What to Do Following a Car Accident - Wooden referee hammer and car keys

What to Do Following a Car Accident

Car Accident Lawyer

Following a car accident of any magnitude, you’re sure to suffer from the initial shock and you may not know what to immediately do. While car accidents can be extremely stressful, there are some steps you should take following a car accident. Taking these steps will both help you deal with the immediate aftermath and help you file your claim/lawsuit. 

Your and Others’ Safety is Always the First Concern 

The first thing you should do following a car accident is to make sure that there are no major injuries sustained to yourself or other parties. While you might be tempted to survey the damages inflicted to your vehicle, first check to make sure that all parties are okay. 

Even if you don’t have any immediate injuries or the injuries you have are minor (such as a small bruise or cut), some injuries are internal. That’s why you’ll want to call 911 and have them dispatch EMTs and a police officer. It’s recommended to wait until your condition is checked by a medical professional before undertaking further steps. 

Start Gathering Evidence 

You’ll want to gather evidence either after talking to a police officer or shortly before. While some evidence you may only be able to gather or finalize after leaving the scene, some evidence you can gather immediately. Evidence to gather both during and after may include: 

  • Photographs of physical injuries sustained to you or other parties 
  • The damage inflicted on both vehicles
  • Testimonies from parties involved including your own
  • The other party’s information such as name, phone number, address, make and model of their vehicle, etc. 
  • If the other party’s vehicle involved was part of a company or governmental entity, information such as the name of their supervisor, their job’s address, and phone number
  • A copy of your police report and medical report 
  • If applicable, CCTV footage of the incident 

Should You File a Claim or Lawsuit? 

Chances are that following the accident that your next step will be to file a claim through the other party’s insurance company. Sometimes this can be fruitful and can result in a timely settlement that adequately covers both immediate and future expenses. 

Other times, however, you may have trouble negotiating with the other party’s insurance company, they may deny your claim, or they may offer a settlement that doesn’t begin to cover what you need. That’s why having an attorney on your side can make a huge difference. They can fight on your behalf, negotiate with the insurance companies, and apply legal pressure when needed. Some ways an attorney can help include: 

  • Help gather crucial pieces of evidence including testimonies given by medical experts or accident reconstructionists
  • Help ensure you receive compensation under categories like economic, non-economic, and punitive damages
  • Ensure that you properly file your claim and/or lawsuit
  • Apply legal pressure when needed

Dealing with a car accident can be a traumatic event. However, having a car accident lawyer on your side can make the process easier. Our friends at Therman Law Offices, LTD can help. 

Benefits Of Chiropractic Billing System

It’s no secret that running a chiropractic practice is no easy task. Chiropractic treatments usually take longer and require frequent visitations and a result of that is that it can be hard to keep up with other tasks. One of the biggest issues to keep up with is medical billing and coding regulations that are always changing in the chiropractic and pain management arena. There’s a mound of administrative work in the daily routine of a chiropractic practice which can make it difficult for a lot of practices to focus on medical billing.

This is where chiropractic billing service comes into play. There are many benefits that are simply impossible without chiropractic billing services.

Benefits of Chiropractic Billing Services 

If you aren’t sure if a chiropractic billing service is right for you, here are some of the benefits that come along with using one.

Improved Billing Compliance 

Medical billing compliance means that healthcare practices have set up a program to run the practice according to the regulations set forth by the United States Office of Inspector General (OIG). These medical billing compliances are designed to prevent fraud and abuse by healthcare providers. When you are the owner of a practice, you must be well aware of the basics of compliance as even simple billing or coding mistakes might trigger penalties under the False Claims Act.

A chiropractic billing service is always up-to-date on the latest amendments to regulations that go on in the medical field. This means that the medical billing experts from these companies have sufficient experience to know how and when non-compliant activities can be detected and prevent them from affecting filings.

Faster Reimbursements 

Many practice owners only focus on submitting claims with the correct data and expect the insurance companies will reimburse them quickly. However, medical billing is not as simple as that. Submitting accurate claims is just one step in the medical billing process. You have to follow up on submitted claims and have constant communication with payers for the denied claims. Such a delicate follow-up process ensures faster reimbursements which may not be possible with in-house billing staff.

You may have experienced staff and chiropractor billing services, but they may not be aware of payer-specific billing and coding guidelines. A chiropractic billing company can handle the medical claims and find a quick resolution to get you a quicker reimbursement. This leaves your in-house staff to handle other issues and not have to worry about constantly doing follow-ups.

Running a chiropractic practice isn’t easy. If you want a simpler way to handle your billing, then finding the best chiropractic billing service should be on the top of your list.

How Will Statutes of Limitations Impact a Lawsuit?

In most states, you only have a certain period of time from the date of an accident or injury to file a lawsuit. The timeframe is referred to as the statute of limitations. The federal government and each state have different deadlines for different types of courts cases, both civil and criminal. Keep reading for more information on how statutes of limitations could impact your lawsuit.

Pay Attention to Dates

No matter what the statute of limitations is in your state, you must have your court case initiated by that deadline or risk losing the right to file a lawsuit over that specific incident. In most circumstances, the clock for statutes of limitations begins on the date that the accident occurred. However, in some cases, if you were unaware of your injury initially you may be able to start the clock from the date you became aware of your condition.

Keep Your Options Open

Lawsuits in court are subject to the statute of limitations deadlines, but insurance claims are not. In many situations, an insurance policy was held by the at-fault party that may apply to the injury you sustained. Although a large percentage of personal injury lawsuits are settled out of court, it is still beneficial to get the ball rolling on your claim within the statutory deadline. This will leave you with the option of going through the court system if necessary. It could also leave you with a bargaining tool as you negotiate with the other party about the damages you are owed.

Understand the Exceptions

Certain circumstances warrant extended statutes of limitations, depending on your state of residence. Those situations include when a minor was injured, when the defendant vacated the state after the incident or when the injured became mentally incapacitated for a certain period of time. You will need documentation showing that these extenuating circumstances applied in your case in order to take advantage of extending or altogether different statutory deadlines.

Know the Possibilities

Although statutes of limitations vary by state, they are typically between one and six years for personal injury lawsuits. This is because over time documentation can be lost and eyewitnesses can lose the ability to correctly recall events when they took place years in the past.

Contact a wrongful death attorney like the wrongful death lawyers, like those at Saavedra Law Firm, PLC, to learn more.

Safety Tips and Facts for Driving During the Winter Season

Safety Tips and Facts for Driving During the Winter Season

rear end car accidentDriving during the winter season can be harrowing and dangerous for travelers on the road. According to The U.S. Department of Transportation, each year, 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy, or icy pavement and 15 percent happen during snowfall or sleet. In addition to those numbers, roughly 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,800 people are injured in vehicle crashes annually due to these winter conditions on the roads. During this time of the year, it is important to know the safety tips to ensure you and your vehicle are prepared for the winter weather driving. Our friends from Schehr Law, PLLC have provided some safety tips below.

Car Maintenance During Winter

Driving during the winter season comes with a lot of challenges. In order to reduce any issues that may occur along the way, it is important to keep your vehicle in good working order and make any necessary changes for the winter.

Battery

It is important to make sure your battery is strong and does not need to be replaced. All batteries have a different CCA. This refers to the temperature at which the battery can start an engine in cold temperatures. Cars sold in colder areas will be equipped with a stock battery with a higher CCA since the car will be expected to start in extremely cold temperatures.

Typical “Cold Cranking Amps” figures can range from 400 – 750 A in a typical automotive battery. It is extremely necessary to make sure your car is equipped with the correct battery for the type of weather your car will be in. Switching out your battery is an easy and quick process.

Lights

Check all lights before driving, this includes headlights, emergency hazards, blinkers, taillights, brake lights, and parking lights. This is necessary before driving at any time, in any weather condition. Driving without working lights will increase your chances of being involved in an accident.

Tires

Having good traction and tread wear on tires is essential for driving during the winter. In many places across the U.S., winter tires are used in areas that receive large amounts of snow every year. Winter tires have deeper tread depths which help reduce snow buildup and provide better traction on the snow. All-season radial tires should only be used in locations that receive light snowfall on occasion. In some instances, there may not be enough traction on your tires when trying to drive in snow, in this case, snow chains or even studded tires can be used. Make sure to check tire pressure, tire balance, and wheel alignment frequently before driving in the snow.

Windshield Wipers

Make sure your windshield wipers work effectively and are not worn out and old. During a snowstorm, it is essential to have working wipers in order to see, without them it makes driving close to impossible. Check your windshield wiper fluid reservoir and ensure that antifreeze wiper fluid is filled to a decent amount. Summer wiper fluid easily freezes and won’t be able to be used in colder temperatures. De-Icing windshield fluid is necessary for areas with extreme cold. It is protected up to -40°F, won’t freeze, and can melt away a thin layer of ice on your windshield.

Driving During Winter Season

Before going out onto the roads, check the forecast of the area around you. If the forecast does not look great, it might be best to wait to travel if possible. If you must travel, make sure your vehicle is prepared for the snow. Before leaving warm up the car outside of the garage before driving and ensure everything is running properly. In the meantime, brush and scrape off all snow and ice from the car and make sure all windows are cleared off. Wipe off camera lenses and side mirrors to better help see the area around you.

When on the roads, drive slowly and follow the speed of other drivers on the road, it is a good idea to increase the following distance between you and other cars to allow for a stop to be made if needed. On roads that are covered in ice, it is harder to slow down, slowing down earlier than you think will help prevent skids. When going uphill on an icy road, do not stop if possible. Stopping will lock the tires and cause the car to slide back down the hill. Remember to always be cautious and aware of all surroundings when driving.

Long-Distance Trips

To prepare for long-distance trips, check the weather before starting your drive and plan the best time to leave. Before leaving, make sure someone is aware of the route and trip you are taking in case of an emergency. Plan fuel stops along the way so running out of gas along the way isn’t an option and fill up as soon as you can when your tank starts to get low. Try not to travel alone, long road trips while snowing can be tiring. Falling asleep at the wheel is dangerous and can put your own and other people’s lives in danger. Having another person to switch driving with can help prevent accidents.

  • If you do find yourself in the situation where you are stuck:
    • Stay in your vehicle
    • Turn on hazards to be easily seen from the road
    • Contact authorities to inform them of your situation
    • Stay warm
    • Use as little fuel as possible and start your car every 20 minutes
    • Pack a winter driving kit

Winter Driving Kit

In an instance where you get stuck in a snowstorm for a long period of time, it is helpful to have a winter driving kit in the trunk of your car for emergencies.

  • To be packed in the kit includes:
    • Snow chains
    • Tow rope
    • Snowbrush and scraper
    • Small shovel
    • Jumper cables
    • Extra windshield wiper fluid
    • Flashlight
    • Blanket
    • Warm jacket, pants, gloves
    • First aid kit
    • Food and water

If you find yourself involved in a car accident due to inclement weather, you will want to contact a personal injury attorney to provide legal advice and options.

 

What if You Were Injured While Volunteering?

Typically, when you’re injured on the job, you have access to workers’ compensation that will cover the costs of most treatments or lost wages. However, if you’re a volunteer, the situation may be drastically different. 

Retaining a workers’ compensation lawyer  is the best thing you can do to protect your legal rights. A legal team, like Hurwitz, Whitcher, & Molloy, LLP, is there to help you and your loved ones through this difficult time. 

Nonprofit Volunteer Insurance

A company’s coverage requirements change from state to state, but in most cases, workers’ compensation is reserved only for those who are paid employees of a company. This means that those who work for free or for minimal benefits may have to seek out compensation via alternative channels. Some companies such as nonprofit organizations use volunteer work regularly and may elect to add an accident medical reimbursement policy to their insurance package in order to protect their volunteers. This policy is designed to cover any medical bills you may incur after being injured while volunteering. It’s riskier for high-functioning nonprofits to not protect their workers, so the chance of you being covered by a larger non-profit greatly increases.

Personal Coverage

Unfortunately, in many cases, the onus is on the volunteer. It can be expensive to provide coverage for volunteers, and many companies will want to take the cost-effective route. Prior to volunteering, you may be asked to provide proof of insurance or sign waivers mitigating the company’s responsibility. In the event of an injury, you will have to handle your case through your own insurance.

Premises Liability Claim

If the owner of the premises (namely the company or the nonprofit organization) provided unsafe circumstances that resulted in an injury, you may be able to file a personal injury claim known as premises liability. The validity of a premises liability claim is dependent on the owner’s negligence. Simply being injured on their property is not enough, nor is working through unsafe conditions. You’ll have to prove that the property owner either created unsafe conditions or knew about the unsafe conditions and did nothing to correct them. 

There are many types of premises liability claims, such as:

  • Slip and falls
  • Lack of building or property maintenance
  • Accidents caused by unaddressed weather hazards
  • Improper security that led to an assault
  • Accidents involving machinery such as elevators or amusement park rides

Premises liability cases are typically pursued by one-time customers, but even regular volunteer workers may be subject to the negligence of a company. If you feel that your injury resulted in the action or inaction of the company you volunteer for, contact an expert attorney as soon as possible. They may help you secure the appropriate benefits and, if need be, assist you in filing a lawsuit.

Lawsuits and Using Social Media

The use of social media has continued to grow exponentially throughout recent years. Many individuals rely on these platforms to regularly stay connected with friends, family, and colleagues. The ability to quickly share personal information through posts, pictures and private messaging often draws the attention of individuals looking to reach a large audience. Although individuals attempt to publicize content that only shows them in a positive manner and accurately mirrors their personality, social media users can also inadvertently create damaging content that puts their character into question. When dealing with a lawsuit, individuals may want to ensure that nothing appears on social media that can potentially be used to discredit their case.

Lack Appropriate Context

The use of social media is an easy way to illustrate the adage that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” When posting pictures to social media, many individuals often forgo the use of lengthy verbiage to explain their content. This leaves interpretation up to the reader. If an individual doesn’t convey relevant information pertaining to the date, location, and intent of the picture, other individuals may perceive the content as something entirely different than what was intended. Messaging that may seem obvious to the person posting the content on social media may be read differently by the person on the receiving end. Given that the success of a lawsuit can be influenced by perception, it is essential to avoid publishing any content that doesn’t provide adequate context and has the potential to be misinterpreted.

Damage Case

Social media can be used to shine a light on an individual’s deceptions or wrongdoings. Combing through an individual’s social media accounts is something that can easily be done by an investigator or opposing counsel to gather evidence that may contradict previously stated claims. Pictures, posts or messages that may negate the severity of an injury or the time in which it took place can be used to prove that false claims regarding damages were reported. Such an occurrence may therefore put an individual’s credibility into question. Due to the fact that an individual cannot control how friends may react to or comment on posts, cutting out the use of social media would assist in eliminating any incriminating information that a third party might provide.

When filing a lawsuit, it is essential that an individual know how to properly go about handling their case. Contact a personal injury lawyer from a firm like Greenspan & Greenspan P.C.to discuss how the presence of social media may interfere with any legal proceedings.

Long-Term Consequences of Brain Bleed Injuries

Suffering a traumatic brain injury can turn your life upside down. Brain bleeding injuries are a serious type of brain injury in which a blood vessel bursts inside the brain, resulting in a large amount of pressure. This can be fatal if not treated on time. Victims who have experienced brain bleeding injuries can still experience many complications after successful treatment however, as an experienced brain bleed lawyer like one from Davis & Brusca, LLC can explain.

Cognitive Function and Development 

A brain bleed injury can severely impact cognitive function and development. A person who suffers a brain bleed may have trouble thinking, concentrating and suffer from memory and behavioral issues. The extent of the damage depends on the severity of the brain bleeding, as well as the age of the victim. Delays in cognitive development are especially impactful for brain injury victims who are children or adolescents. 

Limited Motor Skills

Since the brain is a core part of the central nervous system, any trauma can result in loss or reduced motor function. Brain bleed victims often experience symptoms such as trouble walking, maintaining balance and reduced motor skills. Due to the stroke caused by brain bleeding, some victims experience weeks or months of rehabilitation so that they can restore their mobility and fine motor skills. 

Reduced Quality of Life

One of the long-term consequences of a brain bleed injury is the effect on quality of life. It can take a toll on both a person’s mental and physical health. People who suffer brain bleeding may feel isolated while they recover, resulting in depression and anxiety. They might find it hard to maintain social relationships with family and friends as well. Even after recovering, they may not be able to enjoy the same activities that they previously could participate in, such as sports or recreational activities like biking. From completing tasks to maintaining relationships, there are many areas of a brain bleed victim’s life that can be impacted. 

If you want to learn how you can file a claim regarding your brain bleed injury, don’t hesitate to take the first step. Since there is limited time to file a claim, you will want to get it started as soon as possible before it’s too late. If you have experienced a brain bleed injury that has impacted you and how you live your life, be sure to contact a skilled and highly experienced brain bleed lawyer so you can receive legal help. 

3 Unusual Reasons To Get Compensation for a Bike Accident

Car Accident Lawyer

As an experienced car accident lawyer from Hall Justice Law Firm explains, seeking compensation for a bicycle accident is possible and you may be entitled to more money than you think. If you are seeking to sue a negligent driver for causing your bike accident, then working with a lawyer is where to start. Personal injury lawsuits can be fraught with insurance nuances and obscure laws. For instance, a lawyer would be aware of these three (and many more) unusual but completely valid reasons to seek compensation for a bicycle accident.

1. Psychological Pain and Suffering

Normally, when you think of suing someone for hitting you on your bike, you think of the damage done to your body and your bicycle. These are very important, but equally as important is the damage done to your mind and spirit. The old adage ‘Mind-Body-Spirit’ comes into play here. It is difficult to carry on with life when you deal with emotional trauma or mental illness as a result of your accident. This type of loss is evidenced in a myriad of ways, including documentation from a psychologist or therapist.

2. Loss of Enjoyment of Life

If your accident has changed the way you enjoy life on a daily basis, you may be entitled to more compensation. Compensation for this type of damage is intended to help you return to a normal and enjoyable level of living, including resuming regular hobbies like hiking, biking or bingo; social engagements such as weddings, parties or clubs; and everyday household duties. This is not a complete list of course, and the way these losses are measured is particular and different than just adding up medical bills.

3. Loss of Consortium

When your relationships suffer due to your bike accident, it is considered a loss of consortium. In other words, a loss of friendship, intimate relationships or love. This is a delicate subject, often requiring private information. Things considered in calculating this type of loss are the length of the relationships involved and the extent of mental and bodily injury. You are advised to save documentation from therapists and other doctors to support your claim.

You should work with a personal injury attorney on all the paperwork and information you will need for your court case. They can also navigate the fine print, including insurance policy limits and releases and court filing restrictions. Our psychological health plays a major role in our everyday enjoyment of life. A bicycle accident can be a very traumatic event. Understanding your rights and receiving due compensation for your pain and suffering are the beginning steps of healing and returning to a fulfilling life.

Auto Insurance Coverage & Bicycle Accidents

Accidents

Auto accidents are stressful, and an accident involving a cyclist is no exception. Whether you are the vehicle driver or cyclist, responding effectively to an accident is essential in safeguarding personal health, financial security, and as a way to effectively manage any legal liabilities.

Check For Injuries

The first thing to do after an accident is to immediately check for and manage any personal injuries. The health of the driver of a car — and more likely, the cyclist — may be in danger, and appropriately treating any injuries is physically essential, and may also be necessary in determining potential financial liabilities. 

Leaving the scene of an accident after being involved in an automobile collision is illegal.

Exchange Information and Contact Police

Fault may vary depending on the specifics of any accident — and consequently, so will any insurance payouts. Assuming no one is severely harmed, the cyclist and auto driver should immediately exchange insurance information, in order to effectively process any claims that may arise.

The involved parties should also contact the police, as a police report may be necessary in the effective processing of any claim.

Understand Relevant Liability Policies

Unless the details of an incident are entirely clear — and sometimes, even if they are — navigating insurance liability policies is where the aftermath of an automobile and bicycle collision can grow complicated. 

Automobile insurance policies will typically include some form of uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection, which may be used towards a payout for a cyclist victim in a car accident in cases where the automobile driver is at fault.

If the cyclist is at fault for the accident, the cyclist’s homeowner’s or renter’s insurance may offer some property damage coverage, potentially to both the automobile driver and the cyclist.

Regardless of fault, if one party is hurt and has health insurance, that may offer some coverage for injuries. If that coverage is insufficient, the injured party may seek to file a claim to secure compensation from the party that is at fault.

Still Unsure?

If you have been in an automobile-bicycle accident, contact a car accident lawyer from a firm like Ward & Ward Law Firm today to effectively navigate the aftermath. A lawyer can also be extremely helpful in navigating specific laws in a given location, which may vary considerably from state to state. Even in relatively straightforward situations, a lawyer can be beneficial in walking you through the process and navigating the claims and payout process.

 

4 Health Care Mistakes That May Constitute Malpractice

Many medical mistakes can be considered malpractice in certain instances. This article focuses on four of those errors and how they can warrant lawsuits. As a medical malpractice lawyer can tell you, such as one from Wieand Law Firm, LLC, medical malpractice may have occurred if a medical professional or health care facility provided a patient with care that led to serious harm. The treatment provided must have been outside the normal standards in a given situation. Further, if no harm came to the patient, although malpractice may have occurred, you likely will be unable to sue for damages.

Childbirth Injuries

Medical malpractice can occur either before or during childbirth. Negligence before birth could include failing to identify an ectopic pregnancy or other congenital disabilities with the fetus. This could result in serious harm to the baby, mother or both. Throughout the birthing process, there are a number of ways that a physician could cause damage through negligence. This could include improper use of a vacuum extractor or forceps. Additionally, if the doctor fails to respond appropriately to fetal distress during the delivery, this can be considered negligent in some cases. Some injuries that could be the result of medical malpractice by an obstetrician are fractured fetal bones, brain injuries and ongoing pelvic health issues for mothers.

Misdiagnosis

A physician’s failure to present the correct diagnosis in a timely manner or misdiagnosing an illness altogether can have catastrophic consequences for a patient. It could lead to the patient missing out on potentially life-saving treatment options. Lawsuits for misdiagnosis will likely need to prove that a particular doctor’s action or failure to act was contrary to how other physicians would have acted in a similar or identical scenario. When the doctor’s peers would have acted differently, a medical malpractice lawsuit might be feasible.

Surgical Errors

Operating rooms can be a breeding ground for medical mistakes. Surgeons can easily operate on the incorrect limb, fail to remove surgical instruments from your body or pierce an organ. Further, other medical professionals can be negligent in their care post-operation, leading to severe infections. In these instances, you may be able to sue for medical malpractice.

Anesthesia Mistakes

Mistakes in administering anesthesia can result in brain damage, paralysis or other permanent injuries and death. If you have incurred this type of harm, you may be eligible to pursue a malpractice lawsuit.

Contact a medical malpractice attorney today to assist you in determining if you may have been the victim of medical malpractice.