There are thousands of car accidents every day. They can happen at any time and can have life-altering effects. If you are one of the many unfortunate individuals involved in a car accident, what can you recover as a result of someone else’s negligence? What will the at-fault party’s insurance cover? Here are a few of the most common damages covered by car insurance following an automobile accident.
Thankfully, not every auto accident causes injuries. However, individuals can still suffer financially when their car is damaged. As long as you were not at fault in the accident, the other driver’s car insurance should cover the cost of getting your car repaired (or the market value of the car if it is damaged beyond repair), towing and storage expenses, as well as rental expenses while your car is being repaired.
Specific damages refers to damages that have a specific valued amount related to an accident-related injury. These damages include the cost of medical bills which you have incurred due to treatment related to the injuries you sustained in the accident. As long as the treatment is reasonable in scope and duration, the at-fault driver’s car insurance covers those expenses. Additionally, it should cover any wages you lost as a result of the accident and loss of earning capacity.
General damages refers to damages that are not necessarily easily calculated dollar amounts. These damages most often include pain and suffering and emotional distress you have endured as a result of the other driver’s negligence. These damages are subjective and can range in value depending on the severity of the accident and each auto accident victim’s personal situation.
In certain circumstances, when the at-fault driver is especially negligent in causing the accident, you may also receive punitive damages. Again, these damages are not easily calculated dollar amounts and can range depending on the specific factors involved in an accident. Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for the egregious behavior, which often comes into play when the person causing the accident is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, is driving at a reckless speed, and/or hits your car and runs.
It is important to note that each state requires all drivers to have car insurance with minimum policy limits. The at-fault driver’s car insurance will only pay out up to the police limits on the at-fault driver’s policy, regardless of how much your property damage, specific damages and/or general damages may be.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you should speak to a personal injury attorney Charlotte NC trusts immediately.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Harman Law for their insight into car insurance after an accident.
Over the course of several centuries, people have mined asbestos from the ground and used it as a building material. Up until the 20th century, it was commonly used in the insulation of homes and also used by the U.S. navy in shipyards. However, asbestos is now known to cause several types of lung diseases, all of which can be fatal. People who have worked in certain industries are therefore at an increased risk of developing asbestos-related illnesses, and often these employees may be entitled to compensation if their exposure was due to an employers negligence. Read on for more info about the signs and symptoms of these illnesses.
Those who have worked in the asbestos mining industry are at an increased risk of developing signs and symptoms of asbestos exposure. However, many other workers, either knowingly or unknowingly, have also been exposed to asbestos. Some of the most common jobs from which people have developed asbestos-related symptoms are:
- Automobile mechanics
- Furnace workers
- S. Navy workers
- Shipyard workers
- Building inspectors
If you have worked in any of the above industries, there is a chance that asbestos fibers have entered your lungs, especially if you’ve been exposed to the mineral often over an extended period of time.
Signs and Symptoms
Exposure to asbestos does not always lead to symptoms right away. In fact, most people see their symptoms occur 10-30 years after exposure, and some do not develop symptoms for up to 40 years.
Asbestosis is a lung disease caused by asbestos exposure, and it is characterized by difficulty breathing. According to the Mayo Clinic, one common symptom is shortness of breath. This often occurs along with a tightness or a pain in the chest. Many patients report having a chronic, dry cough. The tips of the patient’s fingers often widen and look rounder than usual, which is called clubbing.
Mesothelioma cancer is another asbestosis-related illness. Symptoms of mesothelioma are difficult to detect, mainly because the symptoms are commonly found in other illnesses, which often leads to misdiagnosis. Often, patients report no symptoms until after cancer has spread and the patient is already in stage III or stage IV cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are as follows:
- Weight loss
- Heavy amount of sweating
- Hoarse throat
- Facial swelling
- Swelling in the arms
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in lower back or side of chest
- Difficulty swallowing
Peritoneal mesothelioma is another common form of the disease. Signs of peritoneal mesothelioma are pain in the abdomen, constipation, vomiting and nausea, swollen abdomen and weight loss.
Though asbestos is now known to cause these illnesses, many people are unaware of the symptoms of mesothelioma and asbestosis. If you or someone you know worked in one of the industrial jobs known to cause asbestos exposure, it is imperative that you get screened by a healthcare professional. If you think asbestos may be present in your home, do not attempt asbestos abatement on your own. A professional, like an asbestos abatement contractor Los Angeles CA relies on, can test a sample of the material and advise you on how it can be safely removed.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Nielsen Environmental for their insight into asbestos abatement and the harmful effects of asbestos.
When you have been injured in an accident as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, some decisions need to be made. One of those decisions is whether to pursue compensation for the damages that you incurred. The law allows you the right to pursue compensation for your damages, and a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer Las Vegas NV relies on may protect and invoke that right for you.
Claims and Lawsuits
After an accident, a victim has the right to file and proceed with a lawsuit anytime within the period prescribed by the applicable statute of limitations. Depending on what state the accident occurred in, that could be between one year and six years. We certainly don’t recommend waiting until the eve of the statute of limitations to file your lawsuit either. Witnesses can disappear, recollections can get fuzzy, and physical evidence can be disposed of or tampered with.
What is an out-of-court settlement?
In many cases, it’s possible for both parties to reach an agreement regarding a settlement payment, all without presenting the case in front of a judge or jury. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, about 95% of all personal injury cases filed are resolved by out-of-court settlements. There are several good reasons for this extremely high percentage:
- Legal fees: Each side in a personal injury lawsuit pays its attorneys one way or another. An injured plaintiff ordinarily pays pursuant to a contingency fee agreement. The defendant’s attorney is usually paid on an hourly basis by an insurance company. The longer that a case goes, the more money the insurance defense attorneys could bill.
- Court costs: The longer that a case goes, the more money the parties will be required to pay for court costs too. Those costs usually include: filing and service fees, court reporter fees for depositions, deposition transcript fees, statutory witness fees, medical records fees, and expert witness fees. In a case involving severe injuries, those court costs can add up to tens of thousands of dollars. Those are usually advanced by the plaintiff’s attorneys, and they’re reimbursed from settlement or verdict proceeds. The defendant’s attorneys bear their own costs, and those are reimbursed by the insurance company.
- Risk: Even top trial lawyers encounter unpredictable developments during the course of a trial. For example, evidence might be excluded by the judge, the recollection of witnesses might get cloudy, and even the injured plaintiff might change his or her version of events. All of those developments can translate into considerable risk for both sides, and neither side knows what a jury might do with the case.
There are many ways that out-of-court settlement negotiations can be beneficial for injury accident victims. If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury attorney today for more information about seeking compensation.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Nadia von Magdenko & Associates for their insights into motorcycle accident cases.
Pet food recalls have been increasingly on the rise, so much so that many people are starting to become concerned about what they are feeding their pets.
According to WJLA News, there have been recalls of at least 40 different treat types and pet foods so far this year. One widespread recall involved dog food that had pentobarbital in it, a drug that is used to euthanize animals. Three different canned dog food brands contained this deadly drug, and the company that is linked to those brands is now facing several lawsuits.
One such lawsuit has been filed by a family who had one dog die and four other dogs fall ill after the animals ate food made by Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co Inc. Their manufacturing company, Nutripack, LLC, is also a defendant in that case. The lawsuit filed states that companies knew their food was not fit for human consumption nor inspected by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did investigate the dog food from these companies, uncovering the presence of pentobarbital. In the course of that testing, the agency also discovered that the tainted food contained horse meat and that none of the company’s suppliers were ever inspected by the USDA.
Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Co Inc. sells dog food under its own name, under the “Against the Grain” label, and privately labels food for other brands, including “Party Animal,” which was also part of the recall. As a result, Party Animal has filed a lawsuit against Evanger’s and is seeking $20 million in damages.
Unfortunately, the last decade has seen many pet food recalls, one of which was among the largest in consumer history. In 2007, there was a recall of pet foods from several major brands because of the use of gluten tainted by the chemical melamine by a large supplier. As reported by Reuters, the FDA received more than 8,000 reports of sick animals or animal deaths from pet owners related to the recalled brands. Melamine is used for fertilizer in Asia, but it is not allowed in pet food in the US because it is known to cause illness and kidney failure in animals.
Harmful ingredients is not the only issue consumers have been struggling with in the pet food industry, as there have also been many instances of misleading labeling practices. In 2016, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports there was a $32 million class action settlement from Blue Buffalo over its labels. The Blue Buffalo dog and cat food items stated the food contained no poultry by product, but it was found in tested food samples from the brand. In that case, the pet food company maintained it was the fault of their supplier, who they alleged defrauded them.
Losing a pet to a tainted product is a heartbreaking and preventable death in a family. If your family has been impacted by a tainted or unsafe product, speak to an experienced product liability and negligence lawyer Denver CO relies on today.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into product liability and negligence cases.
Car insurance policies provide several different types of coverage that will pay medical bills. The two main sources of coverage are 1) specific medical payment coverage in the insurance policy for the car in which the injured person was occupying; and 2) the liability coverage for person who was liable for the accident.
In most states, a car owner as part of his car insurance coverage can buy insurance that will pay the medical bills for the treatment of injuries suffered by an occupant of the insured car in a wreck. This coverage is often called “MedPay.” This insurance is not mandatory. And the per person/per accident coverage limits can range from as low as $2,000 to as high as $50,000 or even greater. MedPay will pay those medical bills regardless of who was at fault for the accident. MedPay is what is known as primary coverage, which means that even if Medicare, Medicaid, or group health insurance initially paid the bills, MedPay must still pay the bills, while the insurance company that initially paid the bills will be reimbursed.
If the person was injured in a car wreck as a result of the negligence of another, then the injured person has an additional source of insurance coverage to pay his medical bills. This insurance is called liability coverage and all automobiles are required to have it. Each state requires a minimum dollar amount of coverage. In Virginia, the minimum limits of coverage are $25,000 per person/per accident. This insurance pays an amount to the injured person equal to the damage caused by a negligent driver of the automobile to the injured person, including any medical bills. This is true even if the bills have already been paid by MedPay or other insurance. The injured person will receive this amount if and when he receives a judgment against the negligent driver, or the negligent driver’s car insurance company reaches a settlement of the injury person’s liability claim with the injured person.
In most states, if the injured person’s medical bills were paid by MedPay (or other insurance) and the injured person then received a settlement or judgment against the driver who negligently injured him that included a payment equal to the total of the medical bills, the injured person is required to reimburse the MedPay insurance carrier out of those proceeds for the amount of the MedPay payment. This right of reimbursement is known as the right of subrogation, as skilled Abingdon Virginia car accident lawyers trust. However, Virginia and some other states have enacted what are called anti-subrogation laws. Under those laws, the MedPay insurance company has no right of reimbursement.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into car accident cases.
Unfortunately, many people are injured every year in car accidents caused by negligent driving. If you, or a loved one, has been injured in just such an accident, you need to know your rights.
Every state defines within its laws what exactly negligence means. However, a simple definition is: When a person fails to do something he or she should have done. In the context of car accidents that usually means the driver failed to prevent an accident that should have been preventable.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Attorneys, like a personal injury lawyer Bowling Green KY trusts, look for certain indicators of negligence. If you know any of these signs were present before or after your accident, make sure you get legal advice.
- Excessive speed. There are speed limits and these limits are posted for a reason. Road conditions mean that only some speeds are safe. If the other driver was driving too fast then he or she may not have allowed themselves sufficient reaction time to avoid an accident.
- Road rage. Tailgating, cutting off drivers, yelling at drivers and other hostile actions are clear indicators of a driver who is not only NOT paying attention to the road and dangers, but may actively be causing dangers himself/herself.
- Distracted drivers. We all know the dangers of texting while driving. But there are other distractions that can be just as dangerous: talking on the phone, setting GPS, eating, looking for items in the glove box or on the floor, talking with passengers, eating or anything else that causes you to divide your attention. I was almost T-boned once by a driver who had a whole newspaper spread out across the steering wheel.
- Intoxication. Drinking and driving certainly do not mix. Drugs and driving do not mix. But some people may not be aware, or may ignore, that prescriptions and driving often do not mix. Until you know how your medications affect you, do not drive. If they ever cause you symptoms such as lethargy or distractedness, then for driving purposes, assume they always cause such symptoms.
- Faulty equipment. If you know your vehicle has faulty equipment, such as bad brakes, you could be negligent in choosing to drive it. You could be negligent if you drive a vehicle without first ensuring that it is safe to drive. So, always keep your vehicles well maintained.
Hopefully you and your loved ones will never be in an accident. This information should help you to avoid being a danger to others and help you be a better defensive driver when others are causing driving hazards. And if you are ever in a wreck, look for the above signs that the other driver was being negligent and let you attorney know.
Thanks to our friends and contributors Tim Hendrix Attorney at Law PLLC for their insight into negligence.
Dallas News reports that distracted driving is on the rise, alongside accidents on the nation’s roads. The US Department of Transportation’s data shows in that in 2011, there were about 5.3 million accidents, and the figure jumped to close to 6.3 million accidents for 2015. While the accident rate increase has more than one cause, a primary factor that is worrying safety advocates is driving while distracted. A recent Harris poll that was carried out for NerdWallet seems to support this concern completely.
According to the Harris poll, about 67 percent of Americans have driven in the last year while using a cellphone. It’s worth noting that 14 percent of all fatal crashes with distracted driving as a factor involved mobile phone use in 2015, according to the US Department of Transportation’s data.
Among the people who admitted to using their phone in the poll, 38 percent said they texted while they drove, and 13 percent said they almost went off the road, weaved in and out of lanes and nearly had an accident or did have an accident.
In addition to cell phone use while driving, 62 percent of respondents said they were distracted by things beside a cellphone while driving over the last year. The leading category by far in this section was eating, with 58 percent saying they did it, followed by 10 percent of drivers admitting to grooming while driving. Caring for a child in the backseat accounted for 9 percent, while laptop use made up 7 percent. Changing clothes came in at 5 percent, and drinking alcohol clocked in at 4 percent. Other reported distractions included reading, putting feet outside of the car while using cruise control, and playing an instrument.
While it appears likely that the rise in electronic use will continue to be a problem on the roads, the tech sector is now taking some proactive measures when it comes to curbing distracted driving. As reported by Tech Radar, the new operating system for Apple devices coming this fall, iOS 11, has a feature that will detect when someone is driving and silence all notifications. Users can even set it so that their Apple device sends an automatic text message response to incoming messages that indicates they are currently driving.
Smartphone apps that help people avoid distracted driving are also available for many devices. SafeDrive, for example, lets safe drivers earn points to use to discounts on services and products. AT&T’s DriveMode silences alerts and sends auto-replies to messages received on a driver’s phone. For parents with teen drivers, there’s LifeSaver, an app that locks the phone when the teen is driving and sends automatic messages when he or she has arrived at the destination. This app is also available for businesses that have fleet vehicles.
Distracted driving has resulted in minor, major and fatal accidents all over the country. If you’ve been injured because of a distracted driver, speak to an experienced auto and motorcycle accident lawyer Denver CO trusts as soon as possible about all of your rights.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into distracted driving.
If you are like most people, you regularly use of some type of sunscreen. If you are like a smaller number of individuals, you may have suffered a serious allergic reaction to a sunscreen you have used. In the aftermath of an allergic reaction to sunscreen, you may be wondering whether or not you can pursue a personal injury case against the manufacturer.
The Basis for Liability in a Personal Injury Case
If you have suffered injuries due to an allergic reaction caused by a sunscreen, you may have what is called a products liability case. A products liability case is a type of personal injury claim. There are four elements that must be in place to successfully make a personal injury claim.
First, you must establish what is known as a duty of care. In the case of sunscreen, the manufacturer of the product has a duty of care that requires its product to be reasonably safe for use. The manufacturer also has a duty to disclosed any possible negative consequences that can arise from the use of the sunscreen.
Second, you must demonstrate that there has been a breach of the duty of care. An example of a breach of a duty of care in the sunscreen case could involve the proper disclosure of a potential issue with the product. If the manufacturer knew that the sunscreen could cause an allergic reaction and failed to properly disclose the fact, that could be considered a breach of the duty of care.
Third, the breach of the duty of care must be what is called the proximate cause of the accident and injury in question. This means that the breach of the duty of care must be the legal and factual cause of the accident and your injuries. In other words, you did not know of the potential of the allergic reaction because the manufacturer did not disclose it. You used the product and you suffered an allergic reaction.
Finally, you must suffer actual injuries, damages, or losses because of the breach of the duty of care. In this case, you need to demonstrate that you had an adverse reaction when you used the product. As an aside, you need to bear in mind that a sunscreen with natural ingredients is less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Who is Responsible for Your Injuries
Products liability governs who is responsible for the injuries you sustained. Products liability determines who in the chain of manufacturing is responsible for an accident and associated injuries.
In the case of sunscreen that caused an allergic reaction, the manufacturer is a likely responsible party. You need to keep in mind that the store that sold you the product might also be a responsible party. The store has a duty to sell you safe products.
Compensation in a Sunscreen Personal Injury Lawsuit
Potential compensation in a sunscreen personal injury case depends on the facts surrounding the injuries you sustained. With that in mind, there are certain injuries, damages, and losses that oftentimes result in a compensation in a successful sunscreen personal injury case. These include compensation for medical bills and expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, and lost wages.
Retain Legal Representation in a Sunscreen Personal Injury Case
You can protect your legal rights and interests in a case involving an allergic reaction to sunscreen by retaining the services of a skilled experienced personal injury lawyer. The first step in retaining legal counsel is scheduling an initial consultation. As a general rule, a personal injury lawyer does not charge a fee for the initial consultation.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Bu Screen for their insight into sunscreen allergens.
Depositions typically take place at an attorney’s office with the assistance of reporter, like a court reporter New York trusts, and are usually several hours. During a deposition, an attorney will ask you several different questions about a legal case. A deposition will help the attorney understand the case better and prepare for trial. What you say during a deposition is very important, so you should listen to each questions carefully and provide honest and detailed answers.
If you have to give a sworn testimony soon, you may feel pretty nervous. Just about everyone feels apprehensive about providing depositions. However, if you prepare yourself for the deposition, things will go a lot smoother.
How to Prepare for a Deposition
If you have any questions or concerns before a deposition, do not hesitate to bring them up to your lawyer. He or she can explain the process more thoroughly so that you know what to expect. Your lawyer may even bring up questions that will be brought up at the deposition.
No matter what, you should always provide accurate and truthful answers to the questions you are asked during a deposition. Keep your answers brief and do not offer up information beyond the scope of the questions. If you do not understand a question, do not be afraid to ask for clarification. If you don’t know the answer to a question or can’t remember something, say so. You never want to make any information up during a deposition.
Try to be as calm as possible during your deposition. The more relaxed you are, the easier the process will be. If you start to feel overwhelmed or tired, don’t hesitate to ask for a break. You can take a few minutes to get a drink of water and compose yourself.
Giving a testimony may seem scary at first, but it is not so bad. It will be over before you know it. Just make sure to answer each question truthfully and do not be afraid to speak up if you don’t understand something.
It may be in your best interest to hire a lawyer to guide you through the deposition process and protect your rights. He or she will attend the deposition with you and make sure that you are not asked any illegal questions. Having a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer on your side might make you feel a lot better about the situation.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Veritext for their insight into depositions.
In the last thirty years, all the way across the country, states have been enforcing seat belt laws to assist with bringing down traffic fatalities. But are seat belts really that important, or do they contribute to more injuries than they prevent?
Seat Belt Legislation
Seat belt laws began in 1968 with a federal law mandating that vehicles be equipped with seat belts (except for buses). Use of the seat belts was still voluntary in all 50 states, however, until New York State began requiring residents to wear seat belts in 1984. Younger people will consider seat belts to be a given when riding in a car, but some older people still forget to put their seat belts on from time to time.
As of 2017, New Hampshire is the only state that does not require occupants to wear their seat belts. In many states (18 out of 50), not wearing your seat belt is considered a secondary violation — meaning that you might only receive a ticket if you are in the process of a moving violation, e.g., a primary violation. The CDC has recommended that states begin to treat all seat belt refusal as a primary violation in order to lower the death toll.
Though most of us are doing what we can to bring down the fatalities, motor vehicle crashes are still one of the leading causes of death for those under 30. According to the CDC, in 2009, 33,000 people died and 2.2 million more were injured in motor vehicle accidents. Most individual who die in these crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash: over half of all drivers and passengers who died in 2009 were not wearing their seat belts.
On average, seat belts lower your risk of death by 45%, and your risk of injury by 50%. Most notably, they protect drivers and passengers from vehicle ejection. In fact, if you are not wearing your seat belt, you are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a car in a crash.
Seat Belts and Injuries
There are, however, risks of abdominal and chest injuries from seat belts. It is important that you sit in the correct position and use your belt correctly to avoid needless injuries. Some people may argue against seat belts because of these injuries, there’s no doubt that the injuries would be much worse without the seat belts. In the event of an accident, a seat belt that works properly can still cause brush burns, bruising, and lacerations.
When terrible things like car accidents happen, we are often very stressed and worried. Even a safety mechanism like a seat belt can cause harm while still being effective and important. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, a personal injury lawyer Milwaukee WI trusts might advise you to seek compensation for all of your injuries, including those that result from using a seat belt.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Hickey & Turim SC for their insight into car accident and personal injury cases.