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Archive for tag: auto accident

What To Do After A Car Wreck

Shattered Car (cool)

Steps To Take After An Accident:

  • Stay at the Scene
  • Call the Police
  • Exchange Information
  • Talk to Witnesses
  • Inform Your Insurance Company
  • Keep Track of Your Medical Treatment
  • Take Pictures
  • Get a Property Damage Valuation From Insurance
  • Use Caution in Discussing the Incident
  • Consider Hiring an Attorney

Common Injuries Caused By Air Bag Deployment

Wrecked White Car W : Deployed Airbag

Unfortunately, airbags bags cannot always prevent death or result in minor injury.  If someone is leaning very close or against the steering wheel or dashboard at the moment that the airbag deploys the force of the deployment could cause serious injury and even death. The recommended distance drivers stay away from the steering wheel by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is at least 10 inches. Below is a more comprehensive list of possible airbag injuries. The type and severity depends on several factors including speed, closeness to the airbag, and nature of the collision:

 

  • Abrasion to the face, chest or upper extremities
  • Contusion of the face, chest, upper extremities, knees or internal organs
  • Strain, fracture or blunt trauma to the cervical spine
  • Burns on the chest, upper extremities or hands
  • Fracture or break in the face, upper extremities or wrists
  • Fracture in the skull or rib cage
  • Loss of consciousness or concussion injuries
  • Bruising or swelling of the brain
  • Laceration to the veins, arteries, heart, lungs or brain stem
  • Laceration to the liver or spleen
  • Compression of the brain or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Rupture inside the heart muscle
  • Eye injury such as rupture to the globe, retinal tear, corneal abrasion or conjunctivitis
  • Hearing loss or ear trauma
  • Trauma to the fetus of a pregnant women or puncture in the placenta
  • Internal bleeding
  • Wrist trauma and sprained fingers
  • Irritation in the throat, asthma attack or coughing
  • Irritation of the skin, also called airbag dermatitis

If you were involved in a car wreck and it wasn't your fault, we'd like to help. Please call us today at 225-383-9703 so we can discuss your injuries, get you onto the road of recover and begin the process of having the insurance company pay for the pain, suffering, and medical bills caused by their insured.

The Role Of Epidural Injections

Lumbar X -ray 2

 

The torquing of the spine during a car wreck is a common cause of injury. Sometimes rest and minimal, noninvasive, treatment will be all that is necessary to heal. For others, the pain lingers and they desire surgical intervention to end the agony. In most case, prior to surgery, doctors will require epidural steroid injections over a period of time to see if the pain can be adequately managed. Although not considered a surgery, this alternative treatment is a steroid injection to help reduce swelling and pain. Often times, this is enough to relive the pain from injury, however, it’s usually the initial treatment and if it doesn’t work, surgery or other interventions may be needed.

 

Back pain is a real consequence of injury or car accidents no matter the circumstances or who is at fault. Because the back is at the core of the body, surgery is often needed to treat the injury and relieve the pain. Some surgeries result in structural changes of the spine and many require a recovery period. Some may require additional physical therapy to improve strength, flexibility, and overall functionality; and in some cases, one surgery may not be enough. Because the back is so large, the variables and responses vary by person and injury severity, so it is always important to seek and follow doctor advice. 

Were You Involved In A Head-On Collision?

Smashed Grey Car In Rain 

Head-on Collision

A head оn соlliѕiоn iѕ when twо vеhiсlеѕ collide thеir front еndѕ with one аnоthеr. Thiѕ iѕ different frоm a rear еnd соlliѕiоn whiсh iѕ whеn a саr rеаr-еndѕ аnоthеr саr. While a rеаr еnd соlliѕiоn саn саuѕе ѕubѕtаntiаl dаmаgе and frequently iѕ thе саuѕе оf whiрlаѕh, head оn соlliѕiоnѕ аrе much more dаngеrоuѕ. Front-end collisions like thеѕе аrе even fatal ѕоmе оf the time. Because frоnt еnd collisions аrе аlwауѕ the ѕаmе thеу are аlwауѕ рlасеd in the category of lane dераrturе ассidеntѕ. Thаt iѕ bесаuѕе to hаvе a hеаd on collision уоu muѕt bе colliding with a саr heading in the орроѕitе dirесtiоn you are heading. It is соnѕidеrеd lаnе dераrturе bесаuѕе it requires one саr tо drift intо thе lаnе of орроѕitе, оnсоming traffic.

 

WHAT TO DO DURING A HEAD ON COLLISION

Take ѕtосk of уоur injuriеѕ. If injured, immediately call an аmbulаnсе for you or thе person уоu hit. Also саll thе police onto thе scene ѕо you саn file a сrаѕh оr police rероrt оf the inсidеnt.

 Trу tо rеmаin саlm. Whеn уоu hаvе ѕuffiсiеntlу gаthеrеd yourself, lооk аt thе dаmаgе tо уоur vehicle. In оrdеr to record the initial dаmаgеѕ, it is wise to tаkе аѕ mаnу рiсturеѕ аѕ уоu саn оf bоth саrѕ and trу tо get рiсturеѕ оf thе extent оf thе dаmаgеѕ.

 Aftеr thе police hаvе written uр a report оf thе ассidеnt, get thе information оf thе оthеr person. The infоrmаtiоn inсludеѕ:

1. Name, рhоnе numbеr, аnd саr mаkе.

2. Insurance роliсу numbеr.

3. Inѕurаnсе representative's рhоnе numbеr.

4. Names and numbers оf any раѕѕеngеrѕ in the other реrѕоn'ѕ саr.

HOW TO PREVENT HEAD – ON COLLISION

Hеаd оn соlliѕiоnѕ саn be prevented. Be aware while driving. The fatal flaw оf all hеаd-оn соlliѕiоnѕ is that thе drivеr wаѕ nоt аwаrе оf еithеr thе ѕрееd of the аррrоасhing саr аnd miѕjudgеd оr did nоt see the саr until it wаѕ tоо lаtе whiсh results intо a ѕеriоuѕ саr ассidеnt. A hеаd-оn соlliѕiоn is apter tо rеѕult in a fаtаlitу thаn аnу other tуре оf collision.

Faulty driving mаnеuvеrѕ thаt might саuѕе a drivеr tо сrоѕѕ thе сеntеrlinе inсludе:

i.    Bаd раѕѕing judgmеnt.

ii.    Driving around a сurvе too fаѕt fоr conditions.

iii.     Left turns dirесtlу intо thе раth оf оn-соming vеhiсlе.

iv.     Wide right turnѕ.

v.     Failure to intеrрrеt pavement mаrkingѕ.

vi.     Ovеr correcting frоm a right whееl drоррing off thе раvеmеnt.

Trаffiс ѕtudiеѕ show that bаd judgmеnt аnd lack оf соntrоl саuѕе most оf these соlliѕiоnѕ. Remember thаt ѕоmеоnе, whо hаѕ bаd judgmеnt еvеn if уоu аrе dоing everything right, саn hit уоu аnd lеаd tо a serious саr accident.

 

What determines how much money I can recover in a lawsuit?

First, it depends on the severity and duration of the injuries and the economic costs associated with the injuries.  You are entitled to be compensated for your medical bills, including estimated future medical bills. You are also entitled to be compensated for past lost wages and for any future loss of earning capacity.  Past medical bills and past lost wages are relatively easy to prove; future medical bills and future loss of earning capacity require expert testimony.  Finally, you are entitled to “general damages” for the past and future pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life you experience or are expected to experience as a result of the accident.  General damages are usually the biggest component of a personal injury recovery.   

Second, it depends on the amount of money available to compensate for your damages.  Unless the defendant is a solvent corporation or an extremely wealthy individual, you are not going to recover more than the insurance limits no matter what your injuries are.  That is – again – why it’s always a good idea to have uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage (UM).

Understanding You Car Insurance Policy

Your auto insurance policy is probably one of the most important policies you have.  Not only does it protect you from trouble if you get pulled over or get in an accident, but it protects your asset: your car.  If something happens, insurance provides the money needed to fix or replace it.  In fact, many companies now have accident forgiveness, which means if you get in an accident and it is your first on their policy, they will forgive it and not raise your rates.  Insurance also covers damage to any property involved. 

More importantly, however, insurance covers you and the loved ones in the car.  Should someone be injured, whether you or the other party involved, insurance can help cover medical costs, damage to property, and more.  All of this is great, but if you do not understand your policy, you will not know what you are covered for and how to use it. Below is a quick guide to understanding your insurance policy. 

Auto Insurance has many different parts to consider.  Please note that deductibles, meaning how much you pay first before the policy kicks in, are up to you.  This guide to choosing the right deductible will help you figure out what is best for you.  Also, there may be a required amount of coverage needed for each coverage type, which varies by state. The types of coverage are broken out below.

 

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage- Refers to bodily injury and property damage for an accident in which you are at fault, and under or uninsured motorists when you are not at fault.

Bodily Injury – This covers other people who are injured due to your negligence.  It will cover lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering if the injured party chooses to file a claim.

Property Damage Liability – This covers to any damage you cause to property such as trees, fences, and the like.

Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist – This protects you if you are injured by a driver with no insurance or if you are involved in a hit and run. Underinsured pays the difference if the other person’s insurance is below the actual cost of the damages sustained. This coverage will pay you an additional amount up to your policy limits.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, “When purchasing liability coverage, you will need to determine the amount of coverage needed to protect yourself if a loss occurs. Coverage is often sold with a per-person and total per-loss maximum amount. For example, 100/300/50 coverage means that you have coverage of $100,000 bodily injury liability insurance per person, $300,000 total bodily injury liability insurance per accident, and $50,000 property damage liability per accident.”  Choosing low coverage to save money will offer less protection and could leave you footing a big bill in a serious accident.  Plus, some states require certain minimums

Coverage for Your Car

Collision Coverage – This pays for physical damage to your car if the damage was a result of sliding into an object such as a mailbox.

Comprehensive Coverage – This covers damage to your auto for almost all other losses other than collisions. This includes:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Falling Objects
  • Weather Related such as Hail or Flood
  • Vandalism
  • Damage by Glass Breakage or an Animal such as a Bird or Deer

With car coverage you have to pay a deductible, which is the amount you pay before the insurance company pays anything.  Deductibles usually are $250, $500, or $1000.  You want to choose according to your lifestyle and needs.

Other Optional Coverage 

Medical Payment Coverage – This pays for medical and funeral expenses for you or others injured or killed in an accident.  This also covers those with insurance who are struck as pedestrians.

Rental Reimbursement– This covers the cost of a rental car if your car is totaled or needs repairs.  It usually has a daily and total dollar limit, for example, $20-a-day up to $600. 

Towing and Emergency Roadside Service– This covers towing your car to a repair shop.  Know the specifics of this service as your car dealer or a third party service may offer more comprehensive coverage.

Key Points to Remember When Considering an Auto Policy:

  • Your auto insurance policy will financially protect you, giving you peace of mind.
  • Limits for auto damage or injuries resulting from an auto accident.
  • Be aware of the types of coverage offered and what is required in your state.
  • Review your auto policy and stay informed on what and whom your auto policy will cover.
  • Know your state's minimum amount of liability coverage required and decide what amount is best for your situation.
  • Know how to file a claim with your insurance company. Usually, you can find this information on their website or by calling them.
  • When an accident occurs, know what to do to protect yourself and others around you.  This means trading insurance information and making a claim, no matter how small the accident, and having proper first aid in your car.  Get more tips here.

*Source: NAIC

 

How To Recover For Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft Tissue Injuries

When you suffer soft tissue injuries as a result of an accident it can be difficult to prove through medical documentation alone unlike a break to a bone, however it can still affect day to day life in the short or long term. Getting a fair settlement for your soft tissue injuries is extremely important however challenging it may be. We can help you to prove how the injury has affected your life to ensure you get what you deserve to help pay for medical treatment, loss of earnings and other related expenditures.

Although soft tissue injuries can factor in many different kinds of injury lawsuits, the most common is whiplash as a result of a car accident. It’s not always easy to get proof of this type of injury which is why it can be suggested that there is exaggeration by the plaintiff to try to get a bigger compensation claim. This is why it is so important that documentation is made thoroughly to support an insurance claim and/or lawsuit.

How the insurance company views soft injury claims

Because the majority of soft tissue injury claims are made as a result of a car accidentthe injured person or responsible person will need to pay for the injuries depending on the state. If you are from a ‘no fault’ state then it is the plaintiff that is responsible for paying for treatment and compensation. This means that the plaintiff is unable to sue unless they also have more serious injuries that can be proven and are documented to be as a result of the accident. For this reason it is extremely important to have as much medical documentation proving the injury as possible.

There is usually a set amount that insurers will pay for each injury should the admit liability. It is usual practice to offer a settlement which the claimant can then accept or refuse. If it is refused then it will be taken to court. If the amount they win as a result of the court case works out to be less than the original settlement offer the insurance company might also be able to claim back their legal costs. This is where getting too greedy could end up costing you the majority if not all of your claim.

How it can be problematic to prove soft tissue injuries

Unlike breaking a leg or other injuries that require immediate medical attention and diagnostics soft tissue injuries are not always easy to prove. You may have bruises and cuts, but this will not be deemed as proof of the soft injury. They cannot be proved by use of medical diagnostic tools such as CT scans and X-rays, but this by no means is proof that the injury has not and will not affect the plaintiff’s day to day life in the short or long term.

The media has advertised people entering court with medical aids such as canes and neck braces that alone have helped them to win the case, and then gone off to remove the aids once leaving the building. The ease of being able to use aids for sympathy is highly exaggerated and will be questioned but all the same being able to physically see an injury is more likely to prove your claim is real.

Without hard proof the insurance companies are able to argue that the plaintiff is exaggerating their injuries, which is why medical treatment should be sought immediately after the incident. This will enable trained medical professionals to examine and make notes of the injuries sustained. Without medical proof there is no hard evidence and by the time the court case comes around it is your word over theirs. Medical records make for stronger evidence in court than word of mouth and if you do require medical aids they will be proof that they were prescribed not bought or borrowed for the purpose of sympathy in court.

How to receive compensation for soft injury claims

As mentioned earlier in this article the best chance that a plaintiff has of winning a claim is by providing hard evidence through medical documentation. This will also describe the symptoms and an estimated time of which they expect the plaintiff to suffer. It will prove the amount of time the doctor has advised them to be off work and of any medical aids that have been provided. In addition to this any return check-ups will also be noted and will stand as testament. In most cases the insurance company will want to avoid a court case so by showing proof you will be more likely to be offered a settlement out of court which is usually a faster process. For plaintiffs living in a state that is ‘no fault’ the worry of winning a trial is not important but proof of the injuries will still be so that you can cover expenses accrued as a result of the accident.

Expert witnesses may be required to testify should there be a high damages claim. This expert witness will need to say how they feel the injuries were caused in their professional opinion. Providing medical evidence will help to get the claim settled faster and give you a higher chance of winning. Without medical records and a visit to a medical professional it is likely the case will drag on and that the settlement will be a lot less than you are expecting.

Insurance companies usually have a settlement amount in mind but in cases where a company is not involved the defendant will be paying from their own pocket and more than likely trying to avoid paying more so that they can pay legal fees too.

If an insurance company refuses payment on the claim it is up to the plaintiff to sue the insurance company or defendant instead. This is where medical records could make a difference between the plaintiff winning or losing the case.

If you have been involved in a wreck and you continue to suffer pain in your body, you need to consult a lawyer to further understand your rights and arrange for you to get the necessary treatment for your injury.

3 Common Car Accident Cases

3 Most Common Car Accidents And The Attorneys You Need For Each Of Them

This is a wonderful and common sense article from Findlaw that broadly categorizes the 5 types of car accidents. I do not dispute viewing auto accidents in this manner and would suggest that doing so is also useful. Our commentary on the article will focus on three of those categories. You see, similar events will be associated with similar injuries and legal issues. This means that a lawyer with a proven success rate in one type of car accident case may be a better choice for handling your claim if your case falls within that lawyer's "niche".

Car Accident: Rear Ender

For example, the "Rear Ender" doesn't have to be a "car totaling" event and is often associated with "low impact collisions." This accident is simple one car failing to stop and bumping into the back of another. This can happen at yield intersections, highway on ramps or even on the roadway itself when someone falls to brake properly. These can be tricky cases because the client is claiming serious injuries but the car may not have any noticeable damage from the outside. Liability is often not the main legal issue in this case, rather it is the amount of damages to be awarded that is critical.  Having a lawyer with a successful track record litigating low impact collisions and soft tissue injuries would be important.  Now, let's look at the other categories of car accidents to see how a lawyer can help.

Car Accident: Single Shot

The "Single Shot" case is very problematic as there isn't always another driver to blame for the cause of the accident that you can look to for recovering the damages. Here, the driver looses control of his car and can end up in a ditch or impacting a tree. But, how did the accident happen?  If its driver's own negligence can anything be recovered?  Is there available medical and property damage riders on the driver's policy that can help pay medical and repair bills?  What if the accident was caused by a defect in the roadway?  In that case, you'll need a lawyer who is experienced in suing the state are arguing highway defects.  These can be challenging to litigate since so much planing and inspection go into modern roadway projects.  What happens if the accident was caused by a malfunction with the car itself that the driver could not over come such as brake failure or steering failure?  This may be a products defect case and, if so, you may need a lawyer seasoned in products liability and class action cases. Taking on Ford or Toyota isn't a job for your average lawyer.  You'll definitely need an attorney experienced with expensive and "high stakes" litigation.

Car Accident: T-Bone

The "T-Bone" is often the most serious kind of car accident. Here, you may have two cars traveling at full speed colliding with the force of impact bending metal and breaking bones.  Damages are often easily quantifiable: totaled value of the car, hospital bills, loss of work etc.  But, the amount of the award is often dependent upon who is at fault. Liability is the issue here. Did someone run a red light? Was someone speeding or driving recklessly?  A lawyer handling this case will need to be able to develop a case and attack an opponent's defense. The attorney will likely need accident reconstruction experts.

 

You can read the full article from findlay at the link below.

Posted From: http://feeds.findlaw.com/~r/Injured/~3/On7FXLMClfs/5-most-common-car-accidents.html

Do Not Under Estimate Whiplash Injuries After A Car Wreck

Most accidents are not these horrific events that shut down interstates and leave families shattered by the deaths of loved ones. Instead, they are your typical "fender benders." At the outset, they don't look severe. The damage to the dar may be a small dent or some scuff marks if anything at all. The impact scares you. You get a jolt of adrenaline. Maybe even anger that subsides when you realize your car isn't totaled. You feel relieved and tell the other driver you are "fine." You you very well may think that way since you are relived your car isn't destroyed.  But, this is precisely where many auto accident cases take a turn for the worst. Here is what you don't yet realize:

You can suffer significant injury from a low impact collision. The muscles and tendons in your body have just absorbed the shock of a powerful impact. Car's have a tremendous amount of mass and every mile power hour yields a significant increase in the amount of force or power applied to you. Worse yet, your body positioning could cause the force to be exerted against your body in an abnormal position. Imagine looking over your shoulder to see about oncoming traffic as you exit the interstate and are required to yield as you enter the connecting highway.  These injuries are called "soft tissue" injuries. It may take a day or two for the bruising to set in. At this point you realize you are in pain and that you need help.

Now, here is the problem. You've told some one you are "fine." Now you expect the other driver to pay for medical bills that could be significant. His insurance adjuster will use your comments coupled with the minor damage to claim you are lying and, worse yet, if your "newly discovered injury" occurs at the same time you seek legal counsel, the defense lawyer will claim you are a fraud at trial.

This is why you shouldn't say you are "fine". Tell the police where you felt the shock of impact and where you recall your body pressing against interior compartment of your car and advise you'll go see your doctor. This way you can best preserve your opportunity to file a claim and minimize attacks on your credibility.

Injuries Caused By Airbags

Injuries Commonly Caused By Air Bag Deployment

 

According to Safecar.gov, airbags are designed to deploy in moderate or severe crashes in frontal or near frontal collisions. These are defined as hitting a fixed barrier at 8-14mph or more and/or striking a parked car of equal size to the barrier at 16 to 28mph. Airbags are intended to deploy to provide a cushion and prevent major injuries that would result from the driver or passenger hitting the dashboard at full force or being struck by a part of the car that intrudes enters the cabin as a result of the force from an accident.

 

According to The National Institute for Highway Safety, “NHTSA estimates that as of 2013, 39,886 lives have been saved by frontal airbags. In frontal crashes, frontal airbags reduce driver fatalities by 29 percent and fatalities of front-seat passengers age 13 and older by 30 percent. The fatality reduction in frontal crashes is larger for belted drivers (52 percent) compared to unbelted drivers (21 percent). NHTSA estimates that the combination of an airbag plus a lap and shoulder belt reduces the risk of death by 51 percent, compared with a 45 percent reduction for belts alone in frontal crashes.” Although airbags save lives and reduce risks of major injuries, they are not entirely safe.

 

As seen in the recent air bag recalls, airbags can also cause injuries. In some brands, deployed airbags had loose metal fragments that pierced through the airbag and injured drivers. This massive recall exposed the industry and no matter how advanced air bag technology is, there is still risk for injury; whether due to a company’s negligence in producing poor airbags or the nature of the crash and the impact with the airbag.

 

To understand potential injuries, it is important to understand that airbags work based of off sensors that detect trigger upon a sensed impact at a certain speed. This is important because one of the more common reasons airbag injuries occur is because the sensor malfunctions and the airbag does not deploy. This can lead to major head, neck, and upper body injuries that may include lacerations, fractures, broken bones, or brain trauma. The severity of the injury depends on the speed and nature of the accident. 

 

There are some minor injuries that airbags can cause too. These include abrasions or burns, and the chemicals released when it deploys can induce asthma attacks. Airbags have also been known to cause eye injuries, sometimes-severe if the bag hits someone in the eye. 

 

Unfortunately, airbags bags cannot always prevent death or result in minor injury.  If someone is leaning very close or against the steering wheel or dashboard at the moment that the airbag deploys the force of the deployment could cause serious injury and even death. The recommended distance drivers stay away from the steering wheel by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is at least 10 inches. Below is a more comprehensive list of possible airbag injuries. The type and severity depends on several factors including speed, closeness to the airbag, and nature of the collision:

 

  • Abrasion to the face, chest or upper extremities
  • Contusion of the face, chest, upper extremities, knees or internal organs
  • Strain, fracture or blunt trauma to the cervical spine
  • Burns on the chest, upper extremities or hands
  • Fracture or break in the face, upper extremities or wrists
  • Fracture in the skull or rib cage
  • Loss of consciousness or concussion injuries
  • Bruising or swelling of the brain
  • Laceration to the veins, arteries, heart, lungs or brain stem
  • Laceration to the liver or spleen
  • Compression of the brain or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Rupture inside the heart muscle
  • Eye injury such as rupture to the globe, retinal tear, corneal abrasion or conjunctivitis
  • Hearing loss or ear trauma
  • Trauma to the fetus of a pregnant women or puncture in the placenta
  • Internal bleeding
  • Wrist trauma and sprained fingers
  • Irritation in the throat, asthma attack or coughing
  • Irritation of the skin, also called airbag dermatitis

 

Airbags are a great safety addition to automobiles and can reduce the possibility of sever injuries and death. However, they can also malfunction, causing injury. Although the human body is amazing, it was not designed to withstand the impact of an automobile collision at any speed, so it is important to keep a safe distance from the steering column and ensure the airbag is not under a recall and has a working sensor. This ensures at the minimum the airbag is in the best condition to protect and not injure.