Top 10 Social Media Tips for Personal Injury Victims From Personal Injury Lawyer Memphis, TN Counts On!

memphis personal injury lawyerIt seems that everyone is on Facebook or some other type of social media these days. Many people are even addicted to it. If you have a Memphis, TN car wreck or personal injury claim, you should carefully consider the impact your social media posts could have on your case and the ultimate settlement or verdict you receive.  As an experienced personal injury lawyer Memphis TN knows and trusts, I can tell you that insurance companies and defense attorneys, as part of their evaluation of you and your case, perform social media account investigation. They will pull up your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media accounts to see if they can gather useful information about you, your activities, and the extent of your injuries.  We at Wiseman Bray PLLC put together the following social media tips for personal injury victims.

Personal Injury Social Media Tips

  1. Archive the content of current accounts. Destruction of potential evidence may create bigger problems than the information itself, so it is important that you do not delete any current content on your social media accounts.  Most social media sites include directions for archiving.

 

  1. Ideally, stop active use of social media. Consider stopping active use of social media altogether. Use it purely for passively looking at content posted by others, and do not post content of your own.

 

  1. At a minimum, be cautious. If you must post information about yourself, think about how posts might be perceived, especially when taken out of context. For example, posting photos of you on a camping trip may leave the false impression that you participate in vigorous physical activity without difficulty or pain.  Social media almost never provides a complete and accurate depiction of life since most people tend to post only the most positive or glamorous aspects of their lives.  You must assume that anything you post – including status updates, messages, and wall postings – will at some point be seen by the other lawyers, judges, and juries. NEVER post information that may relate to your injury claim, even indirectly.

 

  1. Disclose potential problems to a personal injury lawyer Memphis TN counts on. You may have already made potentially problematic posts before reading this. Remember, though, that you should not destroy or delete any information from your social media accounts.  However, do let your personal injury lawyer know so that he or she can avoid any surprises down the road.

 

  1. Turn on the highest privacy settings. Set your privacy settings to the highest level.  Make sure that only friends can see your information, rather than friends of friends, or the general public.

 

  1. Be aware of “friends.” Create “friend lists” so that only certain friends can see your photo albums or status updates.  Remove any “friends” you do not know well, or at all, and accept friend requests and followers only from people you know and trust.  

 

  1. Make yourself invisible to searches. As learned by a personal injury lawyer Memphis TN knows and relies on, you can remove yourself from Facebook search results by selecting “only friends” under the “search visibility” option in your profile settings.  You can also remove yourself from Google in Memphis TN by unchecking the box for “Public Search Listing” in your Internet Privacy settings. You should make comparable changes to privacy settings on all other social media accounts.

 

  1. Preserve all computers, tablets, and cell phones. If you lose or destroy an electronic communication device, the lawyer on the other side could try to portray it as deliberate destruction of evidence.  It is better to fight a battle over access to a device than to have a judge instruct a jury that it may legally assume and conclude the contents of the device would have been unfavorable to you.

 

  1. Don’t send messages or information about your case. Do not send to anyone, except for your lawyers and their staff, any email, text message, or “private” social media message about your claim, health, or activities. Those communications are not privileged and opposing counsel may be allowed to review any and all such communications.  Careless communication can destroy a case.

 

  1. Don’t join websites or web chat groups. You do not own the information you post online, and that information is highly searchable.  Do not enter any information on dating or insurance sites, post on message boards, participate in or comment on social media “private” groups or blogs, or use chat rooms.

Social Media in Other Types of Cases and Claims

These tips are useful if you are involved in any type of litigation or claim, such as apartment crime, negligent security, insurance claim, contract disputes, business litigation, car or auto accident, or premises liability.

Need a personal injury lawyer Memphis TN trusts?

Call us at Wiseman Bray PLLC  today at (901) 372-5003 or email us here.  Let us put our experience as negotiators, litigators, and trial lawyers to work for you.

What Are the Top 5 Most Common Workers Compensation Claims?

Workplace injuries are unfortunately far too common. The causes of these injuries vary depending on the workplace environment and the circumstances of the accident.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, which tracks workplace injuries, released its most recent findings for the year 2014. They determined that the five most common types of injuries that resulted in lost work time are:

Common Types of Injuries

33.2 % — Overexertion and bodily reaction

27.4% — Falls, slips and trips

22.2% — Contact with an object or equipment

6.3% — Violence and injuries caused by other persons

5.4% — Transportation incidents

Common Categories of Workers Comp Claims

There are five common categories of workers compensation claims. This determination is based on data maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Liberty Mutual, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. These five most common claims are:

OVEREXERTION is the most common workers compensation claim. These injuries can be caused by a range of physically exerting activities including pushing objects, lifting objects, holding and carrying, or pulling objects. Claims for these types of injuries account for more than 25% of the financial compensation of all workers compensation claims nationally.

A FALL ON THE SAME LEVEL is the second ranking injury claim, and account for 15.8% of the total compensation cost of all claims. These claims are particularly common because they can occur on any surface, especially when there is ice, sleet, or snow present. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, in 2014 there were 34,860 such falls caused by ice, sleet or snow.

FALL TO A LOWER LEVEL is the third most common claim. These falls account for 10.5% of injury compensation claims. Although these accidents account for a smaller proportion of compensation claims than falls to the same level, there is a greater potential for injury and lost work time. As a result, these injuries account for the second highest number of missed work days per fall. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, these falls account for a median number of 19 missed work days per fall.

BODILY REACTION is the fourth most common claim. These injuries account for 10% of injury claims and are caused from reaching, standing, bending, climbing, or sitting.

STRUCK BY AN OBJECT is the fifth most common claim. These injuries, which are the result of any object striking a worker and causing injury, account for 9% of injury claim compensation amounts.

Workers who have suffered injuries understand the impact and strain that their jobs can have on their bodies. They also know that recovering from these injuries can be very difficult and can take a long time. In some cases, workers who are injured on the job are not aware of their right to file workers compensation claims. As a result they put more effort into continuing their work than they do in their recovery.

Regardless of the cause of a workplace injury, injured workers deserve a Palm Beach County workers compensation lawyer with extensive knowledge and experience who can inform them and fight for appropriate compensation for their injuries.


F&KThanks to our friends and contributors from the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation practice.

Navigating the Pre-suit Texas Medical Malpractice Minefield

“The first order of business,” says Steve Harrelson, a skilled Texarkana medical malpractice lawyer, “is to conduct a thorough review of all relevant medical records by a medical professional.”  Once they have provided the valuable green light, says Harrelson, then it’s time to build the case.  Overbuild the case.  Our most valuable benefit as Plaintiff’s lawyers is to have the case ready to go in front of the jury before contact is even made with the defense.

In the event your case is a death case, ensure that you’ve taken the appropriate steps to have someone named as the personal representative of the estate, that you have obtained Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration, and although not mandatory, it’s also prudent to obtain an order in probate court authorizing the personal representative to file suit against the tortfesor that caused the decedent’s death.

Notice 

Before you can file a medical malpractice petition in many states, including Texas for example, you are required to provide formal notice to the Defendant.  Failure to do this is fatal to your case.  Check the statute for the required inclusions to this letter, or email the author of this article for an example of a notice letter.

Second, some state codes require that any healthcare provider who is put on notice of a potential claim provide complete and unaltered copies of the patient’s medical records. This language should be included in the notice letter, along with a HIPAA-compliant Medical Authorization.  Recall that by this point, if your case is a death case, you should already have a personal representative appointed with authority by the probate court who can execute a Medical Authorization.

In addition, some state codes require the patient providing the is notice to give the Defendant an authorization to obtain his or her relevant medical records.  As you will see by statute, you will also be preparing (1) a list of all of the patient’s medical providers who evaluated or treated the patient in connection with the claim (with address), and (2) a list of medical providers (with address) who evaluated or treated the patient within five years preceding the incident giving rise to the claim.

While not necessary, it is also prudent to load up a set of the patient’s medical records onto a CD and include these with the notice.  Send the notice before the expiration of the two-year statute of limitations by certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery to all Defendants.

Statute of Limitations

If you’re up against the two-year statute of limitations period, remember that you only have to send the notice out before the statute of limitations runs.  This act tolls the statute of limitations for up to 75 days.  After 60 days have expired you may file the medical malpractice petition in a court of competent jurisdiction.  If the statute of limitations has been tolled due to the mailing of the notice, file the petition immediately after the 60 days have expired.

For these reasons, it is imperative to hire a veteran litigator and experienced trial lawyer who has experience in medical malpractice cases.


SHThanks to Steve Harrelson from Harrelson Law Firm P.A. for his added insight into medical malpractice claims in Texas.

Misinformation about malpractice litigation in Tennessee

personal injury lawyer memphis tnOur friend John Day posted an informative blog post about Misinformation About Malpractice Litigation in Tennessee. John points out:

[an article] purports to list the number of filings per state per 100,000 residents and ranks Tennesseans as the 5th highest filers of malpractice lawsuits – at the rate of 33 per 100,000 people.  That would mean that Tennesseans file about 2145 such lawsuits per year (we have a little over 6,500,000 people living here).

But that number is wrong.  Information compiled by Tennessee’s Administrative Office of the Courts demonstrates that there were 374 medical malpractice suits filed in 2013-2014 and 356 suits filed in 2014-2015. (Data is kept on a July 1 – June 30 fiscal year; 2015-2016 data is not yet publicly available). My guess is that the number of suits filed in all of 2015 was down from what it was in fiscal year 2014-2015, but even assuming that it was the same (356), the rate of filed suits was less than 5.5 per 100,000.  That simply didn’t happen.

Lesson: Don’t believe everything that you read.  Some people would like for you to believe that Tennessee residents are “lawsuit happy” and that there are tons of frivolous lawsuits filed against our physicians. And it’s not true.

Need a lawyer in Memphis? We’ve got the perfect one for you.

WISEMAN BRAY PLLC

8001 Centerview Parkway, Suite 103

Memphis, Tennessee 38018

(901) 372-5003 Office

(901) 383-6599 Fax

www.WisemanBray.com

Can I get sued for a DUI?

This is an important question with a simple answer. Yes. For purposes of this article the term dui, or driving under the influence, includes driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both.  All states have both civil and criminal laws addressing the consequences of being caught driving a motor vehicle under the influence.

 

There are as a rule in these types of cases two possible lawsuits.  The first is a criminal prosecution brought by the government for violating state driving laws; the second is a civil lawsuit brought by a private party who may have been injured as a result of the dui.  The consequences of each are significant, and if the dui also involves an accident with injuries the dui driver will in all likelihood face both a criminal lawsuit brought by the prosecutor, and a civil lawsuit for damages brought by the injured party.

 

The dui laws nationwide are becoming increasingly more complicated, and, if a criminal prosecution is brought, the punishment increasingly more severe. Colorado, for example, requires the court to impose mandatory jail time on a 2nd lifetime conviction for dui, or any lesser alcohol or drug conviction, even if the time lapse between a first and second conviction is 25 years!  A 3rd such conviction requires a mandatory 60-day jail sentence, and a 4th lifetime conviction is a felony with the possibility of up to 4 years in prison. Also, it does not matter in Colorado if the prior dui was in Colorado, Virginia or California.  All prior convictions count.

 

Similarly, if someone has caused an accident because of a dui in which other people have been injured, there will most certainly be a civil lawsuit for damages filed. These suits are also complicated and can be expensive to defend.  Most states require that as a condition of the right to have a driver’s license you also have some form of minimum liability insurance. The insurance policy usually requires the insurance company to defend you if there is a lawsuit.  However, the obligation only goes as far as the limits of the policy.

 

Again, in Colorado, to comply with the insurance provisions of the law you only need to have minimum liability coverage of $25,000.00.   After that amount has been exhausted you are on your own.  It is possible that a judgment could be entered against you for many times the amount of your policy.  The injured parties to collect on the amount owed could expose you to a variety of unpleasant legal efforts, including having your wages garnished and other assets (including your home) seized.

 

To return to the question, “can I get sued for a DUI?” the answer from a Denver DUI lawyer is a resounding yes.  If you find yourself involved in a dui situation you should immediately seek advice from a competent and skilled attorney who is knowledgeable about dui law in your state.

 

richard banta law logo
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Office of Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into DUI related suits.

Mall Security in Memphis- Oak Court Mall and Wolfchase Mall Incidents

mall security lawyer, crime victim lawyer memphis tnDo you ever shop at shopping malls in Memphis?

According to the Commercial Appeal, Memphis Police Director, Michael Rallings, said that malls in Memphis depend too much on the short-staffed Memphis Police Department and should instead add private security. Director Rallings also issued this warning to parents who drop off unsupervised children and teenagers to roam about at malls: “It’s not our job to raise your children. That’s your job.”

Malls in Memphis Should Add Private Security, Says Memphis Police Director Rallings

Our firm handles negligent security cases, and what Director Rallings speaks of is absolutely in line with what Tennessee law requires of commercial property owners. In our state, a commercial property owner, like a store or shopping mall, must provide reasonable security to its customers. What is reasonable? That’s ultimately up to a jury to decide after hearing evidence about crime history, neighborhood statistics, etc., but it sure sounds like Director Rallings believes that Memphis shopping malls can and should provide better security that what presently exists.  For the sake of the citizens of Memphis, we hope area shopping malls heed Director Rallings’ recommendation to increase security levels.

Crime Victim Lawyers

We represent victims of crime in the civil court system, because remedies in criminal court do not adequately compensate the crime victim. We may be able to help a crime victim recover compensation for injuries and financial losses due to the failure of a business, shopping mall, store, or apartment complex to provide reasonable security measures in accordance with Tennessee law.  If you or someone you know needs our help, please call us today at 901-372-5003.

WISEMAN BRAY PLLC

8001 Centerview Parkway, Suite 103

Memphis, TN  38018

Phone: (901) 372-5003

www.WisemanBray.com

More Resources for Crime Victims

Visit our Crime Victim page here.

View our previous BLOG POSTS about negligent security cases below:

Cordova Apartment Shootings: Was there security?

Apartment Managers Can’t Turn a Blind Eye to Crime

Windgood Manor Apartment Shootings in Memphis

Deadly Shooting at Madison Cypress Lakes in Memphis

Apartment Complex Crime- Memphis Attorneys

What is the difference between a DUI and DWI?

In the United States, the terms DUI and DWI are generally used to refer to the same type of offense of driving a vehicle while under the influence of an impairing substance such as alcohol or drugs. However, depending on the various statutes of each individual state, either DUI or DWI may be used to define the offense. DUI is an acronym that stands for the offense of Driving Under the Influence while DWI stands for either Driving While Impaired or Driving While Intoxicated. Typically, both DUI and DWI offenses would include driving while having alcohol, drugs, or any other such substance that could negatively influence a person’s faculties and affect their driving. Drugs in this case can include legal prescribed medications, over the counter medications, or any other illegal substances.

In New York, for example, the terms DUI and DWI are distinctly different charges and the statute actually refers to DUI as DWAI, which stands for Driving While Ability Impaired. The offense of DWI in New York is considered driving while intoxicated beyond the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08 percent. DWAI is used when a person has been driving while impaired by some other substance such as drugs or while having a BAC somewhere between 0.05 and 0.07 percent. Therefore, DWAI is considered more broad than DWI because a person who is not guilty of driving with a BAC beyond the legal limit of 0.08 can still be charged and convicted of DWAI.

Unlike New York, North Carolina only has one charge for the offense of driving while impaired (DWI), as an experienced DWI lawyer Shelby NC trusts can explain. There is no such charge as DUI or DWAI. However, under the statute defining the charge of DWI (NCGS § 20-138.1), there are three different ways the State can establish the offense has been committed.  A person is guilty of impaired driving in North Carolina if they have driven on any public vehicular area while: (1) having consumed enough alcohol to acquire an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or greater; (2) containing any amount of a Schedule I controlled substance such as heroine, ecstasy, GHB, methaqualone, peyote, or opiates in his blood or urine; or (3) substantially impaired by an impairing substance. While this is the only North Carolina statute dealing with the offense of DWI, it essentially covers all the same provisions included in the statutes of other states that consider DWI and DUI/DWAI different offenses.


CVThanks to our friends and contributors from Caulder & Valentine, PLLC for their insight into the difference between a DUI and DWI.

3 Myths About Personal Injury Cases

There’s a lot of misinformation being spread these days about personal injury cases. This is because the insurance companies and their powerful friends like to try to poison America’s jury panels against personal injury plaintiffs. This post debunks three of the most glaring untruths about personal injury cases.

  1. Personal injury lawsuits are frivolous

When talking about lawsuits, the word “frivolous” has a specific legal meaning. It means a case without a legal basis. For example, suing congress because you don’t like a law would be frivolous as there is no legal right to sue over that issue. But personal injury cases are just the opposite. When someone has failed to take reasonable care and injured another person, the injured party has a legitimate legal theory justifying their case. If another driver has failed to pay attention and rear-ended you, a lawsuit based on those facts is in no way frivolous. It is entirely justified under the law. So next time you hear a politician or TV talking head refer to frivolous lawsuits, you’ll know they don’t know what they’re talking about.

  1. Injured people win the “lawsuit lottery” when they recover money.

Personal injury damages are supposed to put an injured person in the same position they would have been in had they not been injured. In other words, the injured person is supposed to receive the exact amount it would take to make up for their pain and suffering. But no one in their right mind would accept an injury in exchange for money. Just think, is there any amount of money that you would accept to lose a leg? How about to be paralyzed? No, injured parties are never made whole. They lose time playing with their children and time doing the things they love. They’ll never get that time back. In no way did they win a lottery.

  1. Insurance companies “are on your side.”

We’ve all seen the ads, Peyton Manning humming Nationwide’s jingle. In fact, it seems you can’t watch a football game these days without seeing an ads for half the national insurance companies. All of them pretend to be looking out for you and your family. But make no mistake, there’s only one side these companies are on: their own. They are out there to make money and nothing else. To do that, they will try to deny, delay, or reduce claims whenever they can. Insurance companies are pros at paying less than full value on claims. If you want a pro to fight back, contact a local personal injury lawyer Fort Collins CO trusts as soon as you can.


CHThanks to our friend and blog author, Sam Cannon of Cannon Hadfield, LLC for his insight into personal injury cases.

Cordova, TN Apartment Shootings: Was there security?

apartment shooting lawyer memphis tnViolent crime isn’t limited to urban centers, or run-down properties. Areas in eastern Shelby County, including Cordova, TN are experiencing violent crime, often at what many people would consider to be luxury apartment complexes.

Earlier this month, 18 year old  Eddie McDonald was shot and killed at the Country Squire Apartments in Cordova, TN.

And just this week, a man was shot and killed at the Appling Lakes Apartments in Cordova, TN, while two others were injured by gunfire. The Commercial Appeal reports that the Appling Lakes shooting was the 19th murder in unincorporated Shelby County in 2016–the highest number of homicides ever recorded.

Did you know that apartment owners must provide reasonable security?

In Tennessee, apartment owners are generally required to provide reasonable security measure to tenants and guests of the property. What is “reasonable?” It depends on the circumstances, such as the type of crime committed against a victim and the history of crime on the property and in the surrounding neighborhood.

Every single apartment shooting case is different. We can’t help but wonder if in the Appling Lakes and Country Squire shooting cases, security measures could have prevented the victims’ deaths and injuries.  We do not know enough yet about the cases to make an assessment.

Call us. We are lawyers for crime victims.

We are lawyers for apartment crime victims in Memphis, TN. If you are the victim of an apartment shooting or crime, please call us today at (901) 372-5003.

We have the experience, know-how, and financial resources to properly investigate and prosecute your case. If the apartment complex where you were injured did not provide reasonable security, you may be entitled to money damages to compensate you for your injuries and pain and suffering.   This is the case even if you weren’t a tenant and were just visiting.

We have helped others like you. Let us help you. Call (901) 372-5003 and ask to speak to the experienced apartment crime lawyers in Memphis, TN.

Our office is easy to find and we have free parking. 

8001 Centerview Parkway, Suite 103

Memphis, TN 38108

(901) 372-5003

How to prevent and defend against staged car accidents

Staged accidents are a big criminal enterprise, as a personal injury lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts can explain. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they cost insurance companies about $20 billion per year. They impact you with the headaches of being on the receiving end of personal injury and property damage claims, while significantly increasing insurance premiums. Victims of staged accidents might even suffer legitimate injuries.

Many People Can Be Involved

The participants in staged accidents maneuver their way into crashes that are intended to make the real victim appear to be at fault. Often, the person staging the accident has passengers in the car. Everyone in the vehicle will fake injuries to receive money from the victim’s auto insurer, or even the insurer of the vehicle that they were occupying. It’s not unusual for associates to pose as “independent witnesses” to the accident either. So many staged accidents occur that the FBI has categorized the most common scenarios:

  • Swoop and squat: When the car in front of you gets cut off, and you rear-end it
  • Drive down: When a driver waves you to merge, and then hits you
  • The sideswipe: When a driver intentionally sideswipes you if you drift over slightly
  • The t-bone: When a driver broadsides you, claiming that you ran a red light or stop sign

The Common Factors

A sophisticated staged accident ring may operate in several different states. The conspirators of the ring might consist of drivers, passengers, witnesses, medical professionals, body shop owners, and even lawyers. There are two common threads to these types of accident cases. First, there might be three or four people claiming injury. Next, they happen in no-fault insurance states more often than fault-based states. That’s because the participants are more likely to collect on a claim against his or her own insurance company than an adverse insurer in a fault-based state.

Defend Yourself From Stagers

The most effective measures that you can take to defend against accident stagers is to drive defensively, and stay away from cellular devices when you’re driving. If stagers see you using a cellular device, they may consider you to be an easier target. They may accuse you of distracted driving, and may be able to prove it, too. From that point, it’s just a matter of the nature and extent of the injuries and property damage that the stagers claim.

At The Scene

Always insist that the police come to the scene, no matter how much the other driver protests. Call 911 on your own phone, tell the 911 operator that you believe that you were the victim of a staged accident, and reiterate that information to the investigating officer who arrives on the scene. He or she might investigate the crash more closely with an eye toward that. If you receive a ticket anyway, it is not advisable to plead guilty to the traffic offense. That guilty plea can be used against you in a personal injury case. However, a judicial finding of guilt in traffic court can’t be used against you.

As in any accident, you may want to notify your insurer of the occurrence right away. If you suspect that you were set up in a staged accident, advise your insurance company accordingly. They may have their own fraud unit, and access to law enforcement agencies specifically established for investigating possible fraudulent accident claims.


LMThanks to our friends and contributors from Lorona Mead, PLC for their insight into car accident cases.