How to deal with a car accident during COVID-19

According to experts, traffic in the United States has been down 38 percent during the COVID-19 pandemic, which means that car accidents have also been reduced thanks to fewer cars on the road (Researchers at AutoInsuranceEZ.com report that fatal crashes in the Seattle area are down 100 percent).

Despite quarantines and sheltering in place, there are essential workers headed to job sites, so there are still cars on the road, making anxiety-inducing crashes a real possibility. While you may think that COVID-19 has brought enough anxiety into your world, knowing what to do after a crash before one occurs is an important way to ease stress in the event that one should occur.

If you should find yourself in an accident with another vehicle, following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as best as you can is the first step.

Following social distancing or donning a mask before exiting your vehicle are both important elements during the pandemic, even though they can be tricky to remember in the midst of a traumatic event.

Staying calm can help you process the accident and prevent the potential spread of coronavirus in the aftermath of an accident.

Here’s what to do:

  • Contact 911 to ensure the safety of everyone involved. There will also be police on hand to communicate safely with the other driver if you don’t feel comfortable doing so yourself or the other driver fails to take social distancing or other safety measures seriously.
  •   Practice social distancing (that’s six feet away from the other driver) and wear a mask to collect information, including the driver’s name, insurance information, plate number, license number and contact information. For safety, collect information to input into your cell phone rather than accepting a piece of paper, which according to experts, could carry the coronavirus for four or five days after handling.
  • Take photographs of the scene. Photos are important pieces of evidence, and along with a police report can tell a complete story of an accident scene.
  • Seek medical attention. We understand that visiting a medical facility can be nerve-wracking during the COVID-19 pandemic, and if your injuries aren’t serious, you might be able to set up an appointment by videoconference to reduce anxiety levels. Still, if you are experiencing any kind of pain, medical treatment is necessary. Because of rising wait times at emergency rooms, however, you might be better off visiting an urgent care facility to seek treatment.
  • Contact your insurance company. It’s important to report an accident as soon as possible to begin the claims process, if the accident was your fault. If it was not your fault, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will contact you.
  • Consider calling an attorney. If you expect to have medical bills, physical therapy, or extensive car repairs, an attorney can help ensure that the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t try to offer you less than you need to cover your expenses, including lost wages and pain and suffering if your injuries are severe.

Preparation is key

In order to ensure your safety in the event of a car accident, keep masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer in your vehicle at all times so you won’t find yourself at risk if you do have an accident.

A card with your personal information on it should also be kept in your car in case you are knocked unconscious in a crash and are unable to share such information.

If you have questions, contact a car accident attorney, like Auto accident lawyer Boca Raton FL, from The Law Office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A.

Decoding the regulations on E-scooters

With today’s younger generations, climate change and sustainability has become a hot button issue. A charge led by the millennials and generation Z, they want to encourage greener practices and to alter the slippery slope of increasingly negative effects that result from climate change before it’s too late.

 

One innovation that’s becoming more popular with the masses is the usage of e-bikes and e-scooters. Being solar powered, you’ll never have to worry about it running out of energy as the solar panel is built into it. The concept is that you open the corresponding app, open a map to show available e-scooters in your area, pay a small fine to unlock it and you have a greener way to travel at your disposal.

 

But unfortunately its greatest benefit is also its greatest caveat. E-scooters are faster than regular bike while being slower than a motorcycle. Motorists have already managed maintaining a rocky relationship with those on regular bikes so that relationship becomes even more precarious with the integration of e-scooters which are even less easy to track in one’s peripheral vision while keeping an eye on the road. All it takes is one hairpin turn by either person to cause a collision and with the technology still being newly integrated into society, the laws and guidelines regarding e-scooters are still murky and a tad difficult to interpret.

 

While there’s no federal mandate regarding e-scooters, nearly every state has its own guidelines regarding e-scooters, as an attorney, like a Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorney at Eric Roy Law Firm, can attest. Each of these guidelines are seemingly tailored to the infrastructure in the state’s most populous cities as well as the landscape and their ability to accommodate e-scooters with the least amount of risk to motorists and other pedestrians.

 

For instance in the state of Nevada, the mandate is that one needs to be 16 years of age or older and that you can only ride them on a sidewalk. An interesting detail considering that slower bikes are allowed on the street. Meanwhile, in Oregon, the usage of e-scooters on sidewalks is prohibited and can only be used in the street. These guidelines can be expected considering that sidewalks in Nevada are larger, wider, and better kept up by local city governments compared to Oregon’s. Also, Oregon has invested more state finances into the development of bike paths and multiuse lanes compared to Nevada.

 

There are some states like New Mexico that increases the age limit to 18 and others like Rhode Island where you need a driver’s license just to use one even though the mechanics of using one is immensely different than that of a car. On the opposite hand, in Hawaii, e-scooters are treated in the same manner as bicycles and in New York, e-scooters aren’t legal for anyone to use altogether.

 

No matter where you happen to be traveling, make sure you keep up with the regulations and guidelines regarding e-scooters. Though federal laws are still murky, what guidelines that do exist were put up for the safety and well-being of everyone.

 

 

 

5 Police Mistakes That May Lead to DUI Dismissal

Facing a DUI charge can be stressful and overwhelming. However, you’ve got to keep in mind that being arrested for a DUI doesn’t automatically lead to a conviction, especially if the officers involved made any mistakes when handling your arrest. With the guidance of your DUI lawyer, you can increase your chances of the best possible outcome in your case and possibly even get your case dismissed because of one of the five common police errors in DUI cases below.

DUI Checkpoint that Doesn’t Meet Requirements

Sometimes, police officers fail to follow the rules required for DUI sobriety checkpoints. If the police violate multiple guidelines, the checkpoint could be labeled unconstitutional. Checkpoints must be publicized in advance, supervised, have adequate staffing, have an unbiased procedure in place for stopping cars, have a drug recognition expert on site and have safe procedures in place to prevent the creation of a traffic hazard.

Failure to Show Probable Cause for an Arrest

Outside of a DUI checkpoint, officers must have what is known as probable cause before stopping a driver and arresting them. This means the officers must have a valid reason to suspect you before they pull you over. If they do not, evidence gathered at the time you were arrested could be tossed out of court.

Mistakes with the Breathalyzer Test

A field breathalyzer has an error rate from .005 to .02 percent, and officers can also make mistakes when they are administering them. It’s usually advisable to take this test if you are asked to do so–refusal could lead to more serious penalties down the road–but your breathalyzer could also yield results that are not consistent with your true blood alcohol levels as shown by more reliable tests, resulting in the breathalyzer results being thrown out of court.

Not Able to Show You Were Driving While Intoxicated

As odd as it may sound, it’s not always easy for police to prove to the prosecutor that you were actually driving while intoxicated. If you were in an accident with others and no one saw you driving, for example, you could have been simply a passenger and never had physical control over the car.

Ketosis Test Inaccuracies

Both the popular Keto diet and ketosis stemming from having diabetes can lead to trouble with the breathalyzer results. The metabolic process during which your body burns stored fat for fuel can cause ketones, and they are similar in makeup to isopropyl alcohol. When you take a breathalyzer, the ketones can be emitted via your breath and cause a false positive.

As noted above, there are several mistakes that police can make in your DUI case. Even if these missteps were unintentional, they could allow for key evidence to be removed from consideration in your case. Speak to a lawyer in Denver, CO about your case as soon as possible to see if any of the above mistakes could be factors in your defense.

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into criminal law and breathalyzer tests.

First Time Offender? Here’s What You Need to Know

Personal Injury Lawyer

If this is your first time being arrested for a crime, it’s only natural to be concerned about what is to come. Luckily, you do have options to protect your future, so consult with a criminal lawyer for assistance and guidance during this time.

What happens after I am arrested or charged?

After you’ve been charged with or arrested for a crime, there are multiple ways your situation could move forward from there. You could be arrested before charges are even brought–such as at the scene of an accident–booked into jail and then charged. You may be given a notice to appear in court. In either case, at this point, your case is officially in the system and will move forward.

Since the outcome of your case can vary, it’s crucial to work with a criminal lawyer if you think you will be charged and arrested or you have already been charged or arrested. An experienced attorney can explain your options and help build a strategy geared toward getting you the best potential outcome in your case.

It’s vital to keep in mind during this time that you are not automatically guilty just because you were arrested and/or charged. The prosecutor in your case has to prove in court that you are guilty before you receive any penalties. It’s important that you stay calm and allow your criminal lawyer to handle your case.

What penalties will I face?

There are a lot of potential penalties attached to the various criminal charges. Each offense is different and will come with its own set of consequences. However, there are some common penalties that a person convicted of a crime could be subject to, even if they are a first-time offender. These include time in jail, fines in high amounts, misdemeanor or felony convictions that remain on your record, community service time requirements, and probation. Depending on what you are charged with, a conviction could also impact your driver’s license and your ability to get a job in some fields or even in general.

A first-time offender may be subject to the same sorts of penalties as those who have been convicted before, but the law is sometimes forgiving toward people who do not have a criminal background. For example, there is a pre-trial diversion program that allows people charged with their first offense in some areas–such as drugs–to avoid a criminal record by following the terms of an agreement. This agreement may include things like probation, treatment programs and educational classes. A person who has been charged with a drug offense on the federal level may also be able to take part in the federal diversion program.

Preparing your defense

Being arrested for the first time in your life can be a very stressful experience, and it can have severe consequences. Work with an experienced lawyer in Denver, CO from the start of your case so your rights are protected and you have guidance throughout the legal process.

 


 

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, PC for their insight into criminal law and first time offenders.

My Workers’ Compensation Claim was Denied

Going to work is an important part of everyone’s day. Coming home is equally, if not more, important. But not everyone comes home in the same shape they left. Sometimes, we are victims of workplace injuries.

When you suffer a workplace injury, your sole focus should be on your recovery. The best way to do that is to work with a trusted workers’ compensation attorney who can help you maximize your recovery. 

What is workers’ compensation?

Workers’ compensation is insurance coverage carried by your employer. This insurance covers lost wages, medical expenses, and rehabilitation costs for employees who are injured on the job. 

Workers’ compensation insurance is no fault which means that it does not matter who caused the injury, the benefit is owed to you if you were injured on the job. However, there are exceptions. If you intended to injure yourself or someone else and you suffered an injury because of your actions, then you would not be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. There are other exceptions and that’s why it’s important to speak with a lawyer today.

I filed a claim but it was denied. What now?

If your workers’ compensation claim was denied and you have not yet hired a lawyer, now is the time to do so. Waiting any longer could be detrimental to your recovery. 

Your lawyer will help you determine why your claim was denied and what steps you need to take next. But you have to act fast as you only have limited time after your claim was denied to file an appeal. A law firm is ready to help guide you through the process. 

Should I still see my doctor?

Absolutely. Just because your workers’ compensation claim is denied, that does not mean you suddenly get better. You still need to focus on your physical recovery and the best way to do that is to keep seeing your doctor.

Your doctor will also help you determine the best course of action for your recovery. They can chart a course for your recovery while we are working hard to ensure your workers’ compensation appeal is granted and you get the benefits to which you are entitled.

Do I have to go to the insurance company’s doctor?

Yes but that doesn’t mean it’s the only doctor you can see. The workers’ compensation insurance company can and often will require you to see their doctor for an independent medical exam. But you can still see your doctor, especially if you do not think the insurance company doctor is providing the best treatment.

Insurance companies are often pushy. Don’t let them push you around and tell you that you can’t see your own doctor. You can. And we can help make sure your doctor’s report is included in your workers’ compensation claim.

A law firm is here to help.

A lawyer can answer all of the questions above and the countless others you may have. Workers’ compensation is a complex legal process and we want to give you the peace of mind you deserve, knowing that your claim is in good hands. Contact a Milwaukee work injury lawyer today to get started.

Thanks to Hickey & Turim, SC for their insight into workers compensation and denied claims.

Is Your License in Jeopardy When You Get a Speeding Ticket?

Traffic laws represent the attributes every good driver should have and maintain, but no one is perfect. Every driver is likely to experience some type of moving violation during the lifetime of their license. Although, not all of those violations will equate to the removal or suspension of a license. Obviously, for serious offenses, such as a DUI, it is quite possible for a judge to revoke your license. However, is there ever a time when your license can be taken away for routine moving violations, and if so, is the removal permanent, or can your license be reinstated? The answer lies in the definition of a moving violation and the frequency of the improper use of your vehicle.

Routine Moving Violations

A moving violation is considered a breach of traffic law when driving. For example, rolling through a stop sign or running a red light. Also, speeding is a moving violation. These violations are considered routine and not necessarily reckless, although speeding is debatable. For example, a driver who is cited for going five or seven miles per hour over the speed limit is not as dangerous as someone driving 20 or 30 miles per hour over posted limits. The person driving at a higher speed may be cited or even arrested for reckless driving and possible endangerment, depending on the circumstances.

Excessive Violations and License Suspension

While a single speeding ticket, within reason, will not typically result in a suspension of your license, excessive violations might. For example, you may be allowed to receive two to three moving violations within a short window, but any more than that can result in your license being suspended.

If your license is suspended, that does not mean it is taken away for good. However, you will need to complete coursework or traffic education training before being able to reapply for a license renewal. Fortunately, most drivers are able to learn from a single ticket and do not typically repeat the same violation within a short time frame.

Traffic laws are in place to ensure the safety and responsibility of all drivers. Every time you put your key in the ignition, you are making a promise to other drivers that you will obey the law. Breaking those laws can result in a license suspension, especially for excessive violations in a short period of time. If your license has been suspended or you believe you were unfairly ticketed, consider contacting a traffic attorney, like a Criminal Defense Attorney in DC.

Thank you to the experts at The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C., for their insight into criminal defense law. 

How Much Child Support Payments Should I Be Getting?

When parents have decided to end their marriage, everyone involved will experience some degree of emotion. When children are involved and child support payments need to be arranged, both parents may feel an added amount of pressure. Child support payments are to ensure the child’s quality of life does not become altered after a divorce. Those going through the process should know what their rights are, as well as whether they are receiving the correct amount. If you have recently gone through a divorce and are trying to establish child support payments, it may be useful to speak with a child support lawyer.

The Purpose of Child Support Payments
Child support is a form of court-ordered payments. In general, they are paid for by the non-custodial parent to help their minor children. A family court judge has a duty to set the payment schedule and amount during the divorce proceeding. When a support order is given by the court, it is meant to assist the custodial parent with all of their expenses related to the children. 

As a child support lawyer might explain to you, child support payments are meant to purchase items such as:

  • Food 
  • Clothing
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Schooling
  • Childcare
  • Medical treatment
  • Extracurricular activities

The goal of child support is to help the child maintain the same standard of living they had prior to the divorce. It also helps to maintain a normal life and ensure all of their costs are covered. 

How Much Support Should Be Given
During the process, the custodial parents might wonder how much child support they should receive. There are different calculation formulas under the Federal Child Support Enforcement Act that parents must pay in different situations. It should be noted the amount of child support ordered by a judge can vary by state, and by the ruling judge. 

In general, parents might find it beneficial to speak with a child support lawyer who can explain how the formulas work and how they apply to your case. A lawyer can also support you in the courtroom and ensure that both you and the child are being treated fairly. 

How A Judge Determines the Amount

When a judge is considering the amount of child support to be paid, they may consider the following:

  • The current custodial agreement
  • The non-custodial parents ability to pay for child support
  • The number of children involved in the case

Parents who have sole custody will typically be paid by the non-custodial parent. Whereas, parents who have joint custody will find the amount is based upon each parent’s ability to care for the children, as well as, their financial stability. In joint custody cases, the amount of time spent with the children will also likely be factored into the amount of child support to be paid. 

The objective of child support payments is to ensure the child’s quality of life does not change or decrease after the divorce. Because of this, the judge will review the child’s current life and way of living. This will be used to determine the amount of child support to be paid. The court might also determine whether or not this lifestyle is possible and adjust accordingly. Further factors that may be included in a judge’s decision include:

  • Whether the child has any special requirements
  • Vision care
  • Dental coverage
  • Health insurance

 

How to Pursue a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Carpal Tunnel Injury

Work injuries are often readily apparent. A worker slips and falls or has some other type of accident that leads to an injury. However, some work-related injuries develop over time as the worker continues performing their job functions. When an injury is not straightforward, and is something that progresses and worsens over time, proving a workers’ compensation case is a bit more challenging. You will need a seasoned workers’ comp attorney on your side to help you navigate the ins and outs of such a case.

Here is some helpful information on the condition and how to file a successful worker’s compensation claim if you suffer from work-related carpal tunnel syndrome.

What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Carpal tunnel syndrome is a disorder affecting the nerves in the wrist. It’s commonplace in office workers and staffers whose jobs involve repetitive hand motions. The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway in the wrist surrounded by several small bones. The median nerve is usually protected by a ligament that arches over these small bones.

The median nerve has many functions. As one of the primary nerves in the hand, it extends down into the thumb and into the index, middle, and part of the ring finger. In specific circumstances, which are at times work-related, the median nerve suffers pressure and irritation as it passes through the carpal tunnel structure, producing the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in Workers?

When the wrist, hand, or fingers are continually being used for repetitive motions such as twisting, pulling, or striking, the ligament may become inflamed put pressure on the median nerve. That compression of the median nerve may interfere with the use of the hand and wrist, and cause pain and numbness in the fingers and hand.

Carpal tunnel syndrome is considered a legitimate occupational disease and can be used as the basis for a workers’ compensation claim. Occupational diseases are chronic illnesses or conditions that manifest as a direct result of an activity that is part of an individual’s required daily work.

How Do I File a Carpal Tunnel Injury Claim?

Carpal tunnel is a genuine on-the-job injury. As such, workers who are affected by carpal tunnel syndrome stemming from work activities are entitled to bring a workers’ compensation claim to seek compensation for their losses. Workers’ comp benefits typically include reimbursement for medical bills and rehabilitative therapy, out-of-pocket expenses, and a portion of lost wages.

If you have symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and want to seek medical treatment, you must notify your employer immediately after your symptoms appear. Your workers’ compensation process begins upon your first report of the injury to your employer. With carpal tunnel syndrome, you’ll need to provide an approximate date when you first noticed your symptoms.

Once you’ve reported your injury, you will have to file a workers’ compensation claim, as well. Don’t miss the filing deadlines in your state. You are well-advised to hire a workers’ compensation injury lawyer to help you with this process and work to maximize your monetary compensation. Contact a work injury lawyer in Fort Lauderdale right away to schedule a consultation.

Thanks to the Law Offices of Franks, Koenig & Neuwelt for their insight into workers compensation and claims for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

How Do I File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

If you’ve been seriously injured in a car accident or in a mishap while away from home, you might be worried about how you’re going to pay your bills or fill your gas tank while you recover from your injuries.

The battle with insurance companies can be even more frustrating, since many work hard to encourage you to take the lowest settlement possible so they can close the books on your case.

It’s important, however, to make sure that if your injury was the result of another person’s negligence that you are properly compensated for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, and if that party’s insurance company fails to take responsibility, a personal injury lawsuit may be the only move you have available to you.

If you’re wondering what you need to do in order to file a personal injury case, we’ve got you covered.

Steps to take when filing

While it is possible to file a personal injury lawsuit without an attorney, you are better off with someone who understands the complexities of such cases. The right personal injury lawyer in Delray Beach, FL can help you get the compensation you deserve. Going it alone could leave you with nothing to cover the mounting costs associated with your injuries.

An attorney will review your case and any documentation, then let you know the legal options available to you. When you meet with your attorney for the first time you should have all your records available, including medical bills, accident reports, photographs, witness statements (or witness contact information) and notes you may have taken regarding your injuries and your recovery.

After meeting with an attorney, your next step is to file a claim with the insurance company of the party at fault. With the help of an attorney who will negotiate on your behalf, that insurance company may offer a settlement that adequately covers your expenses. If negotiations fall through and the insurance company refuses to pay a fair settlement, your attorney will file a personal injury lawsuit.

While some states allow less time and others allow more, in general, you have two years to file a personal injury case before the statute of limitations runs out. This time allows you and you attorney to gather evidence to better solidify your case.

After a lawsuit is officially filed, both sides will have an opportunity to examine evidence, which is called the discovery process. Knowing what evidence each side plans to present in court helps strengthen your case. This could include depositions of you, any witnesses, and the party at fault in the incident.

Afterwards, your attorney will again attempt to negotiate a settlement in order to avoid a trial, which is costly and time consuming. It also allows you to collect compensation much sooner than you would if you had to wait for a trial, which can sometimes take years to find a place on the court docket. 

If your case does go to trial, your attorney will use all the evidence gathered to present a solid case on your behalf. If the jury fails to award damages, you can file an appeal. If the jury does award damages, the other side can also appeal, although if your case is strong, the opposing party is likely to accept the verdict and pay the settlement.

How do attorneys get paid?

Attorneys generally work on a contingency fee, so that they are not paid unless you win your case.

If you win, you will not only pay an attorney’s fee, but also court costs including fees for expert witnesses, deposition costs, administrative expenses and other costs associated with your case.

Thanks to Luckman Law, P.A., for their insight into personal injury claims and how to file a claim.

Fractured Bone Injuries

Broken bones are a common type of personal injury, which can occur as the result of slips and falls or due to car accidents involving other motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. While painful, the regularity with which they occur often causes victims to underestimate their serious nature. Without proper medical treatment and ongoing follow up care, complications can arise that result in permanent disabilities.

Treatment for Broken Bones
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), despite their rigid nature skeletal bones are generally somewhat flexible, and it can take significant force or impact for them to break completely in half. Even when they do, the edges may not line up together, or the brake may run vertically, rather than horizontally. With more severe impacts, the bone may actually splinter or shatter into multiple pieces, making it even more difficult to repair. Depending on the type of injury suffered, treatment for broken bones may include:

  • Functional brace: This allows for some flexibility in the body part, while providing the support bones need to heal.
  • Cast immobilization: A cast may be used to keep the bone sections firmly in place and to prevent them from being jarred by other body movements.
  • Traction: Elevating the injured area and using a steady, pulling action can help to align broken bones together.
  • External fixation: Through a surgical procedure, metal pins and screws are used to stabilize the bone, so it heals evenly.
  • Open reduction and internal fixation: In this procedure, a surgeon either removes or repositions pieces of the broken bone, using metal plates or rods to rebuild it into the proper shape.

Complications of Broken Bones
Whether a broken bone requires a cast or a more intensive surgical procedure, lining the bones together properly and monitoring the fracture regularly is crucial in preventing potentially permanent disabilities. Experts advise that in addition to bone deformities, complications that can result from a broken bone include:

  • Nerve and tissue damage
  • Wound infection
  • Fracture blisters
  • Vascular injuries, which put pressure on arteries and disrupt blood flow
  • Visceral injury due to bone fragments which cause damage to body organs near the fracture site

Other complications depend on where the break occurs and the age or health of the patient. For example, broken ribs can lead to an increased risk of pneumonia, while a broken hip in an older adult can result in a loss of mobility that hastens an overall more rapid decline.

Contact Our Firm for Help
Getting the proper treatment and taking the time you need is crucial in healing from a broken bone. A personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in Chicago, IL, can provide the professional legal representation you need to get compensation for ongoing medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs you incur during your recovery. To discuss your case with our skilled personal injury attorneys, call our office and request a consultation today. 

Thank you to the experts at The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, for their input into personal injury law.