The Most Important Qualities You Need In An Auto Accident Lawyer


The Most Important Qualities You Need In An Auto Accident Lawyer

After getting in an automobile accident, drivers today are often uncertain about what to do. Although insurance might cover the damages, drivers who are not at fault might want to protect themselves from a tainted driving record. Further, at-fault individuals might be facing severe civil damages due to personal injury or driving without insurance. Even if insurance coverage is maintained, potential damages might exceed the maximum amount of coverage supported by an insurance policy. When these legal issues arise, it is important that individuals today understand strategies to help them develop the legal defense they need. For drivers trying to pick an auto accident lawyer today, this article will explain the best qualities to look for.

Compare Reviews

In the event of legal problems due to auto accidents, it is important to find the right accident attorney to get the right legal defense. One of the best way to screen potential lawyers and firms is to check online reviews. Companies that have shown a consistent pattern of poor reviews should be avoided.

Ask for Referrals

Since millions of auto accidents occur each year, there are millions of drivers who have experienced the same problems. By asking around through a network, drivers are often surprised to find the high volume of referrals they can obtain from their friends and associates. Some law firms in St. Johns NL, like Rogers Bussey Lawyers, consistently get positive reviews.

Interview a Candidate Thoroughly

After finding a prospective firm, it is critical that drivers interview each candidate thoroughly before hiring the law firm. Qualifications, experience, education, and other factors should be gone over carefully. By doing this, drivers can be much more certain about finding an exceptional candidate to defend them in the courtroom against legal adversaries.

Check for Integrity

When working with a lawyer, one of the most important qualifications that drivers should look for is the integrity of the candidate. To learn this information, drivers should seek to test a law firm’s integrity by asking specific questions that might have negative implications for a candidate firm. A candidate that responds in an upright, honest manner might be a great choice for a defense in traffic court. When a lawyer is honest, drivers can be certain they can ask questions and get honest answers.

By following the suggestions above, drivers will be well on their way to getting through a difficult time caused by a traffic accident. Whether pursuing a wrongdoer in court or defending a genuine accident, finding the right legal assistance will allow drivers to move on quickly to a more prosperous future.

This article was written by Kandace Heller, a freelance writer from Orlando, Florida.

NHTSA Sends Rear Camera Rule to White House Office of Management and Budget for Review


The Detroit News reports that DOT has sent rules mandating backup cameras to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review, signaling that the rules may be finished before the January 2015 deadline. The News notes that in June, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration didn’t expect to finalize the rule until January 2015, the fifth time the rules have been delayed. The delays have been seen as a victory for automakers who oppose the requirement. The News also explains that advocates for mandatory rear cameras have filed suit, asking the court to declare that DOT “has unreasonably delayed the rule, and to direct Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to issue the rule within 90 days.” Meanwhile. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) has criticized the delays, saying that “the administration needs to move forward with this commonsense safety measure because children’s lives are in jeopardy.”

The Hill reports in its “Regwatch” blog that Henry Jasny, the senior VP and general counsel for Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, said, “It’s a positive sign that DOT is making progress on the rule in response to our lawsuit, but the process is far from over.” The Hill notes that language from the rule has not been released but that it’s been estimated that the rule will cost $100 million annually to implement.

The Automotive News says that NHTSA has not said “whether its plan for satisfying Congress’ orders has changed,” however, there have been signs that the agency “may not mandate backup cameras in all new light vehicles – an idea the auto industry has protested.”

According to the notice on the White House database, the 2008 law does not require a backup camera in every car, but rather can be satisfied with “additional mirrors, sensors, cameras or other technology to expand the driver’s field of view.”

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Friday Fun


I thought this was interesting: Eight Famous Products Originally Invented for the Military.

When You Can Turn to Legal Resolutions for Your Medical Expenses


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Medical expenses can be overwhelmingly expensive, and seem all the more so when you were injured or sick due to another individual’s negligence. Some of the direst financial circumstances, including bankruptcy, result from medical expenses.

Fortunately, there are many legal solutions in such circumstances, provided you can prove your case in court. Legal experts from Bronson Jones & Co give the following tips on how to determine if legal action can help relieve some of the financial stress of your current situation.

1. You’ve Been Injured in an Automobile Accident

Every state allows those injured in car accidents to sue for their medical expenses, with the success of the lawsuit hinging on who was at fault for the accident. In some states and provinces, partial liability laws can result in a payout less than the plaintiff’s legal fees, putting them in a worse position than they were to start with. This usually happens when the judge overseeing the case decides that each individual was partially responsible for the accident.

In addition, most states and provinces set a statute of limitations of 2 to 3 years on personal injury cases resulting from car accidents–after that, attempts to sue are nearly guaranteed to get thrown out of court barring very exceptional circumstances (such as comas from trauma).

2. Medical Malpractice Has Taken Place

Medical Malpractice is a legal term used to describe injury caused to a patient by a doctor they are in a medical relationship with (in other words, the doctor must have been treating the plaintiff on some level). Medical Malpractice has only taken place in the event that a doctor was negligent in his care–he must have knowingly suggested a dangerous course of action that caused the patient harm, or else demonstrated such ignorance of his field as to be considered negligent.

As an example: complications resulting from surgery to remove a brain tumor are not usually malpractice, provided the patient was warned of the risk beforehand. However, failure to diagnose a prominent brain tumor (usually by failing to order an MRI or CAT scan) could be, provided a competent doctor would have reason to suspect cancer based on the patient’s symptoms.

3. You’ve Been Injured or Become Sick at Work

Provided your doctor can prove a work-related cause for your sickness or injury, you may be entitled to appropriate medical expenses from the state or your employer (depending on the circumstances and where you live. Your injury or illness must verifiably be from a specific cause at your workplace that a normal individual would not have been able to (or have reason to) avoid, however.

4. The Hospital Messed up Your Medical Bill

Hospitals make mistakes billing patients all the time. Inefficiencies in data management are to blame for that. In a recent case in New Jersey a woman was billed for $518 for unpaid medical bills regarding an anesthesia treatment she received in a previous surgery. She decided to get tough with the company and sued the company with the help of her insurance agency. Eventually she and 8000 other patients were refunded for similar mistakes. If you smell something fishy about a medical bill, investigate potential errors.

This article is from Hannah Whittenly  a mother of two and a freelance writer out of Sacramento, California.

Drug Makers Paid to Attend Meetings of FDA Advisory Panel


The Washington Post reported that major pharmaceutical companies funded a “scientific panel that shaped the federal government’s policy for testing the safety and effectiveness of painkillers.” The drug makers “paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the chance to affect the thinking of the Food and Drug Administration, according to hundreds of e-mails obtained by a public records request.” According to the emails, the companies “paid as much as $25,000 to attend any given meeting of the panel, which had been set up by two academics to provide advice to the FDA on how to weigh the evidence from clinical trials.” The Post notes that patient advocates argued that the emails “suggest that the regulators had become too close to the companies trying to crack into the $9 billion painkiller market in the United States.”

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Texas Supporters of Texting Ban Say Statistics Underestimate Dangers of Distracted Driving


I have written many times about the hazards of distracted driving. Texas has tried to pass state-wide bans, but has never gotten past Governor Perry.

The Dallas Morning News recently ran an article that asserts that cell phone use or texting while driving may be more common than we’ve been led to believe. Here are the opening paragraphs of the article:

People shudder when they see this driver.

His bobbing head follows a familiar rhythm, nodding down to write or read a text and then glancing at the road to check traffic.

He tends to drift out of his lane and sometimes rear-ends the car in front of him.

State troopers and local police officers listed cellphone use as a contributing factor in 3,283 accidents in 2012. But traffic safety experts say the number vastly understates the true extent of the problem.

The suspicion is that cellphone use ranks with DWI and speeding as chief causes of injury and death on streets and highways.

“I wouldn’t say it’s the most important thing, but it’s pretty close,” said Sgt. Brandon Price, a veteran traffic cop in Allen. “I have really started to talk to people, especially kids, about the dangers of cellphone use while driving.”

Nearly two dozen Texas cities have prohibited texting and driving. Efforts to impose a statewide ban have failed in the Legislature even though safety advocates suspect that cellphone use is increasingly the cause of accident injuries and death.

But that assertion is hard to prove because of data-gathering problems.

At a crash, officers are supposed to ask if a cellphone was involved. Most drivers reflexively say, “No.” Sometimes, particularly in minor wrecks, the question doesn’t get asked. Police want to clear the wreckage quickly and get traffic flowing again.

“Do we have good data to know the extent to which cellphone use contributes to accidents? Not even close,” said Sgt. Paul Lassalle, a traffic safety expert at the Houston Police Department.

“It’s hard to get at. Drivers don’t want to confess they were doing something silly, like talking on the phone, that caused the wreck.”

Safety Tips When Using Hand Tools


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There is nowhere I won’t search to find information for you. These safety tips for working with hand tools are from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay, Ontario, Canada.

What are some basic tips when using hand tools? 

• Select the right tool for the job. Substitutes increase the chance of having an accident.

• Use tools designed to allow wrist to stay straight. Avoid using hand tools with your wrist bent.

• Ensure that employees are properly trained in the safe use of hand tools.

• Use good quality tools.

• Keep tools in good condition at all times.

• Inspect tools for defects before use. Replace or repair defective tools.

• Keep cutting tools sharp and cover sharp edges with suitable covering to protect the tool and to prevent injuries from unintended contact. .

• Replace cracked, splintered, or broken handles on files, hammers, screwdrivers, or sledges.

• Ensure that the handles of tools like hammers and axes fit tightly into the head of the tool.

• Replace worn jaws on wrenches, pipe tools and pliers.

• Redress burred or mushroomed heads of striking tools.

• Pull on a wrench or pliers. Never push unless you hold the tool with your palm open.

• Point sharp tools (e.g., saws, chisels, knives) laying on benches away from aisles and handles should not extend over the edge of the bench top.

• Maintain tools carefully. Keep them clean and dry, and store them properly after each use.

• Carry tools in a sturdy tool box to and from the worksite.

• Wear safety glasses or goggles and well-fitting gloves appropriate for the hazards to which you may be exposed when doing various tasks.

• Keep the work environment clean and tidy to avoid clutter which may cause accidents.

• Use a heavy belt or apron and hang tools at your sides, not behind your back.

Keep the work environment clean and tidy to avoid clutter which may cause accidents

Use a heavy belt or apron and hang tools at your sides, not behind your back

What should I avoid when using hand tools? 

• Do not use tools for jobs they are not intended to do. For example, do not use a slot screw drivers as a chisel, pry bar, wedge or punch or wrenches as hammers..

• Do not apply excessive force or pressure on tools.

• Do not cut towards yourself when using cutting tools.

• Do not hold the stock in the palm of your hand when using a cutting tool or a screwdriver.

• Do not wear bulky gloves to operate hand tools.

• Do not throw tools. Hand them, handle first, directly to other workers.

• Do not carry tools in a way that interferes with using both hands on a ladder, while climbing on a structure, or when doing any hazardous work. If working on a ladder or scaffold, tools should be raised and lowered using a bucket and hand line.

• Do not carry a sharp tool in your pocket.

Confidentiality Agreements in Suit Over Texas Explosion Raise Safety Concerns


The Dallas Morning News reports that a lawsuit over the 2013 explosion of a fertilizer plant in West, TX contains “secrets” that “could keep valuable health and safety information hidden from the public forever.” The News notes that a judge “has approved confidentiality agreements requested by attorneys” that could mean that “even people who live in West may never find out much more about what happened.” The agreements “allow both sides to label as confidential virtually all information uncovered as the lawyers prepare for trial.” The News adds that confidentiality agreements are common, but “keeping secrets in lawsuits can have dangerous consequences for public health and safety.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Five Differences between a Brain Injury Lawsuit and Other Injury Lawsuits


Five Differences between a Brain Injury Lawsuit and Other Injury Lawsuits

Brain injuries can occur in sports injuries, falls, auto collisions and work accidents. Lawsuits involving brain injuries are more complex than other cases because the injury is much more complicated. Consequences can be both subtle and far-reaching. Attorneys who specialize in brain injury cases understand the factors that can influence the outcome of a case.

1.     Brain Injuries Aren’t Always Visible

A head injury can occur even though there is no obvious wound, such as penetration of the brain case or crack in the skull. The brain is composed of soft tissue suspended in liquid within the skull case. When an individual suffers a blow to the head or jarring of the head, the tissue can strike against the skull’s interior bone, causing bruising. This movement can cause a variety of symptoms, such as gait problems, speech problems, mood changes and difficulty concentrating.

2.     Damage Is Not Always Immediate

Immediately after an incident, the person may feel fine and may be unaware that serious damage has occurred. However, in months that follow the accident, the person may notice unusual effects, such as frequent headaches, episodes of dizziness or depression. These may be a result of undetected damage to brain tissue.

3.     Small Injuries Can Cause Big Effects

The brain is complex organ with thousands of connections that interact in intricate ways. Different areas of the brain control a variety of functions. Depending on the area within the brain, small injuries can have effects that can significantly impair an individual’s function.

4.     Oxygen Deprivation May Be a Factor

In some cases, brain injury can occur as a result of lack of oxygen to brain tissue. These injuries can occur as a result of accident or in the course of medical treatment. When the brain is deprived of oxygen, even for a short time, serious injury can occur that can impair function in everyday life.

5.     Personality Changes May Occur

Many people are not aware that mood and personality changes can result after an injury to the head. The individual may not connect these changes to the injury. A thorough medical and psychological evaluation can help to make this subtle connection between the incident and unusual behavior.

Because brain injuries are more difficult to detect and may not appear for a while, lawsuits can be difficult. For your brain injury lawsuit, consult with a law firm that has experience in this particular area of litigation.

Information credited to Cummings Andrews Mackay LLP, brain injury lawyers.

This article is from Kara Masterson, a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

Friday Fun


I have written before about a cool underground auto parking garage. Now here’s the same idea from Japan, but this time it’s automated parking for bicycles.

Trampolines Are Too Dangerous, Say Pediatricians


I’ve always liked trampolines. I had a lot of fun with them when I was a teenager. I even took a college PE class that was just trampoline-jumping. What a strange class, right? The teacher was a former Baylor cheerleader (male, darn it). When we weren’t doing flips and things, we all stood around the trampoline to catch the guys who messed up and came flying toward the hardwood floor of the gym. Of course when a big guy came hurtling toward us, we sometimes just let him hit the ground rather than risk injury by trying to catch him. I still feel bad about that…

Anyway, I know from experience that trampolines can be both fun and dangerous. According to a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the danger outweighs the fun for kids. The pediatricians recommend against letting children use trampolines, even if the trampolines have safety netting and padding. The study was detailed in a Reuters article. Here are excerpts:

Kids should stay off trampolines at home and at the playground, U.S. pediatricians urged, saying emergency departments across the country see nearly 100,000 injuries from the bouncy mats each year. The new statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updates recommendations from 1999, which caused manufacturers to add safety features to the products in an attempt to mitigate the risks. However, these measures may “provide a false sense of security,” according to the group.

“As best we can tell, the addition of safety nets and padding has actually not changed the injuries we have seen,” said Dr. Susannah Briskin, a sports medicine specialist who helped draft the new statement.

It’s estimated that the number of trampoline injuries nationwide has been dropping – from 111,851 cases treated at ERs in 2004, to 97,908 in 2009. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the devices have become any less dangerous, Briskin told Reuters Health. “Even though there has been a decrease in injuries,” she said, “I caution people against taking that too literally because the number of trampolines has also decreased.”

Mark Publicover, founder and president of JumpSport Inc, a trampoline manufacturer in San Jose, California, scoffed at the AAP’s recommendations.

He said he invented a safety net that encircles the trampoline and cuts the number of injuries by half. And, he added, if parents ban trampolines, their children might start climbing trees, using swings or skateboards, for instance.

“If you look at all those activities, a safety-enclosed trampoline is safer by hours of use,” Publicover told Reuters Health. “When they say, ‘Don’t use trampolines with a safety enclosure,’ they are going to increase the number of injuries.”

According to the new statement, published in the journal Pediatrics, three-quarters of injuries happen when more than one person are jumping at the same time, often when a small kid is bouncing with a heavier playmate. The impact of the bigger kid will thrust the smaller one high into the air, upping the chances of a rough landing, particularly if the kid comes down at an awkward point.

“Most of the injuries actually occur on the mat itself,” said Briskin, adding that she sees a lot of ankles sprains and fractures in her clinic, especially the young kids.

“Not everything has complete recovery,” said Briskin. “Head and neck injuries make up 10 to 15 percent of all injuries and those are the injuries that carry the greatest risk of leading to catastrophic damage.”

About one in 200 trampoline injuries lead to permanent neurologic damage, according to the AAP, and such accidents are often caused by botched somersaults or flips.

For parents who are unwilling to stop their kids from using trampolines, the AAP offers a number of tips to make the activity safer.

Those steps include checking that your insurance policy covers trampoline-related claims; using the mat one at a time, having effective padding around springs and frame, placing the trampoline on level ground, avoiding somersaults and flips and actively supervising kids.

The new statement is in line with advice from other medical societies, which also discourage recreational use of trampolines.

SOURCE: bit.ly/PQQMAp Pediatrics.

After the Fact: How to Respond when Someone Sues You Long After Your Involvement in a Car Accident


After the Fact - How to Respond when Someone Sues You Long After Your Involvement in a Car Accident

 

Photo credit: bills.com.

It’s every driver’s worst nightmare: months or even years after a car accident, you receive a letter in the mail informing you that you are being sued for damages or injuries. Don’t panic; as the defendant, the legal system will generally work in your favor. The first step to handling this situation properly is to contact your insurance company. As frustrating as it is to be in this situation, the key to winning this type of case is to proceed carefully and gather important information that will help you come out on top. Read on to learn a few helpful methods to keep you from getting cheated in your case.

Check the Statute of Limitations for your State

Each state has a different statute of limitations when it comes to personal injury claims. For most states, this is around two to three years. If the individual attempting to sue you has exceeded the statute of limitations on their claim, chances are that their case will get thrown out of court barring extreme mitigating circumstances. It’s helpful to consult with an insurance specialist to get sound advice on the statute of limitations for your particular state.

Consult an Independent Attorney

Even if your insurance company is providing you legal counsel, it’s may be best to get a second opinion. In many cases, insurance companies aren’t completely aligned with the interests of their clients, especially in the case of car accidents that they feel fall outside of their coverage. Even outside of such circumstances, a second pair of eyes is always appreciated, and can shore up critical weaknesses in your case. Having an attorney that is independent from your insurance company will ensure that you have someone looking out for your best interests, and provide you with legal help if you do in fact have to appear in court.

Research the Litigant

Do some basic research on the person suing you, and if possible, their lawyers. In particular, look out for posts on their social media profiles that contradict the statement that they gave you; this may prove to be court admissible evidence. All such information should be saved, if possible, and given to your attorney without notifying the individual or anyone else. Any information you can gather on the litigant can give you an advantage in court and provide you with helpful evidence as well.

Don’t Be Misled

Disingenuous personal injury lawyers might bring up the possibility of jail time in an attempt to reach a quick settlement. However, as a private litigant involved in a private legal dispute, the state cannot impose incarceration upon you, even in the case of driving under the influence or other crimes. This is why it is important for you to have legal representation—they can explain any claims that the litigant or their lawyers make against you, and help you understand what is truly going on, and which claims actually hold weight. 

Be Willing to Settle

If everything checks out about the accuser’s case, it can be easier and less expensive for both parties to come to an agreement out of court. Even if the amount of money that they are asking for in the settlement seems high, it is likely less than the time and effort of going to court, especially if you lose the case. Being held in default of such payments can even result in the suspension of your driver’s license, providing another incentive to settle out of court. Your attorney can give you a good idea of when you should throw in the towel, and when you should keep fighting. Even if you are being wrongly accused, sometimes the price of going to court (and losing) isn’t worth the fight.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where many people look for easy ways to get money, and target innocent people in the process. If you find yourself involved in a lawsuit long after your involvement in a car accident, get legal help and proceed with caution. Information for this article was provided by the legal experts at Gittens & Associates who specialize in personal injury cases in Newfoundland.

This article is from Ms. Dixie Somers, a freelance writer who loves writing for business, finance, women’s interests, and technology. Dixie lives in Arizona with her husband and three beautiful daughters.

Women Seek Support From Texas in Battle Over Pelvic Mesh Implants


The Texas Tribune, in partnership with Kaiser Health News, covers the controversy surrounding use of pelvic mesh implants by women, noting that in Texas, “a coalition of ‘pelvic mesh survivors’ has asked Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is also the state’s Republican nominee for governor, to pursue legal action against Johnson & Johnson, one of the largest implant makers.” The paper noted that Texas women have also filed numerous lawsuits against mesh manufacturers in Federal courts across the US. The women allege the pelvic mesh implants were associated with “severe complications, including extreme pain, bleeding and infections.”

From the news release of the American Association for Justice.

Can You Afford to Sue for Personal Injury?


Personaly Injury Afford

You’ve been injured through someone else’s actions or negligence. Now what? Your finances are struggling under the weight of medical bills or property damage. Should you pursue a lawsuit? Unless you are sure you have a good case, pursuing legal action can actually make your financial problems worse. Consider the cost of filing a case before you decide if it is worth it to pursue legal action.

Consider the Cost

Every lawyer handles their client’s fees differently, so you need to take extra care to understand exactly what your attorney’s legal fees will be.

Some lawyers are confident enough in their ability to win the cases they choose to take, and will only charge the client if the case is won. This arrangement is called a “contingency fee”: contingent on the result of the case. Some states have limitations on how much a lawyer can take as a contingency fee. The most common amount is 33% of the settlement money. If you win $30,000, for example, your lawyer will take $10,000 to cover their legal fees (source: All Law).

Contingency fees don’t always match up exactly with the amount of time a lawyer puts into a case, so they may leave either the client or the lawyer dissatisfied. For example, if you win a large amount of settlement money, the percentage your lawyer is awarded may be more than enough to cover the costs. On the other hand, if the case takes a long time to resolve or doesn’t result in a high settlement, the lawyer may end up being underpaid.

Consider the Time

Pursuing a personal injury lawsuit doesn’t only take money from your wallet; it can also takes quite a long time. And you know what they say: “Time is money!” Every state has their own “statute of limitations” that dictates how long after the injury you have to sue the guilty party—many states say you have a year to sue, while others have shorter or longer limitations (source: Nolo).

Most personal injury cases can be settled outside of a court hearing. In these cases, the process is much shorter and easier to manage. Talk to your lawyer about how much time and effort you will need to put in to the case, and discuss whether or not he thinks the defendant will want to settle outside of a courtroom.

Consider the Outcome

If the party you are suing does not want to settle the case outside of court, then you will both appear in front of a judge and jury. When that happens, the outcome of your case will be in the court’s hands. If you are confident in your case and think you can convince a judge and a jury to agree with you, then pursuing a lawsuit may be worth it. If you don’t think a jury would agree with you, however, save time and money by not taking legal action.

If you don’t know what kind of outcome your case will have, ask a lawyer. Some law firms charge a small fee for an initial case review, but many offer a free initial consultation.

Even if you win a lawsuit, you cannot undo any damage or injury you suffered. If the settlement money would be worth the time and the expense of building a case and would improve your situation, then proceed with the case. If not, it’s in your best interests to let it go without pursuing legal action.

*Information Source: Torbet & Tuft

This article is from Meghan Belnap, blogger, researcher, and freelance writer.

Reducing Automaker Liability Risk in Driverless Car Accidents Advised


In the National Journal, Alex Brown reports that “by almost any estimate,” automated cars “will save thousands of lives” but the question of who is to be held responsible if a crash occurs remains. Brown says that litigation risks “could slow the movement of driverless cars to the mass market.” He suggests one option is a “payout fund…to compensate victims of driverless car accidents.” Brown says that subsidies to help the industry launch could include money to seed a payout fund. He concludes that automakers will carry uneven risk of liability lawsuits and says, “some form of straightening that out might make sense.”

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Injured On Vacation? Four Things To Remember If You’re Hurt Abroad


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When traveling to a foreign country, you probably have more exciting things on your mind than the possibility of being injured. The truth is, you can get injured anywhere, and many popular tourist activities are inherently a little bit dangerous. For example, most scenic destinations insist that their countryside is too beautiful to be seen from the road; they’ll suggest taking a bicycle tour, hiking through wilderness, and zip-lining above a canopy of trees. While these are all brilliant ideas for the athletic tourist, companies that provide these attractions do not assume liability for any injuries that may occur. If you do become injured, keep these four things in mind while seeking treatment.

1. Always buy travel insurance

Travelers are often tempted to opt out of travel insurance to save some money on an already expensive trip. Keep in mind that you are running a risk by not purchasing a policy; your domestic healthcare insurance may not cover you once you leave the country. All medical costs incurred from an overseas injury may have to come straight out of your own pocket. The purpose of a travel insurance policy is to cover any medical treatments necessary to getting you healthy enough to fly home. Depending on your policy, it may also cover additional travel expenses if things like ground assistance become necessary. Sometimes, they will even pay for you to travel to a different hospital or city if you feel they are more trusted than the city in which you are injured.

2. Keep track of all receipts and reports

Whether you’ve thought ahead enough to purchase travel insurance or not, it is important to keep all of your receipts, medical records, police reports, and medical reports. This will help you sort out what can or cannot be reimbursed once you’re back home. If you have any hope of speaking with an attorney, these records will be extremely important to your case. It will also help your medical treatment transition much more smoothly. X-rays and other diagnostics are especially important to avoid having them performed twice. Additionally, you may be able to file a claim through your domestic insurance with the proper paperwork.

3. Contact your country’s embassy if you need help

Embassies exist for this very purpose. If you are injured, assaulted, or get into any kind of trouble in a foreign country, your embassy will try to assist you in any way possible. If you are caught without insurance and without money, the embassy may be able to find funding for you to pursue medical treatment.

4. Once you are home, speak with an attorney

It is hard to trust medical facilities in a foreign country. It is even harder to trust foreign individuals who have been involved in your accident. Most people will do whatever they can to avoid paying for someone else’s medical treatment. HarronLaw.com has said whether you think you have a case or not, speaking with an attorney who is familiar with overseas laws and statutes will help you get the treatment and reimbursement necessary to your injury. Attorneys know more about overseas law than we could ever hope to and may be able to find you more money than you had thought possible. Even the smallest possibility of reimbursement should be pursued.

Traveling abroad should be a fun and exciting time of stress-free relaxation. Becoming injured in a foreign country is a nightmare. Unfortunately, these things sometimes happen. If this happens to you, keep in mind these four tips, and you will be much better off. Do your diligence to get back into good health as soon as possible. Most importantly, stay safe out there.

This article is from Chaleigh Glass. Chaleigh is a freelance writer and photographer who lives in the amazing city of New York. When she isn’t writing Chaleigh loves to travel and explore all that the big city has to offer.

Surgical Students Less Prepared After Work Hour Restrictions Were Put in Place


This is a little disturbing — do we have to choose between sleep-deprived surgeons or under-prepared surgeons?

Reuters reports a new analysis found that surgeons in training have had fewer opportunities to participate in operations since restrictions on working hours were put in place by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in July 2011. The study, published in JAMA Surgery, compared case logs of 52 interns working under the new restrictions to the case logs of 197 interns from the four years prior to the new restrictions. The interns under the new restrictions worked an average of 66 operations, compared to the previous interns average of 89 operations; participation in operations assisting experienced surgeons and major cases also went down. Experts are concerned the reduced number of operations interns participate in leaves them unprepared as they continue their training.

From the American Association for Justice news release.

Friday Fun


There’s nothing funny about this video, but it’s a great, visually beautiful endorsement of wearing seat belts.

From Test Drives to Tickets: Prepare Your Teen For the Road Ahead


Young female driver holding a key

Being the parent of a new driver can be nerve wracking enough; reading up on the statistics involving young drivers and car crashes can make parents want to wrap their teen in bubble wrap and hand them a bus pass. As the Centers for Disease Control notes, car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers, leading to about 2,800 fatalities every year.

Fortunately, there are plenty of things proactive parents can do to help prevent their children from being part of these grim statistics, and none of them involve bubble wrap. The following tips can help prepare a teen to be a safe driver:

Practice, practice, practice

As often as possible, let your new driver get some driving practice. As the National Safety Council notes, the more hours he or she logs behind the wheel, the better off your teen will be. In addition to more formal driving lessons when you take your teen out to specific places — like driving on the freeway for the first time or learning how to maneuver the tight drive-thru window at Taco Bell — routinely ask your child to drive around town on simple errands. Try to shoot for at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised practice during the first six months your teen has his or her license.

Car maintenance 101

In order to be a safe driver, teens need to understand how a car works and how to take care of some minor repairs. Take some time to explain the safety features the car has, any warning signals he or she may hear in certain conditions, and what to do in case of a tire blowout. Discuss how to determine if the tires are filled with enough air, how to change a flat tire, what a tires with low tread looks like and when to replace old tires for safer driving.

Establish some basic rules

Because the risk of a car crash rises when teens drive with friends in the car, parents should be sure they are following their state’s teen driving rules and regulations. If your state does not have a law regarding teen passengers, then feel free to set one yourself. For example, you could allow your teen to take one trusted friend in the car or just drive places alone for the first six months to a year of having a license.

Parents also need to establish clear curfews and other rules for driving; these can range from being home before dark to allowing them to go a certain distance from home or maybe just on surface streets and not freeways. Then, once you have established your rules, notes Drive it HOME, let other parents of teens know about them. While your teen might protest, claiming that this will cause him or her to die of embarrassment, reassure your new driver that you want to be sure all of your parent friends are aware of your rules, so they can help enforce them, too.

Be aware that teens are watching you — always

When you are behind the wheel and your teen is along for the ride, be cognizant of the fact that your son or daughter is closely watching you to see what you are doing. If you want your teen to follow the speed limit, don’t be a lead foot. Check your blind spots when changing lanes, use your blinkers, and don’t tailgate. Although it might seem like that ear bud-wearing teen passenger is more interested in his or her phone than you, they are definitely still paying attention.

This article is from Karen Holbrooke, a teen safety expert, auto tech blogger, and mother of two.

Next Privacy Battle May Be Waged Inside Your Car


While we all worry about what information the NSA is gathering from our computers and cell phones, there may another information-gathering source inside our vehicles.

This disturbing possibility was the subject of a good, but lengthy, article recently in Economic Times. The article is well worth reading. Here are the opening paragraphs:

Cars are becoming smarter than ever, with global positioning systems, Internet connections, data recorders and high-definition cameras. Drivers can barely make a left turn, put on their seatbelts or push 80 mph without their actions somehow, somewhere being tracked or recorded.

Automakers say they are only responding to consumer demand, and besides, they and regulators say, the new technologies help them better understand consumers and make the cars safer. But privacy advocates increasingly see something more unsettling for drivers: Someone is always watching.