Ways to Prevent Motorcycle AccidentsRiding 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.

Equipment

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.

Traffic regulations

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.

Remain vigilant

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.

Motorcycle maintenance

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.

5 mistakes you shouldn’t do after a dog biteDogs will show you unconditional love and they are friendly even if they are not yours. We can agree that they are wonderful. But sometimes you can’t really tell if a dog will react negatively to your movement and this might lead to harm.

If you see a dog on the street and you don’t know the owner, you can’t be certain that the dog had any proper training or if it’s even friendly. From all the dog bite cases, most common are the ones that happen to children and postal workers, and their injuries can be severe. In case you or someone you love suffered from a dog bite, make sure that you don’t make the following mistakes

Avoiding medical attention

Pretending that a dog bite isn’t a serious thing and not seeing a doctor is probably the worst thing you can do. In order to quickly address your injuries, you first need to evaluate them by a medical professional. The doctor will make sure that your injuries get the proper treatment so you could recover faster. If you avoid seeing a doctor, you risk making your situation worse and causing more problems.

Not calling the police

In order to have a record of the accident, you need to call the police. The police officer will generate a report and even they might not be able to assign blame to the owner of the dog, they can collect statements from you and the witnesses.

The police report is important. Because without it, you won’t have witness statements documented and proving your injury will be very difficult.

Not taking photos

Not every dog bite is the same. Some can be mild and some can be pretty severe. No matter the seriousness of the injury, it’s important that you take photos of the scene and injury.

Photos of the scene or your injuries help personal injury lawyers in Arizona to make your case even stronger and guarantee that you receive the compensation. Proving the extent of the injuries is pretty hard without visual proof e.g. photos.

Insurance Companies

If you think that insurance companies are looking after the best interest of their clients, you are wrong. Insurance companies, first and foremost, think about their bottom line and that’s not always in line with your interests.

When you speak to an insurance company, that conversation will likely get recorder and you can end up saying something like you ran towards the dog or you started playing rough with it before it bit you. These can all server as proof that you provoked the dog which in the end can reduce your compensation. So it’s best to consult with a personal injury lawyer before you speak to an insurance company.

Not consulting a personal injury lawyer

Getting better after a dog bit is imperative and if you’re not at fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for any of the recovery. That’s why it is important to consult with a personal injury lawyer to see what compensation can you get. Personal injury lawyers can help you receive compensation for

  • Lost wages (if the dog bite puts you out of work for a short while)
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Medical bills

Insurance companies will try really hard to force you to settle for a lower settlement. Don’t agree to anything until you speak with an experienced lawyer.

Fourth of July or Independence Day, one of the biggest holidays in the US is just around the corner. As is it for many years now, we can expect the sky to light up with amazing firework displays all over the country.  And even though we at Schenk Podolsky wish that you have a festive time with family and friends, it’s important that you stay safe when handling fireworks in order to avoid getting injured. Before you sit on your lawn chair and ignite those fuses, please keep in mind the following fireworks safety tips:

  • Do not mix alcohol and fireworks. Alcohol Is well know that it impairs our judgment and focus. So make sure that the one responsible for your fireworks display is a sober adult.
  • One at a time – When using fireworks, make sure that you do so one at a time. Savor the moment, enjoy every firework display. It will keep the night sky lid up for a longer period of time.
  • Be aware of the ‘duds’ – Not all fireworks are duds as soon as they go off. So in order to avoid injuries, make sure that you wait at least 20 minutes before soaking the fireworks in water.
  • Be prepared – Make sure that you have a bucket of water or a water hose ready, just in case you need it to put out potential fires.
  • Keep an eye on your children – You might want to let your children handle snapping fireworks. However, keep in mind that even sparkers can cause injuries.
  • Pet are important too – Loud noises and flashes can terrify your pets. They can get frightened and run away. So if you can, keep them indoors until the fireworks are done.
  • Remaining fireworks – Even though it’s highly unlikely that you will be left with some unused fireworks, but in case you do, make sure that you dispose them or store them somewhere safe. Douse them with water and place them in a metal trashcan.

Thousands of burn injuries are treated every year right around the 4thof July. So we hope that these tips will keep you and your family safe during the upcoming festivities.

Truck accidents are one of the most serious kind of accidents on motorways which can cause severe injuries or even death. Truck accident types in ArizonaIf the truck accident causes serious injuries, the truck driver might be liable and could pay a significant compensation to the victims of the accident.

In order to know what to do after a truck accident you first need to be familiar with the type of accidents there are and what may cause them.

What is a truck accident in Arizona?

In Arizona, trucks are defined as motor vehicles that are being used for carrying property for another entity, not for personal property. Usually, when people speak about trucks and truck accidents, they are referring to massive commercial trucks, for example:

  • 18-wheeleers
  • Semi-trucks
  • Dump trucks
  • Tow trucks
  • Gas trucks
  • Delivery trucks etc.

Common injuries caused by truck accidents

In the US, the average car weighs about 4,000 pounds while an average truck can weight 20 times more, so around 80,000 pounds. Because of the serious size difference, the injuries sustained in a truck accident are pretty serious. These normally include

  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Burn injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Traumatic brain injuries and
  • Amputations

What are the most common causes of truck accidents?

Even though truck accidents can occur for any number of reasons, usually they are grouped into two main categories: poorly maintained truck and the negligence of the truck driver. But if we break those down, we get a list of most common causes of truck accidents:

  • Poor road conditions
  • Distracted driving
  • Blind spots
  • Speeding
  • Tailgating
  • Overloaded trucks
  • Trucking company negligence
  • Unreasonable driving schedule

After conducting some investigation, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has identified a specific list of actions that lead to commercial truck accidents. These include

  • Decision – In 38% of the cases, the truck driver was making poor decisions while driving (driving too fast, tailgating, misjudged a situation ect.)
  • Recognition – In 28% of the cases the truck driver didn’t observe the entire situation before the accident properly because he was distracted by something.
  • Non-performance – 12% of truck accidents occurred because the driver either fell asleep due to fatigue or had a medical emergency or was physically impaired.
  • Vehicle – 10% of truck accidents occurred because the truck experienced some sort of failure
  • Performance – 9% of the accidents occurred because the truck driver wasn’t prepared for a certain scenario on the motorway, panicked and made a bad call
  • Environment – 3% of cases suggest that a truck accident occurred because of poor weather conditions such as heavy rain or fog

If you or your loved one was a victim of a truck accident in Arizona and you need legal advice, contact Schenk and Podolsky today and let us help you review your case and see if the accident was caused by negligent actions of others.

The coronavirus outbreak has impacted many areas of our lives, it has also effected the way we and our work as well.

Policies regarding shutdowns non-essential work, social distancing and remote work, have impacted both employers and workers around the world. Some industries, which have been heavily affected by the outbreak and where the risk of exposure is much higher, are now working even more. And it’s only natural that workers in these industries have concerns about their health and the risks they are exposed to at work.

Covid-19 & Workers’ Compensation in Arizona

During these uncertain times, the ICA (Industrial Commission of Arizona has noted that workers who contract the Covid-19 may be able to establish that they contracted the illness at their place of work and thus qualify for a work injury compensation.

With this possibility, employers will be further motivated to minimize the presence of employees at the workplace who display symptoms of Covid-19 or that have been diagnosed with the illness.

Response to workers’ compensation claim is possible. If an employer wants to challenge the claim’s validity, he can do that through the employer report of injury and needs to provide the insurance carrier the necessary information and document which will support the challenge.

Who’s eligible for Workers’ Compensation?

In time of this crisis, when the cause for concern is a quick-spreading virus, the workers that contract the virus are having a very hard time to establish how they contracted the virus and with that uncertainty, they might not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.

But in cases of public safety workers, it’s presumable that they contract the Coronavirus, or any other serious disease while doing their job and responding to a situation like this epidemic. So naturally, it’s highly likely that their illness is related to their employment. And as such, they are entitled to the workers’ compensation benefits.

But what happens to those workers that aren’t in the public safety profession? Well, at the moment, there’s no presumption for compensability. This is mainly because it would be very hard and difficult to prove the connection between their work and their illness. So they might need to explore other possibilities for compensation.

If you fall into a category of employment which is not related to public safety, and you need legal counsel on what type of compensation benefits you’re eligible for, contact us today and let us help you.

Auto insurance is not just a legal formality and requirement. It’s also a very important aspect in protecting your financial stability and health.Questions you need to ask your auto insurance policy

Before picking an auto insurance company, you need to know what type of insurance is there, what coverage they offer and what will happen to your premium if you get into a car accident. And in case you were in an auto accident, it’s important to know what to say and not to say to your auto insurance company. These things can have a big effect on your insurance claim.

What auto insurance coverage do you need?

There are a number of auto insurance forms and not all of them are mandatory. Some are even voluntary. For example, auto insurance in Arizona includes:

  • A minimum of $15,000 per person OR a $30,000 per accident in bodily injury
  • A minimum of $10,000 in property damage coverage

This sounds pretty generous and reasonable. Except when you find yourself in an accident where the damages are much higher. This can impact your financial health, because you will have to pay for the extra costs out of your own pocket. So that’s why we highly recommend that you maintain higher level of protection with your auto insurance so that you are sure that you have sufficient coverage. These voluntary coverages include:

UIM or Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist coverage – If you’re in a car accident and the person responsible flees the scene, or is underinsured or uninsured, you will be left without any recourse unless you have an UIM.

Comprehensive coverage – This type of coverage is great if you want to protect yourself against damages from vandalism or car theft, basically from things that are out of your control.

In order to make sure that both you and your loved ones are insured, locate your auto insurance policy, look it over and if necessary, increase your coverage.

Speaking with an insurance agency after the accident

When you get into an accident, you need to contact your auto insurance company in order to report it. The other driver’s insurance company might also contact you. Communicating with both insurance companies is crucial, because one misstatement can make your insurance claim invalid and will dramatically reduce the amount of coverage you can receive. That’s why it’s important that you limit your communication with the auto insurance companies in very specific ways:

Communicate only about facts – You need to understand that the goal of every auto insurance company is to settle the case for as little as possible. That’s the job of the insurance adjuster. Insurance adjuster are representing the insurance company, so no matter how pleasant they sound, keep in mind that they are not representing your best interest. So when you communicate with an insurance adjuster, speak only about facts, without providing ANY opinion, evaluation or to admit anything.

Admitting fault – Often will insurance companies claim that you were the person at fault. If they try do to that, just say nothing. You can’t really know whether you were the one at fault or not, without being fully aware of all the aspects of the accident. For example, you don’t know if the other driver was under any influence, distracted, violating some other law etc. These are all important things required to determine who is at fault.

Calls with insurance companies – When you’re on the phone with an insurance adjuster, keep in mind that the entire phone conversation is being recorded and noted down. This information can be useful in further minimizing your insurance claim. So make sure that you pay extra attention to what you tell the adjuster. Choose your words carefully.

Hiring a lawyer – Since the insurance claim can be a bit complex and complicated, the safest bet would be to hire an attorney who will advocate on your behalf. And if you sustained some type of injury due to the accident, we recommend using a personal injury lawyer as the best option. Lawyers are well-versed in these cases, they know the procedure in and out and will be able to navigate more efficiently in order to get you the highest claim possible.

If you were in an auto accident and you need help filing an insurance claim with your auto insurance company, contact us today and let us help you out!

 

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Sometimes, we lose someone we love due to someone else’s carelessness or reckless behavior. Wrongful Death – 10 most common questionsIn those situations, it’s important to know a few things about filling a wrongful death lawsuit. There are a lot of questions about this and the process might not be simple. So we decided to share with you the 10 most common questions about wrongful death lawsuits to help you better understand the process.

What’s exactly a wrongful death claim?

Personal injury lawsuits and wrongful death claims are very closely related. They both allow you to seek compensations when someone is injured due to someone else’s negligence.

With a personal injury lawsuit, the law allows the injured victim to file a claim and seek compensation from the responsible party. This compensation is to cover the injured person’s losses.

But with a wrongful death claim, the injured person is not alive anymore so he/she cannot file a claim. So in this instance, another person steps into the place of the injured person and files a claim in his/her name to seek compensation.

Who can file a wrongful death claim?

This question depends on a specific state and its legal system. In general, most states allow the personal representative to file a wrongful death claim and this mostly refers to a close family member. In Arizona, wrongful death claims can be filed by:

  • The spouse of the deceased person
  • Children of the deceased person
  • Parent or legal guardian of the deceased person
  • Personal representative of the deceased person’s estate

Wrongful death claim – Do I have a case?

Determining if someone has a wrongful death case or not isn’t so easy to determine. Each case has a unique set of circumstances and facts. So in order to determine if you have a case, you will definitely need to speak to a lawyer. A personal injury or wrongful death lawyer should be able to help you.

How to file a wrongful death claim?

As before, this also depends on the state you wish to file a lawsuit. Usually, you first need to determine if you’re eligible to file such lawsuit. Then you need to work closely with your wrongful death or personal injury lawyer so you could file the claim before statute of limitation expires.

How to prove wrongful death?

Each US state has its own set of laws when proving wrongful death, but in general, the plaintiff must prove:

  • The defendant owed a duty of care to the deceased
  • The defendant breached said duty
  • Breaching duty of care resulted the death of the deceased and
  • Damages that resulted

How long do you have to file the claim?

The time you have to file a wrongful death claim (or any type of claim basically) is called the statute of limitations. This is not the same for all states, so you should definitely check with your personal injury lawyer. For example, in Arizona, the statute of limitation for a wrongful death lawsuit is two years from the date of death. Same applies for New York, California, Florida, New Jersey and many other states.

How much can you sue for in a wrongful death claim?

Usually, wrongful death claims allow you to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. These compensatory damages should compensate the party for loses and the usually include

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages for the time the deceased was in the hospital
  • Future wages
  • Pain and suffering of the deceased before death
  • Burial and funeral expenses and
  • Loss of companionship

Average settlement for wrongful death

Since every wrongful death case is unique, with its own unique facts, it’s really difficult to determine what’s the average settlement. But when you consult your personal injury lawyer or wrongful death lawyer, he will be able to give you a rough estimate of the settlement.

Attorney fees

When hiring a personal injury or wrongful death attorney, you can discuss that he takes your case on a contingency fee basis. This means that he/she will only be paid if you will the lawsuit and you get compensated.

Is a lawyer really necessary?

Since wrongful death cases can be pretty complicated, we highly recommend that you hire a wrongful death lawyer. He/she will advocate for your best interest and if you have additional questions you can always ask him/her.

When it comes to personal injury claims, they all require you to have an experienced attorney who is well familiar with the process and knows the differences from cases involving auto accidents, nursing home abuse or neglect. But what are the main burning questions when it comes to personal injury law?Important questions about personal injury law

Is your personal injury claim valid?

If you want to pursue a successful personal injury claim, you need to be able to prove that your injuries are caused by someone else’s negligence. Extensive medical treatments are usually part of every personal injury case. However, not all personal injury claims have physical injuries. Some have non-physical harms or losses. A good example is if someone attacks your professional reputation or invade your privacy. These can all be good grounds for a personal injury claim.

How soon can you file a lawsuit?

This depends from one state to another. To be more precise, on the states ‘statute of limitations’. This statute basically determines how much time you have to file a personal injury claim. Of course the statute of limitation differs from case to case. Some states have a statute of limitation of 4 years for a personal injury lawsuit, but for medical malpractice this statute is only two years.

The best thing you can do is to pursue the lawsuit as soon as possible after your injury. This is because preservation of evidence is very important in these cases. Furthermore, a standard procedure involved in a personal injury case is investigation done by your personal injury attorney, which can take some time.

What is negligence exactly?

Negligence concerns actions taken in a specific situation by a ‘reasonable person’. For example, you would expect a truck driver (or basically any driver) to obey the traffic rules and to drive at full attention in order to avoid putting themselves and others at risk. In the event that they cause a car accident because they didn’t pay enough attention while driving, they can be liable for the accident.

So basically, someone is negligent if he/she fails to act in a way an ‘ordinary reasonable person would’ in a specific situation. Personal injury cases are generally found on negligence.

Will the person at fault be punished?

Personal injury cases are NOT criminal actions. They are civil actions. Jail terms cannot be sentenced to defendants in personal injury cases. The same goes for criminal fines. This is because there was no real malicious intent that caused the injury. The cause of the injury is negligence.

Nonetheless, in some rare cases, there can be punitive damages. Punitive damages have a goal to punish the defendants that were reckless OR didn’t act in the best interest of the public. The end result of punitive damages is to discourage defendants to behave in such way.

If you think that you have a valid personal injury case, because someone else’s negligence caused you harm, contact us today and let’s review your case together!

You may have heard of an umbrella policy when discussing insurance. However, many people are unaware of what it actually is and how to utilize it. Because of this, umbrella policies may not be purchased or even used. When it comes to personal injury cases, it’s important to know what your umbrella policy will cover. After all, there’s no sense in having the policy if it’s not going to be of some use to you down the road. Keep reading for the basics of personal injury coverage with an umbrella policy.

What Does an Umbrella Policy Cover?

An average umbrella policy is basically an add-on to the policies you already have. This means it covers above what your normal policy covers. Bodily injury, personal injury, property damage, and landlord liability is what an umbrella policy more commonly covers. Umbrella policies don’t cover things like business losses, written or oral contracts, personal belongings, etc.

How Does an Umbrella Policy Work?

As mentioned above, an umbrella policy kicks in when your normal policy isn’t enough. It acts as a band-aid of extra coverage just in case your usual policy isn’t enough. For example, if you were in a car accident that was your fault, and the other party was injured in the incident, your normal car insurance will cover up to a certain amount. However, if something happens and the case ends up calling for more than your car insurance will cover, the umbrella policy will begin covering the amount that went beyond the coverage of your normal car insurance.

Perspective

Many people think having an umbrella policy isn’t worth it. However, here is a scenario to put it into perspective. Car insurance policies will only cover so much and you can’t purchase any more than their highest limit. Therefore, the only way to get extra coverage is to go for an umbrella policy. When personal injury cases are presented, aspects such as lost wages, grief, etc. are covered outside of the cost of medical bills for the injury itself. Say you hit a doctor and he sues you for lost wages on top of everything else. You could be looking at a million-dollar payout for damages with your car insurance only covering $500,000 of that. If your insurance doesn’t cover it, the judge and jury won’t care. You will still have to find a way to put the leftover damages amount. This can result in garnered wages, loss of property, home, other belongings, and more.

Umbrella policies aren’t necessary or required by law. However, they can prove to be quite the backup in such a sue-happy world. Umbrella policies commonly can be purchased in one million increments for up to five million in coverage.

A complete and thorough investigation should be conducted shortly after an accident to determine the cause of the accident. Negligence or a defective product may have been the proximate cause of the collision. In any event, you are entitled to seek the truth and have your case heard by a jury or judge. In Arizona, the parties can agree to have the matter heard by a judge in a more expeditious and inexpensive manner.

 Truck Accident Statistics

 In 2005, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) disclosed that there were over 5,000 fatalities involving the use of commercial trucks. You should be ready to file a claim after a trucking accident, given the great number of accidents caused by trucks and the severe injuries that are commonly suffered after one of these accidents.

 If you have been injured after one of these victims, you deserve to have your rights protected.

 Truck Inspections and Highway Safety

 Trucks must be inspected regularly and must adhere to the FMCSA standards. The drivers must also be regularly supervised and certified so that safe road can be assured for the general public.

 Truck Insurance

 Unlike passenger vehicles in Arizona, that require minimum insurance coverage of $15,000 to $30,000 for any bodily injury, commercial trucks must carry at least a minimum of $750,000 in insurance for any bodily injury that may occur on the road. It is essential to verify insurance coverage in these trucks after an accident because sometimes the owner may lease the truck, and the lessor may not carry the insurance mandated by the law.

 Trucking Company and Truck Driver Regulations

 Regulations set forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration standardize the use and maintenance of commercial trucks. These truck regulations include the use of controls and displays, starter interlocks, windshield defrosting and defogging systems, hydraulic and electric brake systems, and trailer load-carrying capacity.

 Further, truck drivers must comply with rules regarding receipts and bills, the transportation of household goods in interstate commerce, controlled substances and alcohol use and testing, commercial driver’s license standards, and other employee safety and health standards.

 The regulations are extensive, and the breach of any of these rules may cause an accident and severe injuries or loss of life.

 Seriously Injured in a Truck Accident?

 You need to pursue legal action within the statute of limitations and gather all the necessary information quickly before you lose valuable evidence in your case. The preservation of evidence is needed so that you are able to present all the correct and relevant information at court. The attorneys at Schenk Podolsky are highly qualified to handle trucking accident claims and lawsuits—contact us today to pursue your legal claim.

 If you have suffered a severe injury, or if a loved one has lost his or her life, as a result of a trucking accident, please contact our law firm. We can understand the scale of these cases, and we know how to properly conduct truck accident investigations through experts to prosecute your claim.

 We have a commitment to excellent personal service and to helping victims of truck accidents involving serious injury, or wrongful death, and will diligently pursue your claim.