Why is Whiplash so Common in Car Accidents

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries victims of car accidents suffer from. What many do not realize is the reality that whiplash sufferers may have to contend with pain for many years to come. The result could mean years of ongoing medical treatment to manage the pain associated with whiplash. Future medical expenses may arise following a car accident making it vital to work with an attorney to obtain a settlement that helps pay for treatment down the road.

What is Whiplash?

In order to prove any type of injury obtained in a car accident, it’s necessary for you to seek treatment from a medical professional. Unfortunately, someone may ignore pain caused by whiplash, believing that it will eventually dissipate and go away. By not seeking a medical professional, you risk not receiving the treatment you need.

Whiplash is an injury that occurs upon sudden impact to a person’s neck. When a person is rear ended, they do not have the time to brace themselves. Because of this, a person does not stiffen their neck in the way you probably would if you saw the car coming. When whiplash occurs, soft tissue in the neck is damaged as the result of the neck being abruptly forced in a back and forth motion.  Recovery from whiplash can vary. Some may recover quickly while others may suffer with years of pain. Symptoms from whiplash may include:

  • Back pain
  • Vision Problems
  • Shoulder Problems
  • Headaches

Not only will medical treatment help repair the problem, it’s also a primary way of collecting evidence of your injuries to prove the damages you have suffered from the accident.

Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD)

Whiplash Associated Disorders are a serious consequence to traditional whiplash injuries. Not only is whiplash incredibly painful, in cases of whiplash associated disorder, accident sufferers may experience psychological symptoms such as:

  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Anxiety
  • Psychological Problems
  • Difficulty in making Decisions

These emotional issues are sometimes difficult for an accident victim to identify. If you have been suffering mental health issues following an accident, you will want to share this information with your attorney and seek treatment from your doctor.  

Treating Whiplash from a Car Accident

When it comes to car accidents, whiplash most commonly occurs when the victim is rear ended by another driver. It’s vital to seek treatment for whiplash. Your doctor will examine you to confirm your whiplash diagnosis, they may also order other tests such as X-Rays, Ct Scans, and MRIs to rule out any other medical issues. Your provider may treat your whiplash in a number of ways, including:

  • Pain Medication
  • Rest
  • Physical Therapy
  • Chiropractic Care
  • Exercise
  • Massage
  • Acupuncture

Tissue damage from whiplash may cause significant problems to occur. It’s important that you not suffer through this injury by not seeking medical care. Treatment from medical professionals is an important element to recover from whiplash following a car accident.

The repercussions of a car accident can feel like a setback. Although it’s important to take action with your attorney to obtain the compensation you are entitled to, the process can take time. Moving on from an accident can be completed most efficiently with an auto accident lawyer Memphis, TN trusts experienced in personal injury claims.

 


 

Thank you to our friend and contributors at Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their insight into car accidents.

Six Steps to a Successful Wrongful Death Claim

When a family member has been fatally injured because of another person or entity’s negligence, the deceased person has the lawful right to make a claim through his or her own estate that will ultimately compensate certain remaining family members for their loss. Contingent upon the circumstances, those who may recover under the deceased’s claim include parents, spouses, children and/or other dependents. Contact an attorney, like a wrongful death lawyer Indianapolis, IN relies on, to find out if the state in which the claim is brought recognizes common-law marriages.

The six steps listed below provide a general outline through the step-by-step progression of a wrongful death claim. Attorneys in most states will follow this procedural path but keep in mind that there are a number of other procedures, requests, discussions and demands that lawfully occur during the stages listed below. Every case is different as are the players involved.

  1.     Opening an Estate

After a wrongful death lawyer conducts an investigation of the facts surrounding the claim, an estate will be opened for the decedent. If the decedent had a valid will, his or her appointed personal representative will represent and be the spokesperson for the decedent’s interests in the imminent wrongful death action. If the decedent died without a valid will, the court will appoint a representative to act on his or her behalf.

  1.     Filing the Wrongful Death Claim With the Court

After an estate has been opened, a wrongful death claim may be filed with the court. There are any number of circumstances that can cause the negligent death of another person. If you know of circumstances that do not fit into any of the categories listed below, contact a wrongful death attorney for an evaluation of your claim. The following is a partial list of accidents that may result in a valid wrongful death claim:

  •      Automobile accident
  •      Motorcycle accident
  •      Trucking accident
  •      Bicycle accident
  •      Pedestrian accident
  •      Work-related accident
  •      Construction accident
  •      Railroad or Aviation accident
  •      Animal bite
  •      Defective and dangerous product
  •      Nursing home neglect or abuse
  •      Medical malpractice
  1.     Demand Letter – Spoliation of Evidence

If there is evidence critical to the decedent’s claim, your attorney will immediately send a demand requesting the custodian refrain from altering or destroying any evidence that may support the plaintiff’s claim. If a question of fact or liability exists, your attorney will hire experts to analyze and validate the evidence.

  1.     Discovery

Wrongful death claims generally require plaintiff and defense attorneys to dig deep into the discovery process before any preliminary first offer of settlement can be made. During discovery both sides share information, documentation, and hard evidence that provides insight to the parties and the facts surrounding the claim. Discovery is an ongoing process and it takes time to acquire the necessary reports, photographs, letters, bills, documentation and hard evidence that must be shared with the other side.

  1.     Mediation

While keeping in mind that legal procedures may differ from state to state, if a settlement has not been agreed upon once all the required documentation has been shared, the claim will be set for a mediation hearing before the trial date, i.e., a discussion between the parties in the hopes that a successful offer of settlement will be made and accepted, thereby avoiding a trial.

  1.     Trial

Finally, if settlement negotiations have failed and the parties wish to continue with the claim, a trial before a judge or jury will ensue and the plaintiff may or may not receive an award from the court. If either party feels an injustice occurred during trial, the case may go to the Court of Appeals for an opinion on the lower court’s decision.

Skilled Wrongful Death Lawyer

When you are seeking a wrongful death lawyer, search for an attorney with a reputation as a skilled negotiator and an experienced trial attorney. Your attorney is there to competently handle your claim as you and your family work through a grievous loss.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into wrongful death cases.

 

How Do I Know Whether a Witness is Helpful?

At the scene of a car crash, it is not uncommon for those who have witnessed the collision to rush over to make sure everyone is okay. Witnesses can call for law enforcement and an ambulance too, especially if they notice both drivers are in a great deal of pain or are stuck within their vehicle. Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions, a witness may not always be helpful when it comes to your civil lawsuit against the driver at-fault. In this article, we have answered questions people may have about the witnesses who have watched the crash unfold.

When should I ask the witness for their name & contact?

The number one priority after a car crash is to get yourself checked out for any serious injuries. Your health should come first, so do not focus on getting witness information if you are severely bleeding, feel dizzy as if you’re going to faint, or are in substantial pain. Do not put yourself at risk simply for the chance of obtaining a useful witness. But, if you feel decent and the witness is nearby or helping you, ask right away before they have a chance to leave the area.

Is it possible for a witness to actually hurt my case?

If a witness does not side with your perspective of the accident, then he or she is likely to hurt rather than help your case. When at the scene, there is no need to gather a full witness statement at that time. The environment is likely to be very stressful and tense, so only ask for their name and best way to get in touch. Your attorney can then reach out at a later time to ask questions about the accident.

Should I get statements from those who were in my car during the crash too?

The more people you have to support your side of the story, the better. Friends, family and/or your significant other who was riding with you at the time of the accident can have a positive influence on your case. However, a statement from a bystander in support of your innocence can weigh even heavier in your favor, as this person has no prior relationship with you.

What series of questions may my attorney ask from the witness?

Once your auto accident lawyer Memphis, TN trusts gets in contact with a witness, there are likely to be a series of questions asked. If the witness is a convicted felon, has poor sight or hearing, or seems to change their story constantly, then this may not be the best witness to bring forward. Examples of questions your attorney may ask can include:

  • Who do you think was the driver responsible for the collision?
  • At which angle did you see the crash happen? (from inside a car, from a shop window, sidewalk, etc.)
  • When did you first notice the accident? (right before, during or after hearing the sound of impact)
  • From what you could tell, was either driver operating the vehicle in a careless or unlawful manner?

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Darrell Castle & Associates, PLLC for their knowledge on personal injury car accident laws.

Keeping Yourself Safe as a Pedestrian

Pedestrians get struck by cars all too often, as drivers may become distracted, drunk or even reckless when behind the wheel. A pedestrian can help decrease their chances of being hit by a car through practicing preventative strategies. While it is unfortunate that a pedestrian must watch out for careless drivers in the first place, it is a fact that not all drivers practice safe habits. Pedestrians should not always rely on drivers to operate their vehicle with care. In the article here, we have answered several questions about how a pedestrian can practice safe behaviors when crossing and in the presence of vehicles.

Is it okay to cross the street in the middle of the block, if no crosswalks are around?

It is safer to cross the street in designated, white-outlined pedestrian areas. Even if this means you have to walk down the street a ways in corner to cross, it may be the best choice. Most car drivers know to stop or slow down when approaching pedestrian crossing areas. If you were to cross in between parked cars and out of an outlined spot, a driver may not see you and hit you as a result.

What could be a possible distraction to a pedestrian while crossing?

In today’s society, cell phones have become a huge draw of our attention. Phones have become our means of communication, resources, work and directions. Talking or playing on a cell phone while crossing the street can be an easy and disastrous distraction for a pedestrian. All eyes and ears should be focusing on potential threats of the road and not music, a conversation or game.

What if there is no sidewalk, but I need to get down the street?

If you must walk down a street where no sidewalk is provided, you can walk in the direction of traffic facing towards you. Move over to the side of the road as much as possible and stay very alert to how approaching cars are driving. The reason you want to walk facing cars is so you can jump out of the way if any car drives too close.

What can someone do to be safer while walking at night time?

It can help to wear an article of clothing that is brightly colored or designed. Wearing dark colors at night makes you blend in more with your surroundings, resulting in you being even less visible to drivers on the road. Wear an accent piece that is brighter, whether a coat, scarf, boots, etc. Despite this seeming like a small detail, it could be what makes a driver notice and stop before hitting you while crossing the street.

If a driver hits a pedestrian, can they sue for injury costs?

Yes, it is possible for a pedestrian to file a lawsuit against the driver for financial compensation of injury costs. A pedestrian should not have to pay out of pocket for injuries caused by a driver. Many people consult with injury lawyers Charlottesville VA residents trust in order to receive legal advice, representation and guidance.

 


 

Thank you to our contributors at the law office of Martin Wren, P.C. for the insightful information above.

Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse in the US

The decision to place your loved one in a nursing home is never easy. For some families, it might be one of the most heartbreaking and tough decisions they make in their lifetime.

This decision becomes harder when the comfort and care people expect their loved ones to receive from a nursing home is lacking. No one enjoys thinking about their loved ones being unaccompanied and unhappy in a long-term care facility. However, the reality is that this happens a lot. Nursing home residents often encounter cold behaviors, improper medical treatment and physical abuse from staff and administrators who are paid to help them.

If your loved one has been injured, an attorney, like a skilled Philadelphia nursing home lawyer, may be able to help.

Symptoms of Nursing Home Neglect

The signs and indications of nursing home neglect vary from resident to resident, and facility to facility. In some cases, the family suspect the insufficient care. Sometimes, the neglect is readily apparent, such as residents who are left to sit in soiled undergarments for an extended period of time. However, in other cases, the neglect and abuse might not be easily observed.  It may be a “gut feeling” that you get in your stomach after visiting a family member who seemed shyer and more reserved than normal. Or a cold shoulder that you or a relative receive from the staff when you request assistance. Some of the most common warning signs of nursing home neglect includes:

Withdrawal from family and friends
Weight loss
Loss of appetite
Changes in demeanor
Pressure sores
Dirty conditions

Speak Up! Nursing Home Neglect Should Not Go Unreported

Emotional and physical abuse in nursing homes is unacceptable in the care of elderly. Exposing the abusive behavior at nursing homes is very important for the well-being of all the patients in the facility. Elderly residents often fail to report the mistreatment because they are not physically or mentally able. In other cases, they are reluctant to report neglect due to fear of retribution. This is a frequent factor in cases of elder neglect going unchecked and unreported. Regardless of having special lawful rights, nursing home patients are extremely susceptible to abuse and neglect by their care providers. It is important that loved ones speak up. It only takes a few minutes to call the ombudsman. Or in serious cases, report the neglect to the state’s Department of Health or a nursing home neglect lawyer.

Alarming Statistics of Nursing Home Abuse

The statistics of nursing home abuse are very disturbing while considering the fact that nursing home care violations often go unreported. Most of the victims are incapable to alter their families about the neglect or abuse they are suffering from. It has been reported that:

¨     1 in 10 nursing homes had deficiencies resulting in harm, injury and death.

¨     44% of the long-term care residents state that they have been abused

¨     95% of the residents state that they have been neglected

¨     50% of the staff admit to having mistreated a patient


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Wieand Law Firm for their insight into neglect cases.

 

If Your Personal Injury Claim Is Denied—What to Do

Every personal injury lawyer has seen many claims denied by insurance companies for a long list of reasons. Whether your claim was denied, or you are concerned that it might be, you should know that you may have legal recourse. Call our firm today to learn more during a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer from our legal team. We are also available to help you file the initial claim and can make sure the documentation is complete and has a high likelihood of success. In the event you need legal advice, do not hesitate to contact a lawyer, like a  personal injury lawyer Harrisonburg VA residents trust, to assist you.

Common Reasons for Why a Personal Injury Claim is Denied

As mentioned, there are many reasons for why a personal injury claim might be denied by the at-fault party’s insurance company. However, some are more common than others. Those include the following reasons for a claim denial:

  •         Their client was not responsible for your injury.
  •         Your injury was a pre-existing injury and did not occur during the accident.
  •         Your injury is not a valid injury, i.e., you are faking your injury or are exaggerating it.
  •         Your documentation of the injury and/or the accident is incomplete.
  •         You do not have supporting medical evidence or a diagnosis that confirms the validity of your injury and the likelihood you sustained it in the reported accident.
  •         The responding law enforcement officer’s police report does not support your version of events.

Re-submitting Your Personal Injury Claim

If your claim was initially denied, a personal injury lawyer can re-submit it to the insurance company on your behalf. In the preparation of it, the initial reason for its denial will be considered and addressed. Depending on what is necessary and appropriate, the resubmitted claim may differ from the original claim in any of the following ways:

  • Medical diagnosis by the insurance company’s approved physician after an examination of your injury. If you had not previously undergone a required medical exam, that can be cause for a claim denial.
  • Medical diagnosis by a physician of our choosing after an examination of your injury. This may conflict with the diagnosis by the insurance company’s physician. If their doctor does not support your claim, this second diagnosis can contradict them and provide the medical proof you need.
  • Documentation of the accident location by a forensic accident scene investigator who is part of our professional network. Your personal injury lawyer from our firm can include the investigator’s findings in addition to photographs and other evidence.

We Can Handle Your Personal Injury Claim from Start to Finish

Our legal team has a thorough understanding of what is required to get a personal injury claim approved. If your claim was denied, or if you would like us to handle your claim from start to finish, we can increase the likelihood that your claim will be approved as soon as possible. Call us today to request a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer who can help you get the maximum possible compensation and in a timely manner.

 

Thank you to MartinWren, P.C. for providing their insight and authoring this piece on personal injury.

How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?

When a person is injured in an accident that is caused by the negligence of someone else, the law says the at-fault person is responsible for the losses the victim has suffered, including both economic and noneconomic losses. Each accident case is different, each with its own set of circumstances and factors that could play a part in how much of an injury settlement or award the victim could receive should they decide to pursue a case against the party who caused the accident.

So what exactly are those factors and how much could your claim be worth? The best way to find that answer out is to consult with a personal injury attorney who will be able to make that determination. Some of the questions your attorney may ask include:

Is the injury claim a valid one?

In order for a personal injury claim to be a valid one, then there needs to be some measure of negligence or recklessness on the actions or behaviors of the alleged at-fault party to have engaged in. Some examples of negligent behavior include:

  •        A dog owner who let their dog run loose and the dog bit you
  •        A driver who was texting while driving and crashed into your vehicle
  •        A grocery store that failed to remove ice at the entrance of the building and you fell
  •        A doctor who was drunk while performing your surgery and nicked an organ

There are many other examples of negligent actions and your attorney will determine the act of negligence in your accident case.

What type of damages might I receive?

Because each accident victim is different, the losses they suffer will also be different. Each case has different losses and each loss is worth varying amounts. There are some damages that every accident victim is entitled to, such as medical expenses and loss of income.

The at-fault party is responsible for all the medical bills that are associated with treatment for the victim’s injuries, including all doctor visits, surgeries, medications, and medical equipment.

Victims who are unable to work because of the injuries are also entitled to receive those loss wages as part of their settlement. If they were forced to use vacation or personal time, then the value of those days can also be included in the settlement.

There are other types of losses victims can pursue, however, these losses do not have a definitive dollar amount attached to them and are subjective. These losses include:

  •        Pain and suffering
  •        Emotional distress
  •        Permanent disability
  •        Scarring
  •        Disfigurement
  •        Loss of companionship

Charlottesville VA injury lawyers can calculate what those losses are worth in your particular case. There are several different ways to come up with this total and is usually based on how much the quantifiable damages (medical expenses and loss of income) totaled, as well as the severity of the injuries.

In some accidents, the victim may also be awarded punitive damages. These damages are not meant to replace a loss the victim suffered but instead are meant to punish the at-fault party and send a message to society that this behavior will not be tolerated. A drunk driving accident is a good example of a case where punitive damages are often awarded to the victim.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from MartinWren, P.C., for their insight into personal injury.

 

Meeting a Truck Accident Attorney? Here’s What You Need

As an auto accident lawyer Denver CO residents can rely on can attest, when you’re in an accident involving a truck, you may experience significant losses, pain and suffering as a result. Trucks are far larger than other types of vehicles and can cause massive damage in a single incident.

A truck accident attorney can help you receive compensation for your losses and pain, but you will need to help them by providing the right documentation. The better prepared you are before your first meeting, the easier the process will be.

Driver and company information

Bring all the information you have on the truck involved and its driver. This includes the full name of the trucking company and the driver, the truck’s license plate, other identifying information about the truck, the driver’s insurance information and their commercial driver’s license status and number. If any other businesses are involved with the truck that hit you, bring whatever information you have about them as well.

Accident information

If you filed a police report, your attorney will want a copy of it. The same goes for the results of an investigation into the accident, such as traffic violations issued. Bring any photos or videos of the accident that were taken along with copies or a list of links to any story written about it in the news. If there were other people involved in or witnesses to the accident, bring the information you have on them as well. Your attorney will also want to know about the accident itself, including the location and date, the weather conditions at the time, and whether emergency vehicles were at the scene.

Medical paperwork

Get copies of any medical records related to the accident. Your attorney will want to know if there are now any activities that are off-limits to you as a result of the accident and will also want to hear about all of the tests, diagnoses and treatments you’ve had related to your injuries. He or she will need to learn about any pre-existing conditions you had that could have made your accident injuries worse.

Proof of property damage

For the purposes of determining losses, your attorney will want evidence of the damage to your property as a result of the accident. He or she will ask for the model, year and make of your vehicle, its condition, the damages to it and any photographs you have of it that were taken before the crash. If you have repair estimates, bring them along.

Your personal and financial information

To determine your losses beyond property damage, your attorney will ask a lot of questions about you. Be prepared to tell him or her about your employment and any days you missed from work because of the accident and your injuries. He or she will also need your insurance information, your driving record and your driver’s license number.

When you’re in an accident with a truck, you have rights and don’t just have to accept all of your losses. Speak to a truck accident attorney about your case today.

 

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into finding an attorney.

 

Steps to Take Immediately after a Motorcycle Accident

Motorcycle accident claims are different and unique from automobile accident claims. If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. Injury lawyers Charlottesville VA relies on can understand the dynamics of motorcycle accidents and know the uniqueness of motorcycle injury cases. Having a professional team of personal injury lawyers on your side that understands motorcycle accidents can greatly help alleviate any unnecessary stress.

In case you are in a motorcycle accident, these are the steps you should take immediately following the accident:

Obtain Medical Care and Treatment

Most importantly, if you are in an accident, you need to tend to the injuries you received in the accident. Because injuries caused by a motorcycle accident tend to be severe, it it important to receive proper and immediate diagnosis, care, and treatment. More often than not, injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident need to be checked out by more than just the emergency room.

Notify Your Insurance Company and the Other Driver’s Insurance Company

After you have received medical care, you should notify your insurance company as well as the other driver’s insurance company about the accident. A claim will need to be opened with the other driver’s insurance company; however, you may wish to have your personal injury lawyer provide any statements to the insurance company. The other driver’s insurance company is working to protect their own client, not you. It is important to have someone speaking to their insurance company whose main objective is to protect you.

Determine your Motorcycle’s Property Damage

You should have your motorcycle that was in the accident examined by a body shop for an estimate of the property damage. If it is declared a total loss, the market value will need to be determined.

Rental Car and Transportation

While your motorcycle is being evaluated or fixed, you will most likely need another mode of transportation. The at-fault driver’s insurance company would be responsible for providing you with a rental car or a cash allowance to pay for transportation. They are required to pay for this service while your motorcycle is being repaired or for a reasonable time period if the motorcycle is totaled.  

Obtain Legal Counsel

In addition to the above-mentioned tasks, evidence and witnesses will also need to be obtained to prove and protect your case. There are many issues to address immediately after your accident, however, your main focus should be recovering and healing. In order to devote your time to your recovery, you may want to hire a personal injury law to handle all the other tasks associated with the accident. Contact a personal injury lawyer today.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from MartinWren, P.C., for their insight into motorcycle accidents.

Foggy Conditions

Navigating through fog can be very tricky and quite a dangerous endeavor if you are not cautious and alert while driving. Unfortunately, it is a sad reality that many motorists are unaware of how to properly maneuver a vehicle in foggy conditions. Countless dangers are magnified with the presence of fog coupled with a driver’s lack of knowledge.  Regardless of the speed limit, it is very important to reduce your speed when fog is present.  Because visibility is limited, it is a good idea to exercise extreme caution when going through foggy areas. Fog can often trick a motorist into thinking they are going slower than they really are. Use your speedometer as a guide and focus on the lines on the road for guidance.

It is important to never stop in the middle of a roadway when fog is heavily present. Pulling over to the shoulder is also not a good idea.  These things could become a major hazard and distract other motorists.  If you must stop, get off the roadway as far away as possible. When visibility is hindered, it is a natural tendency to activate your high-beam headlights, but when navigating heavy fog using your low-beam headlights allows for better visibility. Using your high-beams creates a reflection that can be difficult to see through.  Where possible, we suggest using the ridge side pavement lines to guide you along the roadway. It’s better to avoid using the middle lines for guidance because this may increase your risk of drifting too far into the other oncoming lane of traffic.  Always remember to stay focused while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Multitasking is a bad idea when navigating through fog, simply turning down the radio and removing other distractions can help you better focus on the road and safety of you and all travelers around you.

        If you or someone you know has been involved in an auto accident due to the negligence actions of someone else in foggy conditions, you may need to speak with an attorney, like a auto accident lawyer Dekalb County GA trusts, to find out what your rights are.  Because you are not a trained professional, it is wise to speak with someone who has thoroughly studied the law and can better advise you on the facts of the matter.  By choosing to listen to “the street committee” untrained professional, you could be putting yourself in a situation to get misdirected, misguided, and left holding the bag.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into foggy conditions and car accident cases.