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.
In many parts of the United States, it’s either winter or road construction season. Road construction zones are hazardous. Motorists, their passengers and construction workers are injured or killed in accidents in those zones every year. Nearly all of those accidents are completely preventable, and the overwhelming majority of them are caused by carelessness and negligence.
It’s Suddenly an Unfamiliar Road
Road construction and maintenance are necessary nuisances that every driver encounters. Although temporary inconveniences, they often make getting to and from locations more convenient in the long term while decreasing risk and danger. Adding to the inconvenience of road construction and maintenance in progress is the complex maze of signs, lane changes, barrels, barriers, closed lanes, flaggers, other workers, trucks and heavy equipment. Even roads that you’ve driven for years become confusing and dangerous, especially if everybody is in a hurry and drivers don’t reduce their speeds. If you were seriously injured in a construction zone crash that was caused by somebody else who was careless and negligent, you’re going to be in need of a dedicated and experienced car accident attorney.
Common Causes of Construction Zone Accidents
Construction workers need not be present or engaged in any activities for an accident to be considered a construction zone accident. So long as the zone exists, and it is appropriately and sufficiently marked, a construction zone crash can occur at any time when a driver is traveling from the beginning of the zone to where it ends. Here are a few common causes of construction zone accidents:
• A hazardous zone route design that confuses drivers and requires them to make unsafe maneuvers.
• Poor maintenance of that route.
• The failure to place or the improper placement of appropriate signage, including detour signs.
• Placing of signs, barrels, barricades or cones too close to traffic traveling through the zone.
• Requiring the operation of trucks or heavy equipment too close to where traffic is traveling through the zone.
• Poor lighting conditions.
• Vehicles traveling through the construction zone at unsafe rates of speed that rear-end vehicles driving safely ahead of them.
• Drivers who are operating their vehicles too quickly for traffic or weather conditions.
• Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two.
• Drivers who are distracted by phone calls, texting or using infotainment centers.
Determining Liability in Road Construction Accidents
More than one person might be held liable in a construction zone accident. What comes to issue is that a person claiming injury might be dealing with a federal, state or local government entity, one or more contractors and private individuals. In their attempts to avoid liability, expect everybody to be pointing their finger at everybody else while you’re caught in the middle. That’s why consulting and retaining a seasoned and successful car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident is of the utmost importance in protecting your rights. He or she will know how to get the immediate attention of all responsible parties.
Construction zone accident cases are extremely complicated. Don’t even try to take the first step yourself. You’re likely to harm rather than help any case that you might have. If you were injured in a construction zone accident, make a call or send an email to a qualified and respected car accident lawyer as soon as possible after your accident. Most car accident lawyers offer free consultations and case evaluations. Nearly all of them take accident cases on a contingency fee basis without requiring any up-front payments. Making that contact will be the best thing that you can do to protect and invoke your rights.
After a car crash, bicycle crash or a pedestrian accident, you might receive a phone call or even an unannounced visit from an insurance adjuster who works for the insurer of the person who caused your injuries and damages. No matter how sympathetic that individual might sound, he or she isn’t contacting you as a friend. That adjuster’s interests are directly opposed to your interests. With that phone call or knock on your door, a defense to your personal injury claim for damages is beginning to be built. Don’t help that insurance company build it.
The Insurance Adjuster’s Job
When an insured person is negligent and causes an accident that you’re injured in, a claim for damages can be made with the company that insures him or her. The insurer will probably be required to compensate you for the injuries and damages that you suffered. It’s the insurance adjuster’s job to try and minimize or even deny payment on your claim.
Don’t Relinquish Control of Your Claim
The opposing insurance company will want to try and maintain control over a claim. That’s done by controlling the evidence in it. One tactic that insurers use is to obtain a written or recorded statement from the accident victim. Accident victims can become quickly confused about their rights and duties. Most of them fail to contemplate the consequences of how giving an insurance company a statement can impact their claim or lawsuit. They don’t realize that their own words from that statement can be used against them in the future.
Prior Inconsistent Statements in Civil Cases
Any personal injury claim or a lawsuit is a civil case. When an insurance adjuster or insurance defense attorney tries to use a statement against a declarant, he or she is relying on the rules of evidence involving prior inconsistent statements. In a civil case, a statement made by an injury claimant in the past is generally admissible into evidence if it is inconsistent with their present testimony. What that means is that a person’s own words in a statement can be used against him or her in settlement negotiations or a trial in an unexpected attack on their credibility.
Just Say No
The law doesn’t require you to assist an opposing insurer is preparing its defense against your claim or lawsuit. No matter what an insurance adjuster says, you’re under no legal obligation to give any type of statement without an attorney being present on your behalf. Politely refuse to give any type of a statement and end the call or visit.
Don’t Fall for Scare Tactics or Attempts at Deception
You might be told that your claim file will be closed if you don’t give a statement. That’s fine. Let the adjuster close the file. A knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer knows how to have that file opened up again in a matter of minutes. Until you consult with a dedicated and experienced personal injury attorney, don’t give the opposing insurance company any type of information. That company’s adjuster might even tell you that you don’t need an attorney for your claim. Don’t believe that. He or she is only trying to minimize what the insurer pays you for your damages.
After being injured in an accident, nearly all reputable personal injury law firms will be pleased to consult with you at no cost or obligation whatsoever. There are no up-front charges to retain them either. Rather than give control of your claim to the opposing insurer, give it to a quality personal injury attorney before the opposing insurance company has an opportunity to try to control the evidence in the case. Doing so might help your attorney maximize the settlement or award that you deserve.
Did you ever wish you had a personal injury attorney in reserve? Probably not. Either you think “it could never happen to me” or you equate the profession to “ambulance chasers.”
Until you are injured because of another person/company’s negligence, like most people, you don’t consider finding a personal injury lawyer.
If you sustain a serious injury and remain hospitalized for a long time, your medical expenses will skyrocket. Health insurance will not cover everything. Your job could be in jeopardy if you continue to miss work.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to find a personal injury attorney before “it” happens to you. You will be in a better position to evaluate personal injury lawyers and make an informed decision.
How to Find a Good Personal Injury Lawyer In Mesa
Personal injury attorneys grappled for decades to rise above the stigma of “ambulance chasers.” Ambulance chasers literally followed an ambulance and talked to victims of auto accidents. Nowadays, personal injury lawyers are well-respected members of the legal community.
Start your search by contacting family members, friends, and colleagues to find out if they have used the services of a personal injury lawyer. If they recommend a certain lawyer, set up a consultation with him.
If you have used the services of an attorney, ask him for a referral to a personal injury lawyer. You might also contact your local Bar Association. Again, schedule a face-to-face meeting with the personal injury attorney.
How to Evaluate Personal Injury Attorneys in Advance
Like you need to know a good plumber if your basement floods after midnight, you need to know a good personal injury attorney in the event you need one. If you wait until after the event happens, you will likely be too emotional to make informed decisions.
Try to find an attorney you resonate with who works for a large firm. You don’t know in advance what kind of injury might cause you to need their services. Personal injury lawyers specialize in various types of injuries. For example, a car accident lawyer may not have experience working with slip and fall injuries. By choosing a large law firm, you’ll have access to lawyers that have different specialties.
What Kinds of Cases do Personal Injury Attorneys Represent?
There are several instances when you may need the services of a personal injury lawyer:
Vehicle Accidents: motorcycle, bicycle, car, truck; slips and falls, wrongful death, animal bite, medical malpractice.
Consultation with Potential Personal Injury Lawyer
Don’t expect to find out everything you’ve always wanted to know about personal injury lawyers if you consult with several before you need their services.
When you make an appointment, ensure the attorney knows it is in the nature of “meet and greets.” Then, be considerate of his time. The idea is to determine if you and your attorney of choice have a mutual connection.
Ask a few questions, thank him for his time, and leave before you become a pest.
“How many years of experience do you have in personal injury law?”
Chances are, you can expect a greater settlement when your attorney has a lot of experience under his belt. It’s a comfort to know your lawyer will fight for your best interests in court.
“What are the typical types of cases you handle?”
If the attorney doesn’t practice personal injury law exclusively, he cannot represent you for your highest good. Personal injury law is intricate and requires specialized knowledge.
Also, find out what areas of personal injury he specializes in.
“Do you generally settle out of court or prefer trying cases in court?” His answer will show his strengths and weaknesses as an attorney. Typically, you won’t get the best settlement if he prefers settling out of court with the insurance company. A strong, confident lawyer will settle your case in a court trial.
Ask your areas of responsibility for upfront payment. Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee. (they only get paid if you get paid).
Thank the attorney for their time and depart. You will still have unanswered questions but wait until if or when “it” happens to get down to the nitty-gritty.
If you are in an auto accident and you sustain an injury, you may have the right to file a personal injury claim. You must be able to prove the extent of your injuries and figure out who is liable for the accident. Even when you share fault for the accident, you can file a claim against the other party if they are 50% at fault or more for the accident.
The Initial Accident Report
When officials respond to the scene of the accident, they will write a preliminary accident report that establishes fault. It’s important to remember that this is only the assessment of the responding officers, and not necessarily what the final outcome will be. If you find mistakes in the accident report and you can prove you are less at fault, it’s important to address these issues with the officer that wrote the report. You might be able to get the accident report changed if you can prove the report is wrong.
The Extent of Your Injuries
By filing a personal injury claim, you are trying to make the case that you have losses. You have suffered in pain, you are struggling or unable to work, and you have property damage to be compensated for. If you walk away from the scene of an auto accident and return to work the next day, it’s going to be difficult to prove you had losses. The extent of your injuries and the financial losses you have endured are taken into consideration when coming up with an award amount should you win your case.
Your Percentage of Fault
When you are less than 50% at fault for an accident, you can file a personal injury claim for damages. The lower your percentage of fault is, the more money you can expect from your claim. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 and you are 10% at fault, you receive a $9,000 award. If you are 40% at fault, your award will go down to $6,000. It is important to establish fault and argue down your percentage of fault if possible. Your personal injury attorney will be able to assess your case carefully to determine what fault you should share with the other party.
Proving Your Injuries
Proving your injuries goes beyond an emergency room visit and heading back home. You must follow through with all of your medical care in order to show a clear picture of what is going on with your injuries. If you are referred to specialists, you have to make these appointments and do all that you can to heal. If you skip appointments, it will look like you aren’t really as injured as you claim to be. During the course of your treatment, take pictures if that makes sense and document how you are feeling every day in a personal journal. Your progress and compliance with all therapeutic interventions must be easy for your medical providers to report.
Losses That You Can Measure
If you are out of work because of your injuries, it is simple to calculate your lost wages. Car damage and medical bills are easy to prove, as well as any damage to property that was in your vehicle. These are your pecuniary damages, and only a part of your overall compensation. You also have non-pecuniary losses, which are those losses that are more difficult to assign value to. These include things like pain, suffering, or loss of enjoyment. This is where the extent of your injuries and your ability to recover fully becomes important. If your treatment team determines that you are at a medical end to treatment, and you still can’t return to work, your award should become much higher.
Settling Your Personal Injury Case
When you work with a personal injury lawyer, you may come to a place where you are ready to settle your case. Your attorney will have a good idea of what your case is worth and what you are likely to receive if you take the case to trial. The defendant and their attorney will also understand this, and they are going to want to cut their losses. Trials take time and money, and an insurance company would rather settle the case out of court. If you are comfortable with a settlement offer and you can live with the final amount, you may consider a settlement offer and take it.
You have the right to file a personal injury claim, even when you are partially at fault. It’s important to point out any problems with the accident report that will reduce your percentage of fault. When you are injured and you are suffering, a personal injury claim makes it possible to recover and get the financial compensation you need during this time.
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.
In 2020 What Does a Wrongful Death Lawsuits Include In Arizona?
Losing a loved one is a trying and difficult reality that many of us will face as sometime in our lifetime. Not only is it an emotional burden but deaths, especially unexpected ones, can be financially cumbersome. If you believe that someone else is at fault for the death of family member then you may have grounds to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
Wrongful Death Definition
Wrongful death claims are made when a defendant has allegedly caused someone’s death either negligently or through intentional harm. Wrongful death is a civil action that allows the estate of the deceased person to file a lawsuit against the party that is liable for the death. The suit is typically filed by an attorney on behalf of the surviving family members and other affected parties.
What Kind of Deaths Do Wrongful Death Lawsuits Include?
A good way to think of when a wrongful death claim is applicable is to ask, “Would the victim have filed a personal injury claim had they survived the offending incident?” This can come in a wide variety of forms including when, The victim was intentionally killed, murder is a criminal trial, but you can still seek financial compensation for the death of a loved one despite the outcome of a criminal trial. For example, OJ Simpson was acquitted in a criminal child for the murders of Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman, however he was still found liable in a civil wrongful death case. The case was based on an intentional act. These specific civil lawsuits were brought by the victims’ families and separate from the state’s criminal case.
If a doctor fails to diagnose a condition or if a doctor is careless to the level of incompetence then they may be open to a wrongful death lawsuit. Common examples include doctors being under the influence of drugs/alcohol, and doctors dismissing patients without giving a thorough examination.
Car Accidents involving Negligence
If a victim dies as a result of a car accident injuries, a wrongful death claim may be brought to the courts. The driver might be deemed negligent if they were intoxicated, texting or simply not paying attention while behind the wheel of the car.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
A wrongful death claim is usually filed by a representative of the estate of the deceased victim. This is done on behalf of those who had a relationship with the victim, and it can vary depending on the state. In all states, a spouse may bring a wrongful death action on behalf of his or her deceased spouse. Also, parents of minors can also bring a action forward if one of their children is killed. Similarly, minors can collect if their parents were killed. As the extended family reaches further and further, the states begin to differ as to whether those members have the right to file these suits (think distance cousins, aunts, etc…).
In some states, marriage is not a requirement to file a wrongful death claim, as long as you can show financial dependence on the deceased. If you think you are dealing with a wrongful death claim, give our office a call. We would be happy to help you file if necessary.
Contact Your Mesa Injury Law Firm Today
4140 E. Baseline Road Suite 101
Mesa, Arizona 85206-4677
We are conveniently located off the U.S. 60 on Baseline Road between Val Vista and Greenfield in The Gateway Executive Suites.
Email Us: [email protected]
Phone: (480) 757-5000
Fax: (480) 471-5181
Hours of Operation
Monday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Thursday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
How Much Do Arizona Car Accident Lawyers Charge (Updated For 2020)
If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident whether in Phoenix or Mesa, you know how scary it can be. The noise, that feeling of being out of control, the confusion–all of these things stay with you for days and weeks after the collision. You may also have been hurt in the accident and have to deal with pain and doctors and tests. You may think that hiring a lawyer is one expense and hassle you can do without. Nothing could be further from the truth.
There are a variety of factors that come into play when figuring out how much your personal injury attorney may charge for your case. If you have other questions, feel free to contact our office and our team will help set up a meeting to go over your case in more detail.
Why a car accident lawyer is important
A good lawyer knows who to talk to and how to make things happen in the local courthouse and can often get you a settlement without your having to face a jury. He or she can also negotiate for a settlement that will be adequate to cover all of the past, current and future expenses relating to the accident. For example, it’s not fair for the person who caused the accident to simply pay for your medical bills if the accident caused you to be off work and suffer lost wages, you also deserve money to help you pay your mortgage, put food on the table for your family and make your car payment. No one wants to profit from being in a car accident, but neither should you have to face a financial hardship for something that wasn’t your fault. What you can expect to pay for a good car accident attorney it’s difficult to generalize about lawyers’ fees and charges. After all, every situation and every accident is different.
However, there are a few things you should consider when deciding whether to work with a car accident law firm.
1. Many lawyers work on a contingency basis. If you have been injured in a car accident, many lawyers will help you get the money you deserve for medical payments and emotional trauma without charging an upfront fee. You pay the lawyer’s fee out of the money you receive from your court settlement. When working on a basis, payment for the lawyer occurs when the client receives a settlement from the accident (for instance, from the at-fault driver’s insurance company) or a court judgment in his or her favor. So, the attorney’s fee is “contingent” upon a successful outcome to the case.
2. Court costs and expenses are usually additional. A typical contingency fee is around 33% of the case in most personal liability cases. Court costs, which are accessed at the conclusion of a case and expenses, which may be necessary to pursue your case, are generally charged in additional to the set percentage. These are generally billed as they happen.
3. Most car accident lawyers will evaluate your case during a free 15-30 minutes session where they will hear the details of the accident and decide if they want to handle the case.
4. Unlike most criminal cases, no retainer is required in most car accident cases. The fees are then put into place based on if a lawsuit needs to be filed, if the case settles before the trial, or if the case does end up needing to go to trial. If you have been in a serious car accident, the potential consequences of the accident are too great for you and your family to leave to the mercy of the court. Visit myarizonainjurylawyers.com or call us at (480) 757-5000 today to schedule a free case evaluation.
Relevant Evidence for Different Types of Personal Injury Cases
When it comes to various types of cases, there will almost always be the evidence needed to prove the information being offered. If a person has all they need, they should be able to present a pretty clear and seamless case. However, it’s important to know the evidence needed for each type of case to be prepared, and that’s where many people falter. Personal injury cases are quite popular and have an entire list of evidence that will be relevant across most of these types of cases.
If at all possible, always involve the police, so there’s an official report corroborating your story. You’ll want to have an official copy of the police report since this is a strong piece of evidence giving details on the incident, who was involved, times, and other minor details.
Physical evidence will play a heavy role in personal injury cases. For example, say a business had a hole in their floor with no warning sign. Someone didn’t see the hole in time and tripped, hurting themselves. Getting the police involved to preserve the physical evidence is an option or a photo following the incident within a couple of days, at most is also a great example of physical evidence. Anything involved in the accident that could be used as physical evidence should be preserved. In other words, if you have clothes that serve as evidence, don’t wash and fold them, preserve them, and so on with any other physical evidence.
Get all the photos and videos that you can. Many times, these can be compared to security cameras or other photos taken around or at the time of the incident. Word alone doesn’t hold much weight in a personal injury case; however, photographs and physical evidence do. Prints of photos are best. Not photos you can show someone on your phone. Taking the photos with your phone is perfectly fine; however, you’ll want to have tangible copies of those photos and a hard copy stored somewhere just in case.
Record of Injury
Whether it’s hospital bills, doctor notes, photographs of the injury, etc. all of these are pertinent to a personal injury case and lend proof to the injury caused. Since the injury itself is a large part of the case, being able to see the injury or have a document from a medical professional will only solidify the case further.
Returning to the Scene
If need be, return to the scene of an incident as soon as possible and gather any evidence needed. This could be items left behind, photos of the damage caused, photos of the problem that caused the incident, etc. If this is a severe case, you’ll want to check with local law enforcement to ensure there’s no issue with you visiting the scene.
If you ever have any questions about what evidence you’ll need to gather for your personal injury case, it’s best to talk to an attorney. They’ll be able to help you with your specific circumstances.