How Can a Lawyer Help You After an Injury?

If you have been involved in an accident that was due to the negligence of another party, you could be entitled to receive financial compensation. Financial compensation can cover all injury-related medical costs such as hospital stays, medication, physical therapy, property damage, and even any missed wages due to time away from work.

If you are interested in being compensated financially for your injury, enlisting the help of a personal injury lawyer from a reputable law firm such as Anderson & Anderson is a positive first step. If you are wondering how a lawyer can help you after an injury, there are numerous ways a personal injury lawyer can help build you a strong case.

Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer

The first step to filing a personal injury claim or lawsuit is hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the process. An experienced lawyer will help build you the strongest possible case. They will assess your case and advice you on how best to proceed. They will give you a ballpark figure of what kind of compensatory damages you can expect to receive and help you decide if it is something you want to pursue.

Negligence

Your personal injury lawyer will help prove that if you were responsible for any negligence in the accident, it was minor in comparison to the at-fault party. Your lawyer will be familiar with the negligence laws that govern the state in which your accident occurred and will frame your case accordingly.

Your lawyer will know exactly which documents you will need to help prove your role in the accident, the severity of your injury, and how your injury is related to the accident. Your lawyer will help you draft a request for any pertinent records such as medical, accident, or police reports. With the help of your lawyer, you will have all the written documentation you need to prove the negligence of the other party.

Demand Letter

To officially commence the filing of a personal injury claim, your lawyer will assist you in drafting a demand letter. A demand letter is a letter written by the plaintiff (injured party filing the claim) to the defendant (person the claim is being filed against). In the letter, the plaintiff will clearly state their intentions of pursing financial compensation for their injury and how much. Depending upon the response of the defendant, your lawyer will help you move forward. If the defendant responds with a denial of negligence or flat-out refusal to pay, your personal injury claim can become a lawsuit, and your lawyer will help you prepare for the possibility of your case going to trial.

Trial Preparation

Trial preparation is a lengthy process; having a personal injury lawyer on your side will help ensure you know exactly what to expect and are prepared for what is coming. Your lawyer will ensure all your documents are filled out correctly and filed on time. They will make sure all your medical records and pertinent reports are where they need to be and ready to be presented as evidence.

When it comes to giving depositions, independent medical exams, or having to testify in court, your personal injury lawyer will guide you in how best to answer any questions regarding the accident, your injury, and accident-related expenses.

If you were injured in an accident caused by another person and are wondering if hiring a lawyer is necessary, the aforementioned reasons should be clear—not only does hiring a personal injury lawyer greatly increase your chances of receiving the maximum compensatory amount you are entitled to, they also make the process as stress-free and efficient as possible.

What to Do Immediately After a Car Accident

Most drivers will experience the stress of being involved in a car accident at one point or another in their lives. The moments immediately after an accident can be amongst the most overwhelming, especially for those who have sustained an injury. While every accident is different, there are certain steps of what to do immediately after a car accident.

Remain at the Scene

When you are involved in a car accident, it is crucial that you remain at the scene until you are instructed by the appropriate authorities to leave.

Listen to the First Responders

While car accident scenes are stressful places, to first responders, this is their workplace. They know exactly what to do and say to handle these types of stressful situations. Listen to their instructions.

Contact Information

Before you leave the scene, make sure you have collected any and all contact information of those involved in the accident, including any potential witnesses. Contact information includes driver’s license, insurance, address, and phone number.

Seek Medical Attention

While you will most likely be examined by paramedics on the scene, be sure to follow their advice and seek the help of a medical professional for an exam after the accident. Even if you don’t feel like you have sustained any injuries, there are certain injuries that don’t become symptomatic until after the injury occurs.

It is also important to have any and all medical injuries documented by a medical professional in the event that you want to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit down the road.

Admitting Fault

Never admit fault to anyone at the scene. Even if you think it is okay to discuss the nature of the accident at the scene with those involved, remember that admitting fault can be used against you in the event of a claim or lawsuit involving the accident.

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were involved in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another, you should enlist the help of a Detroit auto accident lawyer to guide you through the process of filing a personal injury claim. Your lawyer will help you seek financial compensation for any and all accident-related costs you have incurred from property damage like vehicle repairs to medical costs such as treatment, medication, physical therapy, and any missed wages due to time away from work.

While the moments immediately after a car accident can be stressful and confusing, keeping a few things in mind of what not to do can help protect you down the road.

Why Are Sideswipe Accidents So Dangerous?

Collisions are inevitable, given the large number of cars of the roads. Things can go wrong from time to time, and cars can crash into each other in different ways and produce various results. Most accidents will only produce minor property damage like paint scratches and small dents; occupants will stay safe and sound.

However, some will be quite serious with grave injuries and even fatalities. The vehicles may be deformed, perhaps to the point where repairs are no longer feasible. Careful driving can drastically reduce the number of incidents.

Three things will have the biggest influence on the outcome: the force of the impact, the points of contact, and the size disparity. For example, sideswipes occur when one vehicle experiences a glancing blow from another on the road. Sometimes direct hits where the front of one car hits the side of another is also included in this definition.

These occurrences are common for vehicles that are driving side by side, with one of them attempting to move to the other’s lane. Distractions lead the driver to move recklessly, hitting another in the process. Perhaps they were using their phones or looking at other things. Before they know it, the collision is underway.

This frequently happens when a vehicle approaching from the back is relatively small, such as a motorcycle, a scooter, or a bicycle. Drivers may fail to see them if they are in the blind spot. Thinking that there is nothing in the next lane, they may try to move swiftly to take advantage of the situation.

Why are sideswipe accidents so dangerous? The motorist can be toppled over by this sideswipe. If the impact is strong, then the victim may bounce many feet away! Fractures, bruises, and open wounds can result after forcefully hitting the ground. Traumatic brain injuries are possible, especially for those who have no safety gear for the head.

The vast majority of damage from sideswipe accidents will be limited to the vehicles, especially when it comes to cars. Insurance companies know this very well so they may be skeptical about injury claims. Those who have legitimately sustained injuries should make sure that they have all the medical evidence required to prove their claims.

Those who were riding two-wheeled vehicles are more likely to go off-balance, change directions, and fall. Riders are quite vulnerable to serious injuries because there is no protective cage to absorb the impact. If you are dealing with this type of incident, then contact a San Diego car accident attorney right away for legal guidance.

How Do Dog Bite Lawsuits Work in Tennessee?

The legal system is not universal. Laws vary from state to state and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Dog bite laws are no exception, and if you are wondering how dog bite lawsuits work in Tennessee, you are likely in need of a Nashville personal injury attorney. If you were attacked by a dog and bitten in Tennessee, depending on the circumstances, you might be entitled to compensation for any bite-related losses.

Dog-Bite Laws: Strict Liability and the One-Bite Rule

There are two fairly basic dog-bite law categories. The strict liability dog bite laws state that the owner of the dog is fully responsible for any injuries caused by their animal. The animal’s history of behavior does not come into play.

Under the one-bite rule, dog owners are only responsible for their dog’s behavior if there is a past history of violent acts done by the animal. If an animal is known to have bitten before, the owner has knowledge of their dog’s nature. If the dog has never bitten before, they are not liable for damages caused by their first known bite.

Tennessee Dog Bite Laws

Tennessee’s dog bite statutes are a combination of the two aforementioned laws. There are strict liabilities in place for bites under certain conditions. Under Tennessee law, dog owners are strictly liable if their dogs are loose and not under their control at the time of the bite, if the victim in no way encouraged or contributed to the attack, and if the bite took place on public property, private property that belongs to someone else, or any property that is not owned or rented by the dog owner.

Tennessee is the only state with a residential exception, and this statute states that dog owners are not liable for injuries caused by their dog if the attack occurred on their property. This is a very important factor that governs the outcomes of many dog bite incidents. If you are invited to the home of an individual with a dog and that dog bites you, you have no rights for damages because the bite took place at the residence of the dog and its owner.

Filing Your Dog Bite Claim

Under Tennessee law, dog bite injuries that have caused more than $25,000 damage would involve filing the lawsuit in the Tennessee Circuit Court or the Tennessee Chancery Court. For dog bite claims that are less than $25,000, your personal injury suit can be filed at the Tennessee General Session Court in the appropriate jurisdiction.

Your Tennessee dog bite lawyer will know which jurisdiction applies and which state laws apply to your dog bite claim and will guide you through the process from start to finish.

Punishments for Drunk Driving in Indiana

Officially, all drunk or drugged driving offenses in the state of Indiana are referred to as OWI or Operating While Intoxicated (instead of DUI/DWI/etc.). You will be booked for OWI if you were found operating a vehicle with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.08% or higher or if the motorist was found to be intoxicated with alcohol while driving.  For underage drivers, a BAC of 0.02% or higher will count as drunk driving.

The OWI offenses also involve driving under the influence of other drugs and controlled substances, but for the purpose of this article, we will discuss drunk driving and the punishments involved therein.

Punishments for Drunk Driving in Indiana

First of all, an Indiana OWI/DUI offense will never be erased from your record, which means it will always be regarded as a prior offense. However, if an offender happens to have priors in the span of the last five years, any further offense will be counted as a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

First OWI Penalties

If you are found guilty of your first OWI, typically the offense will be deemed either a Class C or a Class A Misdemeanor. If your blood alcohol level is found to be 0.15% or more, the offense will be interpreted as “endangering a person” while driving under influence. In this case, you will be found guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor. Otherwise, it will be a Class C Misdemeanor. Now, let’s look at the penalties for both.

Class A

  • Jail time: up to one year
  • Fines: up to $5,000
  • Suspension of License: typically, 180 days
  • IID (Ignition interlock Device): up to one year

Class C

  • Jail time: up to sixty days
  • Fines: up to $500
  • Suspension of License: typically, 180 days
  • IID (Ignition interlock Device): up to sixty days

Penalties for Second and Third Offense

Save the license suspension period, the punishments for second and third OWI offenses are identical—at least, on paper (that is, if they are still designated as misdemeanor and do not become a felony). However, for all repeat offenses, your license will get suspended for a period of at least one year.

A Felony OWI

If your OWI offense turns into a felony, you will be facing six months to thirty months of incarceration and fines up to $10,000.

OWI Attorney

If you are booked for an OWI offense, you must always engage the service of an experienced Terre Haute OWI attorney who will know all the ins and outs of Indiana OWI laws. Even if you are found guilty, a good attorney can always help in reducing the harm done to you. This includes reduction in fines, turning the jail time into probation, and other court options such as community service, participation in alcohol education programs, etc.

Keep in mind that an OWI can seriously jeopardize your life in more than one way. So, if you ever happen to find yourself in such an unfortunate circumstance, you must do all in your power to minimize the harm done to your person and your family.

When Should I Accept a Plea Deal?

Most people associate criminal cases with the courtroom. The truth is, close to 90 percent of all criminal cases never go to trial. So how are they settled? It all comes down to plea deals. They are constantly being thrown around, but it is important to know when to accept and when to explore your other options.

Are you asking yourself, “When should I accept a plea deal?” Well, the answer varies case by case, but here are some tips.

Understand Why Plea Deals Are Allowed

The first step to figuring out when to accept a plea deal is to understand why plea deals are allowed in the first place. In part, plea bargains are offered to help speed up the process in criminal cases. Both sides should feel as though they are getting something in their favor from the plea deal.

Money is another huge factor in why so many end up accepting a plea bargain. Legal fees, court costs, fines, and more can really start to add up in a hurry.

A plea deal might not seem that great for prosecutors, but they are able to see quick punishment. This will allow them to still be seen as successful in their job, even if they could have fought for a stiffer punishment.

Plea Deals Aren’t Offered Out of Kindness

With so many people using the term “plea bargain,” one might think that it is a good deal and the prosecution is trying to be nice. That is almost never the case, however. They are offering a plea deal for a reason. In most cases, they feel that they know exactly what they can get out of the arrangement, and they know you will agree. Make sure that you are comfortable with the plea deal before you accept—because the other side certainly is.

Plea deals can feel like a game at times. Perhaps the prosecution is showing what is essentially a poker face regarding the strength of the case they have against you. No one really knows for sure, which is why it is risky to go to trial if a decent plea deal is offered.

Sometimes It Helps to Move On

In some cases, a plea deal is a way of just moving on. This is particularly true if it looks as though jail or prison time is inevitable. Perhaps a lawyer has looked at the case from every angle and can’t find a way to avoid incarceration. Instead of prolonging the inevitable, a plea deal can get everything started.

Using firms like Chicago Trusted Attorneys can help with obtaining a fair plea deal, even if jail time is unavoidable. There are still specifics that can be hashed out with the plea deal, and jail time might be reduced in some way.

A plea deal might not be ideal, but there are certainly advantages to going this route. Just make sure to do your homework in preparation for a potential plea deal.

Does a Mother Always Have a Right to Custody of Her Children?

When it comes to the custody of your child, it’s understandable that you might have several very serious concerns. After all, making sure that your child is well cared for and that you can remain an integral part of their life is paramount.

Many times, men wonder if they even have any options when it comes to custody because it is often believed that a mother usually takes custody of her children. In fact, it’s not unusual for a family lawyer in Pittsburgh to have a client ask about this. While child custody is a complicated matter, the short answer to whether a mother always gets custody of the children is typically “no.”

Understanding Pennsylvania Child Custody Laws

In the state of Pennsylvania, a court will take several factors into consideration when determining child custody. These factors can include things like the relationship each parent has with the child, if there is a history of abuse or neglect, past criminal convictions, the ability of the parents to care for the child and meet the responsibilities that custody requires, and even, in some cases, the wishes of the child will be taken into consideration.

A court can grant joint custody, which is essentially, both parents sharing custody, or a judge might award sole custody, which can be awarded to either one of the parents. If a judge feels that it is in the best interest of the child, sole custody might be awarded; however, this type of custody arrangement is usually based on extenuating circumstances that warrant such an arrangement.

Child Custody Is Based on Sixteen Factors

Pennsylvania has a fairly straightforward approach to determining child custody. In January 2011, a new law went into effect outlining sixteen factors that a judge must consider when determining how child custody will be determined. These factors would clearly put more weight on items that could affect the health and wellbeing of the child, but all sixteen factors must be weighed fairly when making a custody determination. Additionally, in Pittsburgh, a judge is not allowed to automatically assume that one parent, such as the mother, would be the most likely parent to be granted custody. Each case must be determined based on the outlined criteria that is spelled out in the law.

Important factors in this sixteen-step plan to determine custody can include somewhat subtle things, such as whether one of the parents would be more likely to encourage the child to have a relationship with the noncustodial parent as well as the types and scope of duties each parent has participated in. Of course, a judge will look at the ability of each parent to be able to maintain a safe, stable, and nurturing home environment that best meets the child’s needs.

Holding the At-Fault Party Accountable After the Death of a Loved One

A death in the family is never easy, however, it can be especially traumatic when it was a result of someone else’s negligence. So, if you believe that your loved one lost their life due to the negligence of someone else, you may have grounds to file a wrongful death case. However, there are many steps involved in cases such as these, and a wrongful death lawyer in Milwaukee can assist you through this process.

How a lawyer proceeds with your case will depend on several factors. There are many crucial steps when it comes to filing a wrongful death lawsuit, including identifying everyone who is a possible defendant, keeping evidence intact, and deciding whether an estate should be created.

Some of the most common examples of wrongful death cases your attorney may specialize in include car accidents, on-the-job mishaps, bike accidents, train accidents, pedestrian accidents, drownings, and dog attacks. A competent wrongful death attorney will work tirelessly to prove and explain liability, determine your economic losses, and evaluate your noneconomic damages. Depending on the type of accident, expert witnesses, such as financial experts or car accident reconstructionist, may need to be called in for testimony.

You should note that not everyone is eligible to file a lawsuit. Just because you lost a loved one that was very important in your life, does not mean that you are within your right to file a wrongful death lawsuit. For instance, only certain relationships qualify. A registered spouse, children, stepchildren, or parent of the deceased will be able to file a lawsuit, especially if they were financially dependent on that person. While it is possible for other people who were involved in the dead person’s life to file a lawsuit, they cannot do it on their own. What basically happens is that the estate will file a claim and then disburse it.

Furthermore, in order to get compensation in a wrongful death case, you need to be able to prove that the defendant was negligent and that it was that negligence that caused the loved one’s death. While this may be obvious in certain situations, others will require more damning evidence. Therefore, it is advisable and crucial that you preserve as much information as you possibly can about the incident.

Some information that should be preserved include detailed records of all medical reports. In order to have evidence of the cause of death, you will need to request an autopsy report as well. You should also maintain all information pertaining to expenses such as medical bills, property damages, funeral expenses, etc. So, make sure that you have receipts for all of these. If there were eyewitnesses to the incident, get their contact information and ask them to write down exactly what they saw. Photographs and video recordings are especially valuable, if relevant to the case. If the incident occurred on or in a business, you should request copies of their surveillance videos.

So, while losing a loved one is never easy to deal with, you should take solace in the fact that holding the at-fault party accountable is the right thing to do, as this will ensure they do not repeat their actions.

Timeline of a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you’ve recently been injured due to someone else’s oversight or negligence, you may want to know more about the average timeline of a personal injury lawsuit. Unfortunately, the progression of cases like these is never set in stone. There are several variables that can impact the rate at which claimants move towards resolution. In fact, these same variables can also play an important role in determining whether you have a case worth pursuing. The good news is that there are a few general rules that you can bear in mind as you start the process of seeking fair compensation for your pain, suffering, injuries, and losses.

During the Earliest Stages of Your Case

All related insurance companies should be notified of the event that has caused injury right away. The sooner that insurance companies are informed, the easier it will be for these entities to link your physical damages with the circumstances that have led to them.

Notifying insurance companies early on and carefully documenting damages is key. If you wait several months before acting, it could be presumed that you’ve injured yourself in some other way and are simply looking for a covered party to assume responsibility for your damages. You also want to receive a comprehensive medical examination from a licensed physician as quickly after the accident as possible. Having doctors put your injuries on record is always a vital part of building your case.

Small Claims Rarely Go to Court

In the interest of limiting their spending, many insurance companies are reticent to have claims go to court. For relatively nominal damages, such as those falling below twenty thousand dollars in total, claimants are often offered settlements before their cases even start moving along the path to trial.

As such, even if your car has been totaled in a crash and you’ve been forced to spend countless hours receiving treatment from general doctors, chiropractors, and physical therapists, you may be able to reach a reasonable settlement agreement with insurers without having to present and argue before a judge. Settling outside of court allows both parties to tightly control their legal costs.

Getting Legal Assistance

One large part of understanding the timeline of a personal injury lawsuit is recognizing the importance of good legal representation. Lawyers often can expedite these cases by lending legal clout and by motivating insurance companies to act and assume culpability. Statistically, claimants are far more likely to receive fair settlements when they are represented by seasoned personal injury lawyers than they are if choosing to represent themselves. During your initial consultation with an Idaho personal injury lawyer, they can professionally review the details of your case, so you can find out whether your claim is one that should be pursued, long before you start investing money and time into building your case.

Timing

In many instances, high-value claims that are not too complex will reach a satisfactory conclusion for all parties within approximately twelve to eighteen months. However, it is vital to note that claimants are advised against settling before their medical treatment is complete. That’s because medical bills that are accrued after a settlement is received will have to be covered by the agreed upon monies. No additional settlements or negotiations will be provided once the claim is closed.

How Does Florida’s Negligence Law Work?

Personal injury cases will often revolve around the negligence of the party being blamed for the damage. In order to collect compensation, the plaintiff in a civil case must prove that the defendant is liable because of a failure to perform duties and responsibilities. This breach of duty should be directly tied to the specific injury. The court will have to determine if a reasonable person would have acted in the same way as the defendant or not. The specifics will often vary depending on the statutes in the state. So, how does Florida’s negligence law work?

Comparative Negligence

In some states, the plaintiff will have to show that his hands are clean and that the defendant is the only negligent party in order to collect any form of compensation. Florida, on the other hand, recognizes that fault is not always absolute. Sometimes an accident can happen because of the actions of two or more parties. However, one side will usually suffer more damage than the others. In such a case, the compensation will be awarded based on the comparative negligence of the parties. The one who is deemed to be more negligent will have to pay the other, with the amounts based on their contributing actions.

Damage Caps

For regular personal injury cases, there are no damage caps that would limit the amount that plaintiffs can collect. They can get as much as they are reasonably entitled, subject to their relative fault as determined by the court, based on their medical expenses, lost wages, and other related costs. For medical malpractice cases, there is also no cap for non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, although a suitable monetary amount can be difficult to determine. As for punitive damages resulting from serious unethical behavior, the cap is set at half a million dollars or three times the amount of compensatory damages.

Time Limits

There is no single time limit for negligence cases since they are varied and must be dealt with individually. Those who are interested in filing a lawsuit must be mindful of the deadlines and move quickly so as not to forfeit their right to receive compensation for injuries.

Equating Fault with Liability

The way that negligence law works in the state of Florida is an attempt to produce fair judgments. Fault is tied to liability so that a person’s penalties are always commensurate to his actions. In Florida, it is considered as fundamentally unfair to make a person who is only twenty percent at fault to pay for one hundred percent of the damages. It is also unfair to deny an injured person the right to be compensated if he had a one percent contribution to the incident when the other party is ninety-nine percent responsible. Negligence can take the form of a failure to maintain a fleet of commercial vehicles or a wrong diagnosis of a certain ailment. To learn more about this subject, contact a personal injury lawyer in Boca Raton.