Friday Fun

Do you need any more proof than this video of “Oil Field Dodge” to know they don’t build cars now like they used to?

Five Signs Your Workplace Injury Was Due to Employer Negligence

5 Signs Your Workplace Injury Was Due to Employer Negligence

It is often difficult to tell who is at fault for a workplace injury. Employers will often try to save money by blaming the injury on the person who was harmed. However, there are five key signs that your workplace injury was due to your employer’s negligence.

Your Employer Failed to Document Correctly

There are a few things that must happen after a workplace injury of any kind, however minor it may be. You must immediately notify your employer so they can file a First Report of Injury. You should then be given a copy of this form and directed to get medical treatment. The doctor will give you a Report of Work Ability form that will tell your employer whether and to what extent you can work.

If your employer does not follow this process precisely, they may have something to hide. You should be suspicious if their report is not thorough, has discrepancies, or even has blatant lies. Do not agree to any account that is not a thorough and complete representation of your injury.

Your Injury Was Caused by a Known Hazard

Employers often will ignore hazards rather than deal with them. This could be leaving a wet floor unmarked, failing to provide safety equipment such as glasses, or anything that makes your workplace less safe than it should be. Your employer is required to maintain a safe workplace to industry standards. If they fail to do so and you get hurt as a result, they are guilty of negligence. If your work injury was due to a known hazard, you may have an employer negligence legal case if you choose to pursue it.

Your Injury Could Have Been Prevented With Better Training

Your employer is required to hire people capable of performing their duties safely and providing adequate training for each task. If you were harmed because you couldn’t handle one of your duties safely, negligence may be involved.

Your Injury Was Caused by a Coworker

If a coworker harmed you with equipment, left an area in a dangerous situation, or otherwise contributed to your injury, your employer may have been negligent. Your employer is responsible for training your coworkers to act safely and holding them to high standards. You deserve a safe workplace, including trained and vigilant coworkers.

If any of these factors were present in your workplace injury, your employer may be guilty of negligence. This entitles you to compensation and damages. Contact a workers’ compensation attorney today if you suspect employer negligence contributed to your workplace injury.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

Know Your Rights: How to Respond to a Search or Seizure

Know Your Rights How to Respond to a Search or Seizure

Though it’s not something most people like to think about, the possibility of a police encounter can be a stressful experience. Whether you have a criminal record or you’re squeaky clean, police officers may want to search your person or your vehicle in some instances. The good news is that you have rights in these situations. It’s imperative that you understand them and assert them in those situations when police might be breathing down your neck. Here’s an overview of how to respond in these situations.

Understanding “search” Distinctions

There are many rules that govern how and when police officers can conduct a “search.” However, not everything the police do will constitute a search. In general, a police investigation becomes a search when police are infringing upon a reasonable expectation of privacy. While this is something of a moving target, you generally have a privacy expectation in your home, with your vehicle, and with the personal property on your person. In order for an officer to gain access to those areas, he must either have probable cause, your consent, or some other exception that allows the search.

Answering the Consent Question
In general, in order for a police officer to search your property, they will need probable cause. This means they will need to have a reasonable belief that the search will uncover evidence of a crime. In some cases, this will require a warrant. In others, like when they have seen a crime take place, a warrant is not necessary. However, if you give consent to the officer, the probable cause requirement goes away. Police officers will often ask for consent to make their job easier, putting pressure on property owners. It is never a good idea to give consent to a search, even if you are sure that police will not find anything. Remember that even if they find something unrelated to their search purpose, like the remnants of drugs, for instance, they can charge you with a crime.

Speak to a Lawyer Before Making a Decision

When police officers cannot conduct a search right away, they will threaten to come back with a warrant. This is certainly their right and when this happens you would be wise to speak with an attorney before proceeding with the police. Lain T Donnell, a Newmarket lawyer says that if you are not under arrest, police officers do not have to read you your rights, or provide you with an attorney. They can simply ask questions. Because you are not under arrest you are under no compulsion to answer those questions. If police officers are not placing you under arrest, and if they do not have probable cause or a warrant to conduct a search, you should politely excuse yourself and immediately speak to an attorney.

Be Polite and Courteous
Understand that there might be times when police have a legitimate ability to conduct a search. There will be other times when they do not have this right, but will search your home, car, or person anyway. These situations could be potentially dangerous if you are not careful. The best approach is to be kind and courteous to the officers, not saying anything that could get you into trouble.

Consulting with an attorney is always a good idea in these situations. Search and seizure issues can be complex, even if you have not committed a crime. The important thing is to know that you don’t have to give consent or answer officer questions. When in doubt, say nothing until you speak to your attorney.

This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.

Medical Malpractice Tort Reform Runs Wild in Texas

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Well, Texas voters, you can’t say that the trial lawyers didn’t warn you this would happen. Once you let the tort reformers get a foot in the door they’re going to shove it wide open.

Now a Houston appellate court has ruled that when a retirement home hires a valet parking service, and one of the drivers runs over a pedestrian, that is a health care claim covered by the medical malpractice tort reform laws. Does that make even a tiny bit of sense to you? Not to me, but apparently it does to the Texas system. The end result is that the pedestrian, now deceased, must obtain a written opinion from a medical expert stating that hiring a valet driver who runs over a pedestrian is medical malpractice. Good luck finding a doctor willing to write that type of expert report.

This case was reported in Texas Lawyer. Here are the opening paragraphs:

Texas’ 12-year-old medical malpractice tort reform law was originally aimed at protecting doctors and hospitals from frivolous health care liability claims. But that same law also protects them from slip-and-fall cases, workers’ compensation disputes—even a negligent hiring claim involving a valet driver, according to a recent appellate court decision.

On Feb. 10, Houston’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals issued Brazos Presbyterian Homes d/b/a The Hallmark v. Lander, which dismissed a case that plaintiffs filed against a retirement home. The court held that the plaintiffs’ negligent hiring claim was really a “health care liability claim” under Chapter 74 of the Texas Civil Practices & Remedies Code, even though the dispute involves an elderly woman who was allegedly injured by a contract valet driver who was parking the woman’s car outside the home.

In another recent case, a retired doctor is also arguing that the Chapter 74 tort reform law can be used to dismiss a personal injury claim filed against him by a plaintiff who was allegedly injured after hitting the defendant’s loose cow that had wandered onto a road. [See "How Is Hitting a Cow in the Road Med Mal?" Texas Lawyer, Jan. 19, 2015.]

The Fourteenth Court’s decision in Lander is just the latest example of an appellate court dismissing a claim filed against a health care provider that has no relation to health care.

“It’s unsettling, to say the least,” said Stephanie Hamm, an associate in Houston’s Dow Golub Remels & Beverly who represents the family of the now deceased Betty Lander. Hamm plans to appeal the Fourteenth Court’s decision to the Texas Supreme Court.

“Your average person doesn’t understand the implications of tort reform. They are surprised, to say the least,” when you explain it to them, she said.

Photo by scottchan, vie freedigitalphotos.net.

Going to Court: Rights You Should Know in the Courtroom

Going to Court Rights You Should Know in the Courtroom

At one time or another, almost everybody will be involved in the legal system. It could be anything from a speeding ticket to a major accident. Whatever the case, there are some common threads that all cases share under due process of law. Be aware of these rights as you prepare to walk into the court room.

The Right to an Attorney
Whether the case is civil or criminal, you have the right to be represented by an attorney. It’s constitutional. Any judge in the country is required to give you a reasonable time to retain an attorney. However, you have no right to a public defender in a civil case.

The Right to a Trial
Even if it’s jaywalking, you have the right to a trial. In a bench trial, the judge hears all of the evidence and decides the case. In a jury trial, anywhere between six and 12 jurors will decide the case. If it’s a personal injury case, they’ll also decide on the amount of damages to be awarded.

Witnesses
You have the right to compel the presence of any witnesses at a trial by timely issuing, and serving them with a subpoena that designates when and where they are to testify. According to Johnston Law Firm, if there are witnesses against you, you also have the right to cross examine them at trial.

Discovery
In civil cases, misdemeanors, and felonies, you have the right to obtain copies of every piece of paper your opponent has against you except for their work product. Discovery is a reciprocal right, so in civil cases your opponent also has the right to everything that you have. Discovery becomes particularly complicated in personal injury cases. This is ordinarily in the realm of the personal injury lawyer, as written questions are usually exchanged between the parties. They’re to be answered in writing under oath. Depositions are also taken where oral questions are asked of the witnesses in the presence of the parties’ attorneys and a court reporter. If at trial, your answers to questions are contradictory to either your interrogatory answers or deposition testimony, you can be impeached with your prior inconsistent statement that you made under oath.

It’s highly recommended that you retain an attorney before ever walking into a courtroom. These are only few of the many rights that you have in court. To the experienced attorney, they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”

Four Signs Your Doctor is Guilty of Medical Malpractice

4 Signs Your Doctor is Guilty of Medical Malpractice

Due to variations in human anatomy, immunologic responses and healing variances, it’s quite possible for problems to arise with your medical condition even if your doctor did everything perfectly. However, some negative outcomes are caused by ignorance or carelessness. How can you know if your doctor has committed malpractice in your specific case? Here are four serious red flags.

Records are Difficult to Obtain or Missing

You have the right to full and complete copies of your medical records, including surgical reports, images and clinical notes. If your doctor will not release a copy of everything in your chart to you, you have reason to suspect something is wrong. This is especially true if there is no good reason for the delay. If you are being denied your medical records or the copies provided are not complete, you may want to contact a lawyer who specializes in malpractice.

You’re Ignored or Brushed Off

If your condition has not resolved and your doctor has no further ideas for treatment, he or she should be referring you to a specialist and keeping tabs on your progress. An ethical physician will not shove a ‘problem’ patient onto another provider. If you are getting the brush off or your complaints are being ignored, your doctor may be trying to hide something. If you suspect this may be the case, you may want to contact Tanner Law Firm or a similar specialty law office in your area for a consultation.

You Received a Delayed Diagnosis

For some medical conditions, a diagnosis comes only after months of meticulous testing. This is certainly routine, especially for more uncommon diseases and syndromes. However, if you received a diagnosis of stage four cancer after years of repeated visits for the symptoms, you may be the victim of malpractice. Diseases such as cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis are usually quite easy to detect with routine tests and blood work. If you suffered with a common or easy-to-identify condition for months or even years, your doctor may have made a serious error in judgment.

Your Doctor Bristles at You Seeing Other Providers

Ethical physicians know that another set of eyes may be just what their patient needs. If your doctor doesn’t want you to see anyone else, this is a huge red flag that there is something he or she does not want discovered. For example, a surgeon who used the wrong size implant in your hip might not want another orthopedic surgeon to see the error on an x-ray.

Sometimes, a bad result is without fault. Even the best efforts possible don’t always produce a cure or a great surgical outcome. A doctor making a careless or ignorant mistake, however, is malpractice. If you think your doctor may have made a mistake and isn’t owning it, contact legal representation.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

Is Google Your New Insurance Agent? A Look at Google’s Plans for the Car Insurance Industry

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At times it feels as if Google grows more and more all-powerful with each passing day. In keeping with that trend, all indications appear to show that Google will be entering the auto insurance industry sometime in the near future. It looks like it’s going to start with the car insurance market in California. Take a look at the current developments Google has in the works to help them break into the car insurance game.

They Have an Agent

Google has already purchased an interest in CompareNow.com which is an auto insurance website. CompareNow.com is associated with 31 insurers and operates in 48 states and Washington, D.C. A Google employee in California recently became a licensed insurance agent. The soothsayers are telling us that the employee became an agent for purposes of Google’s plan to begin buying California insurance. Should Google actively participate in the auto insurance industry as an agent (which seems likely), it could be paid a commission like other agents.

They Have Licenses

They’ve also set up a business called Google Compare Auto Insurance Services. That business has been licensed to sell auto insurance in 26 states. Six automobile insurers have authorized Google to sell their policies.

CoverHound

The corporate treasurer for Google is now believed to have become an insurance producer for CoverHound. Despite suspicions, Google won’t comment on any direct or indirect association with CoverHound. Maybe Google adjusted the compensation of its officers, and now they need to moonlight as insurance agents to make ends meet.

Phasing Out Agents

Should Google actively become an agent, the traditional agent might start being pushed out. They did the same thing with travel and shopping. GEICO has already started eliminating agents, and Allstate has purchased Esurance which is involved in direct online sales of auto insurance. Costs are obviously lower for insurers that can sell online, which could prove interesting for the future of this profession.

Google Compare

Google has already been in the auto insurance business in Great Britain for two years with Google Compare and the insurance comparison technology behind it. That technology allows the consumer to obtain comparison quotes from multiple insurers without the necessity of going from website to website. Google’s partnership with CompareNow will permit consumers to compare premium costs in the United States in the same way they’re compared in Great Britain.

In recent years Google has expanded far beyond its original purpose as a search engine and advertising medium. Expect the company to be active in the car insurance business and picking up an agent’s fee in the United States in the very near future.

The information for this article was provided by the professionals at Thomson Schindle Green Insurance & Financial Services, who provide custom built car insurance in Medicine Hat.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org via Nyshita Talluri.

Friday Fun

Have you ever seen any commercials for “This is Sports Center“? They’re some of the most clever around — even if you’re not a big sports fan. Here’s a compilation of some of the best ones:

Distracted Driving and the Risks of Ride-Hailing Services Such As Uber

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There may be a hidden danger in being a driver for a service such as Uber or Lyft. At least that’s the point made by an article in the New York Times recently. Here are the opening paragraphs:

It Can Wait. The buzz phrase, popularized by AT&T in a public service campaign, urges drivers to show restraint with their phones.

But a growing number of drivers who make their living behind the wheel can’t wait. These are the drivers for Uber and its competitors, including taxi services, who, to make money, must respond nearly instantly to their smartphones, without regard to road conditions or safety.

When a service call comes in from Uber – by way of a loud beeping on the phone – a driver typically has 15 seconds to tap the phone to accept the fare. That can mean looking at the phone, seeing how far away the customer is and then making a decision. Failure to respond in 15 seconds means the fare goes to a different driver. In some cities, including New York, failure to respond to several calls in a row can lead to Uber’s temporarily suspending a driver.

You need not be a neuroscientist or safety advocate to see the potential for danger when the phone, a potential source of driver distraction, becomes an essential means of transaction. But Uber is not alone, given that a similar system is used by Lyft and, arguably, an even more demanding one is used by a growing number of taxi drivers.

In San Francisco, the home of Uber and the hub of car-service innovation, taxi drivers use software called Flywheel that aims to allow competition against Uber. It works like this: When a customer calls for a taxi, a message goes out to a handful of cabs nearest the customer; the fastest to touch the Flywheel phone app in response gets the fare.

If no one responds within 20 seconds, the call goes out to another set of drivers. Think of hitting a game show buzzer, but perhaps while winding through dense urban traffic, with fog or rain and cyclists and pedestrians.

Scholars and policymakers who study driver distraction say the system puts drivers in a tough spot: answer or lose money.

“It’s conditioned. You get a ding, you respond, you get a ride, you get money, you get paid,” said Deborah Hersman, chief executive of the National Safety Council, a nonprofit, and former chairwoman of the National Transportation Safety Board, a federal agency. Responding to the device takes visual, manual and cognitive attention, she said. “There’s not a whole lot of debate this is distracting.”

Automatic E-Brake: How Emergency Braking Technology is Giving Us Safer Cars

Automatic E-Brake - How Emergency Breaking Technology is Giving us Safer Cars

These days, we are seeing technology increasingly implemented into our cars. While many worry about drivers becoming distracted by the technology in their vehicles, there are a few types of car technology that are designed to protect the distracted driver from their own behavior. Automatic braking technology is becoming rapidly more advanced as technology presses forward—making cars even safer. Keep reading to learn how emergency braking technology is giving us safer cars, and safer roads.

Quicker Reaction Times

When it comes to computers and humans, computers usually win on the reflex contest. Using lasers, radar, video, and GPS, computers can continuously monitor traffic (and other things, such as wildlife) in front of your car. Where as you might not notice a car slowing or stopping until after its brake lights illuminate, your car will notice the change in speed almost instantly. Basically, your car can tap the brakes and begin slowing down before you do.

Intuitive Software

Not only are the lasers, radar, video, and GPS contributing to safer cars, but the software being used to run these systems is becoming precise, too. Understandably, people are usually fairly accurate in assessing their driving situations. They have brains that can differentiate between traffic on the Interstate and a car at an upcoming four-way stop. Computers need a little help. Newer cars are equipped with software that analyzes all of the information from the sensory input with information from GPS and maps. It can then weigh this information between real-world scenarios, such as when you should be applying more pressure on the brakes than you currently are.

Decreased Risk

As of now, automatic braking systems don’t completely stop your car and for good reason. They’re not meant to. What they are meant to do is slow down your car enough to give you, and other passengers/drivers, lesser risk of fatality or injuries. Sometimes, stopping a car completely can be more dangerous for the other cars around you, especially on the highway. However, with a system that slows the car down, the risk of injury drops dramatically at lower speeds. Even 10 miles per hour difference on the Interstate can mean the difference between death and injury.

Safer Vehicles/Roads

This might seem like a no brainer at first, but this technology does more than make your car safer — it makes other cars and roads safer. Other cars equipped with the automatic braking means that more cars are decelerating. It also means that pedestrians are less likely to be struck by cars, or at least struck at dangerous speeds. (Not that being hit by a car at any speed is favorable.)

Creating Competition

When anti-lock brakes came out, they were a wonderful improvement on the old brakes that people used to pump. Eventually, almost every manufacturer began installing anti-lock brakes on their vehicles. This is the hope with automatic e-brake technology—that one day it will be a standard feature on every car, once manufacturers catch on. It may take years before this happens, but as more designers start incorporating the technology into their cars, it will create steep competition between brands.

With automatic braking systems starting to trickle down from the high end cars into more mid-class sedans and even commercial trucks, the option will eventually become standard. And, as competition goes, that means auto manufacturers will have to devise something even better to gain an advantage on their competitors.

While plenty tech-savvy car features today are merely gimmicks or purely for show, features like automatic e-brakes are designed to save lives. When purchasing a new car, your top priority should be safety, so look for truly helpful features, rather than being distracted by bells and whistles.

This article was written by Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves to write for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. She lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters. Dixie got advice for this article from the Maple Ridge personal injury lawyers at Yearwood & Company.

Financial Security: Tips For Handling The Expenses Associated With An Auto Accident

Tips For Handling The Expenses Associated With An Auto Accident

Going through an auto accident claim process is not easy or pleasant. The article below gives several financial tips to keep in mind that help make the claim settlement process go more smoothly. They may also help give you an advantage in dealing with the financial aspects of a settlement process.

Be Realistic: It’s All About You Versus The Other Side

Being mindful that a “third-party” insurance provider is in business to protect its own interests and that of its policyholder, one must be on guard as to what is stated in recorded conversations. The other party’s auto insurer will do whatever it can to settle quickly and may pay out less than the amount you believe you should receive in compensation. It may also try to discredit your testimony, so be prepared to use a great deal of patience, as well as self-control, during the entire process.

Being Prepared

A camera and a notebook with pencil in one’s auto will go a long way when an accident takes place. You’ll need at least these items to properly record what took place in the accident. The other driver’s insurance appraisers carry these with them at all times and so should you. If you use film, be sure to keep all receipts for developing the prints along with a separate batch of prints as copies. Be sure to save pictures from a smartphone in a separate location in the event that the pictures are deleted or you lose your phone.

Crucial Contact Information

Be certain to get information containing the other driver’s insurance policy number, insurance company’s name and license tag/driver’s license number. Also, the car registration information is equally important as is the name of the presiding police officer, the badge ID, precinct number and the official police report.

Never Sign A Release Until You Are Ready

Unless you feel it’s the right time, don’t sign anything. Be especially cautious with unsolicited phone calls and/or those wanting your personal information. You should talk with a lawyer before signing anything you are unsure about.

Gather All Your Documented Expenses

Gathering all your documented receipts is crucially important. This should include several body shop repair estimates. Also, any hospital billing information with admission date, times and subsequent treatments received should be documented. In some cases, proof of loss of salary due to time off is a must. If transportation is needed, secure car rental agreements and any additional insurance for the rental car. Receipts of taxicab fares plus tips, if any, will be needed. However, not many taxicab drivers offer receipts, so this may prove a challenge.

Personal Injury Attorney

Depending on the amount of damages sustained an the extent of injuries received, legal representation is essential. When injuries result due to the accident, then a personal injury attorney may be the best choice for you.

Consequently, take your time and never succumb to pressure tactics by anyone for a fast or unsatisfactory settlement. Simply following the above advice with the help of a lawyer can help you to receive payment for financial losses due to the accident.

Informational credit to Cantini Law Group Accident and Disability Lawyers.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

Understanding the Legal Effects After a Major Auto Accident

Understanding the Legal Effects After a Major Auto Accident

Accident cases are handled in two ways. First is the claims stage, and after that is the litigation stage. When a major accident is involved, most lawyers will skip the claims stage and go directly into litigation. Only a judge and a demand for a jury trial will get the serious attention of the insurer of the party that caused the accident. Here’s how a major accident case works its way through the courts.

The lawsuit and summons
The attorneys file suit on behalf of the client (plaintiff), and a summons is issued. The person that caused the accident (defendant) is served with copies of the lawsuit and summons. The summons requires them to file certain legal documents with the court on or before a certain date, or a default judgment might be entered against them.

After the appearance
The defendant turns the lawsuit and summons over to their insurer, and the insurer in turn forwards the papers to insurance defense attorneys. They file their formal appearance on behalf of the defendant, and the adversarial litigation process begins.

Discovery
This is a critical stage in any injury case. Written questions called interrogatories are served on both the plaintiff and the defendant. Interrogatories are to be answered in writing under oath. According to McLaughlin & Lauricella, P.C., the questions primarily inquire into accident witnesses, prior injuries and injuries sustained in the accident. Full and complete disclosure is required. After interrogatories are answered, all appropriate medical records are obtained and the depositions of the parties and any witnesses to the accident are taken. Depositions involve oral questions and sworn answers in a proceeding where the attorneys, the deponent and a court reporter are present.

Pre-trial conference
Throughout the preparation of the case, the experienced injury attorney will prepare as if the case will be going to trial. Trials require considerable time from both the attorneys and the presiding judge. A pre-trial conference is ordinarily held between the judge and the attorneys for purposes of isolating issues and possibly agreeing on what evidence might be heard at trial. It’s also a device where the parties, with the intervention of the judge, attempt to settle the case in its entirety. Most cases settle before trial.

Almost all injury cases that go to trial are heard by a jury that makes a finding of guilty or not guilty. If a guilty verdict is entered, damages are awarded.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Reasons You Should Take Action If You Have Been Injured Due to Someone Else’s Neglect

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Whether you visit a personal home or business, if the owner hasn’t taken care of an issue that has the potential to cause injury, they are considered to be negligent under the law. You may have also been injured in an auto accident that wasn’t your fault, or were bitten by a dog that wasn’t on the owner’s property. Whatever the specific cause is, taking action should be your first priority to recover losses.

Premises Liability

Premises liability develops when someone comes onto a property and is injured because of a hazard. If, for instance, accumulated snow and ice have not been cleared before you enter a business and you fall, the property owner may be liable for the injuries you suffer.

Personal Injury

You have to be able to prove to a judge that you have been injured. Using the dog bite as an example, have your doctor take photographs that document that injury. You’ll need the photos and copies of your medical records to show to the judge when you go to court to argue your personal injury claim. You also have to show that the property owner was at fault for not correcting the situation that led to your injury. Again, using the dog bite as an example, the property owner should have known that the dog might bite a visitor to their home and put the dog into a separate room.

Having a Personal Injury Claim

The judge has to find evidence that the property owner neglected their responsibility to visitors, thus creating a situation that led to an injury. Even if you go into someone’s home and they tell you, “be careful of Bruno,” if they fail to secure Bruno and you are bitten even if you didn’t do anything to antagonize him, they are liable. It’s important to know when the other party is liable, and a lawyer can help make your case.

Reasonable Conduct and Responsibility

The law says that we have responsibilities to others. If a home or business owner fails to live up to their responsibilities, they will be held legally liable for any injuries you may suffer from their neglect. If you did anything that led to your injury, the court will find you and the property owner responsible. That is, you may be able to win a legal judgment based on the property owner’s negligence, but because you own a share of the blame, your award may be smaller.

Property owners hold legal responsibility to make sure that their businesses or homes are safe for visitors who enter the premises. If they fail to exercise reasonable conduct and neglect an unsafe condition, they can be held legally liable for anyone who is injured as a result of their negligence.

Informational credit to the law offices of Charles P. Dargo.

Image courtesy of Kittisak via freedigitalphotos.net.

This article is courtesy of Anita Ginsburg, a freelance writer from Denver who often writes about home, family, law and business. A mother of two, she enjoys traveling with her family when she isn’t writing.

Friday Fun

When I was a kid I was fascinated by carnivals. One of the few acts I did NOT want to perform was fire-breathing. But if I’d known it looked this great in slow motion, I might have changed my mind.

 

Victims of Malpractice: How to Handle a Personal Injury Suit

Victims of Malpractice How to Handle a Personal Injury Suit

When you are injured through malpractice, a car accident or an accident at work, you need to make sure that you are taking your injury seriously. Most people who are injured tend to take the injury in stride. They move on with their lives and lose the money that they should have made working. They never seek compensation for their injuries, but they deserve this compensation. You need to make sure that you are doing more than taking your personal injury lying down.

Go to the Doctor

There is no way in the world that you can claim you are injured if you have never been to the doctor. Being rushed to the hospital is not an excuse to sue someone for personal injury. You need to be under the care of a doctor at all times, and that doctor needs to be able to testify to the fact that you were badly hurt. If the doctor can vouch for you, then you can start your legal proceedings.

Hire a Lawyer

When you hire a lawyer to help you with your personal injury case, you need to make sure that you submit all the information you have to them. They are going to look into your case, but they are also going to ask you what you want. You may want compensation, you may want your job back or you may want to have your medical bills paid. You must make sure that you are working with your lawyer so that they know what you want out of the suit.

The Settlement

When you file suit against a company or individual, they will likely want to settle. You do not want to spend a ton of money in court costs, and your opponent is not going to want to spend all that money defending a case they will lose. Your attorney can negotiate a settlement that is going to help you get your life back together. They can make sure that you have all the money you need coming in, and they will allow you to get back on your feet.

You deserve compensation when you are injured, and you need to make sure that you are doing everything you need to make that happen. When people are injured, they often ignore the legal angle. You can sue someone for your personal injury, and you can get the money you need to turn your life around.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Understanding the Legal Effects of a DUI Related Car Accident

Understanding the Legal Effects of a DUI Related Car Accident

Driving under the influence, or DUI, is a legal problem that can have a range of consequences. If you are involved in an accident while driving under the influence, your problems can increase exponentially, particularly if someone is injured. Each state has its own statutes regarding the handling of automobile accidents. If you are involved in a DUI-related accident, you should seek legal representation immediately to ensure that your rights are properly protected.

Blood Alcohol Levels
The basis of DUI cases against drivers who may be involved in an accident is the blood alcohol test. The very fact of being in an accident can be a situation of “reasonable suspicion” to allow a police officer to administer a blood alcohol test and arrest you for driving under the influence. Some states allow mandatory blood alcohol tests for drivers involved in an accident. Others allow administration of these tests at the officer’s discretion. Refusal to take the test can result in automatic loss of your license for three to six months, or even more, and will not protect you from a DUI charge.

Criminal Charges
Depending on the type of accident, the motorist may also be subject to more serious criminal charges, including reckless driving, assault with a vehicle or even negligent homicide if someone dies in the accident.

Second or Third DUI Convictions
If you have been previously convicted of driving under the influence, the consequences of a DUI-related accident can be even more serious. It is likely that the driver will face jail time or face permanent loss of driving privileges.

Civil Litigation
If an automobile accident involves the serious injury or death of another person, the driver may be subject to civil litigation for compensation beyond the extent of the insurance coverage or for loss of support to the family. These legal actions can cause severe financial burden to the driver if they are found to have driven under the influence.

Hiring a Personal Injury Attorney
Your insurance company may compensate you if the accident involves a situation for which you are covered under your insurance policy. However, according to Knochel Law Offices PC the company will not handle the aspects of your case involving DUI charges. To ensure that your interests are properly protected, anyone involved in a DUI-related accident case should contact a personal injury attorney who is experienced in these matters.

Automobile accidents that involve a DUI charge can be a significant emotional event in your life. Having a personal injury attorney to represent your interests in this stressful time is advisable.

This article is from Lizzie Weakley, a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. She enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her three-year-old husky Snowball.

Major Signs that Your Car Accident Was Caused by a Negligent Driver

Major Signs that Your Car Accident Was Caused by a Negligent Driver

Car accidents happen more frequently than most people realize. According to a recent report, during the 2013 calendar year Las Vegas had approximately 22,600 automobile accidents. More than half of them resulted in injuries. And that is just one city. Many of these accidents were caused by negligence. However, negligence can be something that is hard to prove. So how can an accident victim prove that their accident was caused by the negligence of another driver?

The Police Report

During the course of investigation, police officers will question witnesses, look at video surveillance tapes, and use forensic evidence to determine the cause of the accident. Things such as driving with excessive speed, driving in a reckless way, driving while talking on the telephone, ignoring traffic control devices, and failing to yield are just some of the things that may show up on the traffic report as proof of negligence on the part of the other driver.

Malfunctioning Car Equipment

By law, drivers are required and expected to keep their vehicle in working order. For example, it is illegal for an individual to operate a motor vehicle that has damaged or non-functioning headlights or brake lights. The brakes on the vehicle should be working. The blinkers on the vehicle should function properly. The automobile should have a horn that can be heard. If any of these things are not in place, it may be possible for the accident victim to prove that the accident was caused by negligence on the part of the other driver.

Driving While Under the Influence

If the accident was caused because the other driver was driving while intoxicated or while using prescription or illicit drugs, a strong case can be made for negligence on the part of the other driver. If you’ve been in a car accident with someone you suspect of being intoxicated, consider enlisting an accident attorney to help you get your due compensation.

Failure to Control Their Vehicle

The law expects a driver to be alert and to be able to be on the lookout for other vehicles. It is also expected that a driver will be able to maintain control of their vehicle under normal driving circumstances. Negligence may be inferred if a driver loses control of their vehicle and overshoots a turn, wanders into opposing traffic, or drives off the road and there were no extenuating circumstances that explain this loss of control.

Operating a motor vehicle is a large responsibility. Automobile accidents can have a devastating effect on the life of both the victim and the one who caused the accident. This underscores the importance of driving with diligence and avoiding anything that could be considered negligence.

About the author: A recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.

Common Mistakes People Make Right After a Car Accident

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If you are involved in a car accident, within no time your life becomes chaotic and disorganized. Some of the things that wreak havoc in your life are financial problems, injuries and no transportation to get to and from work. And, to make matters worse, people make some common mistakes right after a car accident that add to your woes.

In 2013, 2.31 million people sustained injuries in motor vehicle accidents and many of them must have made these common mistakes right after their car accidents that prevented them from getting compensated.

Not Getting Checked by a Doctor

Generally, people tend to leave the accident scene believing they are fine and have not sustained any injury. However, the following morning it hits them they are injured. It is best to seek medical attention right after the accident. This will not only ensure your wellbeing, but also make sure no problems occur with your insurance provider when you are filing a claim.

Taking Blame for the Car Accident

You may, at times, believe the accident occurred because you were at fault. Under such circumstances, it is best to keep quiet and not take the blame when the police is filing the report. Let the police investigate and check with witnesses to find out who was at fault. It could save you a lot of money in insurance premiums if it turns out the other party was at fault and not you!

Not Clicking Photographs of the Accident

Today, most people carry a smartphone or have a camera on their phone. Make use of technology to your advantage and click photographs of your car and the other person’s as well. In case injuries don’t allow you, visit the scene later, after seeking medical attention, to click photographs. During this time, make a note (with paper and pen) about the weather conditions, the state of the road and the time when the accident occurred. These are important and you may forget small, but important, details later on.

Not Consulting a Lawyer

You should always consult an auto accident attorney right after a car accident. Don’t delay. If your injuries don’t allow you to seek legal counsel, get a family member to do it on your behalf. An experienced and trained personal injury attorney will help you through the compensation process and ensure you get what is due to you.

Signing Waivers or Giving Statements to Your Insurance Provider

Many insurance companies use certain tricks to avoid paying compensation. They send waivers to people involved in a car accident with the hope these gullible people will waive their right to compensation. And, alarmingly, many people end up signing these waivers without consulting their personal injury lawyer. Don’t sign anything or give any type of statement to the insurance provider without first checking with your lawyer and getting his or her approval.

Car accidents can turn your life topsy-turvy. By avoiding these common mistakes right after an accident, you can put some semblance of normality back into your life.

This article was written by Amanda Kaestner. @AmandaJaylene shares her experience on injury and auto collisions from her home along the busy roads of Phoenix. From DUI laws, to red light cameras, to traffic collisions – she’s witnessed a fair share of accidents in Arizona.

Friday Fun

This little toddler can hit a golf ball better than I can!

Identity Theft Aftermath: How to Get Your Life Back

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With the increase in technology, identity theft is a prevalent crime that targets many people. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, approximately 16.6 million people have fallen victim to identity theft. The Daily Finance reports that 66 percent of these people suffered a direct loss as a result of the identity theft. To protect yourself from identity theft, it is helpful to identify the types of theft, as well as how to get your life back after falling victim to this cowardly crime.

Five Types of Identity Theft

1. Financial Identity Theft: This type of theft can happen via credit and debit cards, as well as bank accounts. Thieves can secure your information by diving in dumpsters for discarded trash, stealing bills out of your mailbox, or securing information while you use your smartphone. Many people use smartphones to manage their financial information on unsecured networks, and hackers can retrieve information when you check an account balance or make a purchase. Stolen and lost phones are vulnerable especially if you store password information on your device. Sometimes financial identity occurs with people who are familiar with your personal information. Yahoo Finance reports on one victim’s story about his ex-girlfriend who charged much money for spa treatments and a Caribbean cruise on his credit card. She intercepted his old statements and he realized that she charged these items when he received the bills at his new address. It has taken him numerous police reports, 300 hours with creditors via phone, and a letter to the Attorney General to get those erroneous charges cleared.

2. Child Identity Theft: How often are you checking your child’s credit report? Most parents do not consider children falling prey to identity theft, however, thieves find it more lucrative to steal a child’s identity because they have a clean credit report. Furthermore, most children do not have a need to check their credit report until they are applying for a student loan or applying for a credit card; therefore, thieves can rack up a lifetime of debt without anyone realizing the fraud until it is too late.

3. Social Security Identity Theft: A Social Security number is a powerful gateway into an individual’s personal information. You can open credit cards, bank accounts, and rent an apartment with this information, as well as access existing financial information. In addition, by using someone else’s Social Security number, you can avoid paying taxes to the IRS.

4. Driver’s License Identity Theft: A criminal can use a stolen driver’s license to sell to someone who looks similar to the picture. Then, the person receiving the license can use that license for traffic violations, to commit crimes, and for an application for insurance. When a court date is issued, the person whose license is stolen will be targeted instead of the actual person who committed the crime.

5. Medical Identity Theft: The New York Times reported a story that highlighted Brandon Sharp, a 38-year-old from Houston. He received bills amounting to several thousand dollars from the hospital and medical facilities even though he had never had any health issues and never entered these places. A criminal had stolen Mr. Sharp’s Social Security number and used his name for medical services. Since hospitals are required to treat with or without insurance, this information sufficed for treatment. Mr. Sharp is now faced with continually monitoring his credit report to determine what bills have been sent to collections because of this breach.

Five Tips on How to Recover From Identity Theft

If you fall prey to identity theft, what should you do to obtain peace of mind? Here are five tips to help recover from identity theft:

  1. Place a fraud alert with credit reporting agencies Experian, Transunion and Equifax. You can contact one of these agencies and they will report it to the other two.
  2. Create an identity theft report with the Federal Trade Commission. You can do this online or talk to financial counselor over the phone.
  3. Request your credit report from all three agencies. If you know the theft occurred on an identifiable account, call to alert them of the breach.
  4. File a police report. Alert the police of this activity so that there is a record of the crime that occurred.
  5. Review your credit card and medical statements for any strange charges.

Identity theft is a common crime, and it is up to consumers to remain vigilant about their accounts and credit cards. Monitor your accounts regularly and act quickly if you detect a breach.

Author: Rudri Patel is a former lawyer turned writer and editor, wife, mother and observer. She has written for Brain, Child; Huffington Post; First Day Press; and Mamalode. Seeking grace in the ordinary.