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.  

Memphis Car Crash, Wrongful Death & Injury

According to the Commercial Appeal headline and story from Wednesday, April 16, 2014:  “One person is dead and a half dozen others were taken to area hospitals after a 10-vehicle crash in Raleigh Wednesday evening.  Police were still confirming details about how the 10 vehicles collided at Covington Pike and Raleigh LaGrange.”
Being injured in a motor vehicle accident is especially traumatizing if it involved another driver and they were at-fault.  Wrongful death is, for obvious reasons, particularly tragic.  In one instant, you and the life of your loved ones can be  life can change forever.

Expensive medical bills, vehicle damage, and the inability to go to work can be overwhelming, and not just financially.  Injuries to the head, neck, spine and back can develop into permanent impairments.  Car wreck laws in Tennessee provide recovery against at-fault drivers for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.  Read more about the type of damages you can recover here.
If you have a question concerning your Memphis or Raleigh car wreck, motor vehicle accident, or wrongful death case, call or schedule a consultation with our Memphis-based accident lawyers at Wiseman Bray PLLC today.

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.

Should I Hire a Lawyer After My Motorcycle Accident?

If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, you likely have many questions. One of the big questions is probably whether or not to hire an attorney. Most accidents involving a motorcycle are destructive and require the involvement of insurance companies and legal action of some sort. In such case, it is vital to hire an attorney, because they have the experience and knowledge to ensure your rights and interests are protected. Even if the destruction is minimal, it is wise to speak with an attorney to obtain proper guidance. Below are some common questions in regards to hiring a lawyer.

What if I can’t afford to hire a lawyer?

For many people, the main reason for not hiring a lawyer is because they think they can’t afford to. If you believe you are unable to afford a lawyer, you may be surprised to know that having a lawyer can actually benefit you financially.

  •         Many motorcycle accident lawyers will offer a free consultation where they will review your case and determine if you have a strong claim
  •         Lawyers usually work on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not have to pay anything upfront. Instead, a percentage of your settlement will go to them
  •         If the lawyer does not reach a settlement and you lose your case, you are not required to pay the lawyer
  •         The percentage of your settlement that goes to the lawyer will usually be less than what you would have received had you not had legal representation

Won’t my insurance company protect my rights?

Many people believe that having insurance coverage means that the insurance company will handle the accident and that no legal representation is necessary. While insurance companies are required to comply with the terms of the policy and pay the necessary claims, they are also a money-making business. This means that they will usually do what they can to pay as little as possible. A lawyer, like a motorcycle accident lawyer Fort Collins, CO relies on, has a legal obligation to advocate on your behalf, and they will work to reach a fair settlement.

Do I need a lawyer if the accident was minor and I didn’t sustain injuries?

Accident victims often believe if they were not injured or little damage was done in the accident, there is no need to hire a lawyer. Even if you appear to have sustained little or no injuries from the accident, more serious injuries may surface later. For this reason, it is important to seek medical attention regardless of the severity of the accident. It is also important to seek legal counsel in case you have sustained injuries so that you are able to recover damages from the at-fault party.

A motorcycle accident can be very stressful, especially if injuries and severe damage are involved. Hiring an experienced motorcycle accident lawyer can help relieve much of the stress by handling the legal matters at hand. He or she can review your case and help make a strong claim. In addition, they will negotiate a fair settlement all while protecting your rights and interests throughout the case.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Cannon, Hadfield, Stieben & Doutt, LLC for their insight into motorcycle accident cases.

 

Injured while travelling on an airplane

Your Rights as an Airline Passenger

For so many, just the thought of air travel is stressful. Imagine after getting up the nerve to fly, there is some turbulence and an overhead compartment that was not secure comes open and a piece of luggage falls on your head. Unlikely? Probably, but not unheard of. As a result of getting hit in the head you have to go to the hospital to check out your injury. Because of the time spent at the emergency room, you missed a very important meeting, or your cruise sailed without you, or you missed a connecting flight. What recourse do you have?

If you have questions about your rights as a passenger and how to make sure the airline is held responsible for their negligence, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer Deer Park, TX residents trust. Also contact the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to report your issue.

In-flight injuries do not happen very often, depending upon how the accident happened will determine if you have any legal claims available to you.

Most of the in-flight accidents occur when luggage falls from the overhead bins. Injuries from rolling food carts are not all that uncommon either. The cart can run into passengers arms or shoulders as they roll by. Turbulence-related injuries occur on average to about 75 passengers per year.

Airlines are not responsible for injuries that happen because of an ‘act of God’, which is defined as unplanned occurrences in nature that are unpreventable A common act of God would be turbulence. An injury caused by turbulence is usually not the fault of the airline, as they cannot predict this condition, so long as the flight crew provided necessary information and instruction to protect passengers as best they could.

However, if the pilot was aware of oncoming turbulence and did not pass along the information to the passengers, the airline could be charged with negligence should there be any injuries caused by the turbulence. Furthermore, if the attendants did not

  • instruct passengers to stay in their seats with their seatbelts on,
  • securely stow away any personal items,
  • Position their seats in an upright position

and then someone is injured because of the turbulence, the airline may be held accountable.

If you were injured when baggage fell from an unlatched or incorrectly latched overhead bin, research needs to be done to determine whether the bin came open as a result of negligence from the attendant, or because the bin clasp was defective. If a design flaw caused the bin to come open during the flight, a claim may be filed against the manufacturer of the bin instead of the airline.

Another example of an accident that may have more than one cause if someone falls while on the exit ramp and it is discovered that the ramp had a rise in it that caused someone to trip. The ramp itself may have a manufacturing defect and the passenger can file a claim against the company who made the ramp. On the other hand, if the airline knew about the problem on the ramp and failed to warn passengers, the airline may also be held liable.

If you have questions about an injury you received while on an airplane, contact personal injury attorneys near you to discuss your situation and determine who was responsible for your injury and how they can help.


Thank you to our contributors at John K. Zaid & Associates for the above information.

Truck Accidents caused by Reckless Driving

The Threats Posed by Large Trucks

Even if a truck driver is awake, sober, and alert and paying full attention to driving their large truck, these huge vehicles can be a threat to a passenger vehicle on any of the roads and highways in which they share. On average there is roughly around 250 fatalities per year that involve large, commercial trucks and passenger vehicles that were caused by reckless driving. There are state and federal regulations which impose certain duties that truck drivers are supposed to follow. These standards are supposed to establish a standard of care to others on the road. However, truck drivers often do not live up to these regulations and standards. When a truck crashes due to reckless driving, the truck driver is overwhelmingly unharmed in the accident. Research has found that less than 20 percent of injuries or fatalities, that relate to truck accidents caused from reckless driving, are the truck driver.

If a truck driver is driving his vehicle in a reckless way with no regard to the safety of the cars around them, the chance of having a serious accident greatly increases. A large 18-wheeled truck can be nerve-wracking to drive next to all on its own, however, when a truck driver uses their truck to antagonize drivers on the road, it goes from being a traffic violation to a criminal offense.

What does reckless truck driving look like?

Reckless driving is fundamentally different than careless driving or negligent driving. Unfortunately, the outcomes of these poor driving events are usually similar. A careless driver, or negligent driver, is one who does not pay enough attention to other vehicles or to the road. A reckless driver is one who intentionally does not follow the rules of the road and acts aggressive. A driver’s actions are considered aggressive when there is a combination of traffic violations that can cause harm to those around them. Examples of this include:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to yield the right of way
  • Tailgating other vehicles
  • Passing other trucks or cars aggressively
  • Cutting off other cars or trucks while weaving in and out of cars in traffic aggressively
  • Starting their trip without inspecting the truck, cargo, or emergency equipment
  • Failing to secure a load that could become loose
  • Talking or texting on a cell phone while operating a large truck
  • Driving while tired
  • Driving beyond the time limits that are set by federal and state rules
  • Driving under the influence
  • Backing up without checking for other vehicles
  • Stopping suddenly on the shoulder of the road without warning
  • Making sharp turns without leaving enough space

The US Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have created a program called Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks, TACT. The goal of TACT is to lessen the amount of unsafe driving behaviors by both passenger vehicles and commercial truck drivers. It was also created to reduce how many large truck accidents occur and to lessen the amount of injuries and fatalities that occur on the roadways. If you feel you or other cars are in immediate danger because of a truck accident due to a truck driver’s reckless driving, you should always call 911 to report it. If, however, you are in a big truck accident and it is the truck driver’s fault, you should  call a competent and experienced truck accident attorney Dekalb County GA or locals right away to make sure that you are fairly treated.

 

Thank you to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C Attorney at Law for providing their insight on car accident injuries and authoring this piece.

Determining Real Property

Determining Real Property

Real property is one of the biggest factors in determining if an estate will go through probate in California.  As an estate planning attorney, my goal is to prevent the need for probate by ensuring that any real property you own has a line of succession.  This is usually in the form of a Trust Transfer Deed because it all but guarantees that your real property will not be subject to probate, thereby ensuring that your property will be distributed per your wishes without the costly delay of the California probate process.

 

As recent as two years ago, California passed a law enabling individuals with real property to create a line of succession for their property through a Transfer on Death Deed.  While this document is faster and potentially more affordable, but there are some serious drawbacks to a Transfer on Death Deed. If ownership of the property is transferred using a Transfer on Death Deed, when the property is put on the market for sale, title companies will not issue title insurance for that property. The pamphlet created by the Sacramento County Public Law Library (Link here) does a great job of outlining the basics of a Transfer on Death Deed, but it does not discuss all of the issues that can occur if you chose to use this document instead of a revocable trust funded with your real property.

 

If you have property in California, it is very important that you discuss all of the options when creating your estate plan to avoid the probate process. Work with an experienced attorney such as the Estate Planning attorney Rocklin CA locals turn to.

 

 

Thanks to authors at Law Office of Alexandria Goff PC for their insight into Estate Planning.

Tennessee School Bus Driver Found Guilty in Fatal Crash

Tennessee School Bus Driver Found Guilty in Fatal Crash

A school bus driver from Tennessee has been found guilty in connection with the deaths of six elementary school children in a crash from November of 2016, reports CNN.

At the time of the crash, driver Johnthony Walker had 37 Woodmore Elementary School students on his bus, which flipped over and hit a tree, killing six students between the ages of six and ten. Walker was originally facing 34 charges in connection to the crash, including multiple counts of a vehicular homicide, but he was found guilty on lesser charges of criminally negligent homicide in each of the six deaths. In addition, he was convicted of 11 reckless aggravated assault counts, seven assault counts, reckless driving, reckless endangerment and using his phone while driving.

Over the course of the trial, prosecutors alleged that Walker was going more than the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit in the area and was actually on his cell phone when the bus left the road. Walker, in his defense, said that he had to swerve to avoid a vehicle that entered into his lane and was not on his phone when the accident occurred.

Walker’s defense attorney asserted that the case was not investigated properly by local police, particularly when it came to the white vehicle the bus driver said he had to go off the road to avoid, but investigator Joe Warren disputed those claims on the stand during the course of the trial. According to Warren, Walker was going at least 50 miles per hour when the bus left the road, according to tire marks at the scene and the testimony from witnesses who were in the area at the time. It was also discovered that Walker was not on his designated route at the time of the accident. Walker did say in court that he had a route sheet from older drivers, but the route had since changed because students had been taken off or added to that route.

Prosecutors also said the bus driver was on his phone with a co-worker from his second job, Takiesha Nixon, for four minutes before the accident happened. Nixon testified that as soon as she realized Walker was driving the bus while they were talking, she ended the call. She said that she didn’t learn about the deadly crash until later.

At the time of the tragic accident, Walker was just 24, and the horrific event caused the state to pass a law that changed the minimum bus driver age to 25. This law just went into effect on January 1, 2018, and it also increases the state’s oversight regarding transportation of students. This accident also incited calls for a seat belt requirement on school buses, and a state representative introduced a bill that would have had all buses in the state equipped with a restraint system by mid-2023. That bill has since been removed from consideration.

Bus accidents can have horrific consequences for riders and people nearby, especially when the driver behaves recklessly or negligently. Speak to an attorney, like a bus accident lawyer Denver CO residents rely on,  if you’ve been injured in a bus crash.

Thanks to our friends and contributors from Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into bus accident cases.