Truck Driver Sentence for Horrific VA Crash

Auto Accident Lawyer

A food truck driver has been sentenced to 11.5 years in prison for his role in a Virginia crash that took the life of a local woman, reports NBC Washington.

On September 8, 2017, Tony Dane was driving a school bus that had been converted under the banner of his business, Dane’s Great American Hamburger, in Leesburg, Virginia. At close to 5:00 pm, Dane ran a stop sign and hit an Audi station wagon that was being driven by 39-year-old Erin Kaplan. She was killed, and her passengers – her mother, her teenage son and her two daughters – were also injured in the accident.

According to first responders, the family’s Audi was trapped underneath the ten-ton school bus. A wrecker had to be brought in to get the bus off of the car. It took emergency workers three hours to free the family from the twisted frame of their automobile, but unfortunately, Erin Kaplan was pronounced dead at the accident site. Given the devastating scene, Kaplan’s family members were lucky to survive.

Dane was injured in the crash, spending close to two months in the hospital before being transferred to a rehab facility. His grandmother and sisters, who were in his truck at the time of accident, also had brief stays in the hospital with crash-related injuries.

The 11.5-year sentence was the jury’s recommendation, and the judge rejected Dane’s request for leniency in the sentencing. According to the prosecution, the food truck operator drove with a complete disregard for public safety, with no insurance, no inspection and faulty brakes at the time of the accident. The judge apparently agreed and went with the maximum sentences.

The food business the truck belonged to was started by Dane and based in Winchester, Virginia. According to its website, Dane bought the bus and converted it into a food truck so he was able to travel with his family. Since the accident, the website has been taken down.

The tragic accident and the death of Kaplan shocked the local community, which raised thousands of dollars to help the family cover the medical costs related to the crash. The teenage victim of the accident, Ben Kaplan, added that he was very grateful for all the support the family has received.

After the incident, the state’s transportation department made improvements for safety at the intersection where the crash occurred, and a local county sheriff’s office stepped up enforcement in the area.

Running a stop sign may seem like an innocent mistake, but as this devastating crash shows, people can be seriously injured or lose their lives when a driver doesn’t stop at the designated sign or light. Reckless driving endangers everyone else on the road, and the actions of just one person can cause injuries to countless others.

If you or someone you care about has been hurt in an accident with a careless or reckless driver, contact an auto accident lawyer Denver, CO trusts about your rights and your case today. You may be entitled to receive compensation for your suffering, pain and losses stemming from your accident.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into truck accident claims.

Workers Compensation and Back Injuries

If you suffered a back injury while on the job, you’re already aware that back injuries can be extremely painful. They can also make it impossible to perform even simply tasks such as tying one’s shoes or cooking. It can also make it impractical to return to work. A workers compensation lawyer is very familiar with this scenario, and it is one that is all too common. If you sustained a serious injury at work, a lawyer may be able to help you get a settlement which can replace your lost income and pay for all of your injury-related costs.

Workers Compensation Benefits

In a perfect world, every worker who sustains any kind of injury receives sufficient benefits from workers compensation to pay for all of their lost wages and accident costs such as medical care. However, that rarely happens. In fact, workers compensation does not pay you your full wages, even if you are unable to work because of a work injury for which you were not at fault. This can be unfair, and if you are denied any benefits for one or more reasons, you may be unable to afford proper medical care to treat your condition. If your personal health insurance does not cover your injury related costs, you may have to seek less than acceptable medical care and insufficient or no medications. As a result, you may not heal as fast or as fully as you might otherwise. For these reasons, it’s important to contact a workers compensation lawyer as soon as possible.

The Nature of Back Injuries

Many back injuries are mild and do not require significant care or recovery time. In those cases, the worker’s physician may recommend that the employee stays home from work for a minimal period of time and take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication. However, more serious back injuries can require significant recovery time and necessitate staying home for an extended period. If this describes you, workers compensation benefits may not be enough to pay for your injury treatment and everyday bills because you’re not able to generate your normal level of income. You may have options available to you in lieu of workers compensation.

Personal Injury Claims

A workers compensation lawyer New York trusts can help you get the compensation they deserve after suffering a terrible injury while on the job. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may qualify for a settlement as a result of a successful personal injury claim. In lieu of workers compensation, you may be better off filing a claim against the party responsible for your injury. Very often such a settlement is far greater than what you might hope to receive from workers compensation benefits. It requires an experienced workers compensation lawyer to analyze the details of your case and make this determination.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, PC for their insight into workers compensation.

Workers Compensation Lawyer

Being injured at work can cause anxiety, stress, and confusion. You might wonder what will happen while you recover from your injuries? How will you cover your medical bills and expenses? What about your job; will you be fired?

As a workers compensation attorney, we understand your concerns and would like to explain your legal rights and options to you during a free and confidential consultation. Lawyers help injured workers get maximum compensation for claims including:

  • Temporary disability
  • Total permanent disability
  • Loss of limb
  • Loss of eyesight
  • Loss of hearing
  • Neck, spine, or back injuries
  • Head injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Torn muscles and ligaments
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Wrongful death
  • + More

We know that your job and injury could have you anxious, and you’re scared about what the future holds. Rest assured as a workers compensation lawyer, we will work tenaciously to ensure your claim gets approved and you receive compensation that covers your living and medical expenses.

Workers Compensation Benefits

Every state has workers compensation laws that allow workers who have been injured on the job to recover a certain amount of compensation regardless of who is at fault. This protects both the employer and employee. While on workers compensation, a workers can receive medical care, treatment, and rehabilitation. He or she is also compensated, up to a certain percentage, of their salary. In turn, the employer is protected from a lawsuit being filed against them. Benefits that may be available include:

Medical Care – Including surgery, hospital visits, doctors visits, medication, lab work, rehabilitation, etc.

Disability – Coverage for workers who are no longer able to work, or have been partially disabled.

Permanent Loss – Including loss of limb or one of the five senses.

Death – Benefits are paid to the surviving family members when a worker loses his or her life.

Not every employee will be able to claim workers compensation. For example independent contractors are generally not covered by these benefits. A workers compensation lawyer can discuss the qualification requirements in further detail.

Let a Workers Compensation Lawyer Review Your Case

The workers compensation process is not as straightforward as it might seem. It is very common for claims to be denied at first which not only delays you in getting the money you need, but also requires you to go through a tedious appeals process.

Furthermore, you have limited windows of time to initiate the process. If you miss this short deadline, you can be barred from collecting workers compensation. Finally, there is a chance that by filing workers compensation on your own, you could lose out on money that you need and deserve. For this reason you should ask a workers compensation lawyer to help you with the process. A St. Lucie County work injury lawyer can ensure all documentation is correctly completed and filed in a timely manner. He or she can also maintain communication with your employer and their insurance company; thereby, protect your legal rights to the fullest.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation benefits.

It’s Summertime, and Vibrio is a Problem

By: Jory Lange

vibrio lawyer medical treatmentIf there is one thing a vibrio lawyer will tell you is that a vibrio infection is not a day at the beach. But when most people think about vibrio, they think about raw seafood – oyster, clams, scallops, and shellfish in general. They do not usually think about the beach, or rather, ocean water.

But if you have been watching the news this summer, you probably have heard of the term “flesh-eating bacteria.” Flesh-eating bacteria is actually a species of vibrio, called vibrio vulnificus. It does not actually “eat” flesh, but rather kills it. A long-term complication of this type of infection causes skin around the infected area to slowly die, called necrosis fasciitis. This can also lead to the potential for limb amputation, and possibly, death. According to the CDC, many cases are diagnosed across the United States each year, requiring quick antibiotic treatment for survival. There have been cases from Florida, Alabama, Texas, and other Gulf Coast states in the news recently linked to swimming in ocean waters. Vibrio, which loves warm, salty, brackish water, infected those who became ill through open wounds.

Summer is especially a concerning time for vibrio, due to the warming of coastal waters. Vibrio vulnificus is not because of pollution, and is not unique to the Gulf of Mexico.

What Are Vibrio Symptoms?

Vibrio symptoms typically begin within 24 hours of infection.  Vibrio symptoms include: watery diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramping, fever, and chills.  Symptoms often last about three days.

However, Vibrio can lead to severe infections, amputations, and even death in vulnerable people.  Vibrio can infect and sicken anyone.  But people with any of the following conditions are more likely to get Vibrio infections and, once infected, are more likely to suffer severe (even life threatening) complications:

  • People undergoing any type of immune-suppressing therapy as part of their medical treatment;
  • People taking medicine to reduce levels of stomach acids;
  • People who have recently had stomach surgery; and
  • People with liver disease, cancer, diabetes, thalassemia, or HIV.

People with any of these conditions are at an especially high risk from Vibrio infections.

How Common is Vibrio?

According to the CDC, each year approximately 80,000 Americans are infected with Vibrio.  Approximately 100 Americans die from Vibrio infections each year.

How Is Vibrio Diagnosed?

Vibrio infections are diagnosed by testing the stool, blood, or wound of a patient.

Prevention

But vibrio infections of this kind are preventable. According to the Galveston County Department of Health,

“People who suffer cuts while in natural bodies of water anywhere should immediately leave the water, thoroughly clean the wound and do not return until the wound heals. It’s important to keep an eye on the area for infection or swelling. If either occur, medical attention should be obtained immediately. Vibrio vulnificus infections are treatable, especially if caught early. Wearing water shoes while swimming and gloves or waders while fishing can help prevent cuts.”

Thanks to our friends and contributors from MakeFoodSafe.com for their insight into Vibrio injuries.

When Uber Fails to Give You a Safe Ride

Many people take Uber as a way to get home after a party, to work if their car is in the shop, or if they enjoy having another person shuttle them to and from. Uber has become a popular resource that is often viewed as a safe form of travel. If a rider were to ever be involved in an accident, he or she may be unsure of how to respond. It can take people by surprise to be in the middle of an Uber lift, and then be part of an unexpected car crash. Any person who was in a car accident, whether as driver or passenger, should put their health first and get a medical exam right away.

Here in this article, we have answered a few questions about Uber rides, and what you can do to take action if you suffered injuries as a rider.

If my Uber driver gets hit in an accident, how should I respond?

Those who were riding as an innocent passenger in an Uber, may have an urge to flee the scene of an accident. But, by doing so you could be greatly hindering your chances of receiving compensation if you found out later you did in fact suffer injuries due to the fault of another. It may be best to respond just as if you were part of any other kind of accident by doing the following:

  1. Call 911 so police and an ambulance can arrive for support and officially document the collision.
  2. Examine yourself for injuries, and if you have sustained any ask the medical team to do an exam at the scene.
  3. Gather the information of the Uber driver and the other driver involved in the crash, including their name, method of contact, insurance carrier, driver’s license number, and vehicle details.
  4. Keep an eye out for any aches, soreness or bruises that may arise in the days following the incident, and go to your doctor for another exam if you have any concerns.
  5. Consider meeting with an attorney for legal advice if your injuries cost you money, as you may be eligible for monetary compensation.

If I am going to meet with an attorney, what information should I bring?

The more information you bring to your car accident lawyer Dekalb County, GA residents trust about the accident, the better he or she can advise you on what steps to take next. An attorney can not only provide guidance, but representation too if you decide to file a lawsuit after all. If this is your first time talking with an attorney, you should bring along the following details:

  • Copy of the accident report taken by officer
  • Contact information of any witnesses or other riders who were with you at the time of the crash
  • Receipts for medical costs, emergency care and/or hospitalization
  • Doctor’s exams and diagnostics regarding your accident injuries
  • Other damages or related information about what happened
  • Receipt of costs if you had paid for the Uber ride
  • Photographs of the scene and/or visible injuries

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury and uber riding.

Why Are Bicycle Accidents So Traumatizing?

Any sort of accident that results in physical and emotional injuries can be difficult for the victim to process. Sometimes accidents happen very quickly, without much warning and are unexpected. This can be the case for those who ride bicycles as means of transportation, leisure or even sport. Any situation in which a person is sharing the road with a vehicle, is at risk for being hit. In the article here, we have talked more about why exactly bicycle accidents can be so traumatizing for the rider.

What is the main reason bicyclists get hit by cars?

Car drivers may cause a bicycle accident for a variety of reasons. Most drivers do not watch out for bicyclists nearly often enough, and may not notice a rider is next to them until it is too late. Additionally, drivers may be distracted on their cell phone or speeding in order to make it to work on-time. Unfortunately, bicyclists may pay the price for such negligence and carelessness.

What are the most common injuries that may result?

Injuries associated with being struck by a car are endless. When a vehicle exterior made of such firm materials collides with the fragility of the human body, life-threatening conditions may arise. A more extensive list of potential bicyclist injuries are listed as follows:

  • Concussion
  • Fractured skull
  • Neck & back injuries
  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Broken bones
  • Road rash
  • Muscle sprains or tears
  • Anxiety, depression, new fears
  • Facial wounds
  • Cuts from broken windshield
  • Deep bruising
  • Pelvic fracture

Can you tell me more about anxiety, depression and new fears?

Any person who has undergone a traumatic experience which caused pain can develop psychological difficulties. A bicyclist who has been hit by a car may find that he or she has started to feel anxious, depressed and have new fears about getting back onto a bike. If you are having such feelings, they should be communicated with your doctor so you can receive the help that you need to process what happened. A common condition that arises for those who were part of a particularly distressing event is called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Signs that you may be affected by PTSD after your bicyclist accident can include:

  1. Replaying the crash in your mind over & over
  2. Avoiding areas that remind you of where you got hit
  3. Withdrawing from friends & family
  4. Experiencing panic attacks
  5. Feeling down, worrisome or hopeless
  6. Triggers in environment cause you anxiety
  7. Changes in eating habits
  8. Difficulty falling asleep
  9. Feeling on edge or irritable
  10. Being too afraid to get back onto your bike

What if I want to sue the driver who hit me, am I eligible for compensation?

If the driver was at-fault for the accident happening, then you may be entitled to receiving repayment for your injury costs. Medical bills can quickly pile high especially if your condition was severe due to being hit. It is uncommon for a bicyclist to walk away from being clipped by a car totally unscathed. A bicycle accident attorney can meet with you and help you decide if filing a civil lawsuit is the route you wish to take.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at Barry P. Goldberg for their insight into bike accidents.

What Happens if I File for Bankruptcy During my Divorce?

You may be worried that your financial situation will affect your divorce as well, and it will in a few ways. Decisions about establishing child custody or support is usually unaffected by filing for bankruptcy during divorce proceedings. However, decisions about division of property will be halted.

All your property and assets become property of your bankruptcy estate when you file. All attempts to control your property or take it into possession are then halted by an automatic stay. This means that it cannot be handled or divided during your divorce proceedings. Whether you file for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy will better determine how your divorce will be affected.

Filing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy can cause further complications in your divorce proceedings. A bankruptcy trustee will be appointed to you regardless if you file for seven or thirteen. In the case you file for Chapter 7, the trustee has power to sell your property to pay any creditors. The trustee will have to decide which assets are property of your bankruptcy estate and if proceeds from their sale can be used to pay creditors.

Joint property opened with your ex may even be entirely sold if you cannot exempt your interest value in the property. If the ex’s interest in the property is determined to be not included in your bankruptcy estate, then the trustee would pay the sum of the value of their interest to them after the sale of the property.

Filing for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

A trustee is also assigned to your estate when you file for Chapter 13 bankruptcy. However, they do not sell property to creditors. In fact, a trustee must determine the value of your property and interests in order to determine the effects on your repayment plan to creditors. The amount of non-exempt property you have will affect how much you must pay.

A Chapter 13 repayment plan may take three to five years to finish paying off. Usually, you and your ex will have to get permission from bankruptcy court to finish dividing property in divorce proceedings.

Custody and Domestic Support Affected by Automatic Stay

Automatic stay may stop the process of division of property, but it won’t affect court decisions of child custody and support. Filing for bankruptcy will not affect the process of determination of who maintains custody and who pays child support; it will not stop those proceeding like it will prohibit division of property and assets.

Consult an Attorney

Bankruptcy and family law overlap in a number of ways. If you are unsure how filing for bankruptcy will affect your divorce proceedings, consult a divorce lawyer Austin, TX residents trust. They can help guide you through any complications and will provide you with knowledge of any possible issues you may face along the way.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Office of Ryan S. Dougay for their insight into divorce law.

How to Document a Car Crash in Preparation for a Lawsuit

If you have been involved in a car crash that was not your fault and you plan to file a lawsuit against the other driver, it is important that you start to gather evidence for your case as soon as you are able. If you wait too long to start gathering documentation of the accident, some of the evidence may be lost or destroyed, making it harder for you to win at trial or receive a settlement offer that you deserve. Here are a few tips for how to document a car crash in preparation for a lawsuit:

  1. Get the names of witnesses: If you are able after a crash, get the names of any people who saw the accident. Make sure to get their contact information, preferably a phone number and address. Often these witnesses will be identified in a police report, but it never hurts to make your own record. Being able to identify and locate witnesses could be a very important part of making your case at trial.
  2. Take pictures: Again, if you are able, take pictures of the crash. Make sure that you are being safe, staying out of traffic, and that you prioritize getting any medical care that you need and helping others who may have been injured in the crash. Listen to a police officer’s instructions, and be mindful that other people involved in the accident may not want their photograph taken. After the incident, if you still have your car, take photos of the damage, and consider photographing any injury to your body, such as cuts and bruises.
  3. Get a copy of reports: Request a copy of the police report and any report made by your insurance company. Though these documents are relatively easy to obtain later in the case, getting them soon after the incident can help you evaluate your claim by reading how an objective party recorded the crash. You may also be able to correct any errors that you see in your insurance record.
  4. Keep your records: Keep copies of the records you have regarding the crash including towing records, records from a salvage yard or repair shop, and estimates and receipts for repair. If you suffered physical injury during the crash, keep records from you doctor visits, including bills and referrals to other providers for physical therapy or rehabilitation services. Also, make sure that you keep pharmacy records, copies of your prescriptions, and related bills. While the previous three types of information discussed are important for proving that the accident was not your fault, information in step four will be important for proving how much money you are owned in the event of a lawsuit

Along with documenting the car crash, it is also important to considering hiring an automobile accident lawyer Naperville, IL trusts early in the life of your case. A qualified and competent attorney can give you advice for how to document the crash, can help you gather records, and can help you strategize regarding how to pursue your claim against the other driver. An attorney can also negotiate a settlement on your behalf, and, if necessary, will be prepared to take your case all the way to trial to reach a fair result for your claim.

 


 

Thank you to our friends and contributors at The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian for their knowledge about car accidents and injuries.  

Accidents Involving Parked Semis

It is intimidating to share the road with 18-wheelers even in good driving conditions. Most automobile drivers are on high alert when in the presence of these large trucks and exercise extra caution when passing or following these vehicles. But if you come across an 18-wheeler parked on the side of the road or even stopped in a lane of traffic and you are unable to stop, it is not unlike hitting a solid brick wall.  These accidents can cause severe, long-term and permanently disabling injuries and in many cases, involve fatalities. Did the truck driver follow all the required safety precautions when it stopped? How difficult is it to pursue legal action with a trucking company ? What are examples of 18-wheelers causing accidents while legally stopped?

 

  • It is extremely dangerous for a large truck to move at a very slow speed on an interstate, especially in the dark or in inclimate weather. Many drivers are fooled by the lights on the truck, thinking it is traveling at a much higher speed than in actuality. There may be several reasons for the truck to drive slow — was there something wrong mechanically with the truck causing the driver to travel at a speed considerably lower than the rest of the traffic? If the driver did not follow federal requirements that state if there is a mechanical malfunction, the driver needs to pull off the road, set up flares or the triangular warning reflectors. If the driver did not follow the correct protocol, they may be found guilty of negligence. If the truck is traveling at a very low speed because of gradual inclines in the road, they must use the right lane — a designated climbing lane if one is available — and turn on their four-way flashers.

 

  • There are occasions where an 18-wheeler stops in the center of the road because of a mechanical malfunction and are unable to get to the shoulder. The same federal regulations go into effect as if they were on the shoulder. The driver needs to  put flares or orange triangular reflectors 50 feet apart to give drivers a heads-up and time to take action to avert the stopped truck. If the trucker does not comply with these regulations, either because they chose not to or their employer did not supply them with the flares or reflectors, they run a very high risk of having someone run into the back of the truck. These crashes seldom end well, as the drivers are usually traveling at a relatively high speed and can result in serious injuries or deaths.

 

  • A truck may be disabled in the middle of the road as a result of a previous accident. Many times, it is discovered that the truck was traveling at an unsafe speed and flips over going around a bend. Drivers coming along after the truck unable to see the disabled truck and crash into the back of the 18-wheeler. If the truck driver is found to be driving in an unsafe manner, the law states that the trucking company or person driving are responsible for any accidents resulting from their irresponsible actions. In this case, it may be in your best interest to reach out to a truck accident attorney Dekalb County GA residents rely on.

 

Sharing the road with 18-wheelers can be safe so long as both the truck driver and the automobile driver both follow the rules of the road and remain attentive to conditions and circumstances happening around them.

 


If you find yourself a victim of a truck accident or want to know more information about these cases, you may benefit from reaching out to attorney Andrew Lynch, P.C.

Understanding Informed Consent in Medical Malpractice Cases

As a patient, you have the legal right to be advised of major risks before undergoing a medical procedure. If your physician failed to inform you of those risks and you subsequently suffered harm then you may have the basis of a medical malpractice claim. Ultimately, you may be best served by first consulting a medical malpractice lawyer to determine if your circumstances merit legal action against your physician. If your claim is strong enough to pursue, we can assist you in filing a personal injury claim with your doctor’s insurance company. If the carrier refuses to pay you a fair settlement for your damages, a medical malpractice lawyer from our firm can escalate the claim to a lawsuit. Our experience in the courtroom and our record of successful cases is often sufficient to convince an insurance company to return to the bargaining table.

 

Informed Consent

 

A doctor has the legal, ethical, and moral responsibility to provide their patients with the information necessary for the patient to make informed decisions about their healthcare. A medical malpractice lawyer might explain that this is informed consent. Examples of the type of information that a doctor should share with their patient include:

 

  •         A description of the treatment or procedure that the physician is considering providing to the patient.
  •         The reason for providing that treatment or procedure, which should include the optimum outcome.
  •         Information about the potential complications and key risks associated with the treatment or procedure.
  •         The availability, if any, of alternative treatments or procedures and the risks and potential outcomes.
  •         How likely it is that the suggested treatment or procedure will be successful.

 

Making Healthcare Decisions

 

As the patient, you should have been provided the occasion to ask your doctor questions about their treatment or proposed treatment for you. You should also be given some time to consider your healthcare decisions.

 

Assessing Informed Consent

 

In determining if you have a valid medical malpractice claim, your medical malpractice lawyer may ask these questions:

 

  1.       Would most reasonable doctors have disclosed the risks of the proposed treatment or procedure to their patient?
  2.       Would most reasonable patients have declined the proposed treatment or procedure if they had been advised of the risks?

Exceptions to the Rule

 

Informed consent is not necessary in all circumstances. Specifically, if the patient is unconscious and they must be treated due to the emergency nature of their condition, the physician can act in order to try to save the patient’s life and does not require consent. (This assumes the patient is not a minor child and their parent or guardian is present.)

 

Establishing the Connection Between Lack of Informed Consent and Your Injury

 

When a physician does not receive informed consent from their patient prior to providing them with treatment, as long as the patient is not harmed, the patient does not have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. For it to be valid, there must be a clear connection between your injury and your lack of informed consent. Your medical malpractice lawyer may need to prove the following:

 

  •         If you had received the information regarding the risks and other issues, you would not have consented to the treatment.
  •         The injury you suffered was a known risk associated with the treatment, but you were not informed of that, and most reasonable physicians would have done so.

If you have concerns that you were the victim of medical malpractice, contact a skilled attorney, like a medical malpractice lawyer Houston, TX trusts, to schedule a free case review.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from John K. Zaid & Associates for their insight into medical malpractice.