All posts tagged car accident

5 Ways a Car Accident Can Change Your Life

No matter how safe of a driver you might be, an accident can take place at any time. While everyone hopes these situations will be resolved quickly, they often devolve into serious legal battles if any injuries have taken place. Here are just five of the ways that your next accident could end up changing your life.

Points on Your License

When a driver goes to traffic school for the first time, they should learn about the point system and how it will impact their ability to drive. While every state is slightly different, drivers who are at fault for an accident will generally have one or more points placed on their license for up to five years. Those who accumulate too many points could have their license suspended.

Legal Troubles

If an auto accident turns into a trial, it can become a very expensive situation for all parties involved. This is especially common if the driver who caused the accident was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In those scenarios, the charges can result in a license suspension or even time in jail. Drunk drivers might also need to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle once their license has been reinstated.

Chronic Injuries

Immediately following an accident, many drivers and passengers do not even realize they are injured because of their adrenaline. Unfortunately, patients who are not treated immediately often develop lifelong injuries and disabilities. Those who do not receive fair compensation to cover their medical expenses should speak with an experienced personal injury attorney, like Jack W Hanemann,P.S. about their legal options.

Expensive Repairs

In addition to medical bills, many drivers face expensive repairs after an accident. When the damage is severe enough, the car will be declared a total loss and the owner must find the funds to purchase a new vehicle. While your insurance might cover some of the expenses, it is not always enough to replace your old car with a similar make and model.

Higher Insurance Premiums

Many drivers do not realize that the increase in their insurance premiums can be the most expensive part of getting into an accident. In some cases, the points on your license will not come off for many years, and your insurance premiums will stay at a much higher rate until those points are removed.

Once an accident has taken place, it is important for all drivers involved to immediately begin taking steps to protect their health, finances, and driving record.

Slick Road Slip-Ups: Five Fender Bender Dos and Don’ts

A fender bender can put you into a potentially dangerous situation. What seems like something minor could explode into a very serious incident if you aren’t careful. The key to staying safe is knowing what to do. Here are five dos and don’ts when you are involved in a fender bender, especially on slick or icy roads this winter.

Do Contact the Police Immediately

Always contact the police immediately after an accident. Do not try to settle things quietly, or just brush off the accident. You want to call the police, request medical attention if necessary, and file an official report. This helps to protect you and the other driver. It is also a necessary step if you need to file an insurance or personal injury claim later.

Do Not Remain Standing in the Road

The last thing you want to do is stand in the road next to the vehicles, assessing the damage after an accident. Do get out of the road as quickly as you can. There will be plenty of time to look at the damage when the police arrive. Get to a safe place with everyone involved in the accident. This might even mean crossing the street to get to a sidewalk or parking lot.

Do Speak To a Lawyer

You will want to speak to a personal injury lawyer after the accident if you were hurt in any way. A Pocatello Attorney from a firm you trust will make certain your rights are protected. A lawyer will also help to determine whether you have valid damages that can be recovered through filing a personal injury claim. Always contact a lawyer if you were in a car accident.

Do Not Attempt to Drive Your Vehicle

There is no way to tell what parts of your vehicle might have been damaged as the result of a fender bender. You do not want to attempt to drive your vehicle right away. Wait until a tow truck arrives and have the car inspected. If you try to drive away, then damage to the car might cause you to lose control and get into another accident.

Do Document What You Can

Do try to document everything you can. This includes taking pictures or videos of the scene and the damage done. Get the names of witnesses in the area. Get all the contact information from the opposing driver and the license plate of the other cars. This information can be very helpful later.

You need to take action right after a fender bender in order to protect yourself and your rights. Do not assume that a small accident will not have far-reaching consequences in the coming days. Use these five tips to do the right thing after an auto accident.

Image credit: Fender Bender, 101 FWY, on Flickr

How to Protect Yourself after Being Hit by a Drunk Driver

Car accidents are dangerous. The aftermath of a car accident can often be a significant portion of the overall danger, because it is then the financial realities, medical issues and the overall burden of car repairs, wasted time and inconvenience manifest themselves.

All of these things are only magnified if the accident involves a drunk driver.

Technology to the Rescue

In the age of mobile technology, phones and tablets, every human being is equipped with virtually unlimited capacity to document any event on their own. Photographic and video evidence are both incredibly powerful and often conclusive in any legal matter.

The practical ramifications of this are clear. After an accident, you should be taking pictures of everything, especially anything with letters or numbers on it. License plates, VIN numbers, driver’s licenses, insurance cards, and so forth.

Secondly, don’t forget to take pictures of the surroundings, starting with the road in both directions. Take pictures of the pavement and nearby structures. Photograph the accident from every angle and be sure to photograph any accident evidence: skid marks, glass, metal, paint, dents, scrapes, car parts, etc.

The Authorities

If it is at all possible, anyone involved in a drunk driving accident should interview all of the relevant authorities, starting with the responding police department. However, you should not answer any questions until you have a chance to speak with legal counsel, even if you aren’t at fault.

Firefighters and ambulance drivers or emergency medical personnel should be at least identified. Get numbers and names if possible. All of these people will become crucial sources of information and possibly testimonies at a later date.

Legal Advice

Even if you don’t think you’ll need an attorney, it is often a good idea to at least speak with someone involved in personal injury or vehicle accident litigation. Firms like Racine Olson will often alert you to things you may not have considered. A qualified and experienced attorney can also often be a good candidate for organizing all the information related to your case.

Insurance

It goes without saying that if you are ever in a car accident, your second call should be to your insurance company. This is doubly and triply true when dealing with an accident with potential criminal liability, even if you are not at fault. Your insurance company can coordinate their efforts with your legal representatives and assist you in obtaining any official documents related to the accident, the aftermath and your case. You pay premiums for this service. You might as well use it.

Keeping your cool and making sure you approach an accident with a calm and reasoned attitude will often be the difference between major financial problems an accompanying legal trouble versus a favorable outcome.

6 Signs Your Auto Accident Wasn’t Your Fault

The aftermath of a car accident can feel disorienting and unsettling, especially if the wreck resulted in injuries to you or extensive damages to your vehicle. Whether you’re reading this article at the scene of the accident or while waiting to speak to an insurance representative, one of the most important characteristics you must identify is legal fault.

You should never admit fault for an accident, since this can lead to penalties regardless of the veracity of the statement. But how can you know for sure that you weren’t at fault? Below we list some common indicators of fault.

1. The Other Driver Admitted Fault

Most insurers and legal professionals recommend not admitting fault after an accident. If the other driver willingly admits fault, either he or she has never heard that advice or he or she really is at fault.

2. Witnesses Place Fault with the Other Driver

Witness statements can hold a lot of sway in accident claims proceedings. Listen to the witnesses talk to each other and the police. If they actively identify the other driver as the accident’s cause, you probably aren’t at fault.

3. You Didn’t Have Time to Brake

If you saw the accident coming, but didn’t have time to brake, you may not legally be at fault. However, this depends on your state and local laws. In some areas, braking does not affect assignment of guilt. Contact attorney Jonathan Groth for more information on Milwaukee accident laws.

4. You Didn’t See the Accident Coming

If you were blindsided, chances are good the accident wasn’t your fault. However, this is not the case if you caused an accident by neglecting your duties as a driver.

5. You Were Hit from Behind

In some states, if a driver is rear-ended, he or she is never considered legally at fault. If you were hit from behind, this law may apply to you.

6. You Were Not Issued a Ticket at the Scene

While this rule is far from universal, you may not be at fault if the police issued a ticket to the other driver at the scene, but not to you. Keep in mind, however, that the police do not issue tickets after every accident.

If you don’t know whether or not you were at fault (or you were wrongfully blamed for the accident), talk to an accident attorney. He or she can help you determine your rights, your legal responsibilities, and the compensation you are due.

Injured After Your Car Accident? Here’s Why You May Need an Injury Lawyer

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, year after year an excess of 10 million motor vehicle accidents are reported annually. While no one ever anticipates being involved in a motor vehicle accident, it is clear that they can often be unavoidable.

What Injuries May Occur in an Accident?

While drivers are often fortunate enough to walk away from motor vehicle accidents without a scratch, often times this is not the case. Edmunds reports that approximately one third of motor vehicle accidents result in injury. Common injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents include whiplash, broken bones, and even brain or spinal damage, all of which can have severe consequences.

What Should I Do If Involved in an Accident?

Should you ever be involved in a motor vehicle accident, the first thing all of the drivers involved should do is confirm that there are no life threatening injuries, followed by relocating to a safe place. Next, exchange information with all drivers involved, file an accident report with the police, and photograph the scene if possible. If you are injured, you should contact a personal injury lawyer or a similar firm before contacting the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC). Consulting with a personal injury lawyer before contacting ICBC ensures that your claim is reported properly in order to avoid costly mistakes.

Who is Liable for My Injuries?

Any injury resulting from negligent operation of a motor vehicle, including motorcycles, trucks, and buses, may be grounds for legal action. There are a number of potential parties who may be liable for your injuries.

What Is an Example Situation Wherein I May Need a Lawyer?

For example, suppose you are sitting at a traffic light and your car is rear-ended by a bus, resulting in severe whiplash and neck pain. After following the appropriate steps at the scene of the accident, you go directly to hospital to be assessed, having your injuries confirmed and documented by a health professional. The driver or owner of the bus may be liable for any expenses incurred as a result of your injury, expenses you may not have to cover with the assistance of a personal injury lawyer.

Consulting with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible is the best way to determine how to proceed with your personal injury case. You may have rights that you may not even be aware of, rights that can help ease the anxiety and consequences resulting from your personal injuries.