April 2017

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5 Things You Should Not Do After An Accident

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1) Not Seek Medical Treatment

Some injuries are not immediately apparent. Adrenaline from an accident can mask an injury that may only be apparent after time. Failing to seek medical treatment at the time of the accident can undermine your legal and insurance claims. Insurers may argue that a delay in treatment could signal the injury was not serious. As a best practice, it would be recommended that a physician conduct an examination following an accident.

2) Fail to Get An Accident Report

Without a police report, an accident claim would turn into he said versus she said. It is important to have a third party accident report prepared by law enforcement which will determine fault, liability, obtain contact information and describe the accident scene among other uses. Although there may be a delay in waiting for law enforcement to arrive at the scene of the accident, it will serve you well in the long run. Without an accident report there will be difficulty in corroborating statements, as a car accident lawyer Phoenix AZ relies on would explain.

3) Give a Statement to Insurance

Accidents are stressful. Being under stress impacts everything from your memory to your descriptions or other statements about an accident. This can impair the way in which an insurance company will later approve or deny your claim. There is a reason why insurance companies always ask for a statement as quickly as they can. If any insurance company requests a statement from you, you should not rush to provide it. You can instead simply state that you are not ready to provide a statement at this time and defer it to a later time. There is no rush.

4) Fail to Document Your Accident

After an accident it is important to photograph and note any relevant information. Pictures of damage to vehicles, pictures of the accident scene itself, notes and contact information for any witnesses: these are all vital details which may be lost if not properly documented. Cars can be moved, towed, destroyed, witnesses can leave the scene and this information would be lost. This information may be asked for later by your insurance company and it would be important to have it available.

5) Don’t Apologize

Your words matter! Any statements you make in an emotional state can be used against you when determining fault. Even something as basic as an apology can be construed against you. Apologies can quickly become admissions of liability and you need to be careful and mindful about what you say.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into what you should do after an accident.

National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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Distracting driving continues to be a massive problem nationwide, causing thousands of injuries and fatalities in related accidents each year. With this troublesome trend in mind, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has christened April as “National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.”

Distracted driving is more than just cell phone use. Any action that takes a person’s attention off of the road and his or her surroundings is considered distracted driving, according to the NHTSA. Many people drive distracted and do not even realize they are doing it because it doesn’t involve texting.

There are three types of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive.
In visual distracted driving, the driver takes his or her eyes off the road. This could entail glancing down at a radio or looking out of a side window instead of the windshield; it’s anything that takes the eyes away from the road ahead and the immediate surroundings. Manual distracted driving occurs when a person is taking her or his hands off of the wheel to do something else, such as change a radio station or eat food. In cognitive distracted driving, the driver’s mind is focused on something other than driving. Some actions can include more than one type of distracted driving at one time. Texting, for example, takes a person’s mind, eyes and hands away from driving. Eating or checking a GPS could also involve all three categories of driving while distracted.

The statistics paint a grim picture

Distracted driving is a problem that has gotten worse over the years, as technology has made its way firmly into society and more people have cell phones and other distracting devices. NHTSA reports that in 2015 alone, 391,000 people were injured and 3,477 people died because of crashes that involved distracted drivers. Studies estimate that around 660,000 drivers use their cell phones while on the road during the day, creating a deadly potential for more accidents, injuries and deaths related to this unsafe behavior.

NHTSA is leading the charge

The Administration is working to turn the dangerous trend of distracted driving around by increasing awareness of and education about the topic. Leading the way in its efforts is devoting an entire month to the problem. NHTSA partners with local and state law enforcement departments to run campaigns that reach drivers and get them to understand the risks and costs of distracted driving. Throughout April, the Administration combines its national ad campaign with a crackdown by local law enforcement across the country. This initiative is known as “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” It runs for around a week each April and aggressively targets cell phone use while driving. During this period, law enforcement officials aim to catch and ticket distracted drivers who are using their phones.

Despite having an entire awareness month of its own, distracted driving continues to contribute to crashes all around the US. If you have been injured because of a distracted driver, seek the advice of an experienced auto accident lawyer Denver CO relies on today to protect your rights.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into distracted driving awareness month.

THE KEY TO SUCCESSFUL REPRESENTATION: COMMUNICATION

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“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

This famous quotation from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke, summarizes the main reason personal injury attorneys lose clients. Successful client communication can go a long way to help you retain existing clients as well as to grow your future client base. Following a few simple rules will best accomplish this:

  1. Be disciplined in keeping a set schedule to speak with your clients. Even if you don’t have anything monumental to report, touch base with them on a regular, set basis, even to just say “hi.”
  2. Schedule periodic in person meetings in your office. Take this opportunity to show the client the file and any new paperwork. Discuss the next steps and keep the client involved. Don’t rush these meetings, so be careful to schedule them when you have the time to spend.
  3. Be upfront and candid about any problems or setbacks in the case. Don’t let the client find out from someone else. Nowadays, with the advent of ecourts, elaw and other comparable public court resources, most court dockets are accessible online. Some clients keep track of their case progress from their own computer.
  4. Get to know your client. Take the opportunity to not only get updates about your client’s treatment, work status etc.… but ask about their family. What are your client’s interests? Hopefully we are in this business because we love what we do and take great pride in helping people. Try to listen more than you talk. This is a people business. Don’t lose sight of this.
  5. Always return client phone calls on the same day you receive them. If that is not possible, have a member of your office staff call the client and let them know you will return the call the following day. A short email to the client will be effective as well.

Yes, these sound like very basic and obvious things that you should be doing to keep your clients satisfied. However, it has been my experience that most attorneys who aren’t a car accident lawyer New York, NY relies on will still ignore the basics. Don’t ever give the client a reason to think that you are too busy for them. If you are too busy for your clients, you may want to find other work. Remember that in matters involving personal injury, you can bet that the case is the most important thing in the client’s life, so make sure you treat it that way.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Okun, Oddo & Babat P.C. for their insight into successful representation.

Common Injuries from Slip and Fall Accidents

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It can happen to anyone, anytime.  A slippery walkway, icy sidewalks, or just tripping over a badly-placed area rug — a sudden fall can happen anywhere.  Depending on where you fall and how severe it is, there are a plethora of injuries that can result.  Here, we’ll consider the most common injuries and how to resolve the pain.

1)  Head injuries are by far the most common injury sustained after a fall.  A head injury can result in a minor concussion, or even a traumatic injury in a more severe fall.  A concussion, no matter how severe, always needs treatment.  Symptoms of a concussion can include headache, nausea, confusion, or vomiting.  Although the word concussion may sound dramatic, even a seemingly minor fall involving head injury can result in trauma.  Slippery leaves outside, a wet floor, or even stepping out of the bathtub can lead to a fall and a possible concussion.

2)  Even minor trips and falls can cause broken bones, especially if you are prone to breaks due to osteoporosis.  Broken bones, if not properly treated, can lead to a spiral of more aches and pains.  Treating a break with careful therapy is a must to avoid later pain.  If you suspect a broken bone, see a chiropractor gaithersburg  MD trust right away.  This will prevent any further injury to the area and will get you set in a plan of pain management and rehabilitation.

3)  Shoulder injuries, such as dislocation, can easily take place when there is a sudden fall and you may reach out to break the fall.  A dislocation or an injury to the brachial plexus nerves can take a toll on your body for the long-term.  One way to avoid such injuries is to be careful in the way we descend to the floor during a fall.  Tucking in our hands and not attempting to brace ourselves can deflect the possibility of shoulder injuries.

It is also important to slow down in our daily activities.  We may be in a habit of rushing out the door and down the front steps, but that constant hurrying can easily turn into a fall and an injury.  A few seconds extra to get out of bed, out of the shower, or down the front steps can do a lot to prevent an injury.  Staying conscious and cognizant of our surroundings is especially important if we are prone to falls in the first place, or if we have issues with balance and proprioception.

Even if you’ve already suffered an injury, that doesn’t mean you have to get stuck in a cycle of chronic pain.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Advanced Spine & Wellness Center for their insight into slip and fall injuries.