When your insurance company denies you to payout your insurance claim, the only logical next step is to fight back.
By the time you receive your initial denial, the claim investigator has already gathered sufficient enough evidence to support his denial in court. Of course, the investigator may be open to negotiation but he/she won’t take any further steps until you take action. But once the denial is formalized, most investigators expect the client to just give up.
Don’t get emotional
After the insurance company refuses to pay for your bodily injuries or property damages, the first natural reaction is anger. Even though this is a natural reaction to this type of news, it won’t help you reverse the decision. Denying claims is something that insurance companies do quite often and they are used to emotional reactions and threats about legal action.
The personnel at the insurance company which is responsible for claims tend to avoid such reactions but that still won’t change their decision. Most of them realize that denied clients aren’t serious enough until they start taking legal steps.
Legal strategy is essential
When you don’t find back, insurance companies often take it as a sign of a win. The only way you can reconsider their position is if you provide new fact, evidence and legal theory that will eventually force them to rethink their decision.
Insurance companies are obligated by law, to maintain reserve on their books. But what happens is that the person handling your claim simply closes your file and waits for the statute of limitation to run out. They rely on the fact that the issues can be complicated, the fight can be challenging so some number of clients will rather give up and don’t pursue the issue any further.
But if your car accident caused you severe injuries and someone else is at fault, you shouldn’t back off from a fight. If you received a denial first time around, contact Schenk & Podolsky and let us examine your file and see if there are ways we can help.
Why did you claim got denied?
In order to fight a claim denial, you first need to know what was the main reason the representative denied it. Having some idea as to why it was denied just won’t do. You need clear and precise information, preferably in writing.
Once an insurance claim is denied, the insurance company usually send an explanation letter which outlines the rationale behind the decision. If you didn’t receive your explanation letter or you misplaced it, contact your representative at the insurance company and ask for another copy.
The next step
When you have the letter in hand, take it to a personal injury lawyer who will be able to better understand its content.
Insurance companies might deny your claim for many reasons. Since the issues can often be complicated, and the process too complex to navigate on your own, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer, who will have your best interest in mind and do whatever he/she can for you to receive the compensation you’re owed.
Riding a motorcycle is quite the unique feeling but it does require a special license and skill. It is a liberating and exhilarating feeling riding the open road, but it’s that same feeling that can put you in harm’s way and you can sustain serious injuries. Chances of getting into a motorcycle accident are not only determined by your behavior on the road, but also by the behavior of other drivers around you. Both the motorcyclists and car drivers need to keep in mind that they have to share the road.
Motorcycle accident can happen very fast, in a split of a second, which rarely gives you enough time to react and potentially avoid it. And how matter how big your motorcycle is, it is no match for a car, SUV or truck. And when a vehicle driver fails to practice caution and responsible driving, the end result of a motorcycle accident can be serious injuries or even death. So in case you do get into a motorcycle crash, you will need help from an experienced personal injury lawyer to file a civil action.
Driver mistakes that cause motorcycle accidents
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) there are four main types of errors / mistakes that drivers make which contribute to motorcycle accidents.
Braking – In order to slow down, the motorcyclist needs to downshift or roll off the throttle. Since most motorcycles don’t have a break light, the motorcyclist often miscalculate the stopping distance for both themselves and other vehicles in traffic.
Blind spots – The estimate is that nearly 50% of the space around a vehicle consists of blind spots which makes can make motorcyclist invisible for vehicle drivers. However, by properly adjusting the side mirrors can reduce the blind spots and prevent accidents
Hard to see – Motorcycles have a really narrow profile, compared to vehicles, and sometimes drivers are having a hard time seeing them. Vehicle drivers should practice extra caution and watch out for motorcyclists in different road settings, behind object and in poor weather.
Intersections – 42% of all motorcycle accidents happen on intersections. Many motorcyclists fail to yield the right-of-way to another motorcyclist who is driving straight through an intersection. This type of behavior is both dangerous and deadly.
By simply following the rules of the road, many vehicle owners can avoid hitting a motorcyclist. Even more so, vehicle drivers should refrain from negligent behavior while driving.
Dangerous driving behavior that can cause motorcycle accidents
In order to guarantee everyone’s safety in traffic, vehicle drivers should driver responsibly. In case the vehicle driver that hit a motorcyclists engaged in some of the following negligent behavior, he/she could be held liable:
- Driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol
- Aggressive driving such as speeding, tailgating other drivers etc.
- Distracted driving, whether it’s visual, manual or cognitive
- Drowsy driving which can impair one’s judgement and prompt reaction time
In the event that the driver at fault cannot be charged under criminal proceedings, you are still able to file a civil action for the damages and injuries you sustained. For this, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer who can properly assess your damages and help you navigate the entire process of filing a civil action. So if you were in a motorcycle accident, contact us today and let us help you get the compensation you are entitled to.
Motorcycle accidents are often pretty severe and it can affect your life substantially.
Knowing how to safely drive on the open road can make a huge difference and can even save your life. Arriving safely at your destination is the goal, no matter if you ride a motorcycle just for fun or as your main way of commuting. We hope that the following tips will help you avoid potential motorcycle accidents.
Protective motorcycle gear
When diving a motorcycle, you can enjoy the freedom of the open road like you never could when driving a car. It is a unique and liberating experience well-known to all cyclists. But that exact freedom can put you in harm’s way if you ever get into a motorcycle accident. When you’re in a motorcycle accident and you hit the pavement, you can suffer various injuries such as road rash, broken bones or other more serious injuries. According to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the apparel or gear that you wear while on the open road can make a HUGE difference in surviving a motorcycle crash.
Helmets and eyewear can protect you in case of a motorcycle accident
Laws that regulate helmet wearing can differ depending on which state you drive in. For example, in Florida, if you are older than 21, you can ride a motorcycle without a helmet if you have an insurance policy that is $10,000 or higher. But if you are younger than 21, you must wear a helmet.
Even though in some cases, wearing a helmet is a personal choice, we highly recommend that you wear one while on the road, even if you meet the requirements for not wearing one. According to some date released by the CDC, wearing a helmet lowers the risk of brain injury in case of a crash by 69% and the risk of death by 37%.
No matter if you wear or not wear a helmet, in a motorcycle accident, you can easily lose control of your bike which can result in serious brain injuries. However, by wearing a helmet, you can significantly reduce the risk.
Furthermore, having a good and clean view of the road helps you navigate and steer your motorcycle. Some federal states actually mandate that you wear protective eyewear on a motorcycle and this is pretty logical. Eyewear can protect your eyes from insects or debris from entering your eyes, and obstructing your vision.
The type and quality of outerwear you pick for your ride, can truly make a difference in what kind and how severe injuries will you sustain in the event of a motorcycle accident. Someone who decides to go in a pair of shorts on a summer day, might risk getting severe road rash and abrasions on his legs if he gets into a crash.
Researchers and experts are still working on developing products that will be specifically designed to protect motorcycles. However, until those are fully ready and on the market, motorcyclists will have to use tough leather equipment to protect themselves.
Avoid motorcycle accidents by knowing how to ride defensively
Driving responsively and defensively is essential for the safety of all those on the road, not just motorcyclists. So you need to keep in mind that you have to share the road with other cyclists and not to make sudden moves while driving. Here are a few tips on how to drive defensively
- Don’t try to pass a vehicle in the same lane
- Be patient. Even if your motorcycle can fit between two vehicles, between two lanes, that is highly dangerous and against the law
- You must not ride more than to abreast in a single lane
- Maintain control ov your motorcycle at all times. Performing stunts, drag races or wheelies is forbidden
- Passing on the right can be used but only in a limited number of circumstances e.g. when the vehicle in front of you is turning left. In these cases, use extra precaution and care when performing this maneuver.
Car drivers and their behavior can also prevent motorcycle accidents
- Make sure that your mirrors are well adjusted. Nearly 40% of space around a vehicle is made of blind spots and in a blind spot you can’t see a motorcyclist.
- Just like motorcyclist, vehicle drivers should also practice patience.
- Yielding the right-of-way to motorcycles
Hopefully these tips will help you drive safely and prevent motorcycle accidents. In our next post, we will discuss the type of injuries that can be sustained in a motorcycle accident and what to do if you’re in a motorcycle accident.
Dashcam Evidence in Motor Vehicle Accidents
As soon as we leave our homes, we’re on camera just about everywhere we go. Cameras are on roadways, at gas stations, supermarkets, hardware stores, bus stops, train stations, and airports. You can even mount a camera to the dashboard or rearview mirror of your personal vehicle, and it can record what happened in an accident.
Are Dashcams Legal?
There is no federal law prohibiting the use of dashcams in vehicles in the United States. The general rule is that that they’re allowed in most states, so long as any voice recordings are made with the permission of the person who is speaking. The mounting of a dashcam can’t create a material obstruction of a driver’s vision. Most states allow them to be placed in the lower right corner of a car’s windshield, as long as they take up less than seven square inches of space. Those states also allow them on the left corner or center portion of a windshield so long as they don’t take up more than five square inches.
Dashcams in Disputed Liability Cases
In some accident cases, it might be difficult to prove liability. There might not be any independent witnesses or evidence, and the case is merely one person’s word against the other person’s. That makes it easier for an insurance company to push off some or all of the fault for the accident over onto an injured claimant. Dashcam’s evidence will provide a visual rendition of exactly what occurred before an accident, at the time of impact, and immediately after the impact. Dashcam evidence might be particularly useful in red light and stop sign cases. As insurance companies often deny coverage in hit-and-run claims, dashcam evidence can conclusively prove that an accident with another vehicle indeed occurred and that the vehicle that caused the crash left the scene.
Dashcam Evidence in Court
Clear and indisputable footage of what happened in an accident can cause an insurance company to reconsider its position on liability. If an insurer refuses to acknowledge what the video shows, laying a proper foundation for admission of the dashcam footage into evidence will be required. That’s a job for a dedicated and well-prepared car accident lawyer. Then, 12 people on a jury can view the footage and arrive at their own collective decision.
The Damages Issue
The fact that the evidence showing liability is strong won’t keep an opposing insurance company from disputing an injury claimant’s damages. That evidence is separate from the liability issues, and the damages alleged by a claimant must be properly put into evidence. If they’re not in evidence, a jury isn’t allowed to consider them. A skilled car accident lawyer will also be needed for purposes of the damages issue.
If another driver caused an accident that you were injured in, and you have dashcam footage of that accident, contact an experienced and reputable car accident lawyer right away and request a free consultation and case review. You can show him or her exactly what happened, and you can get answers to your questions too. Then, you can ask about all of your legal options. That dashcam footage can be worth a thousand words.
10 Steps to Take Following a Car Accident
If you are involved in a car accident, you are going to be shaken up. Even so, there are steps that you must take to ensure the safety of all concerned and to protect yourself against false claims. Unfortunately, some people will claim for more damage than occurred in a car accident, and some people will take advantage of the situation by making false personal injury claims. Here are the steps to take immediately following a car accident.
1. Stay Calm
Whoever was at fault in a car accident, your priority should be the safety of yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the incident. Try to keep a cool head, and deal with the situation as calmly as you can. If you believe that the accident was not your fault, try not to get angry with the other driver. You will already have the motor vehicle accident to deal with, so you don’t want to add a road rage incident to your problems.
2. Check for Injuries
Immediately following the accident, you should check yourself and then your passengers for any sign of injury. Then you should find out if anyone else has been injured. If anyone has been hurt, then they should not be moved until the paramedics arrive. Someone injured in a car crash should not be moved unless leaving them where they are would put them in further danger.
3. Get to a Safe Place
If you are not injured, and it is safe to do so, you should get yourself and your passengers to the side of the road. If damage to your car is minor, and your vehicle is obstructing the road, you should drive your vehicle to the shoulder or the side of the road. If it is safe to do so, you might want to take photos of the crash site before you move any vehicles. However, gathering evidence must come second to safety. So, if your car is blocking a lane of traffic, it would be best to move the vehicle so that it doesn’t cause any further accidents.
4. Call 911
Unless the damage is minimal and you are sure that no one has been hurt, it is best to call the police after a car accident. In some states, you must notify the police about any motor vehicle accident. If the police attend the scene, they will document the accident and provide you with a police report, which your insurers may require to process your claim. If the police do not attend the scene, you can file your own accident report of the incident with the local police department.
5. Don’t Admit Responsibility
Even if you believe that you may have been at fault, it is best not to admit blame at the scene of a car accident. Immediately following an accident, you will be flustered, and you might admit fault when the responsibility lies with another party. If you think that you were to blame, then that’s only your opinion. So, stick to the facts, tell the police the truth, and avoid apportioning blame. It is advisable not to exchange small talk with the other driver either. A simple comment like, “I’m not hurt” or “no real damage done” might be used against you later.
6. Exchange Insurance Details
Following a motor accident, you should exchange contact and insurance details with the other driver or drivers. The information that should share includes your full name and contact information, and the name of your insurance company, and your policy number.
7. Document the Incident
Document as much as you can about the accident. Make a note of the make, models, license plate numbers, and colors of the other vehicles involved. Write down the location where the accident occurred. If the police attend the incident, note the names and the badge numbers of the officers attending the scene, and ask the attending police officers where you will be able to get a copy of the accident report.
8. Take Photos and Ask for Witnesses
Take photos of any damage to your car and the other car. If it is safe to do so, you should take pictures from several different angles of each of the vehicles involved in the accident. Your photos will be useful if your insurance company needs to fight a disputed claim on your behalf. If any third parties witnessed the accident, ask those people for their contact details as well.
9. Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles if Necessary
In some states, you may need to notify the local department of motor vehicles that there has been an accident. Whether you need to report an accident may depend on the value of the damage to the cars. In some states, it is also a legal requirement to report all car accidents to the police, however minor. Check what you need to do in your state to make sure that you meet all the legal requirements.
10. Notify Your Insurers
You may want to call your insurers while you are still at the scene of a motor accident. Your insurer can then tell you what they will need from you when you file your claim. Whether you call them immediately or later, your insurers will talk you through the claim process and explain what will be required from you.
In the immediate aftermath of a car accident, even the most experienced of drivers may feel flustered and disorientated. But, if you follow the above tips, you will have all the evidence you need to file your claim and protect yourself. The crucial thing, though, is always to put safety first immediately following a motor accident.
Being employed as a construction worker is one of the most dangerous jobs that a person can have. These dedicated workers risk serious injuries or even death on the job on a daily basis. Construction accidents not only affect injured workers. They impact the fabric of entire families too.
Some Common Types of Construction Accidents
Given the heights, equipment and materials at construction sites, a variety of severe accidents can occur. Here are some of the types of accidents that are often seen on construction sites:
• Falls: These are the most common types of accidents on construction sites. Improperly built work surfaces or walkways are often the causes of falls. Workers might also fall from roofs, scaffolding or ladders.
• Being Struck by an Object: The higher that objects fall from, the more dangerous they can be. Falling objects on construction sites are often misplaced tools or materials. Sometimes construction workers are even struck by vehicles or heavy machinery.
• Getting Caught in Between: Construction workers can get caught between a wall and machinery or a heavy piece of machinery and a vehicle.
• Electrocution: The risk of electrocution is always present on a construction site. Exposed wiring or wet connections are common hazards. Overhead power lines are of particular concern because of the voltage traveling through them.
• Power Tool Accidents: Careful use of power tools is critical to safety on any construction site. Aside from the risk of electrocution are the risks of a serious penetrating injury or even amputation.
• Collapses: Walls or trenches collapsing can cause blunt force trauma or even bury workers. They must be quickly rescued, especially in the event of a trench collapse.
Violation of Safety Regulations
Both state and federal agencies have put regulations in place to protect construction workers from unnecessary risks of harm. Sometimes, it’s the workers themselves who ignore safety regulations and get seriously injured because of a violation. At other times, it’s a foeman or a manager who circumvents the rules. Unfortunately, it’s usually the workers themselves who are injured under the circumstances. Here are some of those violations:
• Improperly erected scaffolding.
• Improper fall protection.
• Failure to use appropriate safety gear like a hardhat or eye protection.
• Failure to provide workers with adequate breathing protection.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The general rule across the country is that a worker who is injured in the course and scope of his or her employment by an anticipated and foreseeable consequence of that employment is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. Those benefits are usually the injured employee’s sole and exclusive remedy. They ordinarily consist of the following:
• Payment of all reasonable medical bills in connection with the accident and injuries.
• Temporary total disability to be paid to the worker while he or she is recovering from the injuries and unable to work.
• Permanent partial disability for any permanent loss of a percentage of the person as a whole.
Personal Injury Lawsuits in Construction Accidents
An exception to the sole and exclusive remedy rule exists when an employee of one company was injured by a third-party entity on the same job site. Under those circumstances, the injured construction worker can file a personal injury lawsuit at the same time as workers’ compensation benefits are being received. That lawsuit would avail the construction worker to additional damages not contemplated by workers’ compensation laws. Usually, the personal injury case is significantly more valuable than the workers’ compensation claim. As the legal rules under such circumstances get complicated very quickly, it’s recommended that any injured worker seek the sound advice of a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer.
Construction workers must realize how dangerous it is every time that they set foot on a construction site. There’s always a risk of being seriously injured. Nearly all personal injury lawyers offer free initial consultations to construction accident victims. If you or a family member have been injured in a construction accident, take advantage of a free consultation and case review. The more information that you receive, the more you’ll realize how legally complicated your situation is.
On any given day, the average driver will comply with traffic laws due to the strength of social influences. Drivers on the road, passengers, police officers, and personal characteristics often affect driving behaviors. In social psychology, the driving behaviors that arise from these factors are due to conformity and social norms. Conformity is defined as “adjusting our behavior or thinking to coincide with a group standard.” These group standards or social norms are often what changes a person’s behavior or morals. This change occurs as a result of the need to belong, the fear of rejection, or simply the desire to be a part of a group without standing out. For example, a person might quit smoking because his or her group of friends frowns upon tobacco. This article explores the topic of conformity and covers the positive and negative aspects of conformity, concluding with the effect of conformity traffic laws.
Imagine yourself on the interstate in a big city, driving along with traffic that is traveling at 80 miles per hour (mph) in a 55 mph zone. Even though you know you’re breaking the law by going over the speed limit, you don’t slow down because you don’t want to be perceived as a “jerk” for slowing down everyone around you. At the same time, your conscience is telling you that you are violating the law and that you can’t afford a ticket. Studies show that you are more likely to continue to drive with the flow of traffic simply because everyone around you on the road is doing it. In big cities, this type of driving, even though it might go against one’s personal beliefs, is a social norm. In order to fit in, you are forced to conform. In one study, people were surveyed about the effectiveness of a 55 mph speed limit and their actual driving speeds in that zone. Out of the sample, 28.9 percent of the people that thought the speed limit was too low, reported driving at a higher speed. Others responded that the speed limit was somewhat useless because no one else followed it anyway, making the speed limit irrelevant, which ultimately had little effect on driving speeds. While speeding due to conformity and social norms is one of the most common driving violations that we can observe and relate to, there are more dangerous driving behaviors that drivers engage in due to various social influences.
Social and peer influences that result in a violation of traffic laws are the most common among teenagers. One study reports that drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are more likely to be involved in a fatal car accident when there are passengers in the car. Under the pressure from friends, young drivers engage in risky behaviors including speeding, swerving in and out of the traffic, street racing, and other reckless driving behavior that leads to a higher chance of making an error, which ultimately results in serious accidents. The author adds, “passengers encourage drivers to conform to the prevailing norms of their social group.” Additionally, two more studies support that teens are likely to drive recklessly if the driver believes this type of driving is expected by their peers, even if these peers are not in the car. Even though these actions are extremely dangerous and possibly fatal, this shows how society and the social environment can influence us to conform to what we perceive will make us feel accepted by a group.
Conformity can also have a positive influence on a motorist’s life. Using the principle of conformity, a social group can work together to change their member’s or friends’ driving behavior. Though conformity often carries a negative connotation, it can be used to prevent potential accidents, tickets, and/or fatalities. Before discussing how to apply this principle to drivers, we have to understand how it functions. In order to increase the likelihood for conforming behavior to occur, individuals must be in a group with at least three people, made to feel incompetent or unconfident, have one common belief or opinion, know that their behavior is being observed, and they have to admire the group’s status and/or attractiveness. However, if these characteristics are absent in the group, the likeliness for someone to conform dramatically decreases. Nevertheless, if they are all present, this could be applied in real-world circumstances.
Conforming behavior can be manipulated for good or bad, and it is easy to see in real-life circumstances. Social groups can influence a person to change their behavior with group efforts. This can be done by getting everyone in a group to voice the same opinion towards the behavior of an individual with the goal to get him/her to conform. For example, if one person within a group of people constantly exceeds speed limits, doesn’t use turn signals, and runs stop signs, that group can express that they are against this type of driving because it is dangerous and it could be fatal. When everyone in the group agrees and expresses their concerns toward these negative behaviors, the individual with risky driving behaviors is more likely to change and begin exhibiting prosocial behaviors, due to the group’s unified disapproval and concern. When an individual is made to feel insecure about their actions compared to a group or social norm, they are more likely to change and conform in order to fit in.
Another way to use conformity to increase awareness of traffic laws is by reinforcing positive punishment. For example, speeding tickets written by a police officer are a form of punishment, done in an effort to change an individual’s bad driving habits. To increase the awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence, an ad featuring popular celebrities speaking out against driving under the influence, sharing stories of losing loved ones to these types of accidents, or even just encouraging people to take a taxi after drinking can be very effective. This sort of conformity is known as mimicry or the subconscious copying of someone else. By using a famous person to spread a message, fans are more likely to conform and begin to start mimicking or copying their behaviors.
A famous example that shows the power of mimicry in conforming behavior is the popularity of “short shorts” in basketball. Coaches believed short shorts would allow for more agility and better performance. However, with the airing of professional basketball games on TV, famous players like Michael Jordan wore loose-fitting shorts. The Washington Post noted that “Michael Jordan inspired a major alteration when he appealed for a longer and baggier cut”. Even though many believed short shorts were better for agility and performance, most still followed the trend Michael Jordan and other famous players set. Shortly after, the coaches’ attitudes changed towards baggy shorts. They began to see that the same high level of performance can be achieved, even if a player isn’t wearing short shorts. This can be used as an example of how, by gaining celebrity support, awareness for following traffic laws could be raised through the reinforcement of perceived dominant ideology.
State legislators create laws to discourage deviant behavior. They do this by reinforcing punishment, such as by giving speeding tickets that are paired with a required safe driving class. This type of pairing fosters cognitive dissonance with speeding. Cognitive dissonance theory is “discomfort caused by two simultaneous inconsistent thoughts,” and can cause an uncomfortable reaction, which can change one’s attitude towards negative behaviors. A person subjected to repeated reinforced punishment after breaking traffic laws is, in theory, less likely to break traffic laws.
Finally, conformity can be used to prevent automotive accidents and catastrophes. Since everyone in a group must agree on an issue in order to pressure the group members to conform, it only takes one group member stating a different opinion for the likelihood of conforming behavior to decrease significantly. This can be applied to group standards in a positive or negative way. However, in this case, it’s negative. One study stated that college students that have friends who drive under the influence are more likely to drive under the influence themselves. These students conform and go along with their friends in the car, overlooking the dangers of impaired driving. This behavior is also found in Ashch’s 1940 conformity experiment. For example, a person might not speak up because they don’t want to get put down for speaking up with an unpopular opinion or get called a “sissy.” However, if one person speaks up and reminds everyone that it’s not a good idea because it’s against the law and dangerous, it will make a great difference in preventing drunk driving. It only takes one person to change the group members’ minds and shift their behavior from risky to safe. Though the individual might create tension in the group, ultimately their actions will be safer.
Untimely death of a loved ones is one of the most difficult time for the loved one’s family or friends. However, in some cases, someone else might be at fault and in those cases, when someone else was negligent, you might be entitled to a compensation. These type of compensations are achieved through a wrongful death lawsuit.
Here, we will discuss what different type of accidents can lead to a wrongful death lawsuit.
Commercial trucking accidents
Most of the time, commercial trucking accidents are classified as auto accident. However, they are different from passenger vehicle accidents in a lot of way. One of the main difference is the mere size of the truck. Since commercial trucks are often heavy and large, they are most likely involved in accidents that result in death.
Commercial truck operation has a lot of elements in it, and each one of them has to be examined by the personal injury or wrongful death lawyer in order to determine how the accident occurred. These elements can include
- Mechanical failure
- Incorrect maintenance of the truck
- Oversized loads
- Loads that weren’t properly secured
- Driving error and
- Driving under the influence of some substance (alcohol or drugs)
In order to determine which party, or parties, are liable in the wrongful death of your loved one, the attorney will review every relevant aspect of the commercial truck operation.
Wrongful Death Through Car Accidents
Traffic collision involving passenger vehicles are one of the most common types of accidents that lead to a wrongful death case. This is due to the number of people that drive and how often they drive.
According to the 2019 NHTSA statistics, over 39,000 car accidents in the US had a fatal outcome. Only in Arizona, there were 911 fatal crashes, and even though this is the lowest number in the past three years, that is still an alarming number
Many of the fatal car accidents are caused by the negligence or one or more drivers. These can be categorized as:
- Distracted driving
- Drunk driving or driving under the influence
- Roadway issues
- Speeding and
- Driving while drowsy
Bicycle, Pedestrian or Motorcycle accidents
People that commute with bicycles, motorcycles or on foot, are more likely to be killed in vehicle accidents. This is because they lack the necessary protection that vehicle d rivers have during the collision.
In the majority of these cases, the pedestrian, bicyclist or motorcyclist are killed in accidents mainly because of the negligence of the driver.
Medical malpractice and wrongful death
Even though hospitals should be a safe place, where healthcare providers should be skilled and well-trained to avoid harming the patients. We even have safety protocols set up in all hospitals. But despite that, medical negligence occurs and it can be fatal.
The most common examples of fatal medical errors include:
- Delayed or incorrect treatment
- Birth injury
- Errors during surgery
- Pharmaceutical errors
- Defective devices or medications
- Hospital negligence
- Lack of informed consent
Certain occupations are at greater risk of injury and death because of workplace accidents and dangerous nature of the job. Fatal work accident can occur in any workplace where the workers are required to work under dangerous conditions.
Based on the research of OSHA, the most frequent work-related accidents which result in death, occur due to:
- Being struck by an object
- Being caught between machinery, objects or materials
Defective products are dangerous for users even if they are used correctly. Sometime, even safe use of a defective product can be fatal. The most common cases of defective products, which cause death are:
- Defective drugs
- Vehicles or some components
- Defective children products
- Toxic food or containers
All manufacturers are obligated to only manufacture and sell safe and reliable products to their users. In case the manufacturer creates an unsafe or defective product, which poses danger to the user, then he can be held reliable of the (proper) use of said product leads to the user’s death.
If you or your loved ones has died and you suspect that you have a wrongful death case of one of the types mentioned above, contact Schenk & Podolsky today and schedule a consultation. Let us review your case with you and see if you have the right to claim compensation.
Injuries due to electrocution can happen literally anywhere where people work with electricity, but they most often occur in the workplace. Workers such as utility worker, electricians, cable operators and construction workers are at a much higher risk of electrocution and even suffering severe injuries than other professions. Sometime, being electrocuted can be fatal. In cases where electrocution causes severe injuries or even death, you could be eligible for worker compensation.
Causes of electrocution in the workplace
If an employee suffers injuries because of electrocution, this can be due to several reasons:
- Maybe the circuits are overloaded or damaged
- The source of electrical energy can be exposed e.g. live wire
- There are issues with the wiring
- Frayed electrical cords
- Poorly or improperly installed electrical lines
- Damaged or downed power lines
- Defective equipment or machinery
- Wet working conditions
In order to avoid electrocution and potential injuries, it’s important that both the employee and employer take the necessary precautions and protection from these types of injuries.
Electrocution injury types
Not every electrocution will deal the same type and amount of damage. Injuries caused by electrocution depend on several things e.g. the amount of electrical energy that passes through the body as well as where the electric energy enters and exits the body.
Low voltage electrical energy will most likely only shock you, cause temporary and mild pain and won’t leave any permanent injuries. On the other hand, high-voltage electrocution can be really serious. It can damage a person’s heart, cause a heart attack or even death.
Serious and high-voltage electrocution can cause a number of dangerous injuries:
- Severe burns
- Brain damage
- Cardiac arrest
- Nerve damage
- Muscle pain
After being electrocuted, it is extremely important that you seek medical attention. You may feel fine, but there might be some underlying conditions that you don’t notice yet and can be harmful later on. So it’s best to seek a professional’s opinion.
Benefits of worker compensation claims
Depending on the injuries sustained from electrocution, you might be unable to work for a temporary or permanent basis. But even though you’re not working and earning money, you still need to pay the bills and provide for your family. If the electrocution occurred while you were on the job, you might be entitled to a compensation if you file for a claim.
After the electrocution, you must immediately report it to your employer and seek medical attention. Then you can start the claim process in order to obtain the benefits you need. These benefits could be in a form of:
- Covering reasonable and necessary medical bills and assistance if you need surgery, hospital stay, medication and medical care in general
- Compensation for lost wages since you won’t be able to work temporarily or permanently
- If the resulting injuries prevent you from continuing in the same line of work, you will need to be trained in another occupation
- In case of death, you should receive compensation for the final expenses related to the death of a loved one
Other forms of compensation
Apart from worker’s compensation, workers that suffer injuries caused by electrocution, might also be eligible for other types of compensation. These compensations can include:
Personal injury in case the injury is caused by a third person. In cases like this, you can file for a personal injury claim.
Product liability if you were injured because the equipment and machinery malfunctioned. Then you might be entitled to a compensation from the machinery/equipment manufacturer. These claims however, require you to prove that the equipment/machinery was defective.
Premises liability if you suffered an electrocution injury because the property or business owner didn’t take the necessary steps in order to protect the workers for hazard.
Wrongful death claims are only possible if the electrocution resulted in the death of a worker. Then the worker’s loved ones are entitled to recover damages by filing a wrongful death claim.
What to do in case of electrocution injuries?
If you were injured in the workplace due to electrocution, the first thing that you must do (after reporting it to your employer) is to seek medical attention, to make sure that the electrocution didn’t cause any harm to your health.
Once you have your health assessed, you need to contact a skilled attorney who will represent you and investigate your injury to see if you are entitled to worker’s or other types of compensation.
Riding a motorcycle does provide a certain sense of freedom. Although we need to remember that they are not as durable and crashworthy as closed vehicles like cars. According to the Insurance Information Institute, motorcyclists are actually 27 times more likely to be killed in an accident.
Now, you might have excellent driving skills and you have been driving a motorcycle for years, but it’s still important that you know how prevent accidents and stay safe. By taking necessary precaution you can significantly reduce the risk of being seriously injured or killed in a motor accident.
Way to prevent motorcycle accidents
In order to prevent motorcycle accidents from happening, both the motorist and motorcyclist should abide the traffic rules and practice caution every time they are on the road.
Probably the most important thing any cyclist can do aside from following the traffic rules, is to make sure that he/she wears the necessary safety equipment. The right type and quality equipment can protect you from injuries or minimize them, increase your visibility of the road and make your ride less exhausting.
Wearing a properly fitted motorcycle helmet and good quality boots will provide necessary protection for your ride. You can also consider getting a reflective jacket or west so other motorists could easily see you at night or in bad weather.
When on the road, both motorcyclist and motorists should abide the traffic regulations. Even though riding a motorcycle can be exciting and exhilarating, speeding down the road can be extremely dangerous. Maintaining proper control of your motorcycle is crucial and as your speed goes higher, the level of control is lower so you won’t be able to steer as accurately as you should nor you will be able to stop the motorcycle in time. So when you’re out on the road, make sure that you follow the posted speed limits.
During bad weather, when the roads are either icy or slippery, make sure that you ride at lower speeds and as you approach corners, curve slowly and only speed up when you emerge. Turning too fast could cause you to lose control of your motorcycle and crash into obstacles.
The main cause of motorcycle accident isn’t because the motorcyclist isn’t abiding the traffic regulations. Most of the accidents are actually caused by those that are driving near the motorcyclist on the road. So when out on the road, you should always be vigilant about the traffic around you. This is why you should come to a full stop at stop signs, look both ways before crossing an intersection etc.
Car doors and blind spots
At some point you will be travelling through and area where cars are parked alongside roads. You should avoid these areas or practice extra caution because vehicle owners might not see you and open their car doors directly in your path. In other cases, pedestrians might step out in front of you and you won’t be able to stop on time thus cause an accident. And while on the road, make sure that you stay clear of other vehicle’s blind spots. Position yourself towards the front of other cars. This way they will easily see you since you won’t be in their blind spot.
Just like with cars, you need to take good care of your motorcycle and keep it in good shape. This means doing regular maintenance in order to make sure that you’re not riding on worn out tires, having burned out lights or soft breaks, all make your motorcycle unreliable and riding it is a real risk.
After a motorcycle accident
Even if you follow all the traffic laws, motorcycle accidents can happen. If they do, there are a few things you should focus on. First, you need to make sure that you call the police so that they could make a detailed report of the accident. Make sure that you also take photos of the accident and vehicles or ask someone to do it for you if you’re not able to. Then you should collect names and contact information of witnesses and exchange information with the other driver.
Once the police arrive, ask for medical treatment even if you feel fine. You never know if there are some underlying injuries.