What you can expect during a personal injury suit

Social Security Disability Consultative Exams And You

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Social Security Disability Consultative Exams And You

If you have not been able to work at your job because of a medical condition, you may be requested to undergo a special medical exam as part of your application process for Social Security disability benefits. The Social Security Administration (SSA) may need to learn more about your medical condition, particularly if you have not received recent medical treatment for it. To help you understand what this exam, called a consultative exam, means to your Social Security claim, read on. What happens at this exam? The doctor who performs this exam is chosen, and paid, by the SSA. While the exam concerns your medical condition, you should not expect to receive any medical treatment or prescriptions from this exam. Just as with most medical exams, the exam will begin with a check of your weight and height, your blood pressure, temperature and heart rate. Most exams consist of the doctor closely checking and evaluating the body part that is affected by your medical condition to determine if your condition is bad enough to prevent you from working at your job. The exam may involve some questioning and often also includes tests, such as blood tests, x-rays and other diagnostic tools. You will not be charged for any part of this exam. What happens after the exam? The consultative exam physician will submit a report of your medical condition to the SSA and the report will list what types of work you can be expected to preform, from light duty/sedentary to heavy work. This report can take several weeks and you can expect to wait a few more weeks to hear for the SSA with the result. In most cases, the SSA will use this report as the final factor in determining your benefit eligibility. What happens if my claim is denied? Unfortunately, the possibility of being denied benefits after a consultative exam can be high, but you must undergo the exam in order to be provided with a denial. You must possess a denial to proceed to your next step, which is an appeal. Try to regard the consultative exam and the denial as normal parts of the Social Security disability application process, and don’t give up. Seek the help of a legal professional at a firm like Shoap Law Offices, who understands how the process works and can stand by your side at the appeal hearing and help ensure that you get the benefits that you...

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3 Things You Should Always Do Following An Accident To Protect Your Legal Rights

Posted by on Jul 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 3 Things You Should Always Do Following An Accident To Protect Your Legal Rights

No one ever plans on getting in a car accident, so when it happens, it’s easy to feel a little disoriented or confused. Still, the first moments immediately following an accident can have a large impact on your chances in a court of a law if things should one day escalate to that point. In order to protect your legal rights, make it a point to always do these three things during the first minutes following a car accident. Call the Police and File a Report If all that happened was just a small fender bender, you might think it’s not that important to involve the authorities. But the person that hit you could end up changing their story after leaving the scene. If it’s going to be a story of he said, she said in court, it is critical to have a report from an independent third party. Always contact the police and ask them to file an official report regarding your accident. Call them even if the other party doesn’t plan on sticking around. Photograph Everything Another thing that can be a big help to you in court is visual evidence. Yes, you can certainly type out a transcript of the events as they went down, but it can help a judge or jury if they can actually see what you are talking about for themselves. Don’t just photograph the damage to your car, photograph the other person’s car as well. In addition, photograph the street you were driving down and the direction or road from which the other vehicle was traveling from before you collided with each other. If you’re using your phone, back up the photos to your computer or cloud storage immediately upon getting home. If Injured, Contact an Attorney After you leave the scene, one of the first things you should do if you feel any discomfort at all is to contact a car accident lawyer. The insurance companies involved will be determining the liability but it can help if you have an attorney to serve as the point man for your contact with claims workers. An experienced attorney can also help you tackle things like medical expenses if your injuries are more severe. More than anything, having an attorney on your side will help protect your legal rights so that you can get restitution for your injuries if desired. The aftermath of a car accident can be hectic. It’s important in this situation to keep a cool head and fully document everything that happened, with photographs and a police report if possible. If you suffered significant damage to your property or you think you might have been injured, contact a car accident lawyer for assistance as soon as...

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Electronic Shifters: A Tragic Death Shines A Spotlight On A Design Defect

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Electronic Shifters: A Tragic Death Shines A Spotlight On A Design Defect

The death of Star Trek actor Anton Yelchin highlights the dangers of confusing technology and what happens when auto companies make innovations that are more harmful than helpful. The actor was found pinned between his own Jeep and a security gate after the Jeep slipped out of gear. It’s been revealed that the vehicle was among those already recalled for problems with the electronic shifter. If you own a vehicle with an electronic shifter, this is what you should know about the danger it poses and the manufacturer’s liability. Why are electronic shifters a problem? The basic design of a regular automotive shifter has been the same for a long time—it requires drivers to move the gear stick to the dedicated slot for the chosen gear and it stays there until the driver moves it back again. Electronic shifters move back to the center position on their own after each shift in gear. This could confuse drivers, who may not realize that they haven’t shifted the gear back out of whatever drive it was in and put the auto in park. There are also no safety mechanisms that prevent drivers from getting out of the car when it isn’t fully in park.  Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is accused of delaying its response to more than 700 reports that may be related to the issue, including 212 crashes. However, the Jeep Grand Cherokee isn’t the only type of auto out there that has these types of electronic shifters. Some Dodge Chargers, Chrysler 300s and Maserati sedans also have the shifter. Who is responsible for these accidents under the law? When a product is inherently unsafe, product liability laws typically place the blame for design defects on the manufacturer. In order to have a successful lawsuit, plaintiffs have to prove the following things: The risk of an accident was reasonably foreseeable even if the product was used as intended . The manufacturer could have used an alternative design that would have reduced the risk. It wasn’t an economical burden on the manufacturer to do so. In this case, for example, it’s probably reasonable enough to say that alternative designs were available. After all, regular gear shifts were already available. It’s also probably going to be fairly easy to show that FCA could have provided some safety measures that would prevent drivers from exiting the vehicles unless the car was in park or turned off. The biggest dispute may center around whether or not FCA could have anticipated the confusion drivers would have when using the new gear shift, and how quickly they should have realized that there was a problem once reports started coming in. If you believe that you or someone else was injured because you didn’t realize what gear your electronic shifter was in, talk to an attorney like those at Welsh & Welsh PC LLO to discuss the possibility of a...

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When A Motorcycle Part Defect Causes An Accident

Posted by on May 17, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on When A Motorcycle Part Defect Causes An Accident

Sometimes motorcycle accidents have nothing to do with a motorist. A defective motorcycle part can cause an accident as well. If you should suffer an injury because of a defective part, you do have options. Who Is To Blame for Accidents Caused By a Defective Motorcycle Part? When a defective part causes an accident or injury, every party, from distributor to manufacturer, can have some liability. This is a basic tenet of product liability law. For example, if your brakes failed because of a product defect, then the manufacturer of those brakes is to blame. The distributor may also hold some blame if, for instance, they failed to run their own quality checks on the brakes. The brake installer may have some blame as well if the defect was an obvious one but the brakes were installed anyway. Even if it’s found you didn’t do your due diligence by testing the brakes before hitting the road, you won’t bear all the responsibility. Proving a Defective Part Caused an Accident Knowing a defective part is the cause of an accident doesn’t mean it’s easy to prove. Many factors come into play when you attempt to press a lawsuit against a third-party such as a manufacturer. Occasionally, discovering a defective part will occur during the investigation of the accident. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way and you will have to prove a defective part caused the accident. Consider these questions, because your opposition will certainly try to use them against you. Maintenance – Can you say the part was defective when you got it, or was it defective because you didn’t maintain it properly? Recalls – Did you check to see if there was a safety recall? Were you notified, but you ignored the notification? Sourcing – Did you purchase the part from a reputable or recommended dealer? Is it an aftermarket part not specifically designed for your bike? These are just some of the things that will come up with the goal of ruining your credibility. You Will Need Help These types of cases are difficult because it’s often hard to prove a defect caused an accident, rather than your own negligence. A motorcycle accident attorney will know how to: deal with the insurance company’s questions prove beyond doubt a defect was to blame If you have even the slightest suspicion that a defective part caused your motorcycle accident, bring it up with a motorcycle accident attorney as soon as...

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Injured In A Car Accident? Two Ways You Can Prove It

Posted by on May 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Injured In A Car Accident? Two Ways You Can Prove It

When you are injured in a car accident this may lead to doctor bills and missed work. Fortunately, you can get compensated for this money by the other driver’s insurance if the accident was the other driver’s fault. The first thing you should do is to hire an auto accident attorney, and make sure you have the two things listed below to take with you to your first visit with the attorney. Police Report Make sure you get a copy of the police report from officer that came to the accident scene. This is an official legal record of how the accident happened and whose fault it was. The officer can determine the cause of the accident by observing the scene, such as how the cars are facing, the type of damage to the cars, and the tread marks in the road. They include these observations in their police report.  The officer will talk to the other driver to get their account of the accident, and they will include what the driver says in the police report. What the other driver told the officer could help you establish that the accident was not your fault. Scene Photographs If you have your smartphone with you, you need to take photographs of the accident scene. These photographs can be of great help to your accident attorney. The police may have not taken any pictures at all to include in their police report. The photos will show the position of each car during the impact, the time of the accident, the weather conditions, and the damage done to each vehicle. If you are at the wreck scene and have no way to take photographs, contact an auto accident attorney quickly. They can have someone come to the scene to take these pictures for you. This person will also be knowledgeable in the types of photographs the attorney will need. For example, you may not consider taking pictures of the tread marks. You should also try to get a picture of the other driver if they are freely walking around showing no signs of injury. This can help you if they are claiming they were injured, such as whiplash. These are just two ways you can prove that you are injured due to the car accident. Your accident attorney can help you get everything together that you need so you can win your...

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4 Things You Can Do With Your Cell Phone At The Scene Of An Auto Accident

Posted by on May 3, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on 4 Things You Can Do With Your Cell Phone At The Scene Of An Auto Accident

If you are involved in a car accident, there are multiple ways that your cell phone may be able to help you win the compensation that you deserve through a personal injury case. Here are a few things that you shouldn’t do with your cell phone while still at the scene of an accident: Photograph the scene. Most cell phones have a camera function. Thus, you can use your phone to take pictures of the scene of the accident. These pictures can serve as a record of the event. If taken properly, the pictures can display the weather during the event, the positioning of the cars after the accident and even the location of street signs or traffic lights in relation to the location of the collision. You can even photograph the license plate of the vehicles involved along with the damages incurred by each car or truck. This can help substantiate any claims of property damage concerning your vehicle. You can record the contact information of witnesses. You can also use your cell phone to record the contact information of witnesses that are present at the accident scene. You can enter the information using a notepad on your phone or you can text or send an email to yourself with the names, phone numbers and other information that can be used to contact the witnesses in the future. You can record a statement. After a substantial amount of time passes, you may not clearly recall all of the information concerning the event. However, if you record everything that you recollect concerning the accident and how it occurred while you are still at the accident scene, you are less likely to forget important components of the event. You can even record statements from the witnesses at the scene of the accident. These statements may later be used as official evidence of what transpired during the incident. You can call a personal injury attorney. While you are still at the scene of the accident, you can contact the office of a personal injury attorney to schedule a consultation. Many personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations to potential clients. If you are injured in an automotive accident, it is important to have legal representation. Being represented by a competent personal injury attorney can help ensure that you receive maximum compensation for your injuries. Schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer like one from Gartner Law Firm in your...

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Tips To Avoid Issues With A Claim After A Car Accident

Posted by on Apr 20, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Tips To Avoid Issues With A Claim After A Car Accident

A car accident is a stressful time, even if the damage is minor or the injuries minimal. You need to be careful right after the accident and in the days following to make sure you don’t do anything that could shift the responsibility to you or hurt your case if you need to sue for injuries or damages. The following list will help you avoid common pitfalls. Tip #1: Never admit fault Most people know not to admit fault at the scene of the accident, especially to the other driver or any authorities present. This continues even after the accident is over, though. For example, both your insurance agent and the agent for the other driver may contact you and ask for you to give a statement on what happened. In most cases, it is best to politely refer them to your attorney. Your attorney is the only person that you should be discussing the accident with unless you are required to testify in court. Tip #2: Be careful online Social media can be a major fail for an auto accident case. It’s best to refrain from mentioning the case at all or only in the most basic of ways. For example, you may mention that you are going to a doctor’s appointment due to an accident, but don’t rant against the other driver. If you are claiming injuries, it’s also important to make sure you don’t post pictures or status updates that make it look like you are uninjured or healthy. The best way to handle social media is to stay off of it until your case is settled. Tip #3: Don’t skip any follow-ups This pertains to everything about your accident. If you have an injury at the scene, make sure to keep all records of treatment at the time of the accident and to schedule a follow up appointment with your doctor. If you are sore the next day or if it takes a few days for injuries to show, follow up immediately on the developing pain with a doctor. Follow ups don’t just apply to doctors, either. For example, you may need to visit the police station to get a copy of an accident report or to file one, if one was filed on scene. Your main goal is to take everything very seriously and to make sure you have a paper trail to support your case. For more information after a car accident, contact an attorney in your area, like those at Cok Kinzler PLLP or a similar...

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Don’t Allow These 4 Car Accidents Myths To Show Down Your Personal Injury Claim

Posted by on Apr 11, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Don’t Allow These 4 Car Accidents Myths To Show Down Your Personal Injury Claim

After you’ve been in a car accident, it’s easy to just assume that your claim is being handled fairly by the insurance companies. You should be very careful, however, not to fall victim to these 4 myths when it comes to getting fairly compensated for your injuries. The insurance companies are not on your side, and believing these myths could jeopardize your chances at the money damages you deserve. Read on to avoid these myths. Myth One: Since the other driver is obviously at fault, their insurance company will take care of my claim properly. Make sure that your trust in the insurance company, even your own, is not misplaced. All insurance companies are “for profit” and have an obligation to pay out as little as possible on claims. Insurance adjusters are not your friends. They are employees of the insurance company, and their job success is riding on finding ways to pay you less than you might deserve. Don’t make the mistake of accepting their first offer to settle. Myth Two: The other driver seems like a good, honest person who is just as rattled by this accident as you are, so it’s only natural to discuss the accident with them. It’s perfectly normal that you and the other driver want to be friendly, after all, you both share a common trauma and kinship because of the accident. You may even attempt to ease the other driver’s guilt about causing the accident by minimizing your injuries or admitting that you may have been partially at fault. Be very cautious when speaking with the other driver, no matter how nice they seem. Everything you say could be used to lessen your settlement amount. Myth Three: The accident report speaks for itself; fault has been determined. No doubt the accident report contains valuable information about the event, such as the names and contact info for all parties and sometimes even the officer’s opinion of the accident’s cause and who was at fault. While these reports are part of a complete evidence package, it does not stand alone. It’s important to note that accident reports are, surprisingly, not admissible in court. So don’t rely too much on the accident report alone. Make sure that you gather every bit of evidence you can. Myth Four: The accident was too long ago, and it’s too late to file a personal injury claim. Sometimes, the full extent of injuries from an accident take longer to become apparent. If it’s months later and you are suffering from the effects of the accident, you must act quickly. While every state does use a statute of limitation, you often have several years after the event to file suit. Don’t waste any time before contacting an attorney for assistance once you realize that your injuries are far more serious than you previously thought. Read more at the website of a personal injury...

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Three Tips For Dealing With A Car Wreck

Posted by on Mar 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Three Tips For Dealing With A Car Wreck

Getting into a car accident can be scary, especially if you have never been in one before. For this reason, you need a game plan for how to proceed, since this will be not only a matter of safety, but also one of legal matters. With this in mind, consider these three tips and use them so that you can reach out to an auto accident attorney for further help.  Tip #1: Know The Laws Of Your State Each state has different laws when it comes to vehicle accidents. The most important thing to keep in mind is the statute of limitations. If you fail to report the accident and file a claim with the courts by a certain amount of time, it will no longer be legally valid. Each state has different statutes of limitations — for instance, Idaho has a statute of limitations of 3 years for property damage and 2 years for injuries, while Colorado has a statute of limitations of 2 years for property damage and 3 years for injuries from a car wreck. You must also be careful about what you say when exchanging information with the other driver. Exchanging apologies can be dangerous, because the other party’s lawyer can consider it an admission of guilt, which can cause you to lose your case. When you put together a legal case, you are proving negligence and injuries, so you will need proof of your medical bills and the help of a quality attorney.  Tip #2: Find The Right Lawyer Be sure that you touch base with your state Bar Association to find the right lawyer, and also touch base with a variety of physical therapist clinics. These clinics can point you in the right direction of excellent auto accident attorneys, while also helping you to heal of your injuries. Be sure that you feel comfortable about your lawyer’s strategy and the way that they communicate with you. You should also shop for the best price. Auto accident attorneys get paid on contingency, which means that they will receive a portion of the payout that you get at the conclusion of the case.  Tip #3: Be Prepared To Work With Your Lawyer For The Long Haul When preparing for court, you will go through a number of sessions with your lawyer to be sure you are prepared to tell your story. They will guide you through the process and allow you to feel comfortable. Be sure that you focus on healing up, because the process of going through the courts for an auto accident can be long and laborious.  Use these tips in order to bounce back from your car...

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Rules To Consider When Filing A Lawsuit For Medical Malpractice In California

Posted by on Mar 14, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Rules To Consider When Filing A Lawsuit For Medical Malpractice In California

If you believe that you were a victim of medical negligence, then you might have thought about filing a lawsuit. After all, a successful lawsuit can give you compensation for all of your medical bills, and potentially even compensation for your pain and suffering. However, medical negligence can be an extremely complex topic, especially when dealing with laws that vary from state to state. To help make sure that you know what you’re getting into, here are some of the laws that you will encounter when filing a medical negligence lawsuit in California: The Statute of Limitations The statute of limitations is pretty simple in most situations, but it can get a little trickier in medical malpractice cases. You have 3 years from the date of the injury to file your lawsuit. However, if you don’t actually discover the extent of your injuries for years, then you still have an opportunity to file. In that case, you have 1 year to file from the date of discovery. In other words, you have a pretty sizable window of opportunity if you immediately realize that something is wrong. If you were treated negligently, then you have 3 whole years to prepare your lawsuit and gather your evidence. You may need to get the money that is necessary for a lawsuit, since you might end up with a chunk of legal fees. On the other hand, discovering your injuries later can put you in a race against the clock. One year may seem like a long period of time, but it can take you quite a while to gather the necessary documentation. You will need to get a variety of medical documents that prove negligence, which means that you should begin your preparations as soon as possible. Medical Malpractice Damage Caps Like many states, California imposes a cap on certain damages in medical malpractice cases, which happens to be $250,000 in non-economic damages, as listed in 3333.2 of the California Civil Code. This may sound like a pretty serious restriction, but it actually doesn’t affect all of your damages. In fact, this cap has no effect at all on your medical bills, lost wages, and future care. Those damages are not subject to any caps, meaning that you can ask for the full amounts in all of those categories without needing to worry about restrictions. What is restricted is pain and suffering, which is a pretty nebulous concept. The size of your non-economic damages will highly depend on the mood of the court and how well you have convinced them of the legitimacy of your case. Ultimately, you don’t need to worry about getting your medical bills and lost wages covered, but you can hit an upper limit when it comes to asking for additional money for emotional and psychological stress. To speak to a personal injury lawyer, contact a law firm such as Modesitt Law Offices...

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