Are Sobriety Test Mandatory?

Drunk Driving Lawyer

If you are pulled over, are you required to take a sobriety test? This is something you should know before you are pulled over. It can be a terrifying thing to have those lights appear in your rear view mirror and for the police officer to ask you to get out of your car. It is vital to know what your rights are in advance, so you can act rationally and calmly in the moment. If you have already been charged with a DUI, the first thing you should do is hire a DUI attorney.

Are Sobriety Tests Mandatory?

So, the big question is whether or not you are required to take a sobriety test. This includes the breathalyzer, as well as any other test. This includes blood tests, urine tests, and challenges that test your physical or mental abilities. You may be surprised to learn that you are almost never required to take a sobriety test. There are only three situations where an individual is required to take a sobriety test:

  • The individual is under the legal drinking age
  • The individual is on probation for a DUI
  • The individual has already been arrested.

Let’s go through these one by one. The first is quite simple. If you are younger than the legal drinking age, you must always take a sobriety test if an officer requests you to.

Second, those who have been found guilty of a DUI in the past and are now on probation for this charge must also take a requested sobriety test. This is also a simple concept.

Finally, after you have been arrested, you can be required to take a sobriety test. Remember, you cannot be arrested without probable cause, and a failed sobriety test counts as probable cause. If you do not take the test, it may not be possible for an officer to arrest you.

Should You Take a Sobriety Test?

As you probably suspect, it is never in your best interest to take a sobriety test unless you find yourself in one of the above situations. You may be thinking that a sobriety test can prove your innocence, but this is never the case. It is impossible for a passed test to prove innocence, but a failed test can prove guilt. The test results are also subject to the officer’s interpretation. These facts make it dangerous to take any sobriety test. If you are legally required to take it, however, you should not resist. A DUI attorney in DC can tell you more.

Thanks to The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and mandatory sobriety tests.

Avoid These Bad Faith Tactics from Auto Insurance Companies

Car Accident Lawyer

Getting into any auto accident can really set your life back personally and financially. Many car accident victims go through insurance companies to receive compensation for their losses stemming from the accident. However, while it may seem as if the insurer wants to help you, it’s important to remember that the insurer is primarily focused on what is the most beneficial outcome for them and not you.

Sometimes, insurance companies engage in what is known as “bad faith” tactics. These are tactics they try to employ to avoid paying you the entire amount of your valid claim.

Delaying at every turn

The insurance company may delay sending payment or even making offers. The idea here is to frustrate you so you accept a lower offer later because you are paying out-of-pocket medical bills and other costs and need the money.

Failing to conduct a proper investigation

An insurer may only look into some of the accident and use those partial factors to determine how much money to offer you. In reality, they should conduct a thorough investigation to determine what a complete and reasonable settlement offer would be. Without all the facts and elements of the accident examined, the insurer will not have a complete picture of what happened and cannot set a proper value for your damages.

Offering a low-ball offer

After the car accident, an adjuster will work on your claim to determine how much the insurer will offer. Often, this first offer is a “low ball” that is far less than what you should receive to fully recover from the accident financially.

What to look out for

You need to be aware of the red flags that may indicate the insurer you are dealing with is acting in bad faith. They may press you for a written or recorded statement or try to have you sign documents that are necessary to start your claim. These documents can harm your rights. Be aware that any statement you make to an insurer could be used to damage your claim, so never give a statement unless your attorney is present.

You will need to look for signs that the insurance company is acting in bad faith. The adjuster may press for a recorded or written statement or even prompt you to sign certain documents that are not necessary to process the claim. Some of these documents involve waiving the right to sue or pursue more compensation based on all factors of the claim. If you sign a blanket medical authorization, for example, the insurer can get your medical history and try to say your injuries were from something else.

Never give a statement to the insurer without your attorney present. What you say can be used against you later to damage your claim. If you do not have an attorney yet, contact one as soon as you can. Your car accident lawyer in Denver, CO will be prepared to handle an insurer who is acting in bad faith when it comes to your claim.

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injuries and dealing with insurance companies after a car accident.

Safe Alternatives to Driving While Intoxicated

Car Accident Lawyer in Memphis, Tennessee

The decision to get behind the wheel of a car and drive intoxicated is often a poor lapse in judgement. For some, doing so can become the norm. Some drivers regularly make the decision to drive intoxicated. Although there are a number of reasons for this, none of them warrant or justify the risk driving drunk can pose to not only the driver, but others on the roads. 

Each year, drunk driving claims thousands of victims. In 2016, more than 10,000 fatalities from car accidents involved drunk driving. This made up nearly 28% of all fatalities on the road that year. The consequences of a DWI, and the risk to others on the road can be easily mitigated when a driver accesses safe alternatives when intoxicated. Next time a driver considers getting behind the wheel after overindulging in alcohol, it’s always best to make alternative plans to getting behind the wheel and driving:

Call an Uber, Lyft or Taxi Service

Contacting a company to transport you to your destination may ensure that you arrive safely. Not only is it easy, with technology today people rarely have to spend time looking up phone numbers. The yellow pages are a thing of a past when it comes to hunting down a professional to drive a person home. Many companies, such as Uber or Lyft even offer a phone app that allows for the person in need of a ride to handle the transaction entirely from their phone. Some of these services may not be available depending on a person’s location. It’s important to pre-plan whenever possible and secure availability prior to the precise moment you are in need of a ride. The last thing a person wants is to find that companies like Uber or Lyft do not have drivers in your area. 

Appoint a Designated Driver

When going out with friends for a night on the town, do you appoint a designated driver? Appointing a designated driver, whom you can trust to refrain from drinking for the night can be a safe option for a group. It’s important to be sure that the person volunteering to drive is someone you know will be able to resist the temptation to consume alcohol. Make a clear plan at the beginning of the night before people become intoxicated. Knowing what to expect can help to prevent any problems or confusion over who was supposed to carry this responsibility. 

Stay the Night

If you find that you are stranded, or are unable to find a way home, don’t take getting behind the wheel intoxicated as the only option. Driving drunk should never be an option. Make plans to stay at a friend’s house or walk to a nearby hotel. The decision to drink can be more costly than putting yourself in a hotel room for the night. 

Walk 

If you are close enough, it is safe enough, and the weather is appropriate, walk home. This can be a good alternative for people who live conveniently enough to be able to do so. However, those living in colder climates should take care in ensuring they have the ability to make it home safely, as winter conditions can be unsafe for someone walking home. 

Public Transportation

Take advantage of public transportation in your area. Is there a subway or metro available for you to take? Most cities, even smaller ones have some form of bus transit. It’s important to note that you may want to look into this ahead of time to ensure that public transportation will be available to get you to where you need to go, you understand how to use it, and it runs during the hours that you need it to. 

In an instant, one bad decision can be life-changing, not only for a driver who has received a DWI, but for victims. Accident victims stand to face grave consequences at the hands of drunk drivers. Consequences that they may carry with them for a number of years. As an accident victim, the idea of being left to pick up the pieces to tragic events that were beyond their control can be disheartening. For victims facing damages, contacting a car accident lawyer in Memphis, Tennessee may be the proper recourse for securing the compensation they may be entitled to. 

Call Wiseman Bray, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and alternatives to driving drunk.

Can Employees Receive Workers’ Compensation After an Old Injury Is Aggravated?

On The Job Injury Lawyer

If you suffer an injury at your current place of work, you will probably look into workers’ compensation quickly. What happens if you had a condition or injury to start with? What if you have an old injury and your new tasks aggravated it? Given how common this is, it’s important to know if you have a claim.

Pre-Existing Conditions Without Prior Claims

It’s not unusual for employees to have pre-existing conditions. Sometimes, these conditions happen naturally, through aging. In other circumstances, these conditions may be due to injuries sustained in an employee’s personal life. For example, if you used to play sports and suffer from a sports-related shoulder or arm injury, then you may end up aggravating the old injury at work.

If you have a pre-existing condition, it does not count you out in terms of whether or not you can receive workers’ compensation. Instead, you can still receive your benefits to account for how your situation became worse. You will have to have your doctor evaluate you to figure out if your job-related duties worsened your condition. You may want to see a doctor that is used to working with injured employees, because he or she will be able to use the language necessary to describe your condition. This is better when it comes to filing your claim.

Pre-Existing Conditions With Prior Claims

Have you filed for workers’ compensation before? Sometimes, a person will file a claim for an injury and then will injure the same area again later. Now, if you filed a claim for the same body part, you may see a reduction to the workers’ compensation claim. Now, your employer may still have to pay for all of your treatment. Still, you may only receive compensation for the increase in your impairment. In the case where you may have permanent damage, you can receive permanent partial disability.

Make sure that you talk to your doctor about the difference between aggravation of an old injury and a new injury that involves the same parts of your body. Your doctor will need full access to your records regarding your previous condition. It’s crucial to determine if you aggravated an old injury, if it’s getting worse or if you’re claiming a new injury.

If you have a pre-existing injury and it becomes worse at your current job, then you can still claim it. Any injuries or worsening condition that you suffer while you’re working your job could be covered under workers’ compensation. To receive peace of mind, contact a Brooklyn on the job injury lawyer today to find out if you have a case.

Thanks to Polsky, Shouldice & Rosen, P.C. for their insight into workers compensation and old injuries.

Must Fault Be Proven to Obtain a Pennsylvania Divorce Decree

Family Lawyer

In Pennsylvania, there are two types of divorce: fault and no-fault. A no-fault divorce decree can be entered into fairly easily on the grounds that there are irreconcilable differences or the union is irretrievably broken. In such a case, both spouses would have to agree to that in order for it to move ahead smoothly.

A fault divorce requires proof that the other spouse has participated in one of six undesirable behaviors during the marriage. They are imprisonment, desertion, adultery, bigamy, indignity, or cruel and barbarous treatment. In some of these divorce cases, the defendant will fight the decree, so proof must be made.

The Benefits of Proving Fault

Though some couples can get through a divorce amicably and without pointing fingers, there are others who just can’t do it for one reason or another. If your case calls for proof, there are some benefits you could take from it. They include:

  • A Quicker Settlement – If you can easily prove fault in the other spouse, the final divorce decree may be settled more quickly, allowing you to move on with your life.
  • More Favorable Custody Agreements – If there are children involved in your divorce and you are able to prove fault in the other spouse, you may end up with a more favorable child custody arrangement since the other person unnecessarily dissolved the relationship.
  • More Favorable Financial Support – Whether you’re seeking spousal support, child support or both, proving fault can sometimes play a big role in helping you get what you feel you’re entitled to.
  • More Favorable Asset Distribution – If you have assets that need distributing, such as a house, bank account or real estate, proving fault could give you a more favorable outcome in obtaining what you deserve.

Getting Professional Help

If you or your spouse plan to file for divorce, consider your options. A no-fault divorce might be a quicker way to settle the situation, but you could end up with less than you feel you deserve. A fault divorce might give you a more favorable outcome, but it could be more difficult to prove. In any case, getting the help of a professional is the first step you should take. Dealing with divorce on a regular basis, your family lawyer can help you determine how to proceed.

Contact a Lawyer Today

Whether you’ve just been served or plan to file yourself, know that proof doesn’t have to be given for a successful divorce, but it could offer some benefits. For help with your divorce, contact a family lawyer in Frisco, TX today.

Thanks to Scroggins Law Group, PLLC for their insight into family law and pennsylvania divorce decrees.

In a Pedestrian Accident? Here’s What to Do

Pedestrian Accident Lawyers

Auto-pedestrian accidents are common across the US. When a pedestrian is struck by a car, they are in a more injury-prone position because they lack the safety afforded by a car to an automobile driver.

If you were hit by a car, truck or bus while on foot, you may be able to receive damages for your injuries, pain, suffering, and losses stemming from the accident. Of course, you may not know what to do next, so here is a look at what actions you should take if you find yourself in this situation.

Get treatment first

It might sound obvious, but you should see a medical professional to get checked out for injuries after an auto-pedestrian accident. If you were treated at the scene of the accident, be sure to schedule a visit with your doctor and follow your doctor’s instructions for your treatments.

Should you have declined medical care at the accident site, you can still have yourself checked over now. Sometimes, injuries don’t show up right away after an accident. If you delay care too long, you may end up having a longer recovery time or other complications.

Talk to the driver’s insurer

Report the accident to the driver’s insurance company immediately and start a claim for the accident. However, don’t give them more than the dry specifics of what happened, such as who you were hit by, where and when it happened.

The insurer will likely try to get you to give them more information, including whether you’ve seen a doctor. You don’t have to give them all this information when you are opening a claim. They want your full account of what happened so they can find ways to use it against you later, when they are deciding the amount of your claim. Speak to an attorney before you talk to the insurance company again after filing the initial claim.

Document all your losses

All expenses related to the accident that you have will need to be documented. All of your medical bills, lost wages—you can get a statement from your employer for this—and anything else tied to your accident that cost you money should be tracked. The insurance company and your attorney will need copies of all of the losses you incurred because of the accident.

Speak to an attorney

While the driver’s insurance company may seem to care about you and really want to help you, they actually want to settle your claim as fast as they can and for the least amount of money possible. If, for example, you end up with a long-term injury, it could cost you for years to come, so it’s not in your best interest to immediately settle your claim.

Experienced pedestrian accident lawyers will guide you through the process, deal with the insurance company, and have a realistic idea of the true value of your claim. Instead of having to worry about it, you can focus on your recovery instead when you have an attorney working for you.

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and pedestrian accidents.

Wrongful Death Claim Filed Against Tesla in Autopilot Crash

Wrongful Death Lawyer

Automaker Tesla is being sued over a death involving one of its autopilot cars, reports Tech Crunch.

The wrongful death claim is being brought against the automaker and the State of California’s transportation department by the family of the victim, Walter Huang. The Apple engineer died after the Model X Tesla he was driving crashed into a median on the highway with the Autopilot feature engaged. Huang’s family is alleging that the Autopilot system failed to detect the median, misread lane lines and failed to brake, accelerating into the median instead.

A representative for the family said that automaker is beta testing the software for Autopilot on its drivers, and that Huang’s wife and two children lost their family member as a result.

Other allegations in the lawsuit include failure to warn, defects in a product design, product liability, warranty breach, false advertising and intentional and negligent misrepresentation. California’s transportation department is also named in the claim because the median that Huang’s Tesla hit was missing the attenuator guard, which is meant to ease the impact of an accident. The guard was not replaced after it was damaged in an earlier crash at the same site, according to the lawsuit documents.

Another family representative said that this lawsuit aims to ensure the technology behind semi-autonomous vehicles is safe before those vehicles hit the roads, and that risks are not misrepresented to or withheld from the public.

Just days after Huang’s tragic crash, Tesla published two blog posts and ended up in a disagreement with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which had sent its own investigators to the crash site. One of Tesla’s posts did acknowledge that Autopilot had been in use at the time of the crash, and that the driver had received visual and an audio hands-on warning earlier in the drive. Additionally. Tesla says the driver’s hand were not detected on the wheel for six seconds before the crash. This post prompted the NTSB to respond, as it was not happy that Tesla had released investigative information. NTSB rules require that a company in an accident investigation does not release details to the public without the board’s approval.

In a second public statement, Tesla blamed Huang for the crash and denied any legal or moral liability for the accident. According to that statement, Huang’s family said the engineer was aware of the Autopilot’s shortcomings and that it was not reliable in the area in which he was driving.

This statement strained the relationship between Tesla and NTSB even further, with Tesla saying it withdrew from its agreement with the NTSB, and the NTSB saying Tesla had been removed as a party to the crash investigation.

While the initial report from the NTSB didn’t conclude what caused the crash, it did find that the car went from 62 to close to 71 miles per hour in the last three seconds before the accident, and it shifted left as it approached the median. The board also found that around 20 minutes before impact, the car did provide one audio alert and two visual alerts regarding the driver putting his hands back onto the steering wheel. Huang’s hands were not detected on the wheel until 34 seconds before impact, and no evasive steering or braking pre-crash was detected.

If you’ve lost a loved one due to the negligence of someone else or their inaction, speak to a wrongful death lawyer in Denver, CO about your case.

Thanks to Richard J. Banta, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and wrongful death.

What Do I Need to Know About Preparing for a Personal Injury Case?

Personal Injury Lawyer in Memphis, TN

It can be difficult to completely avoid an accident in which we get injured, especially if another person or entity was responsible for it happening. Personal injury accidents can include car collisions, slip and falls, bike accidents, and much more. A victim in such a scenario may be entitled to receiving compensation from the party at-fault, if negligence or recklessness was a factor in the incident. Those who recently fell victim to a personal injury accident, may have plenty of questions for their attorney. 

An attorney can help a person get prepared for a personal injury case. Here we have listed just a few examples of the types of questions a client may ask their legal representative when seeking compensation for damages and losses: 

Q: Why is seeking medical help important?

A: If you or a loved one was harmed due to an accident, the first thing that you must do is see your doctor. If the injury is urgent, then call 911 before leaving the scene and request an examination of your condition. Keep in mind that your injuries may not be obviously apparent, as your body may be in a state of shock from a traumatic event. Soft tissue injuries and some internal damage conditions may not show symptoms for weeks or months following the accident. By getting medical care early, your doctor can hopefully identify these issues and begin treatment right away. 

Seeking medical care shortly after the personal injury accident can be beneficial for your health and your potential case. If it took you weeks or months to get care from a medical professional, the opposition may argue that your injuries weren’t as serious as you claim (or that you were getting in the way of your own healing), and that you should be awarded less in financial compensation. 

Q: Can my attorney help investigate my accident?

A: After obtaining an attorney, they can investigate the incident and begin building a case for how your injuries were a result of another’s wrongdoing. Your attorney may decide to call upon a team of witnesses like reconstruction specialists, doctors, and other related professionals who can attest to your injuries and how the accident occurred. 

Q: Can my friends, family and coworkers help with my personal injury case?

A: Yes, your partner, friends, family, and coworkers can have a significant role in your personal injury case. These people are potential witnesses who can attest to how your injuries caused you frustration, financial loss, and hardship. With these types of witness testimonies, it can help build credibility and seriousness regarding your injuries and what you endured emotionally due to the accident.

Q: How do I know how much I can get in compensation?

A: A personal injury lawyer in Memphis, TN can calculate an estimated monetary award depending on the circumstances of your personal injury accident. There are multiple items that you may be entitled to financial compensation for, including: 

  • Prescription medication 
  • Loss of wage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Doctor visits
  • Diagnostics
  • Punitive damages
  • Property damage
  • Loss of life enjoyment

Contact Wiseman Bray, PLLC for their insight into personal injury claims and what you need to know to prepare.

Why You Should Avoid Do It Yourself Divorce

Divorce Attorney

If you are going through the divorce process, it is likely that you have searched the internet for information. You may have found some valuable information and resources online, such as legal forms and instructions how to file. While some of these legal forms are free of charge, others cost a small fee. Regardless of whether these forms are free or not, they are not always the best option for individuals who are going through a divorce.

In most cases, these do it yourself or DIY legal forms are very generic. Although they may work for your particular case, it is likely that they are too generic to meet your needs. In addition, even if you fill out these forms, they will need to be thoroughly reviewed by a divorce lawyer.

If you would like to speak with one of our attorneys to learn more, contact our office to set up a free and confidential consultation. In the meantime, the following is a brief overview of the pros and cons of do-it-yourself divorces.

Advantages

DIY legal forms can give you an idea of what type of information you will need to gather for your divorce. By taking the time to fill out these forms before you meet with a divorce lawyer, you may be able to save time and money as a result. DIY legal forms can also help you figure out the types of documents you will need to collect.

Disadvantages

As stated, most DIY legal forms are so generic that they will do nothing for your case. Also, many courts require for legal forms to be notarized by a legal professional in order for them to be valid. If you choose to disregard this step, your legal forms may be considered invalid.

In addition, DIY legal forms are likely to contain legal verbiage that you are unfamiliar with. It can be quite challenging to properly fill out legal forms when you do not have a complete understanding of what is on them.

Divorce courts also have stringent rules and requirements that must be adhered to. This information will not be contained in any generic forms you may use. Failure to follow these rules could result in the court ruling against you or your petition being dismissed by the judge.

If you would like your divorce process to be as efficient as possible, depending on an attorney for your legal forms rather than trying to complete them on your own is a wise choice.

Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer

If you are going through the divorce process, you should reach out to highly skilled divorce lawyer. They can handle legal forms on your behalf and ensure that your divorce gets complete in a timely manner. While it may seem cost-effective to depend on DIY legal forms, doing so can actually leave you with headaches and more expenses down the road.

Call a divorce attorney in Collin County, TX today to find out how they can help.
Thanks to Scroggins Law Group for their insight into family law and reasons to avoid a DIY divorce.

Common Questions Victims of Slip and Fall Accidents May Ask a Lawyer

Slip and Fall Lawyer Memphis, TN

Everyday, people suffer accidental injuries due to slip and falls. Such incidents can happen when a person is walking around in unsafe property conditions. Many people make the incorrect assumption that the fall was their fault to begin with. However, slip and fall accidents are not always cut and dry, as there may have been an individual or party that caused the tumble to occur in the first place. The costs to treat a serious injury because of the collapse can be expensive. A person who has fallen may consider talking with a lawyer about how to seek compensation for this financial loss.

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and answers, that victims of slip and fall accidents may ask a lawyer when receiving a consultation:

What are immediate steps I should take after the slip and fall?

If you haven’t already, a lawyer is likely to suggest you get a medical evaluation so a doctor can document the injuries which resulted from the slip and fall. If you were to seek compensation from the person responsible, it may be more difficult to get the amount you are looking for if you did not get medical attention soon after.

Why do slip and falls happen at all?

There are an abundance of culprits that can lead to a person slipping, tripping and falling onto the ground. Such accidents can really happen anywhere and at any time, especially in environments where a business owner or landlord is careless when it comes to maintaining the property. More specific examples of how a slip and fall accident may arise can include things like:

  • Defects, cracks, holes, depressions, or uneven pavement
  • Rain, snow and ice accumulation in a common walkway
  • Worn, torn, frayed or raised carpeting
  • Poor lighting in certain areas which made it difficult to see properly
  • Broken or missing handrails on staircases
  • Spilled piles of food and/or drinks
  • Retail store products that fell off the shelf into the isle
  • Exposed wires and electrical cords

How much could my slip and fall case be worth?

There is no straightforward answer for how much a person may get in compensation if they were to file a slip and fall lawsuit. The amount the victim may receive can depend on several factors, including the cost for medical bills, loss of earnings and other damages. A person who sustained a sprained ankle is not likely to get as much as someone who was hospitalized for excessive bleeding. Perhaps the best way to find out what your case may be worth is to meet with a qualified lawyer in your area.

Is it necessary that I hire a lawyer?

It is not required that you obtain legal representation for your slip and fall accident. However, if you try to go about the process of filing a lawsuit against a corporation or person of high standing without legal insight from a slip and fall lawyer in Memphis, TN from Wiseman Bray, PLLC, things may not unfold the way you so desire.