Malpractice & Vehicle Accident & legal glossary 3/26/2020 – gtg

Medical Errors | Pharmaceutical Negligence | Misdiagnosis | Defective Drugs | Birth Trauma

Modern medicine has become highly specialized. Advances in medical technology often make it increasingly difficult for the average patient to assess a doctor’s recommendations for medicine, treatments, and therapy, then evaluate the quality of care they receive.

The medical profession upholds a standard of care that healthcare practitioners are obligated to meet. When doctors, nurses, chiropractors, and other healthcare professionals fail to meet industry standards, they are subject to allegations of medical malpractice.

What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is an area of personal injury law that covers any injury or harm a patient suffers because a doctor, nurse, psychologist, or other medical practitioner failed to perform his duties according to acceptable medical practices.

Medical malpractice occurs when a negligent act or omission by a medical professional results in damage or harm to a patient; and laws governing medical negligence or liability are designed to protect patients’ rights to pursue compensation if they are injured.

Liability for medical malpractice can arise from:

A delay or failure in diagnosing a disease
A surgical or anesthesia-related mishap occurs during an operative procedure
A doctor’s failure to gain informed consent from a patient for an operation or surgical procedure
A physician making a correct diagnosis, but failing to properly treat the injury or illness
An incorrect prescription
Improper drug prescription for, or surgical insertion of, a medical device or implant

A medical malpractice case can be filed against:

The doctor, if his actions deviated from generally accepted standards of practice
The hospital, for problems such as improper care, inadequate training, poor sanitation, or dispensing of incorrect medications.
Local, state or federal agencies that operate hospital facilities

As with all personal injury cases, state law limits the time during which legal action must take place. Lawsuits filed against healthcare providers must be filed within two years of the date that the act causing the injury occurred. Children under 18 must file a medical malpractice action by their 20th birthday.

In order to evaluate if you have been a victim of medical negligence, you will need an experienced lawyer particularly skilled in representing medical malpractice cases.

The experience of our Law Office enables us to effectively handle medical malpractice claims. Our firm has access to private investigators and medically trained expert witnesses who can assess medical malpractice cases and determine if the harm you suffered was created by the medical professional’s negligence.

Contact Us for Legal Help
If you believe you have a medical malpractice claim, it is important to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to help you determine your best options. When you need legal advice and guidance regarding medical negligence, please contact our office to take advantage of our no cost, no-obligation case evaluation and learn how we can help.

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Trucking accidents pose slightly different issues than auto accidents. A fully loaded tractor-trailer can weigh as much as 80,000 pounds. Because the majority of tractor-trailers travel on interstate highways, at high speeds, with vehicles such as your car or SUV that are significantly smaller, a car-truck accident typically involves more damage, more serious injuries and a greater likelihood of permanent disability or death. Given the great disparity of size and weight, collisions between an 18-wheeler and the average passenger car, truck, or SUV result in a high incidence of serious injuries and death. Additionally, many of the larger trucking companies are self-insured, meaning they are much more reluctant to discuss fair settlement offers because the money is coming out of their own pocket, not from an insurance company.

When tractor-trailer accidents occur, trucking company representatives frequently arrive at the scene shortly after the crash, and start gathering evidence to protect the interests of their company. Company representatives will debrief the truck driver. The truck will be retrieved by the company; its data recorders will be “reset” and global tracking devices will be cleared or erased so that crucial evidence such as truck speed, braking, and hours of operation prior to the crash are lost.

If you are involved in an accident, trucking company or insurance representatives may try to get you to give them a statement, which they typically record. Other than providing an investigating law enforcement officer with the required information, such as your name, address, and how the accident happened, do not talk to anyone else, even your own insurance company, until you have consulted an attorney. Because trucking accidents typically involve multiple vehicles, more than one party may be liable for damages, and several insurance companies will be involved. Our Personal Injury Firm is experienced at unraveling the complications and chain of events leading to the accident, which include an in-depth investigation of the accident scene, obtaining witness statements, photos of the accident scene and your injuries, as well as background research on the truck driver’s driving records, travel logs, and trucking company policies. Our attorneys will take every step necessary to obtain compensation for your medical costs, rehabilitation, pain, and suffering. If you are injured or a family member dies from injuries sustained in a trucking accident, you will need an attorney experienced in trucking accident litigation to help you pursue recovery of damages for the harm you suffered.

Our Expertise
Our Firm represents clients who have been injured or who have lost a loved one in a trucking accident. With extensive experience in dealing with tractor-trailer collisions, we work to aggressively pursue the compensation our clients deserve.

For A Free Case Evaluation Call Our Office Today
We take personal injury cases on a contingency basis, which means you do not owe us a fee, unless we recover damages on your behalf. Feel free to call to schedule an appointment for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss how our experience in personal injury law can benefit you. If your injuries prevent you from traveling, home and hospital visits are available.

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Legal Terms – Glossary

acquittal – What an accused criminal defendant receives if he/she is found not guilty. It is a verdict (a judgment in a criminal case) of not guilty.
arraignment – To bring a criminal defendant before the court, at which time the charges are presented to him/her, the opportunity to enter a plea is given, a determination of whether the party has a lawyer is made (or whether a lawyer needs to be appointed), if necessary set the amount of bail, and future appearances are scheduled.
arrest – To take or hold a suspected criminal with legal authority, as by a law enforcement officer.
bail – The money or bond put up to secure the release of a person who has been charged with a crime. The theory is that bail guarantees the appearance of the defendant in court when required.

booking – Procedure at a jail or police station following an arrest in which information about the arrest (as the time, the name of the arrested person, and the crime for which the arrest was made) is entered in the police register.

change of venue – The transfer of a case from one county or jurisdiction to another for trial.

circumstantial evidence – Evidence in a trial that is not directly from an eyewitness or participant and requires some reasoning to prove a fact.

complaint – The first document filed with the court (actually with the County Clerk or Clerk of the Court) by a person or entity claiming legal rights against another.

concurrent – “Concurrent sentences,” in which the prison time for more than one crime is served at the same time and only lasts as long as the longest term.

consecutive – “Consecutive sentences,” in which the terms for several crimes are served one after another.

conviction – The result of a criminal trial in which the defendant has been found guilty of a crime.

crime – A violation of a law in which there is injury to the public or a member of the public and a term in jail or prison, and/or a fine as possible penalties.

cross-examination – The opportunity for the attorney (or an unrepresented party) to ask questions in court of a witness who has testified in a trial on behalf of the opposing party.

defendant – The party sued in a civil lawsuit or the party charged with a crime in a criminal prosecution.

defense attorney – The attorney representing the defendant in a lawsuit or criminal prosecution.

deposition – The taking and recording of testimony of a witness under oath before a court reporter in a place away from the courtroom before trial.

direct examination – The first questioning of a witness during a trial or deposition.

disposition – The court’s final determination of a lawsuit or criminal charge.

duces tecum (dooh-kess-take-uhm) – A court order requiring a witness to bring documents in the possession or under the control of the witness to a certain place at a certain time. Failure to respond to a subpoena duces tecum may subject the party served with the subpoena to punishment for contempt of court for disobeying a court order.

evidence – Every type of proof legally presented at trial (allowed by the judge) which is intended to convince the judge and/or jury of alleged facts material to the case. It can include oral testimony of witnesses, including experts on technical matters, documents, public records, objects, photographs, and depositions (testimony under oath taken before trial). It also includes so-called “circumstantial evidence” which is intended to create belief by showing surrounding circumstances that logically lead to a conclusion of fact.

exclusionary rule – The rule that excludes, from the trial of the accused, evidence illegally seized or obtained.

felony – A crime sufficiently serious to be punishable by death or a term in state or federal prison.

grand jury – A jury, usually composed of from twelve to twenty-three members, that determines whether or not a suspect should be charged with an offense.

hearsay – Second-hand evidence in which the witness is not telling what he/she knows personally, but what others have said to him/her.

indictment – A written accusation filed against the defendant, voted on by a Grand Jury based upon a proposed charge, witnesses’ testimony and other evidence presented by the prosecutor and signed by the Grand Jury Foreperson. To bring an indictment the Grand Jury will not find guilt, but only the probability that a crime was committed, that the accused person did it and that he/she should be tried.

information – An accusation or criminal charge brought by the prosecutor without a Grand Jury indictment. This “information” must state the alleged crimes in writing and must be delivered to the defendant at the first court appearance (arraignment).

misdemeanor – A lesser crime punishable by a fine and/or county jail time for up to one year. Misdemeanors are distinguished from felonies, which can be punished by a state or federal prison term. They are tried in the lowest local court such as municipal, police or justice courts.

motion for mistrial – A motion filed by the defense seeking dismissal of the charges because of improper conduct on the part of the prosecution, judge, jury, or witnesses during a trial.

parole – The release of a convicted criminal defendant from imprisonment, but not from legal custody, for rehabilitation outside of prison under such conditions and provisions for supervision as the Board of Probation and Parole may determine. Parole is an administrative act and follows incarceration.

plea bargaining – In criminal procedure, a negotiation between the defendant and his attorney on one side and the prosecutor on the other, in which the defendant agrees to plead “guilty” or “no contest” to some crimes, in return for reduction of the severity of the charges, dismissal of some of the charges, the prosecutor’s willingness to recommend a particular sentence or some other benefit to the defendant.

plea of guilty – An admission of guilty in open court.

preliminary hearing – In criminal law, a hearing to determine if a person charged with a felony, should be tried for the crime charged, based on whether there is some substantial evidence that he/she committed the crime.

pre-sentence investigation (SAR) – A report prepared by the Board of Probation and Parole detailing the facts of the offense, the defendant’s prior record, social history, and other pertinent information to assist the court in sentencing the defendant.

probable cause – Sufficient reason based upon known facts to believe a crime has been committed or that certain property is connected with a crime.

probation – A chance to remain free (or serve only a short time) given by a judge to a person convicted of a crime instead of being sent to jail or prison. Probation is only given under specific court-ordered terms, such as performing public service work, staying away from liquor, paying a fine, maintaining good behavior, getting mental therapy, and reporting regularly to a probation officer. Violation of probation terms may result in the person being subjected to the original sentence disposition.

prosecutor – Generic term for the government’s attorney in a criminal case, including Prosecuting Attorney, District Attorney, States Attorney, U.S. Attorney, Attorney General, Solicitor General, or special prosecutor.

public defender – An elected or appointed public official (usually of a county), who is an attorney regularly assigned by the courts to defend people accused of crimes who cannot afford a private attorney.

release on own recognizance (ROR) – The basis for a judge allowing a person accused of a crime to be free while awaiting trial, without posting bail, on the defendant’s own promise to appear and his/her reputation.

sentence – The punishment given to a person convicted of a crime. A sentence is ordered by the judge, based on the verdict of the jury (or the judge’s decision if there is no jury) within the possible punishments set by state law).

subpoena – An order of the court for a witness to appear at a particular time and place to testify and/or produce documents in the control of the witness (if a “subpoena duces tecum failure to appear as required by the subpoena can be punished as contempt of court if it appears the absence was intentional or without cause.

summons – An official order notifying the person named that she/he is required to appear in court on a day named and answer the complaint stated in the summons.

suspended execution of sentence – A disposition where the defendant receives an actual sentence for a specific period of incarceration or fine, but is placed on probation for a period of time generally with special conditions, in lieu of serving the sentence. Violations of any of the conditions of probation may result in the defendant’s sentence being ordered served.

suspended imposition of sentence – A disposition where the defendant does not receive an actual sentence for a specific period of incarceration or fine, but is placed on probation for a period of time generally with special conditions, in lieu of serving the sentence. Violations of any of the conditions of probation may result in the court imposing a sentence on the defendant and ordering it served.

verdict – The decision of a jury or judge after a trial.

voir dire – The questioning of prospective jurors by a judge and attorneys in court. Voir dire is used to determine if any juror is biased and/or cannot deal with the issues fairly, or if there is cause not to allow a juror to serve (knowledge of the facts; acquaintanceship with parties, witnesses or attorneys; an occupation which might lead to bias; prejudice against the death penalty; or previous experiences such as having been sued in a similar case.

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We are a network of personal injury attorneys who represent victims of serious motorcycle accidents. Several of our lawyers are experienced motorcycle riders and know the unique perils and prejudices facing each motorcycle driver. We know that there is a high incidence of people pulling out in front of motorcycles without regard to their safety. At times motorcycles seem to be unnoticed until an accident occurs. This year thousands of Americans will be injured in motorcycle accidents caused by someone else’s negligence. Serious motorcycle accident injuries account for a disproportionately high percentage of all accidents on the road.

Many of these victims will need medical attention, and lose time on their jobs. Others will experience financial hardships as insurance companies fail to cover medical and lost wage on most motorcycle riders. Some injuries will be permanent, debilitating injuries. For some motorcycle accident injury victims, the future medical prognosis and employment status will be clouded by traumatic brain injury or a closed head injury.

Whether you are a passenger or a motorcycle driver, we can help you get fully compensated for your personal injuries. For years our attorneys have successfully handled motorcycle accident claims and recovered millions of dollars for clients. We have access to the best motorcycle accident experts to prove your injury claim.. Knowledge of what to do at the scene and immediately after the accident can make a huge difference and greatly improve your likelihood of a successful financial recovery. If you or someone you know has been in a motorcycle accident, we also offer free online consultation . We can help you. Put us on your side.

Don’t forget to check out our motorcycle accident links. Please contact us to ask a lawyer about your rights to injury compensation. Thank you for visiting the Car Accident Lawyers Network.

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Thousands of Americans will be injured in car crash accidents this year. Many of these victims will need medical attention. Other car crash victims will experience financial hardships as they wait for insurance companies to reimburse lost wages and mounting medical expenses.

Some car crash injuries will be permanent, debilitating injuries. The average car crash victim trying to settle a claim is overmatched by the highly trained insurance adjuster and will receive much less than attorney-assisted recoveries for car accident injuries.

Whether you are a pedestrian, a passenger, or a car operator, our car crash lawyer referral network can help you get adequate compensation for your personal injuries. Our national network of experienced car and motorcycle crash attorneys know the complexities of insurance laws and will obtain for you every available benefit that the car insurance policy provides. Our car crash lawyers are familiar with all aspects of bodily injury claims and know how to prepare your case to maximize your financial recovery.

We will promptly investigate and determine the amount of insurance of the person who caused the car crash. Our lawyers have successfully handled hundreds of car and truck accident claims and recovered millions of dollars for our clients. Our network attorneys have experience and expertise in processing medical and wage claims for you.

Whether you were in a car accident caused by a drunk driver or someone talking on a cell phone who was not paying attention, we will promptly gather information to help establish liability on your behalf. Our lawyers have access to the best car accident reconstruction experts in the country.

We can help you. Put us on your side. Contact us to find out how to increase the value of your serious car accident case.

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When someone hurts you through recklessness or negligence, you may be entitled to compensation, per personal injury laws. Our Law Firm will help in this regard, so that you can protect yourself and seek relief.

Our attorneys handle personal injury cases of all sorts, including vehicle wrecks, slip and fall accidents and dog bites. The basis of these cases is that a person seeks damages when an individual, company, or organization causes or contributes to their harm. Our role in this process is to prove negligence, in accordance with personal injury laws.

When taking your case to court, the focus is on ensuring that you receive monetary compensation for your injury and damages. To do this, Our Law Office will try to prove liability by the defendant. While the majority of personal injury cases are settled outside of court, as experienced litigation attorneys, we will represent you in court, should the parties fail to reach an agreement.

If you need help with a Personal Injury Case, please contact our office for a free consultation.

Wrongful Death Cases

Wrongful death cases are those in which a person’s life is taken, due to an accident or the negligence of someone else. The compensation garnered from these cases can pay for funeral expenses, loss of potential income, pain and suffering and other types of situations. Our Law Firm can try these cases on behalf of the surviving family.

Car Accidents

Vehicle wrecks are some of the most common personal injury cases taken to court. When trying these cases, attorneys must prove that the other driver was responsible for the wreck. In these situations, it’s best to seek the help of our attorneys so that we can help protect your interests. We will acquire and review police reports and accident records, comb through the statements of witnesses and gather all relevant information needed to prove that you were not responsible for the accident, and you should be compensated for your injury and damages, if any.

Dog Bites

When a person owns a dog, they are responsible for making sure the dog behaves and doesn’t cause harm to another individual. If the dog leaves the physical custody of the owner and bites another person, the owner might be responsible for paying for any damages suffered. However, though many people feel that the dog owner is always responsible, this may not be the case. Get in touch with our office to learn more about proving fault in dog bite cases.

Slip and Fall Cases

A substantial number of personal injury cases result from slip and falls. When a person is walking on a surface that is slippery, damaged or otherwise not stable and is injured, he or she may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages.

If you need help with a slip and fall case, please contact our office for a free consultation.

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Auto accidents, though unfortunate, are pretty common. It is often opined that the term accident is not quite appropriate as over ninety percent of auto accidents are caused by negligence on the part of the drivers. The severity of auto accidents determine the legal consequences that are to follow subsequently. All the common law jurisdictions impose some sort of requirement that the parties involved in any collision/accident must stop at the scene even though the collision may involve only stationary property. The parties concerned are to stop at the scene and exchange insurance or identification information or summon the police. The failure to comply with such requirements leads to the incident being termed as hit and run and is a criminal offense.

It may be noted that most car claims are settled without involving an attorney. The parties involved in an auto accident can be facing criminal liability or civil liability or even both. The state may also start a prosecution in certain cases like when someone is severely injured or killed or when one of the drivers involved has been proven beyond doubt to be grossly negligent or intoxicated or impaired otherwise during the occurrence of the auto accident.

The right course of action in keeping with legal safeguards should be-

o Staying at the scene of the auto accident until the police confirms that you can leave the scene. Leaving the scene of an accident beforehand may affect the driver’s license sanctions and even lead to criminal charges being framed.

o If some person(s) were injured as a result of the auto accident, then you may try and help if you are trained in administering first aid. However, the injured person must not be moved and the police are to be called up and the accident reported together with mention of the number of people injured. This will help provide enough emergency personnel to be attending to the scene. In case the accident takes place on the roadway, then the flashers are to be turned on or flares used for warning approaching traffic of the accident.

Important information including the other driver’s name and other details are to be taken down together with details of witnesses, police officers (for facilitating and procuring of accident report), location of place of accident, and events leading to the auto accident. You should be careful not to admit fault or liability as there may be factors you are unaware of that have led to the accident being caused. It may become quite evident that the other driver or person concerned was actually more at fault.

It is to be remembered that it is unnecessary to make statements to any person at the auto accident scene. Statements are to be made only to the police. Simply relating the facts to the police will be enough as they can draw their own conclusions from the facts that become apparent.

It is crucial to seek medical care and attention as soon as possible. It is important that you immediately obtain medical care from doctors, otherwise, you may not be able to obtain benefits for your injuries.

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Vehicle accidents are common and these can happen to all drivers, so pretty much all people who place themselves behind the wheel have grown to take this risk. There are basic requirements that need to be addressed when a car accident happens and these are not affected by either the presence or the absence of injuries. Court cases in relation to vehicular articles are best handled by lawyers who have taken the time to study the ins and outs of accident law.

A car accident law exists in order to help people address the possible concerns or issues that can arise from the onset of vehicle accidents. Even cautious drivers themselves can be placed in the middle of a vehicle accident. The article below contains a series of steps that any person can use when this accident happens whether he or she is simply the witness or the driver.

Car accident law specifies that anybody who finds themselves involved in a car accident should not go anywhere without the permission of proper authorities that are present at the site. This is very important especially when the driver gets involved in an accident resulting in substantial property damage. Leaving or fleeing from the scene of an accident can easily get punished by suspension of the driver’s license or even lead to criminal charges.

Car accident law also pertains to the safeguarding of the injured wherein the question of who is at fault for the accident should temporarily be set aside. First aid should be given to any injured person involved in an accident and as much as possible they should not be moved until the proper medical team arrives. In addition, if the driver is unable to do so then someone should immediately report the accident to the police.

Car accident law mentions that there are accidents that lead to a series of injuries to the people involved thus there is a need for people assisting in the accident to know if any injuries have indeed occurred. Each injured individual needs proper medical attention and by telling authorities this will make sure adequate supplies are brought to the scene. Whenever a driver is in an accident while on the road, then attracting the attention of passing traffic using flashers, flares or other similar devices is essential.

For any kind of vehicle accident, car accident law tells about how people should be mindful of the events that occurred. It is necessary to have information pertaining to a driver’s personal data plus the license plate number and insurance policies. Drivers should be mindful of other people who might have seen the incident happen as well as the authorities who assisted later on.

According to car accident law, drivers should not admit fault right away as opposed to taking the blame for everything. The accident may easily be attributed to a different cause far from the actions done by the driver of the vehicle. Do not make any statement to anyone on the scene but the police and allow them to draw their conclusions with the facts provided in the testimony.

It is necessary to address car accident injuries with urgency regardless of the details of the accident that ensued. When a person attains medical assistance after a car accident he or she can rest assured that a comprehensive insurance policy should shoulder their medical expenses given that they do have insurance. Even more, a person cannot expect to change the decision of an independent insurance company with the accident law.

The car accident law advises people to get insurance for instances such as these. A driver who does not seek immediate medical help might have no case against another driver when the concern of injuries takes them to court. If a driver follows this advice he or she shouldn’t have any problems with the law or insurance companies.

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“Should I hire an attorney after I’ve been in a car accident?”

One of the emotions most people describe after they’ve been in a car accident is confusion. They don’t know what they should do, they’re not sure if they’ve taken the proper steps to protect themselves, and they don’t know if their case is something they should talk about with an attorney. Perhaps you can relate to these feelings and you’ve had similar thoughts. Thoughts like:

When you get hit by a car, what happens? Should you immediately call an attorney?
How long after getting hit by a car can you sue?
What kind of lawyer helps people with car accident cases?
I got hit by a car. Can I file a lawsuit?
I got hit by a car, but I only got the car’s license plate number. Is that enough?
If any of these questions sound familiar to you, you’re in the right place. In this section, we’re going to talk about the importance of contacting an attorney after you’ve been in a car accident.

Representing Yourself

At first, it might seem like it’s a good idea to represent yourself in your car accident case. After all, you’re sure that hiring a lawyer to represent you is very expensive, and you’re not prepared to pay a high price for legal help. You may even do a quick search engine search and find out everything you need to know to get started. The problem is that insurance companies rarely work well with individuals, and they often try to manipulate the situation so that they end up not being held responsible at all. It’s also a lot of work to represent yourself in a car accident case, and it’s difficult to get the quick results you desire.

Hiring an Attorney

When you work with an attorney for your case, the first thing you discover is that lawyers are not as expensive as you probably thought. Many of them work on contingency fees, which means you don’t pay anything upfront to get their services. They will meet with you for a free consultation and then if they decide to take your case, they get paid only when and if you get paid. Your attorney will immediately compile all of the information that’s necessary to put together a strong case against the insurance company, which sometimes involves doing quite a bit of legwork. It can take some time, but insurance companies tend to take attorneys seriously, so they work much faster with them than they do with individuals. Once you’re offered a settlement, your lawyer will consider it and ask you to do the same. You’ll decide together if you think it’s fair and then you’ll either accept it or reject it and ask for more. That step is difficult to do when you’re working on your own because you don’t really know what’s fair and what’s not.

A qualified car accident attorney who has worked with other clients for their car accident cases is your best bet if you want to get a fair settlement. You don’t have to fight this fight alone. Contact us and start working with a lawyer who can fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

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“I was just in a car accident and I need an attorney. What is the initial consultation going to be like?”

If you’ve recently been in a car accident and you’ve decided to hire an attorney to represent you as you pursue a settlement, your first meeting with him is what’s known as your initial consultation. That’s when you’ll talk about everything that happened and present your evidence for your case; or as much evidence as you have, anyway.

Many people are nervous about this initial meeting because they’re not sure what to expect. Perhaps you’re feeling the same way, and you have a lot of questions, such as:

How much can you get for being the victim in a car accident?
If I go to the ER after a car accident, is the bill covered?
Is hiring an attorney after a car accident really necessary?
I hurt my back in a car accident. When do I get paid?
How long after a car accident can you sue?
Your initial consultation with your attorney will answer all of these questions for you, as well as some that haven’t even entered your mind right now. Let’s talk about what you can expect the first time you sit down with your lawyer.

Your Story

The very first thing your lawyer is going to want to know is your side of the story. Keep in mind that he may have had the time to contact the other driver’s insurance company to hear their side of the story; especially if you waited a long time to get in to see him. Make sure you tell him the entire truth of what happened. If you’re not certain about something that you think happened, say it. He may be able to talk to a witness who can validate what you’re saying, or he may need to find proof through another method. Give as many details as you can remember. He’ll be taking notes and he’ll want to refer back to those notes later on.

Your Documentation

Secondly, he will want to see any documentation you may have on the accident. He’ll need the police report and if you had the chance to interview any witnesses, he’ll need to see those recordings or transcripts as well. It’s important to bring your medical bills and your proof of your loss of income to this first meeting too. If your lawyer needs any additional supporting documentation, he’ll ask you for it. He may even obtain it himself if he thinks he can do it a little easier than you can. The more documentation you can give him, the more evidence he’ll have to support your case.

The Plan

When you leave, your lawyer will decide whether or not he’s going to take your case. In most instances, lawyers are eager to take on car accident cases when the victim is clearly not at fault. Most likely, he will agree to work with you. He’ll let you know when he’d like to talk with you again, and he’ll give you an idea of what his next moves are. You may even get a sample car accident timeline so that you can tell what to expect in the coming weeks or months as he works on your case.

The Follow-Up

Once some time has passed and your lawyer has heard back from the insurance company, he may ask you to come in and talk about their proposed settlement. Be prepared. It might not be a number you’re happy with, and your lawyer might not be happy with it either. However, it’s his duty to let you know what they have offered to you. Together you’ll decide whether to accept it or to reject it and ask for additional money.

When you meet with your lawyer the first time, you won’t have to pay him anything for the consultation. You also won’t have to pay him to start working on your case. He gets paid when and if you get paid.

If you’ve been in a car accident, your lawyer will fight hard to get you the compensation you deserve. If you’d like more information about how an attorney can help you, please contact us.

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“Do I need to hire a lawyer after a car accident, or can I represent myself and still get a good settlement?”

When you think about hiring a lawyer after you’ve been in a car accident, the first thing that probably comes to your mind is feeling concerned about the cost. You certainly don’t have a lot of money to pay for an expensive attorney, and your injuries and the damage that has been done to your car should be evidence enough to bring you a settlement, right?

Perhaps you’re thinking:

My car accident wasn’t that bad, but I was injured a little. Do I need a lawyer?
I feel fine after my car accident. Is it really necessary to hire an attorney?
What can a lawyer do for me after my car accident?
I can’t afford a car accident lawyer. Is representing myself an alternative?
Will I get a car accident settlement if I act as my own lawyer?
These questions are all very typical for someone in your situation. In this section, we’re going to talk a little bit about what you’ll experience if you decide to represent yourself versus what you’ll experience if you hire a lawyer for your car accident case.

Representing Yourself

You were pretty busy before you got into your car accident, but now that you’ve been injured, you have even more on your plate. You also have fewer resources to accomplish everything you need to do. You may have had to take some time off from work, so you’re missing out on some much-needed income. You probably don’t have a vehicle either, which places a huge burden on you and on your family. Representing yourself in your car accident case is an even bigger burden because it will be up to you to prove why you deserve a settlement. Insurance companies often take advantage of people who represent themselves in car accident cases because they know that you don’t know everything there is to know about the law. You might not realize that you qualify for money for pain and suffering, or you might not know you can get money to compensate you because you were unable to accept a new position at work due to your injuries. These are only a few of the details that go into creating your car accident settlement, and if you’re not aware of them or if you don’t ask for them, you lose out on that money. It’s also much easier for insurance companies to manipulate individuals into accepting the blame for an accident that wasn’t their fault. If you do that, you won’t get a settlement at all.

Hiring a Lawyer

Hiring a lawyer offers you every possible advantage you can think of for your car accident case. Your lawyer will take over your case and make sure you have a strong position to fight for a fair settlement. He will compile all of the evidence and even do extra work to get more information if it’s necessary. Your lawyer will work very hard on your behalf, and he only gets paid when and if you get a settlement. That means you won’t have to pay him any money upfront.

It is certainly in your best interest to hire a lawyer for your car accident case. Doing so gives you the best chance of getting a fair settlement. If you would like to talk with a lawyer about your case, please contact us.

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“Do I really need a lawyer to represent me in my car accident case?”

In your opinion, your car accident case is really kind of cut and dried. Yes, you were injured, but your injuries were fairly minor. You missed a little time from work and your car needs to be repaired. It’s not like you were forced onto disability or anything. You’re probably thinking:

Shouldn’t I be able to handle your accident case on my own?
What can a lawyer do for my car accident case that I can’t do myself?
Is hiring a lawyer for my car accident case really necessary?
I was in a car accident and I have a lot of medical bills. Should I bother hiring a lawyer?
I had a car accident a few weeks ago, but it was minor. How would a lawyer help me?
The problem is that there is so much that goes into putting together a successful car accident case that results in a fair settlement. A lawyer can facilitate all of that for you, but there are many other reasons you should choose to have a lawyer fighting for your case too.

Car Accident Law

Regardless of how much time you spend doing research on your own, you’ll never understand car accident law the way your lawyer does. That’s because he has spent time studying car accident law. He knows exactly what you’re qualified for and what you’re not qualified for. He is your best asset when it comes to getting you a settlement because every case is different. It’s impossible to believe you can find out what you need to know from a quick search on the Internet. Your case is going to be different from someone else’s case, which makes a basic overview very unhelpful at best.

Authority

The most important trait your lawyer possesses is authority, and the car insurance company you’re fighting against knows that. It’s possible that the insurance adjuster has even worked with your lawyer in the past, so they may even know what to expect when he contacts them. You need his authority just as much as you need his expertise in this field because authority translates into respect. The insurance adjuster will know that your lawyer knows what you’re entitled to and you’re not only going to see that this translates into a quicker review process for you, but it will also translate into more money for your settlement.

Experience

In addition to your lawyer’s knowledge and authority, you will also need his experience. He’s probably worked with hundreds, if not thousands of car accident cases. That means he’s seen just about everything. He knows the various pieces of the puzzle that he will need to put together to present a strong argument to the insurance company. Only experience will provide you with an excellent case that dots all of the I’s and crosses all of the t’s. You don’t want to waste time and you need his experience to get the job done.

If you’ve recently been in a car accident, you deserve justice for what happened. Whether your accident was major or minor, a lawyer can help you get the best possible settlement from the other driver’s insurance company.

If you would like to talk with a lawyer, please contact us today.

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“I have so many questions since my car accident. Who can give me the answers I need?”

When you’ve been in a car accident, it’s normal to have a myriad of questions; especially if this is your first accident and you’ve never experienced anything like this before. Fortunately, you’re in the right place to find the answers you need.

To help you, we’ve put together a list of some of the most frequently asked questions we hear regarding car accidents. Hopefully, these answers will serve as informational for you as you decide what you’re going to do after your car accident has occurred.

What should I do first after my car accident?

The first thing you should do after your car accident is call 911. You need to report the accident to the police and you or the other driver might need medical attention. If you’re physically unable to call or you don’t have your cell phone with you, perhaps a witness who saw what happened can call for you.

Should I go to the ER after a car accident?

It’s possible that the paramedics will arrive on the scene of your accident if it’s necessary. They will assess you right there to make sure you’re OK or to recommend additional treatment for you at an area hospital. If they release you, it’s still a good idea to go to the doctor or to your local emergency room for a more in-depth assessment. Some injuries don’t surface right away and your health is very important. Get the medical treatment you need before you worry about anything else.

I’ve been in a car accident and it wasn’t my fault. Can I sue?

If you’re in a car accident and it wasn’t your fault, you absolutely have the right to sue for your injuries as well as for any damage to your vehicle. If your car was totaled, you have the right to sue for car replacement. Rather than take on your own case, it’s best to contact an attorney who can help you. He will know exactly how to proceed once he hears your story and reviews the evidence for your case.

Who pays for my car repairs after an accident if I was a victim?

If you’re the victim in a car accident, it is the other driver’s insurance company’s responsibility to pay for your car repairs. You may need to get one or two estimates, but you should be able to choose the shops you go to for them. In the same way, if your car was totaled, you have the right to sue for car replacement based on the value of your car.

Do I really need to hire a lawyer for my car accident case?

Some people do handle their own car accident cases, but unfortunately, it rarely turns out well for them. That’s because they lack the knowledge and expertise they need to pursue the case correctly. A lawyer who has experience in car accident law will be your best asset in your case. He understands what needs to be done, and he knows how to go about getting you a fair settlement.

How long do I need to wait to find out about a car accident settlement?

Once you sit down with your lawyer for your initial consultation, it might take a few months for you to get a settlement, but every case is different. If yours is more complicated and you still require extensive medical treatments, it might take longer. Your lawyer will go over all of the details of your case with you so that you know what to expect for your case.

Are car accident lawyers expensive?

The best thing about hiring a car accident lawyer for your case is that you don’t have to pay anything upfront in most cases. Your lawyer will work on a contingency fee, which means he only gets paid if and when you get a settlement for your case. He will generally take a percentage of your settlement money, which will be right around 30%.

My car accident was a few months ago, but now I’m in pain. Can a lawyer help me?

Even if a few months have passed since your accident, it’s not too late to get in touch with a lawyer to talk about suing the other driver’s insurance company. In fact, this type of situation happens all the time because many people do feel fine right after an accident. However, injuries don’t often become apparent until a few weeks or months later. Contact a lawyer and get started on your case, even if it’s been a few months since the accident happened.

If I’m injured in a car accident, who pays my medical bills?

If you’re injured in a car accident case, the other driver’s insurance company is responsible for paying your medical bills. You should not need to submit anything to your insurance company, and everything should be covered 100% as a part of your settlement.

What evidence do I need for my car accident case?

You will need many different pieces of evidence for your car accident case if it’s going to be successful. You’ll need to present your lawyer with the police report, your statement of lost wages, your medical bills, and any other documentation you might have that supports your story.

These are just a few of the questions we hear most often. You might have many others, and those questions deserve answers. Your lawyer will be happy to answer all of them for you, and he’ll work hard to get you compensated for your car accident.

If you would like to connect with a car accident lawyer, please contact us.

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“I was in a car accident that wasn’t my fault…or was it?”

Determining who was at fault is a major part of any car accident case. If you’re dealing with the aftermath of a car accident yourself, then you understand how important it is to maintain your stance that the accident was not caused by you. Even so, it can be difficult to maintain that stance when the other driver’s insurance company is pressuring you to admit that you did something wrong. You might even be thinking:

I had a car accident and I don’t think I did anything wrong, but I’m not sure.
I was hurt in a car accident that wasn’t my fault, but I can’t remember exactly how it happened.
I’ve been in a car accident and I’m being pressured to admit fault. What do I do?
Should I hire a lawyer for my car accident if it wasn’t my fault?
If I’m hurt after a car accident, what grounds do I have to sue?
Fortunately you’re in the right place to get the support you need for your car accident. Let’s talk a little bit about what it means to be at fault. and what you can expect from the other driver and his insurance company.

Fault Explained

When you’re at fault after a car accident, it basically means that something you did caused the accident to happen. No one wants to admit fault because that means that person’s insurance company will have to pay for the damages and injuries that resulted from the car accident. When that happens, in most cases, the driver experiences an increase in his insurance rates. It also means the driver most likely will get a ticket from the police officer who filled out the police report at the scene. Tickets translate into points on your license.

In short, being at fault for your car accident is not a good thing, which is why it’s important for you to maintain your story that the accident was not your fault when you know you’re innocent.

The Other Driver

In most cases, the other driver is going to be very angry about the accident. He probably immediately started to panic because he knew he would be getting into a lot of trouble. He may have even tried to blame the accident on you in an attempt to twist the story around. Some people are really good at manipulating and, believe it or not, they’re able to convince the other driver that they were to blame for the accident.

The Other Insurance Company

In the same way, the other driver’s insurance company also can cause you a lot of headaches after a car accident. They stand to lose a lot of money if your car accident case is successful, and they do not want to pay you a settlement. It’s not uncommon for insurance companies to try and contact victims for the purpose of getting them to admit they did something wrong. They’ll even record conversations so that they have proof. If you’re in a situation where the other driver’s insurance company tries to contact you, the best thing you can do is refer them to your attorney and hang up the phone.

Having an attorney on your side is the best thing you can do for yourself after a car accident. Your attorney will protect you at all times and he will guide you every step of the way so you know what to do. If you’d like to talk with an attorney about your case, please contact us.

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“I was in a car accident and I don’t know what to do. Can someone help me with the first steps?”

Every moment is crucial after a car accident has taken place. You need to know what you should do so that you can protect the integrity of your case. Knowing the proper first steps to take right after the accident happens will save you a lot of headaches later on. Right now you probably have plenty of questions and thoughts plaguing your mind. Things like:

If my car accident wasn’t my fault, can I sue?
I just had a car accident. What do I do if the other driver tries to blame me?
Should I hire a lawyer for a car accident case?
How much will my car accident settlement worth?
When you’re hurt in a car accident can you go to the doctor?
Hopefully this page will offer you plenty of helpful information that will serve as a guide for you over the next few weeks and/or months.

Call 911 – It might seem to be self-explanatory, but sometimes people are in so much shock, it never occurs to them to contact 911 to report their accidents. Perhaps the accident was a minor one and the other driver talked them out of reporting it, or maybe the other driver even possibly offered to simply pay for the damage that was caused in an effort to avoid involving the police. Regardless of what happened that caused your car accident, calling 911 is a very important first step that should never be skipped. You may need to be checked out by paramedics for any injuries. You should also talk with a police officer about what happened so that you can get a police report filed. Don’t let anyone talk you out of calling 911 if you’re in an accident.

Get Medical Attention – You need to be seen by a doctor after a car accident. It’s possible that the paramedics will come to the scene and assess you. They may decide to take you to the local hospital in an ambulance. Even if you feel fine, don’t resist them. Go along with them and get the treatment you need. They may notice something that just isn’t right, or they might simply be erring on the side of caution. They may even tell you that you seem to be OK and not recommend any other treatment for you. If that’s the case, either make an appointment with your own medical doctor and ask to be seen right away, or go to your local emergency room. It never hurts to be sure, and it’s always a good idea to have documented proof of any injuries.

Take Pictures – If it’s possible for you to take pictures, do it. You need pictures of any damage to your car as well as the damage that was done to the other driver’s car. You should also try to take pictures of any injuries you sustain during the accident. Your cell phone camera will work fine, but if you don’t have one with you or it gets damaged, you can try to ask a witness to take pictures and email them to you. Pictures are very useful pieces of evidence, and if you decide to pursue a legal case against the other driver’s insurance company, you’ll be glad you have them.
Talk with a Lawyer – Many people attempt to take on their own car accident cases, but they do so to their own detriment most of the time. The truth is that insurance companies rarely take individuals seriously because they know that, for the most part, they don’t know much about car accident law. They don’t know how much they’re entitled to in a settlement, and they don’t know what factors into coming up with an amount for a settlement. A lawyer offers you the best opportunity for a fair settlement for your case.
If you are careful to follow these four steps, your lawyer will tell you how you should proceed after he talks with you. Of course, every case is going to be different, and what’s true for you might not be true for someone else. In the same way, the things that affect the amount of your settlement are going to be different from someone else too.

Regardless, you should always talk with a lawyer after you’ve been in a car accident. If you’d like to get started on your case, please contact us.

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Everyone knows what the term “lemon” means in the automobile context – it’s a car that turns out to be a piece of you-know-what shortly after you buy it. No big deal, though – you just take it back to the seller and they have to take it back and refund your money, right? ‘Cause there’s this thing called a Lemon Law, right?

WRONG. (Well, most of the time.)

Is your car more than two years old?
Is it used, meaning someone else owned it before you?
Does it have more than 12,000 miles on it?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then, unfortunately, Lemon Law does not apply to you. The term “Lemon Law” actually refers to the “New Motor Vehicle Warranty Act.” The law only applies to new vehicles less than two years old, with under 12,000 miles on the odometer. And it only applies to the original owner – no used cars allowed.

Seems backward, right? After all, used cars are much more likely to have mechanical problems!

Doesn’t matter. The Lemon Law is geared more toward manufacturing defects in new cars that can’t be fixed after several attempts – not the clunkers sold by shady used car dealers.

Do you know how many times that car you’re buying has been wrecked? The used car salesman may not tell you…
So what rights DO you have when buying a used car? Well, that depends on whom you ask. According to the disclosures you sign at most used car lots, you are taking the car “AS IS.” According to them, this means that if the steering wheel comes off in your hand after you leave the lot and pull out on the street, too bad. That’s your problem.

But this isn’t always entirely true. Even used car dealers have to inspect vehicles before they put them on the lot for sale, and they can’t lie about or cover up a dangerous condition. So, many times, the question then comes down to whether they performed a reasonable inspection, whether they knew about any problems, and whether you can prove that knowledge.

This can be hard to prove. And the more time that has passed between the date of purchase and the date that the engine starts smoking, the harder it becomes to show that the condition existed when you bought the car.

My advice?

If possible, don’t buy from a used car dealer. At the very least, check out their reputation around town. Some are better than others. Some are blood-sucking vultures who will high-five each other as you drive away dragging a muffler in a cloud of smoke. I think private sellers tend to be more honest about problems with the car, and at least you will save a lot of money cutting out the middle man.
Take your time and do your homework. Blue Book the vehicle on your own to see what it is really worth. And ALWAYS have an INDEPENDENT mechanic check out the car before you buy it. Not the mechanic across the street from the car dealer, that the car dealer “conveniently” recommends! Who’s to say they aren’t getting a kickback for giving the car a thumbs-up? Find your own mechanic. That’s not legal advice, that’s just common sense. I know the used car salesman may seem like your best friend, but trust me, he’s not. He will also act as if you don’t buy the car today, it will be the end of the world, but it’s not. It will still be there tomorrow, leaking oil and over-priced.
Don’t pay for the car in cash. That way, if problems arise, you can stop making the payments and use the remaining balance as leverage to negotiate with the car dealer for repairs or a modified price. If you pay with cash or take out a loan through your bank, the car dealer gets all their money upfront. You know how helpful they will be when you come back a week later with a grinding transmission? Not helpful at all. They won’t care.
Don’t believe me? Think I’m exaggerating about used car dealers? I’m not. They’re in a cutthroat business, and it’s your throat or theirs. And it’s not just financial and legal problems at stake – it can be your safety, too.

There’s a well-known case where the buyer ended up a paraplegic after a bad tire combined with a damaged transverse link caused her car to swerve uncontrollably into oncoming traffic on the highway. Turned out the used car dealer had turned the bad tire around (so the whitewall was facing in) so the buyer couldn’t see that the tread was separating, and sold the car to the buyer “as is” without inspecting it whatsoever.

Now that you know there is no Lemon Law protecting you in buying a used car, be a smart consumer and proceed with caution. And next time you hear someone going on about how someone should sue a used car dealer under the Lemon Law, you can tell them, “Sorry, there’s no such thing when it comes to used cars.”

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You say you have over 600 years of experience?

If you need a lawyer, chances are you are already smack-dab in the middle of a stressful legal situation, or about to be. What many people don’t realize is that the lawyer they choose can have a direct effect on making that situation bearable, or a nightmare of lost sleep and money.

Right now, you might be focused on just finding a lawyer to take your case, or finding someone you can afford. However, remember that hiring a professional should be a two-way street. Assuming you have a decent case, you should be asking the lawyer some questions of your own. (If you don’t have a decent case, convincing a less-than-stellar attorney could make a bad situation worse – you may lose the legal battle and still owe the attorney your hard-earned money for his or her fees.)

Here are some very important questions you should ask a prospective attorney:

Do you have experience with this type of case, and if so, what is it? The attorney should be able to describe her familiarity with this area of law. Or if the attorney is new to this area, she should just let you know that. This doesn’t mean she’ll do a bad job – a smart attorney will do the necessary research and will also have a network of other attorneys she can call with questions in their practice area.

How would you bill me for this type of case? Attorneys can use any number of billing arrangements. The most common are hourly fees, flat fees, and contingency fees. Hourly fees are still the standard for many attorneys, although they are beginning to give way to more flexible, client-friendly billing arrangements.

How much would you charge me for this case? Once you know the attorney’s preferred billing arrangement for your type of case, the next logical question is how much are they going to charge you under that arrangement? Attorneys’ fees can vary widely based on years of experience, expertise in a certain area, and how interested they are in your case. If it seems like an attorney is quoting you a fee on the high end, you can ask them if the fee is higher because of one of these factors. The attorney might admit that it really isn’t his cup of tea, in which case you might want to continue in your search. Or she might share that she is very interested in your case but charges a higher fee because she is the foremost attorney in the state in that area of the law, in which case you might want to consider whether it is worth it to pay the extra money for your peace of mind.

How available are you to your clients? Very few attorneys are going to provide you with a daily update on your case or heart-to-heart talks at 10:30 at night. However, most clients want to know that if they call their attorney, they will get a prompt call back. Does the attorney have a 24-hour callback policy? If not, how soon will he return your call? The most common complaints to attorney disciplinary bodies involve attorneys who won’t call their clients back. Don’t get stuck with a non-communicator. Also, if you like email (like me), will the attorney communicate with you by email? (Be aware though that email is generally not a secure means of communication, especially if you are emailing from a public wi-fi hotspot. You might as well call your attorney on the phone and talk really, really loud so that everyone can hear you because it’s that easy to see what you are doing over unsecured wireless. Which brings me to my next two questions . . . )

How tech-savvy is your firm? Since you are reading this blog post online, I assume you are somewhat comfortable using modern technology. Does the attorney use technology to practice law, or is he still plunking away on a typewriter? I don’t mean to poke fun at older generations of attorneys who weren’t weaned on an iPad, because their experience in the trenches is invaluable. However, I believe attorneys are ethically obligated to keep up with at least a basic level of technology, to provide efficient and secure representation. For example: How do they do their research – do they use Westlaw, LexisNexis, or some other fast, efficient online research database? Do they include social networking sites in their research? Or are they still hitting the books and ignoring the online world happening around them? Also, how do they communicate with clients and other parties – are they still using paper letters on expensive stationery and the faxosaurus rex? Or do they use online faxing, Skype, and email or a secure client portal to communicate and send you documents? A few casual, “curious” inquiries in this regard should give you an idea of how their practice operates. This isn’t just a matter of being modern or “cool.” A modern, efficient firm can provide more cost-effective (read: cheaper) services. It will also conserve natural resources, which may be important to you as well.

Finally, how secure is your firm? How does the client protect your confidential information and your attorney-client privilege? Do they have security policies in place regarding data encryption, cloud storage, emailing sensitive information, and employee laptops and smartphones?
These are just a few questions you could ask an attorney. You can probably think of more, and should add them to your list before you go in for your initial consultation.

Asking these questions will help you compare your options, if you are speaking with more than one attorney. Equally important, having clear expectations upfront will help avoid misunderstandings and hassles down the road.

Good luck!

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