry about breaking a law. Bluetooth devices or an earbud with a microphone could save you a lot of trouble and expense. Just be sure you’re not covering both ears, since you’ll need your hearing to drive safely.

Otherwise, however, you may be safe to drive and talk. You’ll simply need to take care and avoid a ticket.

Avoiding a Ticket

So, when you’re driving and need to make a quick call, what’s the best method to do so? Often, the best way is to let another person dial while you pay attention to the road. When you’re alone, however, driving with speakerphone is your safest option.

Keep in mind, however, that you can be pulled over for dialing, too. If you’re caught using your phone behind the wheel in a way that takes your attention off the road like that, an officer can pull you over. So, keep your eyes on the road and put your phone on speaker if you need to talk.

How a Traffic Ticket Attorney Can Help

It can be tough to recover after a traffic ticket. While talking on the phone while driving might seem like a small infraction, it can come with a high price. Fortunately, that doesn’t mean you won’t have a chance to fight back.

If you’re accused of talking while driving, since you were using speakerphone, you may have a chance to get that ticket dismissed. Taking your traffic ticket to court can be intimidating, but dealing with points on your license and a traffic ticket is trouble you’ll want to avoid.

So, reach out and get help from an NYC cell phone ticket lawyer. While using speakerphone isn’t necessarily illegal, you can still be pulled over for distracted driving if you’re driving recklessly. So, get the help you need before you fight back.

Louisiana Wrongful Death Laws 101

Losing a loved one is a difficult experience no one should have to suffer through. Unfortunately, your family might not just be reeling from the loss of a loved one. That loved one might have passed away because another person caused their accident.

Fortunately, Louisiana law gives you a chance to recover after losing a loved one. When a loved one passes away because of someone else’s negligence, you and your family deserves compensation for your loss. So, understand the wrongful death laws that will affect your claim before you file. You’ll need to protect your claim and get the help your family needs.

Eligibility to File for Wrongful Death

When a wrongful death claim is filed, the person injured isn’t the one to file. Because they passed away, someone will need to file on their behalf. However, the people allowed to file for their damages is limited. So, you and your family will need to know who can file beforehand.

Fortunately, Louisiana gives your family a few options for filing. These people are separated into categories, so that, while others can file, the person eligible won’t be confused about who’s able to file at this time. So, if the first person is unable to file the claim, the next person will be able to file.

When a loved one passes away, one of the following people will need to file:

  • The surviving spouse or children
  • The parents of the deceased
  • The surviving siblings
  • The grandparents of the deceased

Damages for Your Suffering

When your family has suffered such a painful experience, you’ll need help overcoming the situation. Unfortunately, losing a loved one is traumatic, and the costs can be high. You’ll need a Baton Rouge wrongful death attorney to ensure you’re properly compensated.

First, your bills should be covered for your losses. So, any expenses related to their death should be covered by the defense. This includes their final medical bills, property damage, and burial and funeral expenses.

Make sure that you’re also getting the “noneconomic damages” your family needs. These damages cover the losses you’ve personally suffered on a mental and emotional level. For example, losing a spouse leaves you with a loss of companionship, and the loss of a parent means you’ve lost the guidance and affection you should have received.

Get Help with Your Compensation

When you and your family has suffered after a death, it can be tough to recover. Worse, you might not know where to even begin with your compensation. Fortunately, wrongful death laws state that you and your family should have the opportunity to recover after your suffering.

When you’ve lost a loved one, get the help that you and your family needs. Their loss is expensive and difficult on you, but you have the chance to overcome these losses and help your family move on. Seek out a lawyer, who can guide you through the basics of Louisiana’s wrongful death laws, and get started on fighting back. Your family deserves that help, so fight back and protect your loved ones.

Why are Florida Drivers So Bad?

Unfortunately, visitors to the Sunshine State often ask themselves, why are Florida drivers so bad? There are a number of reasons for this. The latest research carried out by SmartAsset confirms that Florida state ranks among the country’s worst, when it comes to driving. To begin with, 2.17 motorists out of 1000 are charged with DUI offenses. Moreover, 26.7 percent of Florida’s motorists are uninsured – one of the highest rates nationwide. This means that insured motorists might have to shoulder the cost of, or use their own insurance policies to cover, accidents they didn’t cause. The research also showed that Florida residents Google ‘traffic tickets’ and ‘speeding tickets’ more than other states.

In Florida, there is a large elderly population and no vehicle inspections, and the state driving test has been criticized for being too easy. In addition, highways are often being repaired, speed limits are usually regarded as optional, and the high number of drivers on the roads results in lots of congestion. This is why many residents require the services of a Boca Raton car crash lawyer. Sometimes, the roads are invaded by unwelcome visitors too, such as stray wildlife (like turkeys or alligators) or intoxicated students.

One positive statistic is that deaths have reduced by thirty-three percent over the past twenty-four years. There are roughly 1.47 deaths over every 100,000,000 miles driven on Florida’s roads. In 2016, nearly 3200 traffic related deaths were recorded. Also, although Florida’s drink driving record is quite high in comparison to other states, this is much more common elsewhere in the country. The DUI rate per 1000 motorists in South and North Dakota is over eleven. However, these states rank higher than Florida overall for road safety, due to the lower death rates and larger percentage of insured motorists.

Florida was one of the five Southern states that appeared in the top ten list of states with terrible drivers. In many cases, Southern states had lower vehicle insurance rates and higher death rates. This data has been published as officials in Tampa Bay continue to debate how to finance transportation enhancements. The Transport Department in Florida is considering a regional transport viability plan, which proposes a forty-one mile route for buses connecting Wesley Chapel with downtown Saint Petersburg, through Interstate 275. In the meantime, residents will vote in a November ballot on whether to increase Hillsborough County sales taxes by one percent, to pay for transit and transportation upgrades.

18-Wheelers Put Other Drivers in Danger: Here’s Why

When you’re on the road, you don’t want anyone causing trouble. Being in a big metal box flying down the road at high speeds is already dangerous enough, so adding more danger to that just isn’t what you want to see. That’s why none of us like to drive alongside an 18-wheeler.

While we might focus on ways that we can make our roads safer, remember that 18-wheelers will put you in serious danger. You’ll need to watch out for truck drivers when you’re on the road, before you suffer a serious injury. So, look out for signs of danger, like the dangers below, before you get near an 18-wheeler. You might suffer for it if you do.

They’re Hard to Control

Anything as big as a semi-truck is going to be a little tricky to handle. Most things that big, however, aren’t moving so fast, adding to the danger. These trucks tend to be around six times larger than the average car, and that doesn’t account for how dangerous their cargo may be.

All that weight makes it tough to steer. While truckers are trained to handle whatever their semi-trucks throw at them, a sharp turn or sudden brake can make an 18-wheeler jackknife. If you’re in the way when that happens, the results can be deadly.

The cargo can also make a difference. Not only does it add weight to the vehicle, but it can also cause violent reactions. For example, if a truck carrying gasoline crashes, there’s a chance of a fire, which means more serious injuries in the wake of the crash.

Driver Error is Serious

So, a tractor-trailer can be dangerous, sure, but the truck drivers should know better, right? We expect them to act with more care and concern for our safety. Unfortunately, that isn’t always how it works. In many cases, it’s driver error that causes accidents.
This can come from many reasons. In some cases, the driver might have simply not been trained properly. They don’t know how to prevent an accident, so they end up causing one. Otherwise, driving drowsy is a major problem. Truckers are expected to keep long hours, and dozing behind the wheel can be dangerous.

Unfortunately, many truck crashes are caused by alcohol or drug abuse. When drivers choose to drive under the influence, they put all other drivers in danger. So, an accident can be caused by many factors, but one thing is true of all these situations: they can be deadly.

Help with the Dangers on the Road

Sadly, you might already have suffered through an accident involving an 18-wheeler, so you know first-hand how dangerous these vehicles can be. You’re injured now, or you may have lost a loved one to a trucker’s careless. So, what can you do now?

Fortunately, that’s what lawyers are here for. By hiring a truck crash lawyer in Richmond, you can get the help you need to recover. They can’t undo the damage you’ve experienced, but they can help you get the compensation you need to recover.

So, if you’re injured because a truck driver endangered you, reach out for help. Get the resources you need to recover from your accident.

How to Prevent Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes

When a loved one enters a nursing home, we expect that all their needs will be taken care of. They need the round-the-clock care and professional help a nursing home can provide. Sadly, many nursing homes commit many types of abuse, including financial abuse of the elderly.

Worse, they might not realize it if they have a cognitive impairment, or they might be too ashamed or frightened to speak out. While new regulations have been enacted to protect the elderly from this abuse, you’ll need to take further steps to protect your loved ones from harm. Follow these steps to guarantee they get the care they need.

Reach Out to Trusted Contacts

Many elderly residents suffer from disorders like dementia or Alzheimer’s, making it difficult for them to make financial decisions on their own. Otherwise, they might not notice that they’re being taken advantage of.

That’s why it’s so important that your loved one has a trusted contact for their finances. While many financial institutions are now requiring this, they need someone they can trust with their money. This person will have some access to their financial information, so they’ll know quickly if something is off about their finances.

Protect Your Accounts

While the access a trusted contact has can protect your loved one from abuse, you’ll also need to protect that information. Limiting the access others have to your loved one’s financial accounts can prevent financial abuse.

This means limiting or streamlining their accounts, as well as keeping all financial information confidential. Keeping them limited to a few key accounts can help, as well as shredding any unneeded documents or keeping them in a safer location. By limiting others’ access to their information, you can avoid some major sources of financial abuse.

Stopping Financial Abuse of Your Loved One

However, what if it’s already too late? Your loved one is being abused by the people meant to take care of them, and you’re not sure what to do first.

If you believe your elderly family member is being financially abused, have a nursing home abuse lawyer step in. Your loved one’s finances should be safe and stable, but when it’s not, you might need help securing it and getting their funds back.

While preventing financial abuse should be your priority, it might already be too late. However, an attorney can guide you through the fight to stop their financial abuse.

How Does Auto Insurance Work in Texas?

In the state of Texas when drivers are involved in an auto collision, they are required to pay for any damages that they cause.  The most common way to do this is by purchasing an auto insurance policy that covers financial expenses that happen as the result of an accident.  

Auto insurance is common in all states but it works a little differently depending on where you live.  There are some special circumstances related to insurance in the state of Texas.

What is Auto Insurance?

Most states require insurance on a vehicle if you drive it on public roads.  Auto insurance is basically a contract between you and an auto insurance company.  If you happen to get into a car accident with another driver or if you just damage property like homes or buildings, insurance companies will pick up a large part of the cost of repairing things.  

They also cover the cost of medical expenses related to the accident for both the insured driver and anyone else involved in the accident.  Typically these policies have limits on the amount of money they will pay out in the event of each accident.

The person who pays for the policy pays a monthly payment called an insurance premium.  As long as they stay up to date on their payments, they are covered in the event of an accident.  

How Does Auto Insurance Work in Texas?

In Texas, residents must buy enough insurance to meet the state’s financial responsibility law.  This is about 30 thousand to cover each injured person and 25 thousand to pay for property damage.  

These coverages help pay for a variety of expenses related to accidents like towing costs, repairs to the drives’ vehicles, coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists, medical attention or emergency services that may be needed at the scene of an accident as well as costs related to property damage.  

In Texas, there is also something called personal injury protection coverage.  This helps people who have been injured in a car accident and are unable to work due to their injuries.  It covers things like having to miss work and not being able to pay your bills. It also covers things like hiring a caregiver to help you around your home should you become incapacitated.  

Filing a Claim in Texas

In Texas, it’s common for the other driver’s insurance company to try and get you to sign documentation to settle a claim.  This usually happens if you were not at fault in the accident and the other driver’s insurance company is handling the situation.  It’s important that you do not sign anything before speaking with an attorney. You can get car accident claim help from the Colley Firm, PC.  If you’ve been in an auto accident, they are the first people you should contact after the police and emergency services.  They can help walk you through the process of filing a claim and understanding your rights when it comes to the insurance system in Texas.  



How Does Bankruptcy Impact a Credit Report?

Filing for bankruptcy is never an easy decision, although for the more than half a million Americans who file each year, it can often seem the only solution to their financial issues. Once you file for bankruptcy, it means your unsecured debts, such as credit cards, loans and medical debts, are discharged, and it also stops all those letters and phone calls from your creditors demanding money from you.

Many people regard bankruptcy as a fresh start, although if you are thinking of taking this route, you may be asking yourself how does bankruptcy impact a credit report? It can have a huge and immediate impact on your credit score; as a rule of thumb, you can expect to see your score decrease by anything from 160 to 220 points. If you previously had what lenders considered a good credit score, a bankruptcy will lower your score to poor, or perhaps fair.

A bankruptcy also shows up on your credit report for up to 10 years, depending on the type of bankruptcy you filed. This can make it a challenge to be approved for a car loan or a mortgage, or to be offered a low interest credit card, and once you have a bankruptcy on your credit report, you can expect any loans to come with a high interest rate. And although it can seem unfair, many potential employers don’t look favorably on applicants with a bankruptcy on their credit report, and even renting an apartment may be more difficult when a credit check is carried out.

It may benefit you to use a lawyer for credit repair, especially if you need your score to improve, perhaps to apply for a mortgage, or you feel there is an error on your credit report. It’s estimated that about 80 percent of credit reports have at least one error on them. A credit repair attorney will review your credit report with a view to seeing how to improve your score, perhaps by trying to have negative items removed, or by negotiating a lower settlement amount with your creditors.

Although a bankruptcy on your credit report can significantly affect your score and your ability to borrow money at competitive rates, it isn’t all doom and gloom. Bankruptcy can actually be a better option for some than an endless cycle of late and missed payments, charged off accounts, accounts in collection and increasing amounts of debt. If you file for bankruptcy, look on it as a fresh financial start and a way to slowly rebuild your credit score. Taking out a store credit card or a secured credit card, and making sure you make the payments on time can help to boost your score over the next year or two, along with paying bills on time.

Although bankruptcy can be a practical solution if you just have too much debt, you should of course make the decision carefully and consult with a bankruptcy lawyer before filing. You may have other options, such as debt consolidation.

Medical Malpractice Laws in Texas

If you believe you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice at the hands of the medical professional you entrusted with your care, you may be able to bring a medical malpractice claim against them in civil court. Doing so can enable you to achieve full compensation for your losses if your case is successful.

However, before you make the decision to embark on the civil claims path, there are certain laws in Texas that you should keep in mind that apply to medical malpractice claims. Read on to learn more about how negligence is established in medical malpractice claims, how long you’ll have to file your claim, and any caps their might be on the total amount you can recover.

Establishing Negligence in Medical Malpractice Claims

To prove negligence on the part of a healthcare professional, the attorney representing your case will make use of an expert’s testimony in regards to the actions of the medical professional in question. The goal will be to establish that the caregiver acted in a way that a similar professional of the same education, training, and experience would not have made.

For example, if you suffered a serious infection after your surgeon left a sponge in your body cavity, your attorney would be able to prove negligence, as any other reasonable surgeon would have done proper counts of their instruments following the surgery and would have caught such a mistake prior to you suffering further injuries.

File Your Claim Within the Statute of Limitations

It is critical that you file your medical malpractice claim before the statute of limitations runs out in your case. In Texas, you will have two years from the date the incident occurred to file your claim. If you were receiving ongoing treatment and once treatment has finished you realize that you’ve suffered further injury due to an error on your caregivers part, then the clock will start running from the date that treatment ended.

Also, if your child has been a victim of medical malpractice and is under 12 years of age, you will have until the child’s 14th birthday to file your claim before the statute of limitations runs out. However, failure to file your lawsuit before time runs out will result in you being barred from pursuing the compensation you are otherwise entitled to.

What You Should Know About Caps on Damages

Although you’ll be able to get every single economic damage covered by the negligent medical professional in your case, there are caps on the non-economic damages that you’ll be able to recover.

These damages would include your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of companionship and love, the effects of disfigurement and the loss of household services, among others. The cap if your claim is against a single physician or institution is $250,000. If your claim is going to be against multiple physicians or institutions, your cap will be $500,000 per claimant.

Discuss Your Case with a Seasoned Texas Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When you’re ready to move forward with your claim, it’s important that you get in touch with an attorney. Many Texas medical malpractice law firms will offer their prospective clients a free case review to discuss your case so that they can give you a better idea of what you should expect should you choose to proceed.

Take advantage of this opportunity and start working on your claim right away- you’ll be one step closer to obtaining the compensation you deserve if you do.

Dog Bite Claims: Does Breed Matter?

While most dogs we encounter are cute and sweet, there’s a chance that you could be bitten by a dog without any provocation. It’s a painful situation, and you’ll need to get the compensation you need for your recovery. But, does it matter what breed it was?

When you’re bitten by a dog, you’ll need to get a dog bite attorney as soon as possible. These bites are dangerous, so you’ll need someone who can assess the damages you’ve suffered, no matter the breed, and find your claim’s worth when you’re suffering. This is the most important part of your claim, but the dog’s breed may play a role as well, so speak to an attorney before you begin.

Liability for the Bite

First, who’s liable for the costs of your bite? It can be expensive to treat, especially if you’ve suffered from any of the following:

  • Infection
  • Puncture wounds
  • Broken bones
  • Nerve damage
  • Tetanus

These can be serious, so medical care is necessary. But, once you’ve received all these bills, who will be responsible for those expenses? The dog can’t be sued, after all.

In most cases, the owner is responsible for the dog attack. If the owner is a child, then the parents will be held responsible and must pay the costs for your recovery. In some cases, a landlord may have been responsible for keeping the dog from attacking, so if you’re not sure who’s responsible, get help from your lawyer.

Certain Breeds are Listed as “Dangerous”

However, the type of dog can have an effect on your case. Any dog can leave you injured, from a Chihuahua to a Great Dane, but some dogs are considered more dangerous than others. In some locations, legislation has been passed about these “dangerous” dogs.

For example, pit bulls have become an especially reviled breed. While some studies say they’re not more apt to bite than any other type of dog, their reputation as fighting dogs and the higher likelihood of serious injury or death is what people will take note of.

Some of these dogs have even been banned from certain areas, which might affect your claim. If the dog owner shouldn’t have had the dog in that area, they might face even more fines for their dog’s actions.

Does This Affect Compensation?

This means that your lawyer might be able to use the dog’s breed to your advantage. For example, let’s say you were bitten by a Rottweiler and have suffered puncture wounds and broken bones. In this case, you’ll need significant compensation for your injuries.

In this case, your lawyer might point out that the injuries are more severe, and the dog was more dangerous, compared to a smaller dog. A Pomeranian is just as capable of biting, but those injuries aren’t as apt to be debilitating.

Keep in mind, however, that dog owners have strict liability for their dogs. This means that, if you’re bitten by a dog, it doesn’t matter if the owner was negligent or even present. Proving that you were bitten by the dog is what matters, and it’s what your lawyer will focus on.

Get an Attorney’s Help

Dog bites can be serious. You’re dealing with serious injuries, and you’ll need to fight back for your compensation, no matter the dog breed. However, that’s tough to do alone, but that’s what an attorney is for.

When you’re injured by a dog bite, you’ll need to fight back for your compensation. The dog’s breed often won’t matter as much. What matters is that the dog owner is liable for their dog’s actions and that you get the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

So, reach out to a dog bite attorney as soon as possible. You deserve compensation for your dog bite, and a lawyer can help.