How to Navigate Legal Mess Post-Car Accident

There is no shortage of information about what to do to physically survive a car accident. Tips and tricks on how to kick out a window or use a belt as a tourniquet in emergency situations are readily available online. However, there is a simple but disturbing lack of information on the web about how to navigate the legal headaches created by auto accidents.

As you might guess, we do not live in a world in which people easily forgive and forget about incidents like car wrecks. In most cases, people want someone to blame — even if they are the person really at fault for the auto accident. In the case that a person is out for a scapegoat, they might use their money or influence to try and pin the accident on you.

And in other cases, insurance companies can purposefully give you a bad offer on compensation or medical care coverage. Insurance companies’ first priority is to make money, so it makes sense why they do not care if you are able to actually pay your hospital bills or for post-car accident injury treatments. Still, not being able to afford your medical bills after an accident that is not entirely your fault is simply unfair!

While I am not a lawyer nor a legal expert, I have done an extensive amount of research on how to navigate situations in regards to the law and insurance once you are involved in a car accident personal injury case. Here are some steps I have learned:

  • Do not admit fault on the scene of a car accident or immediately after a wreck.

Not only could it be damaging to your future case against another driver, but it also might simply not be true! You likely do not know the full details of the road conditions or the actions of the other drivers or pedestrians.

  • Document everything that you can.

This step is not very intuitive to people unfamiliar with legal proceedings about car accidents or personal injury incidents more generally. However, it is crucial that you document as much as you can. As previously mentioned, small details about the road conditions like potholes, slippery pavement, and more can be important. A judge or jury is less likely to lay down the law with an iron fist if there is an amount of ambiguity about what exactly caused a crash.

As Trent Bond, a Beaumont auto accident lawyer, attests to on the website for his law firm, document as much as you can without getting in the way of emergency officials. Ignoring your own medical officials is also not advised; if the collision caused injuries (small or large), it is in your best legal and physical interest to seek professional medical help!

A good lawyer is always going to prioritize their client’s health over anything else. That is why they will understand if you seek medical care before calling an attorney. However, if you have the ability, it is also advised to call an attorney before going to the hospital after a car accident; the lawyer can give you tips on how to speak with doctors to make sure your injuries are properly documented.

Courtroom Etiquette

Today’s society isn’t overly concerned about etiquette. However, etiquette is a vital means of making a good impression, especially in the courtroom. As you go through the divorce proceedings, an experienced divorce lawyer will be able to guide you on the proper etiquette so that you don’t risk offending the judge. Here are a few pointers to get you started:

  • Clothes- Do not wear anything casual, such as flip-flops, shorts, or a tie-dye t-shirt. If you have tattoos, they should be concealed, as well as any visible piercings. The best attire for court is a dark colored jacket, slacks, and a button-down shirt. Women may wear slacks or a dress, although you should make sure the dress isn’t too short.
  • Hygiene- Make sure to bathe before you arrive to court. Men and women should have their hair out of their face, combed, and looking sharp.
  • Electronic devices- Keep these out of sight in the courtroom and turned off. The court is a quiet setting, and even vibrations from a cell phone can be heard. Judges do not tolerate distractions very well, and it is best to stay completely silent until you are asked a question.
  • Children- Do not bring your children to the courtroom. Instead, leave them with a babysitter or a trusted family member.
  • Food and drink- These items can be very distracting in the courtroom, and should not be brought with you before the Judge. Chewing gum is also frowned upon.
  • Behavior- It is important that you be respectful at all times, and not just to the Judge. You should do your best to be polite and courteous to everyone in the courtroom, including the bailiff, lawyers, and even your former spouse. If an attorney has an objection, you should stop where you are in your statement, and patiently wait until the judge tells you to resume your testimony. The most important thing you can do to stay on the Judge’s good side is to be polite at all times.
  • Testimony- Always answer the question directly and to the best of your ability. Judges tend to be very smart, and they will not tolerate any perceived intentions to deceive the court. While on the stand, sit still and avoid using too much body language to emphasize your points. You should do your best to be as honest as possible and avoid false claims.

It’s important to remember that the sanctity of the courts must be upheld for justice to prevail. The way you handle yourself in the courtroom, including everything from the clothes you wear to the words you say, will be scrutinized by the Judge. You should avoid over-embellishing your testimony, exaggerating details, and telling white-lies to make yourself look better. The Judge has seen many cases before yours, and they are likely to see right through your inflated facts. Keep your words genuine, humble, and concise. The more respect you can show to the court, the more respect the court will award you.

Most common workplace accidents

When it comes to workplace accidents, it is clear that proper training, implementation of safety features and equipment, and diligent observation by supervisors can help prevent unnecessary accidents and injuries to workers. Unfortunately, accidents are still common, according to reports from the U.S. Department of Labor, which estimates that 3.3 million people suffer workplace injuries each year. According to the Occupational Safety Health Adminstration (OSHA), the most frequently reported workplace accidents from 2013 to 2014 were:

Falls from elevation, failure to communicate hazards, scaffolding accidents, failure to provide respiratory protection, trucks and heavy machinery accidents, accidents on ladders, and electrical wiring accidents. These workplace accidents caused serious injuries to workers and cost employers millions of dollars all across the United States.

Workplace safety can only be effective if communication and education are improved. While some employers have training standards and ongoing education initiatives in place, others have not caught up to the trends, and their workers may suffer injuries as a result.

People report injuries for all sorts of reasons, but the most common injuries are caused by overexertion. Lifting, pulling, pushing, or carrying heavy loads can take a toll on an individual’s body, and overexertion can have a lasting effect on the individual and their health and may prevent them from being able to work in the future. Overexertion injuries that are commonly reported to OSHA are back injuries, wrist, neck, knees, shoulders, and ankles. In order to avoid overexertion, employees should be trained on how to properly lift items, and they should be given plenty of rest in between tasks so that they do not lift while tired.

The second most commonly reported workplace injury is slip-and-fall injuries. People report slips and falls at a high rate, and while these accidents can be embarrassing, they can also cause serious health problems and force employees to miss work due to recovery. Slip and fall accidents can be prevented by keeping workspaces clean and free of debris, clutter, or water on the floor, and proper signage should be in place at all times if the floor is wet, or has recently been cleaned.

By focusing on the two most commonly reported injuries in the workplace: overexertion and slips-and-falls, we can reduce the number of hurt workers. We found several great resources, including a how-to on overexertion and this New York law firm’s website that details the legal action that workers can take. With the proper education and training for all workers, we may be able to prevent workplace injuries or hold negligent employers accountable for the injuries that their workers suffer.

Read more about how to prevent workplace injuries on MHI’s website and visit the website of the New York law firm here. Check back with us regularly for more information on prevention of workplace injuries and how you can do your part to keep workers safe! If we all do our part, we can make sure that workers do not suffer unnecessary and costly injuries at work, which will save them and their employers money in the long run.


Why DWI Convictions are More Serious Than You Think

Jurisdictions and states are clearly aware of the dangers of driving while intoxicated. In fact, it is illegal almost anywhere you go. If you are drunk, you may get involved in an accident because the influence of alcohol can limit your physical and mental faculties. It is worse if an innocent party, like a passenger, another driver, or a pedestrian, has been involved because of your recklessness. DWI charges can have severe consequences, such as fines, license suspensions and revocations, jail times, and installations of ignition interlocks. But these consequences are more serious than you realize.

Fines can be financial burdens. Fines can reach up to $10,000. The average American may not have instant access to that kind of money. License suspensions and revocations are even worse. They take away your privilege to drive, so you should think of another way to get around. This can have a ripple effect in your life. Taking public transportation can be very tiring, and you arrive at school or work with limited energy, compromising your ability to be productive. Public transportation also doesn’t have the convenience of driving your own vehicle, so it may be harder for you to do errands, like grocery shopping.

Ignition interlocks are not as bad as license issues, but they are still inconvenient. You will need to have the proper blood alcohol content before your ignition even starts, and there are instances where you need to check your blood alcohol content again even while you are already on the road. Jail times are arguably one of the worst consequences. They do not just make you miss time at work, as they may even be the reason why you are fired. Worse, those with DWI convictions may find it harder to get jobs, because employers can be biased against those with any kind of conviction. This is even worse if those convicted are in the driving industries such as delivery and trucking services.

The direct consequences of fines, license issues, jail times, and ignition interlocks are already bad in themselves. But their effects on other aspects of your life, such as convenience of getting around the city and the limitations in employment opportunities, are even worse.

The Dangers of Defective Shoulder Replacements

Shoulder replacements promise increased functionality in the shoulder and arm area and reduced pain. These surgically implanted devices are very promising for those who have limited shoulder functions because of injury and complications. An example of shoulder replacements is the Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder, which promises to restore arm movement for those who have sustained arthritis.

This device, however, has started to be recalled because its fracture rate is higher than what is labelled, resulting into damages on the side of the patient. Those who have the Biomet Comprehensive Reverse Shoulder may sustain injuries and infections, corrective surgeries, additional medical costs, and lost time at work, because of the defects present in the shoulder replacement. This is the best example on how shoulder replacements can pose significant danger toward the patients.

Possible Issues with Shoulder Replacements
Shoulder replacements can be dangerous because of numerous reasons. These reasons may be on the side of the patient, the medical staff, or the device itself. On the side of the patient, a possible issue is allergic reaction to the cement used in the medical device.

But the worst reasons are those that involve the medical staff and the device itself, since the patient will be the one suffering because of the negligence of another party. It can even be argued that the allergic reaction to cement is the medical staff’s fault, because of the staff’s inability or failure to foresee such a risk. According to the website of the shoulder replacement lawyers of Williams Kherkher, patients who have sustained additional injury or have had corrective surgery because of a flawed shoulder replacement device may have legal options to pursue.
There are several issues with shoulder replacements that can be associated with the medical staff and the device itself, such as the following:

Bone, nerve, or tissue damage
Component erosion
Joint dislocation
Prosthetic misalignment or loosening

Drunk Driving Accidents: Getting Ahead of the Dangers through Prevention

Drunk driving is among the leading causes of car accidents in the United States. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that drunk driving accidents led to 9,967 fatalities in 2014. This accounted for 31 percent of all car accident deaths reported in that year. Knowing all this, it’s apparent why both the federal government and individual state governments are particularly committed to the prevention of drunk driving accidents. It’s because of this dedication that there has been stricter implementation of traffic regulations against drunk driving.

Among the many policies facing stricter reinforcement is the establishment of traffic checkpoints in numerous states all over the country. In these checkpoints, law enforcement is able to pull over vehicles to check for a driver’s sobriety through the use of breathalyzers and other quick tests. Through these field tests, they can see if any driver has a blood alcohol concentration or BAC level that’s above the legal limit of 0.08 for private individuals and 0.04 for individuals operating commercial vehicles.

The penalties for drunk driving could include several thousands of dollars in fines, imprisonment or probation, as well as license suspension. Still, all these penalties remain inconsequential compared to the possible long-term consequences that victims of drunk driving accidents end up facing cannot compare to those suffered by drunk driving accident victims. According to the Madison car accident lawyers of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, victims of such accidents often require significant medical treatment and they could also end up with financial burdens caused by their inability to come immediately back to work.

If you, or anyone you know, have been injured in a drunk driving accident, be reminded that you are entitled to receive just compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Consult with an experienced lawyer working in your area to learn more about your legal options.

Rollover Accidents: A Result of Defective Vehicle Design

Every year, thousands of rollover accidents resulting to as many as 10,000 deaths and 24,000 serious injuries are reported to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). A rollover accident is a deadly type of vehicular accident; it is characterized by the tipping over of a vehicle onto its side or roof. While any type of vehicle can rollover, the ones most prone to this type of accident are pickup trucks, vans and, SUVs.

Rollover accidents are usually caused by unsafe roadways, worn out tires (due to loss of traction), or a great tendency of the vehicle to oversteer (turn farther than it was meant to), or understeer (turn lesser that intended). However, the major cause of rollover accidents, as pointed out in the Crowe & Mulvey, LLP, website, is a vehicle’s defective design, specifically, its center of gravity being higher from the ground.

The consequences of rollover accidents are almost always serious, like head injury, spinal cord injury, dislocated bones, amputated limb, or death. Due to the great risk of severe injuries passengers are exposed to in this type of accident, the NHTSA has released safety measures, which drivers should observe for them to avoid a rollover from happening. Besides making sure that a vehicle is never loaded with very heavy cargo, drivers, especially of SUVs and vans, should also make sure that the vehicle maintains its balance by keeping the weight of passengers and cargo equally distributed inside the vehicle.

Requiring that vehicle manufacturers install a safety device, called the Electronic Stability Control (ESC), in vehicles is another major move adopted by the NHTSA. This safety device consists of sensors which are capable of immediately detecting loss of vehicle control. As loss of control is detected, the ESC automatically applies brakes on the affected wheel to allow the driver to regain control of the vehicle. The ESC also helps ensure stability during quick turns, improves control of vehicle on gravel patches and road shoulders, increases traction on slippery and ice-covered roads, and eliminates the likelihood of oversteering and understeering.

It mentioned above, however, that rollover accidents are primarily due to a defect in vehicle design, enough reason why accidents should be blamed on manufacturers. It is, therefore, important for the family of a victim in a rollover accident to contact a personal injury lawyer immediately for the possible legal action they may pursue against the liable party.

Surgical/Anesthesia/Prescription Error

A study released in October 2015 showed that medication mistakes have occurred in 124 out of 277 surgical operations that were conducted in the United States last year alone, with almost 50% of all surgeries involving at least one medication error or adverse drug event, or 193 medication errors occurring in the 3,675 medications administered.

The study is “the first large-scale look at medication errors in the time immediately before, during, and directly after surgery,” said Dr. Karen Nanji, Harvard Medical School’s assistant professor of anesthesia, which was confirmed by Yale University Prevention Research Center director Dr. David Katz.

Other findings showed that two-thirds of the medication errors were categorized as “serious” and 2% were deemed “life-threatening”.

The study identified the following as the most common types of medication error during a surgery: incorrect dosing; drug documentation mistakes; failure on the part of physicians and nurses to monitor and address the changes to a patient’s vital signs; and drug labeling mistakes.

Attorneys at the Abel Law Firm say some wrong actions that a physician performing a surgery might do include leaving a foreign object –such as a towel, a sponge, or a surgical apparatus – inside a patient’s body; making errors in performing the procedure itself; and performing the procedure on the wrong body part.

Medical malpractice cases are very problematic in the sense that there is complexity when it comes to proving that the doctors, nurses, or the medical institutions are accountable for one’s worsened medical condition. For one, they can make the patient lost in all the medical jargon thrown at them by the medical practitioners claiming innocence. For another, such institutions find it easy to hire the best and the brightest minds in the legal profession to come to their rescue in instances when a mishap is made.

Birth-Related Injuries

The chances of a child suffering from health complications can appear during pregnancy or on labor and delivery. These complications can bring about cerebral palsy, which was first thought to be caused solely by a combination of asphyxia and a complicated birth. However, this is only among the many reasons for cerebral palsy, and that factors such as problems during the fetal development stage can also lead to cerebral palsy. One way to help determine the health of the newborn child, they are tested and will be designated an APGAR score. APGAR (which stands for Appearance, Pulse, Grimace Response, Activity, and Respiration) is a scoring method used to promptly summarize the baby’s health as determined through their muscle tone, respiration, heart, reflexes, and color. The result will help determine the child’s risk to cerebral palsy, with the evaluation taking place at one and five minutes after birth, and at successive intervals after that, if needed. Although there are a number of risk factors that can lead a child to have cerebral palsy, having the presence of one or more risk factor does not equate to the child having cerebral palsy. Based on various studies, majority of cerebral palsy cases are due to factors that can be prevented.

One of these preventable risk factors is medical errors. Medical errors such as the incorrect use forceps and vacuum extractors can lead to traumatic brain injuries and eventually, cerebral palsy. According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C.®, doctors or medical practitioners who have made the medical error that resulted to serious injuries can be held accountable that the child and the parents have suffered. Since such errors can be preventable, they can account as negligence on the part of the medical staff if they indeed commit medical mistakes and caused serious and irreversible damage to the child. However, there are also non-medical causes of cerebral palsy.

Healthy young children whose brains are still in the developmental stages can still develop cerebral palsy when they suffer from any type of traumatic brain injury. A direct injury to the cerebrum can significantly affect the motor skills development of the child, as well as their cognitive abilities. Car accidents, drowning, or serious physical abuse are things that can lead to a child developing cerebral palsy. And those how have been victims of such negligent or reckless actions can file a personal injury claim to get financial compensation for the damages the victim and their families will have to go through.

Criminal Convictions can Affect Child Custody

The reasons for divorce play an important role in the child custody, child support, and visitation rights for both parents. If both parents have mutual consent to the divorce and have little to no conflicts, the proceedings can go smoothly and the custody, visitation and child support can be settled without delay and complications. Child custody is, in theory, concluded according to the best interest of the child. This means that each parents’ background will be checked and anything relevant that could affect the determination will be seriously considered by the court.

When a parent has been criminally convicted or simply charged, it may be a significant factor that the family court judge will look into in order to determine child custody, support and visitation rights. There are certain factors that the judge will examine so as to effectively weigh the situation. Among the things the family court judge will check is the victim and the type of the offense made. The website of the Law Offices of Baden V. Mansfield states that if the crime involved the domestic abuse towards the mother and child or children the court can them grant limited custody and visitation rights, while serious charges such as sexual abuse, battery, and other violent crimes can possibly terminate any parental rights.

Dangerous behaviors are what court judges are looking for when deciding on divorce and child custody. Any criminal offenses that can be considered as an isolated event can greatly reduce chances of a withdrawn custody or visitation rights, but recent convictions can demonstrate reckless or dangerous behavior that can be a risk to the welfare of the child. Likewise, the recurrence and nature of the sentences will also be considered; the parent’s capacity to follow the law can be challenged when there is a continuous string of convictions and can considerably lower chances of custody and visitation. Since family courts assess each divorce and child custody cases according to their specific circumstances, the website of Truslow & Truslow, Attorneys at Law states that a criminal conviction or convictions can be a considerable determinant that could impact the family court’s decision.

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