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Truck Driver Competence and the Factors That Affect It

Categories:

Truck Accident Lawyer

A trucking accident probably lingers long in the memories of those who either survive it or witness it. Due to their indelibility and often serious effects, it may seem that they occur more often than they actually do. In fact, truck accidents are among the least common motor vehicle collision to occur on the roadways, which speaks to the competence of the drivers, the quality of training they receive and the effectiveness of the regulations that govern them.

However, no matter how competent a driver may be at baseline, it is possible for them to become impaired or distracted, and that is when accidents are more likely to occur.

Qualities of Competent Truck Drivers

When hiring people to drive for them, trucking companies look for candidates with the following relevant qualities:

  • Timeliness
  • Stress management skills
  • Stamina
  • Alertness
  • Impeccable driving record
  • Sense of responsibility

These people are likely to be able not only to withstand the rigors of the job but to comply with the regulations that are in place for everyone’s safety.

Requirements for Training and Licensing

In some respects, the requirements for obtaining a commercial driver’s license are similar to those for obtaining a personal one. You have to pass a test in order to obtain a CDL, and you get one license issued by your home state that is valid wherever you travel.

However, before taking the CDL test, drivers must undergo a rigorous training program related to operating a huge machine like a semi-truck. There are also additional requirements for extra training in special circumstances like hauling hazardous materials.

Causes of Impairment

However, even the most competent truck driver can become impaired under certain circumstances.

  1.  Driver Fatigue

This is one of the most common and well-known causes of trucking accidents. The federal government has taken steps to regulate driver activity in the interest of preventing fatigue, but a driver may sometimes feel tempted or pressured to circumvent them.

  1.  Substance Use

It is not unheard of for truck drivers to try to extend their waking/working hours with stimulants or other drugs, though it is unclear how prevalent this practice is today. In any case, it is not safe for anyone to take alcohol or drugs, even prescriptions, before getting behind the wheel.

  1.  Distraction

Driving distractions can involve cell phone use, fiddling with the radio or climate controls, eating, grooming, or a host of other activities that take one’s mind off one’s driving. An extreme case occurred recently in which a truck driver had his smartphone propped up on the dashboard to watch a football game and then collided with another vehicle.

Even competent truck drivers can make mistakes. Unfortunately, these sometimes result in accidents and injuries. Contact a law firm for information about how a Philadelphia truck accident lawyer may be able to help your case.

 


 

Thanks to Wieand Law Firm, LLC for their insight into personal injury claims and truck driver competence.

The Basics of a Personal Injury Case

Categories:

Personal Injury Attorney

Personal injury accidents can vary greatly on where they happen, why they occurred, who was at-fault, and other factors. Some of the most frequently seen personal injury cases involve vehicle collisions, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and product defects. For a personal injury case, the victim or injured party files a claim against the person or entity at-fault for the accident. Here we have answered a series of questions that people may ask their attorney, who want to know more about the basics of personal injury cases:

Q: In what instances do personal injury accidents happen?

When a personal injury accident occurs, this often means an individual or entity had breached his or her duty of care to another, which resulted in financial, emotional or physical damages. Negligence is a common reason personal injury lawsuits are filed, particularly against car drivers and medical professionals.

Q: Are there any other reasons for a personal injury case besides negligence?

A: Yes, strict liability and intentional wrongs can also be the reasons why a personal injury lawsuit is filed against an individual, entity, or company. Those who have recently been in an accident and believe someone else was responsible, can benefit from receiving a legal consultation. An attorney can go over the details of your accident to determine if negligence, strict liability, or intentional wrongdoing is a foundation for your lawsuit. These three bases for a personal injury case have been defined here briefly:

  • Strict liability: holds parties like manufacturers and designers liable for injuries caused to consumers due to defective or dangerous products.
  • Intentional wrongs: when a party had intent to commit an action which caused you harm in some way.
  • Negligence: when a person fails to use a reasonable level of care which resulted in harm to another.

Q: What does it mean if I win my case?

A: If you win your personal injury lawsuit, then this means the judge or jury has awarded you financial compensation for injuries, losses, and damages associated with the accident. The amount you receive is often based upon medical bills, property repairs, lost wages, physical pain and suffering, future impacts, and more. However, to increase your chances of the most favorable outcome, it is important to hire an attorney that is experienced in personal injury lawsuits.

Q: What does it mean if I am offered a settlement?

A: Prior to a court trial, there is a chance for both the plaintiff and defendant to reach an agreement over the matter (usually as a way to avoid court and maybe save the reputation of the at-fault party). Settling a case means that you have agreed to accept a certain amount of money in return to drop the case against the party who harmed you. You may even have to sign a release waiving any future liability.

Before accepting a settlement, it is highly encouraged that you speak with a personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis, Minnesota to ensure your rights are being protected and aren’t being offered an amount way less than what you need to recover.  

 


 

Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury claims and the basics you should know.

Nursing Home Abuse

Categories:

Personal Injury Attorney in Dekalb County, GA

Unfortunately, the people that raise us and care for us during some of the most important times of our lives grow older, grow ill, and grow tired. When this time approaches, there are professionals that will care for your loved ones, or so we really hope. There are nursing homes and assisted living facilities that house the ones we love when we are unable to do so.It may come as a surprise to most people, but these caretakers are also capable of abusing our loved one, even though they are paid to take care of them. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse cases can go on without justice ever being served. These incidents can go unreported for several reasons. If you or someone you know has a loved one that is being housed at a nursing home it is important to be aware of the different forms of nursing home abuse in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong. There are a few common types of nursing home abuse, such as:

The most common and obvious form of abuse is physical abuse. Physical abuse can occur in many ways, a staff member may hit your loved one or even another resident. Typically this is by physically striking them, strangulation, or any intentional harm caused by laying hands or even other objects on your loved one. Physical abuse can be visibly noticed, so it is not hard to prove if physical abuse is taking place, if you do not wait too long.

A very cruel and harder abuse to prove is emotional abuse. Any form of emotional distress caused by a staff member, such as calling them names or embarrassing them in private or in public that causes depression or sadness. Emotional abuse cannot be seen, and therefore may be hard to prove occurred in front of a judge.

Unfortunately, elders are also sexually abused in these facilities. This occurs when there is no consent and a caretaker has any sexual contact with a resident. It is just as common here as it is in a normal hospital, caregivers take advantage of the vulnerability and “helplessness” of the elder.

There are several ways an elder may be abused in a nursing home. Caregivers and staff may take advantage of people who seem to be alone or who cannot fend for themselves. However, this is not always the case. If you have suspicions that you loved one may have been abused in anyway, contact a personal injury attorney in Dekalb County, GA to discuss your legal options and the likelihood of a successful lawsuit being pursued.

Contact Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and nursing home abuse.

Compensation After a Trucking Accident

Categories:

Truck Accident Lawyer

A trucking accident is almost always a traumatic event, and the aftermath of the accident can be just as traumatic. When dealing with loss of work and wages, injuries and other circumstances after a wreck, you may feel that fighting for the compensation you deserve could not get any more difficult. Government regulations and trucking companies can often make it harder to receive the compensation that you need after the accident, so proving your case is an important step in securing your damages. If you can prove that you had loss of work and wages or injuries related to the accident, you can be closer to receiving your part of what you are entitled to.

Loss of Work and Wages

After an accident, there are many factors that could lead to loss of work and wages. First, you are likely out of a means of transportation after the accident, and it is sometimes impossible to secure a new vehicle without your compensation money for the wreck. The trucking company or government may open an investigation which could take months to complete. This means that you are unable to drive yourself to work and may have to depend on someone else to take you to your job. Because this is not always possible, you will likely miss work which could cause strain with your employer. You may also have injuries that keep you from performing your job tasks and could jeopardize your position. The trucking company may try to take as long as possible to give you your rightful compensation, so make sure that you have a competent lawyer on your side to handle the legal matters.

Injuries

Not only can injuries lead to loss of work and wages, they can also lead to expensive medical costs and multiple doctor visits. You may not be able to pay your medical bills without your compensation from the accident, which can cause a major area of stress in your life. Injuries may keep you from doing your former work or from leading a normal day-to-day life. Your lawyer can help fight for you to receive the indemnification that is needed after a traumatic accident.

Being in a trucking accident is a scary thing and can change many aspects of your life. Do not let government regulations and trucking company red tape keep you from receiving your rightful damages; contact an experienced truck accident lawyer in Trenton, NJ today to have an expert helping you win your case.

 


 

Thanks to Davis & Brusca, LLC for their insight into personal injury claims and compensation after a truck accident.

Fatal Hit and Run Drivers Rarely Serve Jail Time

Categories:

Car Accident Attorney

One case making headlines has shed light on the many examples of hit-and-run drivers in fatal accidents who are not receiving jail sentences as a result of their actions (https://abcnews.go.com/US/hit-run-drivers-kill-people-jail-time-rarely/story?id=61845988).

In December 2016, 29-year-old Kevin Ozoria of New York City struck and killed Jean Paul Guerrero, a local DJ for a popular station in the area. He did not turn himself into the police until days later, and he was not placed under formal arrest until almost a year later.

According to ABC News, Ozoria was charged with leaving a fatal accident, which carried a sentence of up to seven years in prison, and he was also charged with tampering because he attempted to have his damaged car repaired at an auto shop. He’s now expected to only serve five years of probation after admitting his role in the fatal accident.

Unfortunately, a lack of jail time for hit-and-run drivers involved in fatal accidents is not uncommon. Many in the legal and advocacy communities are aggravated by the prevalence of plea deals in these types of cases. In fact, in Ozoria’s case, he was first offered a plea deal that included jail time, but he turned it down. Then, he was presented with another deal that removed the jail time and added court conditions, which included 100 hours of community service and five years of probation. He can, however, be sentenced with the maximum term if he fails to adhere to the plea terms.

In the State of New York, Senator Patrick Gallivan is working on closing the loophole that is allowing for what many feel are softer sentences in fatal hit-and-runs. He is currently the sponsor of a bill in the state’s legislature that would strengthen the punishment for hit-and-run offenses. It would also add a public alert system to help get the public more involved in stopping hit-and-run accidents.

Hit-and-run alert systems were first introduced in the country in 2014 in Colorado, with the Medina Alert. This works like the Amber Alert and was named after hit-and-run victim Jose Medina, whose killer was found and arrested after a witness who saw the incident followed the driver and alerted police. The City of Los Angeles started a similar alert system in 2015.

In 48 states, hit-and-run accident penalties for those cases involving death or serious injury vary widely, ranging from community service to jail time. In the State of California, a driver in a fatal hit-and-run accident can be facing up to four years in jail. However, the outcomes of cases there vary, with some drivers receiving jail time while others end up with probation. Lawmakers in that state have also recently proposed a bill to make the penalties for hit-and-run drivers involving deaths more severe.

Washington, D.C. and Alaska do not currently have a specific law for fatal hit-and-run drivers.

A hit-and-run driver can change multiple lives in an instant. If you or someone you care about has been injured by a hit-and-run driver, speak to a car accident lawyer Denver, CO trusts today.

 


 

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injuries and hit and run accidents.

Paternity Issues

Categories:

Personal Injury Lawyer

Just because a man’s name is listed on the baby’s birth certificate as the child’s father, legally this does not establish paternity. Interestingly enough, a woman can list anyone she wants or believes to be, the father. In addition, a DNA test is not the singular way to determine paternity. There are several other ways that can be used to establish paternity. Speak with an experienced family law attorney if you are seeking to establish paternity or have questions about your legal obligations to a child and what the specific laws are in your state. See below to find out ways to establish paternity and the significance of each method.

Paternity that is assumed voluntarily

There are many circumstances where paternity is assumed:

  • A baby is born to a married couple
  • The couple has a baby prior to being married, but then marry after the baby is born and sign a legitimation form
  • An unmarried couple have a baby but voluntarily sign an acknowledgement of paternity or other agreement written by a lawyer
  • An attempt is made by the father to marry the mother when the baby was conceived or born
  • After the child is born, the father and mother get married and the father agrees to having his name on the birth certificate or agrees to financially support the child
  • The father publicly proclaims the child as his and the child lives in his home
  • The child and the father have developed a close relationship and the court agrees to equal parental custody rights

Because it takes more than a name on a birth certificate or a blood test to determine paternity, an unmarried father should recognize his paternity using one of the above reasons. If he does not, he runs the risk of losing his parental rights to another man who desires to become the presumed father of the child.

Involuntary Paternity

If the mother chooses to file a lawsuit against the presumed father, the father is required to go to court and possibly submit to a DNA test. Paternity is established through genetic blood tests with a 99 percent accuracy. If he is proved to be the father, the court will issue an order concerning the paternity of the father and he will be forced to pay child support.

What is the legal significance of determining paternity?

Paternity significance for the father

If it is legally established that the man is the father, he will be obligated for his portion of support and responsibility. If he does not step up, the a successful paternity suit will force him to do so. If a father claims paternity he also gets custody and visitation rights with the child. If the child is born out of wedlock and the mother wishes to put the baby up for adoption, she will not be able to do so if the father, after asserting paternity, does not give consent.

Paternity significance for the mother

Paternity may determine some sort of secure financial support from the father. In addition, the mother may have to share custody or allow him visitation rights.

A family lawyer in Bronx, NT can answer your questions concerning establishing paternity and the responsibilities that come with that, or if you believe you do not have any obligations legally to the child.

 


 

Thanks to Okun, Oddo & Babat, P.C. for their insight into family law and paternity issues.

When Everyday Accidents Turn Into a Personal Injury Case

Categories:

Personal Injury Attorney

While no one expects to go about their day and get injured, it can happen. Accidents can come as a shock, since they often arise suddenly and without much time to react. What turns an accident into a potential personal injury lawsuit, is if another party had contributed to the incident either due to negligence or thoughtless actions. If the victims feels that someone else was at-fault, they may be confused, angry, and unsure how to respond. If you or someone you love is in such a predicament, it can help to get advice from a legal professional in your area about what to do next. 

Q: What are common questions people have about personal injury cases?

A: When talking with an attorney, victims of personal injury accidents can be understandably emotional and stressed. Some of the most common questions victims ask are related to whether they have a reason for a lawsuit, how much it may cost to take legal action, and how much they may be entitled to receive. It is important to understand one’s legal rights in such a situation, so hopefully the victim can get the financial support he or she requires to heal from the incident. 

Q: How should I respond immediately after a personal injury accident?

A: Call 9-1-1 for help if you may have suffered an injury due to the accident. Keep in mind that not all injuries present themselves right away. So, it may be best to call for help even if you feel reasonably okay. An officer can arrive to support the scene, along with writing up a police report of what happened. This police report can be an influential piece of evidence in your personal injury lawsuit, as it contains key facts about the event. Additionally, by calling 9-1-1 you can get a medical evaluation by an emergency team. If they feel it is best that you go to the hospital for treatment, then they can get you there quickly. 

Q: Should I photograph the scene and gather witness statements?

A: If you were rushed to the hospital for serious injuries, then it is highly unlikely you were able to grab a camera or cell phone and take pictures of the scene. If this is the case, then the officer may have captured photographs instead. But, if you are of stable health then it is ideal for you to take pictures of everything related to the accident and your visible injuries before leaving. If there are bystanders who came over to help, don’t be shy to ask for their name and contact for a statement later on.

Q: I heard it can help to have an “injury journal” after the accident. Is that true?

A: Yes, keep a journal that lists any instances in which you experienced symptoms aside from the obvious physical injury. For example, you can write about how many hours of sleep you lost, feelings of anxiety, a sense of fear, etc. When fighting for a compensation amount that is fair, your personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, IN can also bring forward evidence about how you were mentally and emotionally impacted by the incident as well. 

 


 

Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and everyday accidents.

Compensation for Personal Injuries Suffered in a Physical Altercation

Categories:

Personal Injury Attorney

Americans, in general, love their sports. Many flock to bars, stadiums, and arenas to watch their favorite teams, but the combination of alcohol, tension, and competing team loyalties can lead to verbal and even physical altercations. People often lose sight of the fact that there exists no perceived slight or indignity relating to an event in the sports world that is grounds for assaulting another person. When flared tensions produce personal injuries or even emotional distress in some instances, there are consequences – in both the state’s criminal courts, and if a personal injury victim so choose, civil courts.

If you have been injured in a physical altercation in a bar or restaurant, whether as an intended victim or mere bystander, you possess the legal right to hold the at-fault party responsible for the harms that you have suffered. Attorneys have helped countless numbers of victims recover damages after they were assaulted. A personal injury attorney from a law firm can help obtain financial compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other losses a victim suffers while recovering from their injuries.  

Battery Is Both a Crime and a Tort

Physical violence has long been codified into criminal and civil law. In the common law (the antecedent to American law), the tort of battery is a “harmful or offensive” intentional contact. Examples include a shove, punch, kick, grab, and inappropriate sexual contact (e.g. fondling). Importantly, in the context of battery in a bar or restaurant, the legal doctrine of “transferred intent” allows for liability for harm intended by a tortfeasor to one person to be transferred when another person (rather than intended victim) is harmed.

To make this legally dense terminology less abstract, imagine the scenario when, as a verbal dispute escalates, a punch is thrown by one man at another. Now imagine that the punch misses the intended victim and instead lands, viciously, on the face of an innocent bystander standing slightly to the left of the intended victim. The attacker might attempt to argue that he did not mean to punch the bystander. Under tort law, however, the doctrine of transferred intent steps in, treating the issue of intent broadly and generally (simple volition) and thereby holding the attacker liable for even inaccurate violence.

Types of Compensation Available to Battery Victims

On the criminal side, when a bar fight causes serious injuries, the batterer may be charged with the crime of battery causing serious bodily injury. Criminal punishment, however, is not the only consequence. The personal injury victim may seek legal damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, lost income due to missed work, and other losses.

If you have suffered personal injuries from the physical violence of another, rely on an experienced personal injury lawyer in St. Paul, Minnesota to assert your legal rights. Call a lawyer today for a confidential consultation to find out how they can help.

 


 

Thanks to Johnston | Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury claims and assault victims.

Causes of Misdiagnoses

Categories:

Medical Malpractice Lawyer

A misdiagnosis is one of the most common types of medical malpractice and can result in injury or even death to a patient. If a doctor diagnoses a patient with the wrong condition, the patient will take the wrong treatment and the actual disease can continue to progress. Finding out that you have been wrongly diagnosed by a medical professional can be devastating. It’s important to talk about your legal options with a medical malpractice lawyer.

Here are some of the most common causes of misdiagnoses.

Failure to Order the Proper Testing

Medical tests are typically the most effective way to properly diagnose various health conditions. Doctors generally order tests based on the symptoms a patient is experiencing. However, the actual disease a patient has can be missed if the doctor only orders tests based on just the symptoms the patient is describing. It’s a good idea for a doctor to always order multiple tests to make the correct diagnosis

Symptoms Are Similar to Other Conditions

Unfortunately, there are many health conditions out there that have very similar symptoms. This can confuse doctors and cause them to make the wrong diagnosis. For example, fibromyalgia commonly gets misdiagnosed as chronic fatigue syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. If a doctor believes that a patient has a minor condition, they may not do any further testing. The patient could turn out to have a much more serious condition. Once the patient finds out their true condition, it may be too late for treatment.

Improper Training for Advanced Diseases

There are countless medical conditions that can affect people and not all doctors are aware of all the rare and advanced diseases out there. They might confuse the symptoms of a rare disease with a more common medical condition. It’s important for doctors to continuously educate themselves about all the different diseases out there to reduce the chances of misdiagnosing someone.

Doctor May Be Overworked or Fatigued

Being in the medical field can be incredibly demanding and tiring. Many doctors are overworked and complain of fatigue. Unfortunately, when a doctor is overworked, they are unable to concentrate as well and can are more likely to make serious mistakes. It’s vital for doctors to take proper breaks throughout the day and get enough sleep to avoid becoming too fatigued.

Consulting With a Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you’ve recently been misdiagnosed, you should speak to an experienced medical malpractice lawyer Phoenix, AZ trusts as soon as possible. An attorney can understand how terrifying it can be to get diagnosed with the wrong condition and want to help you get justice. Attorneys have helped many medical malpractice victims receive compensation in the past and possess the knowledge and skills to guide you through this difficult time. Lawyers will review your case, help you gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies and ensure your legal rights are protected.


 

Thanks to Rispoli Law, PLLC for their insight into medical malpractice and causes of misdiagnoses.

What Physical and Mental Abuse Looks Like in Nursing Home Facilities

Categories:

Personal Injury Attorney

Relatives of a senior loved one may at one point realize that placing him or her into a nursing home facility is the only way to provide around-the-clock care. Not all families have the time and space to tend to an aging loved one to the extent that he or she needs. Before placing a relative into a nursing home, perform thorough research on a prospective facility and any past lawsuits. It is estimated that one in every three nursing home facilities have had infractions related to abuse or neglect. There is a chance that your senior relative is at-risk for suffering from mistreatment.

If you suspect that abuse or neglect has happened to your senior relative who is currently in a nursing home, please contact an attorney immediately. When concerned family members meet with us, one of their first questions is how to tell if mistreatment is actually happening. This is what physical and mental abuse in a nursing home may look like:

Unexplained and Mysterious Marks

When visiting your loved one, we encourage family members to examine their senior relative as long as he or she is comfortable. Areas where abuse is more likely to be inflicted are those not readily visible, such as the back, feet, upper thighs, abdomen and underarms. Your relative may have wounds from overuse of restraints, bruises from assault, or other marks that go unexplained. If you inquire with staff about how these marks happened and no one can provide an answer (including your loved one), it may be time to call an attorney for help.

Appearing Unkempt and Malnourished

Staff members who become frustrated with senior residents, may intentionally fail to provide three meals a day, administer necessary medications, offer vitamins, and anything else related to health. Additionally, caregivers may leave a resident with dirty blankets or soiled clothing for an extended period of time.

In some cases, a resident that was diagnosed with a certain illness may have symptoms related to appearing weak or losing weight. However, if this is not true for your relative then please consider investigating further. An attorney can offer advice on how to do this in such a way that is discreet, yet preparing for a lawsuit if needed.

Behavior and Mood Changes

If your loved one showed up to a nursing home in relatively positive spirits and has since become withdrawn, frightened, anxious, depressed, or on-edge, do not take these changes lightly. Keep in mind that many senior loved ones may go through difficulties while transitioning into a nursing home environment. But, it is important to make sure he or she is receiving support and that abuse or neglect is not actually the root cause of personality changes.

If any of this information applies to your elderly loved one’s situation, please call for a consultation with an personal injury lawyer Deer Park, TX offers. They can understand that this may seem like an overwhelming process, but can guide you every step of the way as you seek justice for your relative.


 

Thanks to John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into personal injury claims and what physical and mental abuse looks like in nursing homes.