Fire Damage to Properties and People 

Fire InjuryWe have all seen fire trucks passing by us at high speed, their sirens on. We have probably stared at them with great concern. Just thinking about a fire and the possible losses—human and material—can easily make us get goosebumps. But, unfortunately, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments in the United States respond to a fire alarm every 24 seconds.

Fires not only cause monetary losses in terms of properties, homes, and businesses; they also leave behind physical and emotional injuries and, sadly, human casualties. Fire damage is among the top five insurance companies’ claims, proving to be the most expensive one, and this becomes even more so when a lawsuit is filed.

Fires can occur due to a person’s negligence, poor maintenance of facilities, or even because they are intentionally provoked. Fire complaints usually mention the following causes:

  • Fire due to gas leaks causing an explosion
  • Fires due to electrical equipment that has faulty wiring
  • Fires due to poor installation of some equipment both at home and in a business (ovens, water heaters, machinery, etc.)
  • Fire due to mishandling and storage of dangerous chemical substances, among others.

The causes of a fire can be very diverse and can range from an accident in the kitchen, not putting out a cigarette well, making bonfires in forest places, or even lightning striking a tree. With so many causes, determining liability can be complex, and even multiple people can be held responsible for a fire.

Additionally, the damage that is caused by fires do not necessarily need to be as a result of a fire directly touching your property or self.  Damages vary and can include damages caused by ashes or soot that resulted from the fire! 

In any situation, it is vital to consult an attorney who can advise you as to whether file a claim for damages, as Sahar Malek Law, APC, can explain. As with other injury situations, the amount and considerations for compensation vary from state to state. However, the vast majority of states require coverage for the following:

  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Present and future income losses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Property damage, including ash or soot damage
  • Temporary or permanent disability
  • Disfigurement
  • Death

A fire claim can be a very challenging process, so you will want to have an experienced attorney by your side and not go through it alone.  A situation like this is already devastating, and you will want all the support you can get.

Collecting Compensation When You’re To Blame for a Motorcycle Crash

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

As a motorcycle accident lawyer in MD from a law office like  the Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. can explain, when an auto accident occurs, there’s typically one party at fault and another party not at fault. 

If your accident was partially your own fault, is there a way you can collect compensation from the insurer? In the case of a motorcycle accident, there’s a possibility you could collect at least partial compensation when you’re partially to blame.

States With Comparative Fault

In states with a comparative fault system, you can often receive compensation minus the percentage you were at fault for the accident. For example, if your motorcycle accident was 80% your fault, you could be able to collect 20% compensation. To prove you hold less responsibility, you need to have solid evidence, so it’s important to always keep track of witnesses, medical bills and photographs of the scene.

States With Modified Comparative Fault

In states that have a modified comparative fault system, you can receive compensation to a certain percentage if you are less than 50% or 51% at fault for the accident. The percentage threshold depends on the state you’re in. Your compensation would be reduced by the percentage of fault you have in the accident. For example, if you are in a motorcycle accident and the court determines you hold 30% of the blame, you would only be able to collect 70% of the compensation.

States With Contributory Fault

In states that have a contributory fault system, you will not be able to collect any compensation if you hold even a small percentage of blame in your motorcycle accident. For example, if a court determines that by paying better attention, you could have avoided a crash caused by another motorist, you might be assigned a small percentage of blame, such as 5%. Even that small 5% would eliminate your ability to seek compensation.

How To Seek Compensation Elsewhere

If you feel the insurance company isn’t offering you as much as you deserve, you might be able to file a lawsuit. Medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, property damages, and punitive damages might be necessary for you to fully financially recover from your accident, and if someone else caused the situation, you should be compensated. A lawyer can help create and file a document to sue the other driver or individual who caused the accident.

Getting Started Today

The law is different from state to state, so when you’re in a motorcycle accident, you should speak with a lawyer who can explain what you’re up against. Contact a motorcycle accident lawyer today so you can get started.

How to Avoid Motorcycle Accidents

Getting into a motorcycle accident is a frightening and life-changing experience. It can leave motorcyclists with injuries that can take months to recover from or even a permanent disability. Though you are not able to control how other people drive on the road, you can minimize your chances of getting into a serious accident by practicing safe, cautious and defensive driving. Be aware of the following mistakes so that you can avoid getting into an accident. 

Weaving through Lanes of Traffic

Because motorcycles are smaller and faster than many other vehicles on the road, some motorcyclists cross multiple lanes of traffic at once. This practice is dangerous and discouraged because you may strike other vehicles in your path, especially vehicles changing lanes or merging onto the road. Other drivers don’t have enough warning and fail to see you so they may strike your motorcycle as well. 

Making Improper Left Turns

Left-turn collisions make up a large portion of motorcycle accidents. They are common at four-way stops or at intersections where there are unprotected left turns. Some drivers are in a rush and turn too early when other vehicles from the opposite direction are traveling at a high speed. When a driver makes a poorly timed left turn, they can get into a T-bone accident, where another vehicle strikes them from the side. This can result in catastrophic injuries. 

Illegal Lane Splitting 

Do not lane split while you are riding a motorcycle. Though lane splitting is permitted in some areas, it is against the law in the state of Washington. Lane splitting is the practice of riding a motorcycle in between two lanes while traffic is slow or at a standstill. It poses many risks, but many motorcyclists lane split because it is convenient and allows them to easily go through traffic. 

Driving Under the Influence

As one of the most common violations of traffic law, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a problem across all states. Despite the dangers, too many people underestimate how substances will impair their senses. Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable because motorcycles lack the protections that a car or truck have. Avoid operating a motorcycle or any type of vehicle if you have had a drink or have taken drugs or other substances. 

Do your part to stay safe on the road and keep other people safe. If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident where you have partial blame or the accident was caused by another driver, you may benefit from speaking with a motorcycle accident lawyer like one from Park Chenaur & Associates, Inc., P.S., Schedule a free consultation with a lawyer to explore your legal options.

Understanding the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury Claims

A car accident, workplace injury, or any other personal injury can be life-altering. Depending on the severity of the injuries, recoveries can take months or years and sometimes have no set improvement date, meaning career and social life change.

It is natural after sustaining an injury, psychological or physical, you would want to wait until you were fully evaluated and healed before considering a lawsuit to seek compensation. Whether your reasoning is purely out of respect for your healing process or because you want a finite number for damages, you might need to reconsider waiting. 

Statute of Limitations

Depending on where you live and the type of accident, you might have less than two years to file a claim. In general, most states provide a statute of limitations of two years on person injury lawsuits, meaning you have 730 days to sue the at-fault party for compensation.

While that might sound like a lot of time, it is not a specific number for all states or all accidents. For example, in some jurisdictions, if you are injured while riding government-funded transportation, you might only have a few months to make a claim.

Exceptions to the Rule

If an individual is incapacitated because of an accident, a judge can allow a family member to file a claim on their behalf, especially if the two-year deadline is approaching. However, the exception is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, so there are no guarantees.

Additionally, if a minor is injured during an accident, they might have more time to file a claim. Most states with the two-year statute specify it as a rule for people of legal age or 18. If a child of 14 receives an injury in an accident, they should have the four years until their 18th birthday and the two years provided by the statute, meaning they will have six years to file a claim against the at-fault party.

Legal Advice and Intervention

Before filing any lawsuit in a personal injury claim, it is best to talk to a personal injury lawyer like one from Greenspan & Greenspan P.C. They can often provide insight into the likely success of the claim, and they can intervene on your behalf to argue for more time or other case specifics. 

If you would like to learn more about the personal injury process or about specific statutes in your state, contact a local attorney. Most personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation.

Reporting Nursing Home Abuse

Personal Injury Lawyer

A trip to visit your aging parent in the nursing home should be one that fills you with joy. Instead, if you find yourself feeling like something is wrong or off, you should not ignore it. Sometimes, there may be misconduct or negligence happening behind closed doors. While you may spot some of the physical indications of abuse, there are also invisible indicators that things are amiss. If you find yourself wondering about how your parent is being treated when you aren’t there, you may want to get help. Here are some of the steps you can take to ensure your parent is safe.

Nursing Home Director

If you have suspicions that something is wrong with your parent, you may want to take it up with the nursing home director first. The reaction to your report may help you gauge the level of care at the facility. There are times where the director is not aware that staff members are not doing their jobs. Make an appointment to see the director if possible and bring your list of concerns. Document the steps the director sets out for rectifying any issues you raise.

Physicians

Someone who should be able to spot the physical signs of abuse is your parent’s physician. There are some clear physical indicators of nursing home abuse or neglect, including:

  • Skin ulcers or bedsores
  • Injuries in all stages of healing
  • Malnutrition
  • Frequent illness or infection

If you suspect that your parent is not being cared for or abused, you may want to make an appointment with the physician and get things checked out. The doctor has an ethical duty to report abuse indications.

Police

Your local authorities may be your first or last call if you believe your parent is being abused. The police must come out and do a full report. As part of their investigation, they will interview the staff, administration and even other residents. There may be other reports for the same facility that you do not know about. The police will also call elder services, a sector of social services. Eldercare social workers can drop in and monitor your parent for continuing signs of abuse or neglect in your absence.

All aging people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. If you have a strong suspicion that there is something wrong at your parent’s care facility, a consultation with a lawyer, like a nursing home abuse lawyer from Wieand Law Firm, LLC, may be warranted. An advocate who knows the system may be just the person you need on your side.

How Long Do I Have to Go to a Doctor After a Motorcycle Accident Caused by Standing Water?

Personal Injury Lawyer

Standing water impairs traction, making it difficult for motorcycle tires to maintain a grip on the road. Poor drainage from road surfaces poses a challenge for even the most skilled rider.

Standing water also conceals hazardous road defects. Motorcyclists can try to maneuver around visible potholes. When the pothole is filled with and surrounded by standing water, an unsuspecting rider is at risk of blowing a tire or losing balance after riding into it.

Other road defects may be hidden by standing water including ridges, cracks in the pavement, and uneven pavement surfaces. Riders are at risk of hitting debris that could puncture tires or damage wheels when the debris is covered by water.

The government that owns the road has the obligation to maintain it. Maintenance includes removing draining obstructions so that water is not allowed to pool in the road. Unfortunately, government leaders are so afraid of raising taxes that road maintenance suffers.

When a government neglects its duty to maintain roads, motorcyclists who are injured because of standing water can bring a legal claim. State laws typically require them to give notice of that claim shortly after the accident occurs. Failing to give that notice can result in a loss of the opportunity to make a claim for compensation against the government.

A motorcycle accident lawyer, like a motorcycle accident lawyer from Butler Law Firm, can investigate the circumstances of the accident and advise the injury victim of the deadline for filing a notice of claim. Contacting a lawyer after an accident caused by standing water should be one of the injured motorcyclist’s first priorities.

Is There a Time Limit for Going to a Doctor After a Motorcycle Accident Caused by Standing Water?

While there are time limits for filing a notice of claim and starting a lawsuit, no law places a deadline on seeing a doctor after a motorcycle accident. There are nevertheless practical reasons for doing so as soon as possible.

Prompt treatment can save lives. While serious injuries will often result in emergency room treatment, the severity of an injury is not always obvious. When a rider’s body slams against the pavement or a bike falls onto the rider’s chest, the rider may suffer from internal bleeding or organ damage. Riders might not know that the injury is serious until it is too late to treat.

Head injuries can cause bleeding or swelling in the brain. The only symptom may be a mild headache until sudden pain leads to death. An immediate evaluation can mean the difference between survival and death.

Prompt treatment also encourages healing. Trying to “walk off” an injury might only increase the damage. Injuries to muscles and joints can cause lasting pain that eventually becomes debilitating if treatment does not begin immediately. Motorcyclists might condemn themselves to a lifetime of disabling pain if they do not see a doctor immediately after a crash.

Seeing a Doctor After a Motorcycle Accident Caused by Standing Water Improves the Outcome of Injury Claims

Governments employ claims managers to evaluate legal claims. They typically view their job as protecting the government’s budget by denying claims whenever they can.

Claims managers scrutinize an injured motorcyclist’s medical records. If the motorcycle rider did not seek prompt treatment, the claims manager will deny that any eventual treatment was related to the standing water. They will argue that the treatment must be related to a later accident, because people who are injured in an accident usually seek treatment right away.

Claims managers also look for treatment gaps. If an injured rider decides to ignore a doctor’s advice and blows off appointments, the claims manager will assume the injury healed and will attribute renewed treatment to a new injury. Seeing a doctor quickly and following treatment recommendations is the best way to protect a motorcycle rider’s ability to obtain compensation. 

Practicing law is hard, but being a Personal Injury Lawyer is not (most of the time). 

Practicing law is hard, but being a Personal Injury Lawyer is not (most of the time)

Let’s get something out of the way first, practicing law is hard but fighting to get you paid for your injuries after a car accident is easy…most of the time.

Here’s why:

  • The reality is that car accident lawyers are not rocket scientists.  
  • They are not curing cancer. 
  • They are hard working men and women fighting every day to do a task that can be broken down into formulaic principles. 

That is why it is easy. 

But, it may take many years or decades to get to the point where it is easy, but maybe not.

There is a lawyer in Louisiana who, never having settled a lawsuit of his own, never having stepped into a trial, never having any experience in personal injury law gets a client who has some great facts:

  • Car overturned on the expressway, getting hit from behind at 70 miles per hour, with a subsequent fire that engulfed the car in mere minutes.  
  • She was pulled out of the car by onlookers, apparently with minor cuts and bruises (and a whopping headache).
  • She doesn’t seriously treat for several months, until she meets this attorney who tells her that he is going to help her get better and get paid. 
  • He starts by finding out how much insurance is available by contacting the insurance companies for the guy who hits her and her own insurance company. 
  • Luckily there is more than $125,000 in insurance available between the liability insurer and her own uninsured motorist policy.  
  • She has symptoms of dizziness, loss of sleep, headaches and memory loss. 
  • Classic symptoms of a TBI: Traumatic Brain Injury, but she didn’t really know it. She just thought her head hurt and she may have heard of the word concussion before but didn’t know that was actually a laymen’s term for a TBI. 
  • She sees a neurologist and specialists who tell her there is not much they can do or that she can do, but wait, take time away from work and let her brain rest.  
  • She follows their advice to the best of her ability but she also has to work, take care of kids, live her life…and the last thing she wanted to do was deal with insurance companies after a long day.

This lawyer, with limited experience but a propensity and desire to learn the art of negotiating a deal calls on his more experienced personal injury lawyer friends to help him do the right thing and maximize the claim for his client.

He follows their tried and true advice:

  1. Get treatment for the client documented by well known doctors in the field who will give a causation statement that her injuries are a direct result of the accident and were not pre-existing.
  2. Make sure the client goes to treatment and get the medical records to submit with a demand letter detailing all treatment with corresponding expenses. 
  3. Research the cases and determine the case value for the types of injuries in the jurisdiction in which the accident case would be tried in court.
  4. Talk to the adjusters and never, ever take the first offer (or second or third). 
  5. Keep the pressure on that you will go to trial

After doing all of those things and sticking to his guns, the lawyer ends up with all the money that he had sought to get for his client.

He was amazed.  So was the client. 

He followed a formula.  It is not hard and he learned it.  So he got excellent results. 

He also had great facts, great mentors and a drive to win.  

Those are the easy cases and the hard cases without great facts and high policy limits are the ones where great PI lawyers earn their keep.

But most of the time…it is the diligent practice of grinding it out, following the formula and never taking no for an answer that makes a PI lawyer a winner.

How to Determine if You Have a Personal Injury Case

Accidents happen. If you have been injured in an accident, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a personal injury claim. Likewise, if you were injured, it might mean that you do have a case. If you aren’t familiar with personal injury law, then you might be confused as to what a valid claim entails. The following are the basic requirements for a personal injury lawsuit.

There Were Compensatory Damages

Even if you were in an accident, if there were no damages, then you cannot file a claim. The basis of a personal injury lawsuit is that you suffered damages that you deserve compensation for. Often, these are medical bills, pain and suffering or lost wages. In fact, many accidents result in a mix of different damages.

For instance, say that you slipped and fell in a grocery store. The store may be responsible if they did not maintain a safe store. However, if you fell and had no injuries, then the store does not have to pay you for any damages. On the other hand, if you fell and suffered a break to your hip or other medical issue, then you may be able to file a claim.

There Was a Negligent Party

After an accident, if you want to file a personal injury claim, there has to be someone who was negligent. For instance, if you are in a car accident because another person ran through a stoplight, then that person was negligent and is responsible for your damages. In addition to there being a negligent party, the person’s negligence had to cause the injuries.

The negligence has to cause the injuries directly. In car accident cases, for instance, you may see damages reduced because the injured party was not wearing a seatbelt or is partially responsible for his or her own injuries.

If you were in any type of accident or suffered any injuries due to someone else’s negligence, then it is possible that you deserve compensation. Keep in mind that all areas of the law can be complicated and if you want to make sure that you have a claim, you should speak with a lawyer. In addition, a lawyer can make sure that you file all of the proper forms and documentation necessary. To find out for sure if you have a claim, call a Philadelphia, PA, personal injury lawyer, like Wieand Law Firm to set up a consultation.

What to Do Following a Hit-and-Run Accident

If you are the victim of a hit-and-run accident, you may be astonished in the moment and not sure what to do. Did someone really just hit you and flee the scene? Unfortunately, this happens, but you don’t have to suffer the consequences on your own. With the help of an automobile accident lawyer, like an automobile accident lawyer in Washington DC, you can strive to fight the case and hold the driver responsible. The following are some things to do immediately after the accident.

Stay Put

It could get dangerous for you to try and follow the individual who hit you, but it’s also illegal to leave the scene of an accident. If you are hit by someone who then flees, don’t make the decision to leave as well. Instead, stay where you are and begin to assess the situation.

Call the Authorities

Just like any other accident, you should call the authorities after you are in a hit-and-run accident. If you or someone else is injured, be sure to let the dispatcher know so that he or she can send proper help. While you’re on the phone, give the dispatcher as many details as you can remember. If you’re nearing the end of the call and suddenly remember a detail, be sure to include that before hanging up.

Collect Evidence

If you are able, try to get as good a glimpse of the car and driver as you can. Write it all down as soon as you can so you don’t forget anything. Oftentimes there are details that you remember as you’re talking or writing your way through what happened, so be sure you get it all on paper. If you’re injured or extremely shaky, dictate the information to your phone or to an officer. Some details to try to remember include:

  • License plate information such as any digits (even if you only saw a small portion), the state, a logo, or any other images on the car.
  • The make, model, and color of the vehicle.
  • Additions to the car, such as a bike rack, bumper stickers, trailer hitches, etc.
  • Any sounds the car made, such as squealing or a loud muffler.
  • The gender, estimated age, and nationality of the driver.
  • How many people were in the car.
  • Car damage such as scratches, dents, cracks, missing hubcaps, broken lights, etc.

Get in Touch with Your Lawyer

After being involved in a hit-and-run accident you’ll need some additional assistance to work through the process of getting compensated for injuries and damages to your car. Hope isn’t lost if the driver left the scene, so contact a car accident attorney today to get the assistance you need.

Thanks to Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for their insight into what you should do if you are involved in a hit and run accident.

THINGS YOU SHOULD NEVER DO AFTER A CAR ACCIDENT

5 Things You Should Never Do After a Car Accident (In 2020)

After being in a car accident or personal injury situation, it is natural to panic and in the process take certain steps that might harm yourself in the future. If you or your loved ones have ever been in such a situation, you know well that it is difficult to keep calm after such a traumatic event. However, if you deal with the situation carefully and intelligently, it will ensure that you get a favorable verdict and fair settlement from the insurance company.

These kind of accidents are fairly common in the US and it is necessary to know the correct way to deal with them. With the following tips and tricks in mind, you will significantly increase the likelihood of a favorable verdict

Check out the top 5 things that should never be done after you’ve been in a car accident or personal injury scenario.

Delay seeking medical attention medical

After being in an accident, your first instinct should be to visit a doctor. Even if you cannot see any external injuries, it will be foolish to rule out a concussion or internal injury on the first look. Do not wait weeks or even days to consult a physician.

If you are seriously injured, immediately call emergency services. Calling 911 will ensure you reach medical facilities quickly.

In addition to preserving your health, this action will ensure that you have official records of the injuries sustained in the accident. These documents will prove to be immensely useful in a trial or insurance claim. It is important to have a record of the severity of your injuries and take exact notes of where you have been hurt.


Keep quiet about your ordeal Keep quiet

Although it is not advisable to share too many incriminating details about your accident with anyone, keeping completely mum about the whole ordeal isn’t the smart thing to do either.

Make sure you report your injuries to someone in a position of power, for instance, your employer, police, etc. This ensures that an official record is created of the date and time of your accident and gives you legal credibility to prove your case later.

Calling the police is also a good idea, to collect evidence from the scene and talk to witnesses if any. Witness testimonials and concrete evidence will make your case stronger and help you negotiate a better deal with the insurance provider.


Talk too much or give conflicting testimonials

Talking too much about your ordeal is also harmful in case you are seeking an insurance payout. Often, we end up saying things that can be used against us in court or during insurance settlements. The riskiest thing to do in this situation is to admit fault.

Even if you think you had a hand in the accident, do not admit fault or apologize for the accident to any of the concerned parties before a thorough investigation has been conducted. Perhaps, some new facts may come to light which would place the blame on something else or at least share it. Do not place liability with yourself in any case, as that may harm your chances of getting a fair settlement and even lead to your conviction in court.

It is also important to check what you are saying to officials immediately after the accident. If you tell a policeman that you have no injuries right after the accident, any injury you discover later might not be considered for compensation. Always visit a doctor and get a thorough check-up done before committing to any such statement.  


Avoid getting a lawyer or legal advice not approaching lawyer

No matter how smart we think we are, we should never assume that we can deal with the aftermath of the accident alone, without any legal help. It is imperative to hire a personal injury or accident lawyer immediately after the incident.

The lawyer will do all the fieldwork of gathering evidence, talking to witnesses, keeping a record of your injuries and expenses, etc. You will also get a fair settlement from the insurance company through legal aid.

If you think hiring a lawyer is expensive, you will find that there are many legal firms in the US who work on a contingency fee basis, that is they only charge money if you win the case and get the settled up compensation. This way, you will protect your legal rights as well as be saved from being cheated by insurance giants.


Settle for the first offer without further thought

Insurance companies seem like your best friend after an accident or personal injury, but remember that it isn’t so. Be very careful how to deal with your insurance adjuster, who is the person assigned by the company to settle a sum for your case. If you are too frank with him and share too many details, that information will be used against you later.

Do not accept a minimized offer from the adjuster without consulting a lawyer and getting an idea about the true value of your claim. You may find that you would have been running in losses of hundreds and thousands if you had settled for the initial offer from the insurance company. Contest for your claim and prove your case with legal aid to get the maximum payout.


If you follow these steps, you will be able to get a fair deal from the insurance company and seek compensation for your physical and mental ordeal owing to an accident or personal injury.