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.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Caulder & Valentine, PLLC for their insight into the difference between a DUI and DWI.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks to our friend and blog author, Sam Cannon of Cannon Hadfield, LLC for his insight into personal injury cases.
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:
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.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Lorona Mead, PLC for their insight into car accident cases.
There are several key factors to keep in mind after being involved in a crash with an 18-Wheeler:
First, safety is often lacking in the trucking industry due to profit motive. The trucking industry finds itself hiring less qualified drivers than a decade ago because aspects of the job such as long periods away from family are undesirable. This often results in less qualified drivers being behind the wheel of trucks. It is common for drivers to become drowsy behind the wheel, jeopardizing public safety. Also, at times the training of drivers does not properly prepare them to avoid rollovers and other hazards. Secondly, the industry has a lot of resources at stake with each claim so they use various tactics to try to reach a speedy settlement. Our law firm has both the resources and experience to fully investigate all three aspects of a trucking accident claim:
If you or a loved one has been injured by an 18-wheeler, don’t let the trucking company or insurance company take the lead in your crash investigation. They will focus on reducing liability and cutting your post-crash compensation. Our attorneys will protect your rights and negotiate a settlement that covers all damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress.
Investigating A Truck Accident Claim – Collision Evidence
Collision evidence is the first type of information that needs to be collected. Collision evidence is all the information that can be gathered at the scene of the accident. This includes:
Trucking Industry Evidence
Truck drivers and trucking companies are governed by strict state and Federal regulations. Evidence that applies to the trucking industry is vital to learning more about the driver , the company, and if they have complied with trucking laws. There are time-limits to making claims, so do not delay. Our attorneys will fight to obtain all the evidence to make a truck accident claim including:
Trucking companies are notorious for attempting to “lose” some of this data after a trucking crash. Evidence that might show negligence on the part of the driver or trucking company is often hidden and difficult to access. The insurance companies are savvy to these tactics, and have strategies of their own for gathering complete evidence after a truck crash.
It is important to gather information on the type of severity of injuries sustained in a trucking accident. Knowing the extent of your injuries can help determine the cost of medical damages that should be recovered in a settlement. If you have been involved in a trucking accident, common injuries fall into four categories:
Protect your rights! Don’t answer questions from the truck-driver’s or trucking companies insurance without calling an experienced personal injury lawyer Naperville IL trusts first. We will guide you in how to work with the insurance while being mindful of your rights.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their insight into truck accidents.
Steve Harrelson, a personal injury lawyer Little Rock, AR trusts, has experience with insurance claims and litigating them across the mid-south. Once a claim for bodily injury and property damage is submitted to an insurance company, they will assign a claims representative or claims adjuster and open a claim file.
Once the adjuster opens his file, he or she is likely to contact their insured for a review of the facts after reviewing the policy. Once that happens, you can expect that the adjuster will reach out to you, the victim, for a statement. While many lawyers will advise clients to remain tight-lipped about the incident to the insurance company while the firm investigates the claim, Harrelson takes a different approach. “You want to help the adjuster do his job, which is to complete his investigation and make a recommendation to the higher ups in the insurance company,” says Harrelson. “The more information that can be provided to the insurance company, the better chances of showing them additional compensable portions of the claim, making the claim of higher value.”
The initial statement taken by the insurance adjuster is simply to get a grasp of the overall claim and to determine how different, if any, the perspectives are from the insured and the victim. The adjuster, at this stage, won’t go into minute detail, as he or she doesn’t have enough information about the claim yet. In addition to asking facts, he or she very well might ask about glaring differences between statements of any witnesses.
It’s very important to review your memory in your mind and discuss it with your attorney to make sure you don’t leave out any details. This is likely your first statement, and this will be a benchmark statement that could be referred to throughout the claim or in trial. If your story changes even in the slightest from this initial statement, you can be sure that it will be used against you often.
Discussion medical treatment
In addition to the statement about the facts of the crash or incident that caused you to file a claim, the insurance adjuster will likely want to find out information about your injuries and your medical treatment. It will be important to maintain a list of every single medical provider who has examined or treated you since the accident, along with a list of each pharmacy where you have purchased your prescriptions.
For these reasons, it is always smart to hire a veteran litigator and experienced trial lawyer who has been involved in these particular issues when filing an insurance claim and even presenting cases to a jury. Steve Harrelson, a personal injury lawyer Little Rock AR trusts, has successfully navigated insurance claims for years in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed due to someone else’s negligence, contact a lawyer today.
Thanks to Steve Harrelson and our friends and co-contributors from Harrelson Law Firm, P.A. for their added insight into insurance claims in personal injury cases.
Slip and fall accidents are one of the most common accidents during the holiday season. Most slip and fall accidents are caused by wet, dirty or defective floors. Most of these holiday accidents happen in grocery stores, parking lots and malls. If you find yourself toting a purse, packages or children through a crowded store this holiday season, make sure to keep a proper lookout for obstacles in your path. If during the busy holiday shopping season you find yourself a victim in an unfortunate slip and fall accident, here are a few important factors to consider before it’s too late.
Many people believe that if they are injured in a store, they automatically can recover for their injuries. That is not the case. If you have sustained injuries from a fall, you must be able to prove what caused you to fall before you get compensated. Merely owning or occupying land does not make that person or business liable for your injuries. There must be some form of negligence on the part of the owner or occupier of property before they are liable for your injuries.
You should report your fall immediately to store personnel, and make an accident report. Even though you might be hurt or embarrassed, failing to do a report can ruin your case. Employees who arrive at the accident scene are there to gather evidence to help the store avoid paying you, not to protect you.
Store personnel often arrive with cameras, mops and wet floor signs after a slip and fall accident. They are not there to help you. They are building a case against you. Make sure to take pictures of what caused you to fall. Keep any wet clothes, shoes or pictures from your fall. Get names, addresses and phone numbers of any non-employee witnesses. All of this evidence will be gone once you leave the store.
If you have been injured in a slip and fall accident, you must get medical treatment for your injuries. The longer you wait to get treatment, the more difficult it is to prove a connection between your fall and your injuries. A good starting point is the local emergency room or family doctor. The stores insurance adjusters will question all treatment you receive, especially if you have pre-existing injuries.
Insurance adjusters who call to tape record and interview you are trying to help their client. Everything you say can be used against you in your case. Make sure to talk to an attorney before you talk to the adjusters.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Ferguson & Ferguson Attorneys at Law for their insight into key factors in a slip and fall case.
When you are behind the wheel, you always have to be alert to everything around you. This means that you not only have to be aware of pedestrians and other drivers on the road, but you will also have to be prepared for the onset of inclement weather. Weather can change at the blink of an eye, without warning. When you are driving and a storm suddenly hits, there are certain things you can do to stay safe. Here are a few tips for driving through storms from an experienced Personal injury lawyer Washington DC.
First and foremost, you should be prepared when you go for a drive. Check the weather forecast in your area, as well as any area to which you may be driving. You will be better able to handle whatever comes your way as a result. You may even be able to plan alternate routes to take where the weather isn’t quite as severe.
Tell someone close to you about your route, destination and the time you plan on arriving. That way, you can always get help if your car stalls or breaks down during a storm. You should also have emergency equipment on hand, such as a flashlight, first aid kit, water, snacks and prescription medication.
During a bad storm that involves rain, snow, hail or wind, you should always slow down while driving. The roads can be very slick when they’re wet, which means your car can skid out of control and cause an accident. Strong winds can also make it challenging to drive, and can even give your car a push if they are very severe. Hail is dangerous and can divert your attention from the road. In addition, it’s important to leave more room between your vehicle and the ones around you during a storm.
Turn on Your Headlights
Turn your headlights on any time you drive in a storm, even if it is daytime and fairly light outside. Be sure to use your regular beams, and avoid using your high beams unless you are in an area where there are no drivers nearby. It is important to use your headlights at all times during a storm because visibility is decreased considerably when there is heavy rain or snow as it collects on your windshield and rear window. With no headlights on, it may be more difficult for other drivers to see you as well.
Wait it Out, if Possible
If it is at all possible, depending on the severity of the storm, you should wait it out before continuing driving. If you feel that you cannot comfortably drive when you get caught in a particularly bad storm, pull over. However, it is essential to avoid stopping near trees or power lines, as severe storms can result in them being knocked down. You want to avoid a potential disaster, not experience one that’s even worse.
If the storm you are caught in while driving is a tornado, park your car, get out and immediately seek shelter. Remember that you can always replace a car, but not your life or the lives of your passengers.
A special thanks to our authors at Brynn Law for their insight into personal injury cases.
While the underlying crime is by no means funny — i.e. an argument over a dog pooping in a neighbor’s yard that led to a machete fight — Judge Jeff Sutton of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit offers up several good “one-liners” in response to the criminal defendant’s arguments, including the following:
“‘There is nothing new under the sun.’ Ecclesiastes 1:9. Maybe so. But this is a first for us — a dispute between next-door neighbors about uncollected dog deposits that degenerated into a near-fatal assault with a machete.”
“Walker’s belief, however honest, was emphatically unreasonable. He had no objective indications that his neighbor was about to attack him with the stick. And even if he did, Walker brought a machete to a stick fight and nearly killed his neighbor in the process — all in a dispute over a canine trespass….”
“Walker’s lawyer attempts to downplay her client’s use of a machete, claiming that it is merely a ‘garden implement.’ That is easy for her to say. The neighbor…presumably sees it differently, for the same reason that the victim of a near-fatal knifing would not characterize the weapon as a ‘kitchen utensil.'”
Responding to arguments that the defendant was otherwise a “model citizen,” Judge Sutton wrote: “Being a model citizen for 364 days of the year is not of much use if this is what happens on the 365th day.”
The opinion is barely 4 pages long and well worth the quick read. United States v. Jeffery T. Walker, No. 14-6490, 819 F.3d 877 (April 11, 2016).
We hope you never need help with a case involving a machete! However, if you need a lawyer, please call us at 901-372-5003. We represent victims in personal injury cases, apartment crime cases, wrongful death cases, auto accidents, and more.
WISEMAN BRAY PLLC
8001 Centerview Parkway, Suite 103
Memphis, Tennessee 38018
(901) 372-5003 Office