Car Accidents in Franklin, KY

Serving as the county seat of Simpson County, Franklin is known for its number of notable people, Kentucky Downs, and dozens of churches found throughout the city. Not to be confused with Franklin County, the city of Franklin has fewer than 10,000 people, and as such, levels of traffic congestion are relatively low, and car accidents–especially serious car accidents–aren’t common.

But car accidents do occur from time to time, and in a single year, there were 599 motor vehicle accidents reported in Simpson County, three of which were fatal, and 117 of which were injury collisions. While Franklin may be a small city, those who are involved in car accidents within Franklin have as much of a right to seek compensation for their harm as do those in other parts of the state and working with an experienced car accident attorney is imperative.

Kentucky No-Fault Car Accident Laws

Kentucky is one of a handful of states in the nation that maintains a no-fault system for car accidents, which means that drivers must turn to their own car insurance company first, regardless of fault. To be sure, all drivers are required to carry Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage to pay for medical expenses resulting from an accident.

Because the no-fault system allows for a driver to recover compensation from their own insurance company after a crash, even if they themselves were to blame for the incident, drivers are simultaneously barred from filing a lawsuit against the other driver or filing a claim for compensation with the other driver’s insurance.

The no-fault law has some exceptions, though; drivers may step outside of the no-fault system and seek compensation from a negligent party who caused the crash and related injuries when:

  • Medical expenses total at least $1,000; or
  • An injury is severe enough to result in permanent injury, disfigurement, bone fracture, or death.

Because drivers may seek damages against the other party when their injuries or injury-related expenses meet the threshold described above, drivers are also required to carry liability insurance in the amounts of $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident, and $10,000 in property damage liability coverage per accident.

Maximizing Your Compensation Award in a Crash

If you have been involved in a car accident and suffered property damage, bodily injury, or both, you surely want to receive the maximum amount of compensation available to you. If you are filing a claim with your own insurance company (PIP coverage), you will need to prove the full extent of damages you have suffered, which is best done by providing proof of medical bills, doctor’s notes and prescribed treatments, and in some cases, expert medical testimony.

If you are filing a claim with the insurance company of the other driver, things may become more complicated as not only will you need to prove the extent of injury, but also prove that your accident would not have occurred but for the actions of the other driver.

How a Car Accident Attorney in Franklin, Kentucky Can Help You

Many people involved in a car accident hesitate to hire a car accident lawyer following a crash, afraid that hiring a lawyer will only complicate things, and worried about their ability to afford a lawyer. While a lawyer may not be necessary for all car accident claims, here’s how a skilled attorney can help you:

Open an investigation into your car accident case. 

If you have to prove fault of the other driver in order to recover the compensation that you deserve, having an attorney on your side who knows how to conduct an investigation into your case, and is willing to dig deep to get the facts, is critical. A skilled attorney will not only dedicate the time necessary to thoroughly investigating your case, but also the resources; investigations often require hiring medical experts, accident reconstruction experts, design specialists, and other professionals.

  • Organize all data and documents related to your claim. From making sense of witness statements and police reports to compiling and adding together the various expenses that you have incurred directly related to your accident, having a team of professionals who can organize all data and documents related to your claim is important. This information will be used to determine the value of your claim, so it is critical that this process is comprehensive and exact.
  • File your claim and help you to understand the law. Filing a car accident claim or pursuing a lawsuit is a process that requires understanding of applicable laws and rules. Our Franklin car accident lawyer will not only help you to file your claim but will also help you to understand things like negligence, liability, a statute of limitations, subrogation, and more.
  • Negotiate your claim and litigate if appropriate. If an insurance adjuster offers you a settlement, your lawyer will review the settlement to ensure that it is fair and just. If it’s not, negotiations will ensue, led by your attorney. If a fair settlement cannot be reached that fully compensates you for your losses, your attorney can file a lawsuit and litigate on your behalf if necessary.

If you don’t think that you can afford a lawyer, consider that our attorney works on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will never have to pay any upfront or hourly fees. In fact, we don’t collect any payment unless you recover a settlement.

Contact a Franklin, Kentucky Car Accident Lawyer Today

Being involved in a car accident, especially a serious one that leads to expensive amounts property damage and injuries, can be a shocking experience. While you may be worried about your recovery and how you will afford things like medical expenses and costs of living while you’re unable to work, you can take comfort in the fact that our attorney is here to fight for you.

Take the first step toward recovering the compensation you deserve by reaching out to a reputable auto accident lawyer in your area.

wrongful death attorneys

Wrongful Death Lawsuits in Mississippi

Few things in life are as tragic as losing a loved one suddenly and prematurely to an accident that didn’t have to happen. Dealing with your grief is challenging enough, but you may also be under tremendous stress from the financial impact of your family member’s death. This is especially true when he or she contributed some or all of the income to your family.

Those responsible for an untimely death should face accountability. Their actions might not have been criminal, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t negligent. A wrongful death lawsuit sends a strong message that your family member’s life mattered and negligence is simply not acceptable.

How Does Mississippi Define Wrongful Death?

Under Mississippi Code Section 11-7-13, wrongful death may fall into one of the following three categories:

  • A negligent, real, or wrongful act or omission
  • Unsafe appliances, machinery, or way of behaving
  • Breach of any type of warranty of fitness related to any item intended for consumption by human beings

State law allows those closest to the deceased to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against the perpetrators if the case is such that he or she would have been able to file a personal injury lawsuit if the accident had not been fatal. It is similar to a personal injury lawsuit with the obvious difference being that the injured person died and someone else must step in to file a claim in his or her name. Product liability can fall under the umbrella of wrongful death lawsuits in addition to wrongful or negligent acts.

Who is Entitled to File a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Mississippi?

Under the Mississippi Section mentioned above, the following people may sue another person or organization for wrongful death:

  • The deceased person’s legal and surviving spouse
  • Surviving children or parents of the deceased person
  • Surviving brothers and sisters of the deceased person
  • A representative of the estate of the deceased person

If the person who wins a wrongful death lawsuit is a spouse and the couple has minor children, the settlement amounts is divided equally between them. A surviving parent or sibling can only file a case if the deceased has no living spouse or children, whether they are minors or adults. In this case, a court will split the settlement amount between the parents and siblings equally.

It’s important for anyone considering filing a wrongful death lawsuit to understand that it is a civil suit and it differs considerably from a criminal case. For starters, this type of lawsuit is filed by a family member of the fatally injured party. In a criminal case, a prosecuting attorney is the one to initiate charges. The other major difference is that liability is only determined in monetary terms. Criminal cases may involve jail time, probation, and other legal punishments.

What Types of Damages Might the Filing Party Receive?

Depending on the category of loss, damages received from a wrongful death case are paid directly to beneficiaries or to the estate of the deceased. The most common types of economic damages include:

  • Expenses associated with the funeral and burial
  • Medical costs associated with treating the injured person before he or she succumbed to the injuries
  • Payment for destroyed or damaged property

The purpose of compensation for economic damages is to pay the final bills related to the deceased person’s estate. Other types of damages are more subjective and paid directly to the successful party in a wrongful death lawsuit. Common examples here include:

  • Loss of companionship of the person’s spouse, parent, child, or sibling
  • Emotional and physical pain and suffering directly related to the untimely loss of a loved one
  • Cash value of the salary and benefits the deceased person would have earned at work if he or she had lived a normal life expectancy

The state may file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible party if the deceased has no immediate surviving family members, did not have a will, and did not leave instructions for selecting a personal representative. This is known as a survival claim. Proceeds from a survival claim first go to pay off the deceased person’s creditors and final expenses. Anything left over is paid to his or her heirs at law, which means blood relatives.

Mississippi does place caps on non-economic damages in wrongful death lawsuits. Death caused by medical malpractice is capped at $500,000 while death caused by product liability or pharmaceutical claims are capped at one million dollars each. No limit exists on economic damages such as medical bills, funeral expenses, or lost wages.

Statute of Limitations for Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit in Mississippi

The time limit for filing a claim for wrongful death depends on how it occurred. You have one year from the date of your loved one’s death if it happened due to assault, battery, or another intentional act committed against him or her. You have three years to file in the case of negligence. If your family member didn’t die from his or her injuries immediately, it’s important not to confuse the date of incident or accident with the actual date of death.

Speak to an Experienced Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorney Today

Although the course of events that caused your loved one’s death may appear obvious to you, determining liability can be a long and complex process. For example, you could be dealing with multiple defendants in a product liability case. If you are dealing with a situation like this, you need strong legal counsel working hard to hold those who are responsible fully accountable.

Take the first step in the process by contacting a skilled and knowledgeable wrongful death attorney in your area.

atv accidents

The Dangers of ATV Accidents in Mississippi

All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are popular in Mississippi as a source of fun and transportation in some rural areas. Operating an ATV in Mississippi is entirely legal when done so within state and federal regulations.

It’s a fact that operating an ATV in the Magnolia State can be dangerous and even deadly. According to the state’s own Department of Health, Mississippians are 3.5 more likely to die in an ATV accident compared to the 2010 national average.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more 11,000 people died in ATV accidents in the U.S. between 1982 and 2014. Of those, more than 25 percent were under the age of 16. During that same period, 334 people died in Mississippi ATV accidents. In just 2014, there were more than 93,000 reported ATV injuries in the U.S., some with serious and catastrophic results.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a Mississippi ATV accident, or a loved one killed, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. There could be defects in the ATV that contributed to the accident or some aspect of the terrain that is to blame. With so many potential complications involved with these types of cases, it is wise to talk to an experienced ATV accident attorney about your situation. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney can help you recover the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Common Causes of ATV Accidents

A typical adult ATV weighs as much as 600 lbs. and can reach speeds of 65 mph or higher. Some of the most common causes of ATV accidents include:

  • Defective Machinery. When an ATV isn’t designed properly or has defective parts, serious accidents can result.
  • Unsafe Operation. Many ATV accidents occur due to the driver’s negligence. Either they disregard rules, attempt unsafe maneuvers, or don’t pay attention to where they are going.
  • Inexperience. Riders who are unfamiliar with ATV operation and its various regulations are more likely to be involved in an accident.
  • Speeding. Excessive speed is another common cause of four-wheeler accidents. Incredibly, some of these vehicles can reach speeds as high as 100 mph. When a driver loses control of speeding ATV, the results can be catastrophic for them and anyone in the vicinity.
  • DUI. Because these are recreational vehicles, people sometimes operate ATVs under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Not only is this illegal, but it can have tragic results.

Mississippi ATV Laws

Up until a few years ago, Mississippi was one of the few states in the nation that didn’t have ATV safety laws on the books. Fortunately, this has changed. In an effort to reduce ATV deaths and injuries, there are now several Mississippi laws aimed at protecting youth and all ATV riders.

ATV riders must now wear helmets, and underage operators are required to take a certification course. Even though a majority of ATV accidents happen on paved roads, it is now illegal to operate an ATV on public roadways because they don’t meet the safety standards of a motor vehicle.

ATV’s cannot be operated on public property and all operators must either possess a valid driver’s license or have completed an approved safety course. Fines for violation of Mississippi ATV laws are up to $50 per violation, which isn’t much of a deterrent for those who want to speed on public roadways or forgo other operational guidelines.

ATV Accident Injuries

Because ATV’s generally move at a high rate of speed and many operators don’t wear enough protective equipment, an ATV accident can result in extensive and devastating injuries. In 2009 alone, ATV injuries cost $1.3 million to treat at the University of Mississippi Medical Center’s children’s hospital. Common ATV accident injuries include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Amputations
  • Chest and abdominal injuries
  • Injuries to internal organs
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Facial injuries, including lost teeth and eye injuries
  • Burns Lacerations

Because ATV riders rarely wear helmets, the resulting accidents and injuries can be particularly severe. A traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury can require multiple surgeries and a lengthy rehabilitation period as well as ongoing medical care. In some cases, a traumatic brain injury may not be readily apparent just after an ATV accident, which is why it is so important to seek immediate medical attention for the sake of your health and to protect your rights.

Who is Liable in an ATV Accident?

If you’ve been injured in an ATV accident, you may be entitled to recover damages from a negligent party. These include compensation for past and future medical care, lost wages, pain and suffering, rehabilitation, property damage, and wrongful death.

The primary issue in these cases comes down to whose carelessness caused the accident. If fault lies with someone other than the accident victim, you probably have a personal injury or wrongful death case. If a child is injured on an adult ATV, the owner of the ATV could be at fault for allowing that child to drive the ATV without adult supervision.

Even single-vehicle ATV accidents could have some recourse if there was something wrong with either the ATV or the terrain. A property owner could be sued for not having hazards, such as cliffs and craters, clearly marked. The ATV manufacturer could also be at fault for delivering a product with defective parts that led to a serious accident.

ATV rollover accidents are still common but less so today since the U.S. government outlawed the manufacture of 3-wheel ATVs in 1987. That type of ATV was found to be defective in its design, and we still have 2.4 million 3-wheelers in operation in this country.

Get Help from a Seasoned ATV Accident Lawyer

If you and your family enjoy using ATVs in Mississippi, it’s essential that you follow all of the state’s rules and regulations to reduce your chances of an accident. If you’ve been injured in an ATV accident or lost a loved one, it’s important that you speak with a knowledgeable ATV accident attorney as quickly as possible. Contact an attorney in your area to get started on your case.

personal injury case

What Can I Expect During my Accident Injury Claim in Mississippi?

You have sustained serious injuries caused by the careless actions of others and are now considering filing a personal injury lawsuit. One of the first questions on many people’s minds is how long they have to do this. Under the statute of limitations enforced by Mississippi law, you have three years from the date of the accident to sue the responsible party. This is true even if you didn’t connect your injuries to the accident until sometime later, which often happens with whiplash and muscle and tissue injuries.

Injured people also want to know what to expect when filing an injury claim and how much money they might be able to recover. While an experienced personal injury attorney can only provide a general estimate on the second question, they are usually very happy to explain the process to you, so you feel confident moving forward.

What You Need to Know About Mississippi’s Comparative Fault Rule

You shouldn’t feel surprised if the other party claims that you’re fully or partially responsible for causing your own injuries. Many people don’t want to accept responsibility for their actions or face the financial consequences of them. However, he or she still needs to prove it. If you do share any responsibility, Mississippi enforces a pure comparative negligence rule. That means the judge can reduce the amount of your lawsuit proceeds based on your percentage of fault.

The First Step: Meeting with a Personal Injury Attorney

Even when you possibly share some blame for causing your injuries, that doesn’t prevent you from filing a lawsuit to collect damages. In some cases, the divide can be as small as the plaintiff sharing one percent of the responsibility. After deciding to pursue a personal injury lawsuit, you should meet with a personal injury attorney to discuss your case. Almost all personal injury lawyers offer free consultations, so you pay nothing for this initial meeting.

We recommend that you come prepared to make the most of this appointment. Gather as much information about your accident as possible, including locating a copy of the original accident report, names and addresses of witnesses, and copies of medical expenses. The attorney you meet with will ask you detailed questions about the accident, your injuries, and how the actions of the other party affect you today. Once the attorney has a clear picture of what took place, they will recommend whether you should proceed with the lawsuit.

Gathering Evidence and Presenting the Lawsuit

The next step is for your lawyer to start collecting evidence to prove that the accident occurred as you said it did. This involves reviewing medical records and the accident report as well as interviewing witnesses at the scene. It could also include working with an accident reconstruction specialist or another type of expert witness. We call this the discovery stage and it typically takes the longest of any part of your claim.

When your attorney feels confident that they have gathered enough information in the discovery phase, it’s time to present the other party with your lawsuit. They typically hire a process server to hand-deliver the notice of legal action. This person also obtains a signature from the recipient of the lawsuit to prove that he or she did in fact receive it. The defendant to the lawsuit then has 30 days to respond.

Negotiating Your Settlement

If the other party doesn’t respond to the legal notice of lawsuit, you win the case by default. It’s more likely that he or she will also hire a lawyer to fight or negotiate the settlement. The best-case scenario is that the defendant admits fault and his or her insurance company offers you a fair settlement. Unfortunately, it’s not common.

Defendants in lawsuits tend to argue their innocence or their insurance agent offers a settlement far too low to meet your needs. Your attorney would take your personal injury case to court in that situation and allow a judge and jury to decide.

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated After an Accident in Mississippi?

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be truly devastating. Bills for medical treatments will begin to pile up, and victims may find themselves unable to work for a period of time, or unable to return to work at all, leading to serious difficulties in covering costs for even the basic necessities, such as food and shelter.

Fortunately, with the help of a skilled personal injury attorney, Mississippi car accident victims will likely be able to quantify the amount of economic damages they have incurred and recover this compensation through a claim or lawsuit. Because these damages all have a related price tag, such as the cost of a medical procedure, or the amount of wages lost due to not being able to work, very little can be done to debate the amount reached through calculation.

But what about non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering and the decrease in quality of life? How are these damages calculated in the aftermath of a serious car accident in Mississippi?

In general, it is far more difficult to determine the true cost of pain and suffering and other non-economic damages in the wake of a car accident in Mississippi. As such, if you have been injured, it is imperative that you reach out to a dedicated attorney immediately for assistance with your case.

Non-Economic Damages in Mississippi Car Accidents

As mentioned above, economic damages that are incurred after a car accident are those that have an associated price tag, such as medical bills and lost wages. And, in turn, non-economic damages are those that cannot be quantified, but still have a serious effect on the victim, such as loss of enjoyment of life or loss of consortium.

In general, non-economic damages are often simply termed pain and suffering and are a common occurrence after an accident. But how is it possible to put a number on this experience?

Overall, there are a number of different methods that may be used to determine a full calculation of pain and suffering damages, although two are generally utilized more than the rest: a per diem method and a multiplier method.

  • Per diem method: The per diem method, which simply means “per day,” uses a daily rate of damages to determine how much an accident victim should be awarded. For example, if the victim earns, on average, $100 per day at their job, and they are forced to wear a cast and experience significant pain for 50 working days, they may be awarded $5,000 in pain and suffering. Of course, the daily amount may be modified for a variety of reasons.
  • Multiplier method: In other cases, pain and suffering may be calculated using a multiplier, often between 1 and 5, based on the severity of the injury. For example, if an accident victim broke their leg in an accident and incurred $5,000 in medical bills, they may be awarded a multiplier of 3, and, in turn, recover $15,000 in additional non-economic damages. Of course, less serious injuries will have a smaller multiplier, and more serious injuries, including those that lead to permanent disabilities, will generally lead to greater awards.

How to Ensure You Recover the Compensation that You Deserve

Because damages for pain and suffering are incredibly difficult to quantify, many insurance companies will do as much as possible to deny you of your right to recover compensation. And in light of this, it is imperative that you take all precautions necessary to guarantee you are fully compensated for your injuries.

To begin, make sure that you attend all required doctor’s visits, and comply with suggestions made by any medical professionals. Failure to do so can be used as evidence by an insurance company that your pain and suffering is not truly that significant. Furthermore, consider keeping a “pain journal,” a daily record of the suffering you experience as you recover from your injuries. Even a simple daily amount of pain that you feel can be used as supporting evidence in your case.

These are only a handful of the many actions you should take (and avoid taking) in the aftermath of a car accident. And because recovering compensation for an accident is so complex, it is imperative that you contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible to get started on your case. Evidence has a tendency to disappear rapidly over time, and the sooner you get an attorney involved, the better your chances of obtaining the full and fair compensation you deserve.

Take the first step now by contacting a skilled and knowledgeable Mississippi personal injury attorney to discuss your case.

passenger in car accident

What Are My Rights as a Passenger in a Car or Motorcycle Accident?

If you were injured in a motorcycle or car accident while riding as a passenger, you might be wondering whether you have the right to pursue a tort claim and seek compensation for your injuries. The short answer is – yes, you have the right to do so.

The Right of an Injured Passenger to Pursue Legal Action

Personal injury laws are designed to impose a financial cost on people who negligently injure others and to make sure that the victims are compensated for their injuries. So, a passenger who is injured in a motorcycle or car accident has the same rights that the driver has – or any other party that was injured in the accident has – to seek monetary damages for their injuries.

Who Can You Seek Compensation From?

Depending on the circumstances, more than one party can be held liable for your injuries.

The Driver of Your Vehicle

If the driver of the vehicle (in which you were riding as a passenger) lost control and crashed into a stationary object or another vehicle, they can be held liable for your injuries.

For example, if the driver in question was talking on the phone, driving over the speed limit, or failed to follow the rules of the road, it is a clear case of negligence and they can be held responsible for the accident.

The Driver of the Other Vehicle

If there was another vehicle involved in the accident, and if the accident was caused primarily or directly as a result of the other driver’s actions, you can hold them liable for your injuries.

For example, if your vehicle was rear-ended by a negligent driver or if the other driver crashed into your vehicle recklessly, they can be held responsible for the accident.

Both Drivers

If both drivers were partially at fault for the accident, you can file a tort claim against both of them and seek damages.

The Manufacturer

If the primary cause of the accident is determined to be a mechanical defect, the company which manufactured the defective part in question can be held liable for your injuries.

Shared Liability vs. Individual Liability

Generally speaking, if there are two or more liable parties, you have a better chance of recovering the compensation you deserve than you do if there is only one party that can be held liable.

For example, if you suffer tangible and intangible losses worth $100,000 in the accident, and if the at-fault party only has $50,000 in third-party liability coverage, you might have no option but to receive $50,000 as compensation – even thought it might not be sufficient to cover all your expenses.

In the aforementioned scenario, if you have uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage, you can seek $50,000 (which is the difference between the total value of your claim and the amount paid out by the at-fault party’s insurance company) from your own insurance company. If, on the other hand, you do not have UM/UIM coverage, you can only recover $50,000 in damages.

Let us now assume that you suffered tangible and intangible losses worth $100,000 and there are two at-fault parties (the driver of your vehicle as well as the other driver) who can be held liable for your injuries. In this case, if each of them has $50,000 in third-party liability coverage, you can file a tort claim against both of them and receive $100,000 in total.

Damages Recoverable by Injured Passengers

As an injured passenger, you have the right to seek an appropriate amount of restitution for the tangible and intangible losses listed below.

  • Medical expenses
  • Cost of rehabilitation and therapy
  • Cost of long-term treatment and care
  • Cost of mobility aids (in the event of a physical disability)
  • Cost of repairing or replacing personal belongings that were damaged in the accident
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Pain and suffering
  • Diminished quality of life

The Importance of Legal Representation

If you have only suffered minor injuries, you might not need a lawyer, as the at-fault party’s insurance company might be willing to settle the case quickly by paying you what you demand.

If, on the other hand, you have suffered serious injuries, getting legal help is absolutely critical. An experienced personal injury attorney can dig deep into your case, assess the extent of the economic and non-economic losses you suffered, and determine the value of your claim. They can also handle the settlement negotiation process, take your case to court if necessary, and recover the restitution you are owed.

Legal representation is particularly important if you live in a state which follows the doctrine of pure contributory negligence, under which you cannot recover any restitution if it is found that your own negligence contributed to the accident in the least bit. So, having a skilled personal injury attorney by your side is the best way to increase your chances of securing the monetary damages you deserve.

Take the first step toward securing the compensation you deserve by reaching out to an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area today.

 

rideshare accident

Liability for Ridesharing Accidents: What You Need to Know

Ridesharing has completely changed how many people get around, offering affordable options to non-drivers, those in busy cities, and those who are not in a position to drive safely. Although ridesharing has brought lots of improvements to daily life, it has also brought its fair share of risks. State legislators have worked quickly to keep up with the legal challenges of ridesharing services in an effort to keep riders safe from unsafe drivers.

If you have been hurt in a ridesharing accident, it can be difficult to figure out who’s at fault and what your next step should be. Contact a personal injury attorney in your area to explore your legal options now.

Determining Fault

In any vehicle accident, the main task is determining liability. When you know who is at fault for the accident, you know who can be expected to pay for your damages. The same is true for ridesharing accidents. In these collisions, a number of parties can be at fault:

  • The rideshare driver
  • The driver of the other vehicle
  • The manufacturer of the vehicle or one of its components
  • A passenger—this only happens in extraordinarily rare circumstances, such as when a passenger reaches over and grabs the steering wheel from the driver

To figure out which party erred and caused the crash, you have to look at the evidence. Your attorney might look at what happened before the crash, photographs of the scene of the crash, and get testimony from you and other passengers. While some crashes are caused by mechanical errors or equipment failures, human error is the main cause in the majority of crashes.

Another helpful way to figure out liability is to look at the police report for the crash. The police will often give out citations for running a red light, failing to yield, speeding, or otherwise driving dangerously. In many cases, figuring out who broke the law can help you figure out who the liable party is.

Who Pays?

From there, it gets a little more complicated. If the other driver is at fault, you have a straightforward claim process. You can work with an attorney to figure out fair compensation. They will then communicate with the other party’s insurance company to negotiate for a full and fair settlement.

If the rideshare driver is at fault, you may have to dig a little more to figure out who will pay for your damages. Their own personal insurance policy may pay some of your damages, but it’s more likely that most of your payout will come from their rideshare company’s insurance.

Uber and Lyft provide coverage in the amount of $1 million. However, depending on the state where your accident occurs, the company’s policy may not kick in until the driver’s personal insurance policy is maxed out. Even this is not clear-cut, because some personal insurance policies do not cover any damage caused when the driver is engaging in commercial activity.

Because there are so many factors at play in a ridesharing accident, it’s important to act quickly to assess your losses and fight for compensation.

Why You Need an Attorney After a Ridesharing Accident

This is why it’s crucial to hire an attorney as soon as possible after a ridesharing accident. With so many parties possibly at fault and so many insurance companies possibly owing you money, you need an attorney who can sort through all of the information and figure out what you’re really owed, who owes it to you, and who will pay it to you.

Even after you’ve figured out liability and you know which insurance policy or policies are expected to pay out, you still have more work to do. Your attorney will need to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf. Insurance companies are notorious for downplaying victims’ injuries, trying to shift blame to other parties, and offering settlements that are far too low. When you bring an attorney to the table, you can get straight to negotiations and avoid being manipulated by the insurance company.

Ready to seek compensation after a ridesharing accident? It’s time to talk to a personal injury attorney in your area. Reach out to a personal injury lawyer in your area today.

Workers' Compensation and Injuries

Can I Still Get Workers’ Comp Benefits If I Caused My Own Injury?

When an employee is injured at work, thankfully, they have workers’ compensation to cover them. This means they can feel safe knowing that if something were to happen to them, they wouldn’t have to worry about their medical bills or being out of work for a while.

However, an employee may be wondering if they’d still be eligible for workers’ comp if the injury were their fault. For instance, maybe their cell phone went off while they were operating heavy machinery, and they got distracted and broke their arm. Or maybe they were talking to a colleague instead of paying attention to where they were going, and they accidentally slammed into a doorway.

A number of different scenarios could have occurred. If you were injured at work and believe you were to blame for your injury, don’t fret: You may still be entitled to workers’ compensation.

How Workers’ Compensation Operates

Employers sign up for workers’ comp so that if an employee becomes injured on the job, the employee cannot turn around and sue them. This protects employers and, even if the accident was your fault, it could protect you, too. This is because workers’ comp is “no fault,” meaning that the party who is essentially at fault for the incident does not matter. You could still potentially get workers’ comp.

There are some exceptions, however. For instance, if you were intoxicated, fooling around, or fighting on the job, then you may not be entitled to workers’ comp. Another scenario that might cause you to lose your right to file for workers’ comp is if you were extremely negligent. Perhaps you were using machinery to play a practical joke on another employee even though you knew it was wrong, for example. In this case, if you got injured, your medical bills and other damages could end up being your responsibility.

But as long as you weren’t engaging in any of these activities and the injury occurred while you were on the job, then you could possibly get benefits.

What to Do if You Get Injured at Work

Whether or not an accident was your fault, if you get injured at work, you need to take these steps right away to ensure you will have the best chance at receiving workers’ comp.

The first thing to do is tell your boss about your injury as soon as it happens. Make sure you fill out a written report of the incident and get a copy of it. If you wait too long to file a report, you may lose out on your opportunity to receive compensation.

After you’ve filled out your report, go to the hospital for a full check-up. Don’t wait to receive medical care because your condition might be more serious than you think. Plus, you’re going to need proof of your injury. If your doctor prescribes you medicine, make sure you take it, and go to any specialists your doctor refers you to so you can get better as soon as possible.

How Much Workers’ Comp Will I Receive?

There is no way to predict exactly how much workers’ comp will be awarded to you. The first factor is your state laws. You could be eligible for what’s called regular time loss compensation benefits if you cannot work because you have industrial injuries. You will receive a percentage of your wages starting from when your injury happened. In a number of states, the percentage is 66 2/3%.

You could also receive loss of earning power benefits if you can go back to work on a temporary basis in a different and lower-paying job at your company. For instance, maybe you can go in two days a week and work as an assistant instead of a head of your department. With workers’ comp, you could receive the difference in pay between your current and former wages.

Another possibility is that you’ll receive money to put towards your medical bills, as long as you’re undergoing a treatment that is covered in your state. If you were totally or permanently disabled because of your injury and you cannot go back to work at all, then you could receive a workers’ compensation pension, also called a life pension. You will likely receive a percentage of your former wages on a periodic basis like once a month or once a week. It all depends on your state’s rules.

Conclusion

Before you decide that you shouldn’t apply for workers’ comp because you caused your injury, you need to read up on the laws of your state. As long as there wasn’t any foul play going on, you could receive the benefits you need while you’re out of work and on the road to recovery.

Were you denied workers’ compensation benefits, or you need help getting approved? An experienced workers’ comp lawyer can help get you the benefits you deserve. Get in touch with an attorney in your area today.

Car Crash and Insurance Companies

Dealing with Insurance Companies After an Auto Accident

If you have been involved in an automobile accident, you will have to deal with the insurance adjuster who is assigned to handle your tort claim. The adjuster is the person who will assess your claim and determine the amount of compensation you should be paid.

Due to the fact that the insurance adjuster is in a position to determine the value of your claim, you should be extremely careful while dealing with them. Since the adjuster’s primary objective is to minimize the payout to the extent possible, they will use your own words against you and try to devalue your claim.

Given below are five tips to help you deal with an insurance adjuster in the aftermath of an automobile accident.

Only State What Is Necessary

Tell the adjuster how the accident happened, when it happened, who were involved, and how you were injured. Do not try to embellish or exaggerate any detail in an effort to strengthen your claim against the liable party. Far from strengthening your case, your speculative statements might end up affecting your case, as the insurance company might raise doubts about the veracity of your statements and deny your claim altogether.

To avoid blurting out anything that might affect your claim, make sure you only give the necessary details about the accident – without telling too much about your claim.

Do Not Give Recorded Statements

One of the most important things you need to know about dealing with an insurance adjuster is that you are not legally obligated to give a recorded statement or a written statement.

If you accidentally give a statement, it will be used against you by the insurance company during the trial – if your case ends up in court. At the deposition, you will be asked several questions about the accident by the insurance company’s lawyer. If your answers do not match the written or recorded statement you gave earlier, the lawyer might question the authenticity of your claims against the at-fault party. So, never, ever agree to give a recorded or written statement.

Do Not Talk about Your Injuries

The insurance adjuster might ask you about your injuries – what kind of injuries you sustained, whether you are seeking treatment, your physician’s opinion on your injuries, and so on. If you respond to these questions, you might accidentally end up telling them something that might make it easier for them to question the severity of your injuries.

For instance, if you tell them that you were feeling fine after the accident and started noticing the symptoms only after a day or two, the insurance company might claim that you were not actually injured in the accident that your claim is based on, since you did not seek treatment right away. So, it is in your best interests to not talk about your injuries to the adjuster.

Do Not Accept Their First Settlement Offer

After investigating your claim, the insurance company might tell you that they are willing to settle the case and make you an offer. This offer is likely to be much lower than what you are actually entitled to under the law.

Remember – the insurance adjuster is not paid to do what is right or fair. They are paid to do whatever it takes to save money for the insurance company. So, they will do everything they possibly can to get away with paying as little as possible – irrespective of what you actually deserve.

You might think that accepting the offer made by the insurance company is a good idea, since the compensation you receive might help you meet the expenses associated with your injuries. It is not advisable, as you will end up ruining your chances of getting the settlement you deserve.

Moreover, automobile accidents can result in catastrophic or debilitating injuries, which might require a lifetime of treatment and care. In some cases, you might be left physically or cognitively disabled, as a result of which you might not be able to work at all. In such a scenario, you should negotiate hard with the adjuster and get the settlement you deserve. In case they refuse to pay you what you deserve, you should take your case to court and recover damages with the help of an attorney.

If you accept the very first offer made by the insurance company, you will give up your right to pursue legal action against the at-fault party. So, rather than accepting their offer, make a counteroffer and be prepared to negotiate or litigate if needed.

Get Legal Help

Dealing with the insurance adjuster can be a difficult task, especially when you are trying to recover from your injuries. If you have only suffered minor injuries, it is not a bad idea to deal with the adjuster yourself, since they might be willing to pay you what you demand.

If, on the other hand, you have suffered severe injuries, it is advisable to get experienced legal help, as only a skilled and knowledgeable attorney can help you get the settlement you deserve. Contact an attorney in your area today to discuss your accident injury claim.

 

Should I talk to the insurance company after an accident?

I Have Already Talked to the Insurance Company About My Auto Accident. Am I In Trouble?

You have been injured in an accident. Before you could even Google “what to do after a car accident,” the other party’s car insurance provider called you. That is a good sign that the accident was not your fault, and that they want to settle quickly.

Unfortunately, you chatted with them a little too long before you read that you should not ever speak to the other party’s insurance company unless you have already talked to an attorney. Now what?

While it is best to avoid speaking to the other party’s insurance provider, it is never too late to contact an attorney and find out how to move forward with your claim. Use these tips to help.

Relax and Do not Answer Any More Calls

Do not worry too much about hurting your claim. What has done is done, and all you can do is move forward. However, limit the damage done by avoiding any more calls from the insurance company. Instead, use that time to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find out how they can help you.

Why Talking to Insurance Companies After An Accident Can Be Harmful

Knowing why you should not talk to insurance adjusters makes it much easier to ignore their calls and do what is best for you. First, remember that they are not on your side. They might seem friendly or sympathetic about your injuries, but their goal is to get their company off the hook with as small a settlement as possible.

Anything you tell the adjuster during your calls can be used to discredit you or weaken your claim. For example, imagine you tell the adjuster how the accident happened. They ask you if they can do a recorded statement to make the claim go faster, and you comply. During your recorded statement, you say that your passenger was sitting behind you—but during the first retelling, you said they were sitting behind the passenger seat.

This small and irrelevant detail is enough for insurance companies to throw suspicion on your claim and assume that you are untrustworthy. Any small error, no matter how pointless, can derail your claim.

Another reason you should not talk to insurance company representatives after an accident is that you simply don’t have the full picture of your injuries yet. If you talk to the adjuster a day or two after your accident, you are likely in pain but still coming down from the adrenaline rush of the accident. You might feel okay, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have serious injuries. However, once you give the company the impression that you are on the mend, it is unlikely you will be able to convince them otherwise.

Remember What You Told Them

For your attorney to assist you, you should try to remember what you told the insurance company before you stopped contacting them. Jot down anything you can remember about the conversations you had, what they told you, and what you told them. This can be very helpful to your attorney, since it might show them different angles the insurance company will use to limit your settlement amount.

Don’t be embarrassed and downplay what you told the insurance company. Sometimes, accident victims worry that they will look stupid if they tell the attorney that they submitted a recorded statement or told the insurance adjuster that they were feeling better. Do not fall into this trap. This can lead to your attorney being blindsided when they find out what you actually said. Honesty is the best policy.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Before you go any further with your accident claim, hire a personal injury attorney. That is the most important step once you stop talking to the insurance company. A skilled car accident attorney will be able to look at the facts of your accident, figure out the value of your injuries, look at what you told the insurance company already, and come up with a game plan.

Most personal injury cases settle out of court, so your attorney’s first goal will be to negotiate a fair settlement for you. This involves presenting evidence, clearly establishing liability, and demonstrating the effects of your injury on your life.

Note, though, that some personal injury cases do go to court. This can happen when liability is hard to prove or when an insurance company just isn’t interested in negotiating fairly. If this happens, your attorney will prepare for court while keeping the door open to negotiations prior to the beginning of your court case.

Take the first step now toward a successful injury claim by contacting a seasoned personal injury attorney in your area.

lane splitting, motorcycle crash, motorcycle accident injury

What You Should Know About Motorcycles and Lane Splitting in Colorado

When a motorcycle rider drives between two rows of motorcycles moving in the same direction, the traffic maneuver is known as lane splitting. Under Colorado law, lane splitting is currently unlawful.

The Colorado Department of Transportation expressly disallows splitting or sharing lanes in the state. Further, it prohibits overtaking or passing an automobile in the same lane as the motorcycle. Motorcycle riders must overtake using a separate lane, similar to other vehicles. However, it is legal to split a lane with a fellow motorbike rider.

A motorcyclist could face a traffic infraction if they are caught splitting lanes in Colorado. Depending on the circumstances, the penalty for lane splitting is fine, ranging from $15 to $100.

Also, lane splitting could contribute points to a motorcyclist’s license, potentially leading to increased insurance premiums or license suspension. A motorcyclist can also face civil liability for damages if they cause a collision while splitting lanes. Violation of lane-splitting regulations could be grounds for a negligence lawsuit against the motorcyclist.

When is Lane Splitting Lawful in Colorado?

In Colorado, lane splitting is permissible when the splitting involves two motorbikes in the same lane. The Colorado Motorcycle Operator’s Handbook elaborates that it is unlawful for a motorcyclist to overtake or pass a vehicle in the same lane as is sharing a lane with automobiles. But motorcycle riders can share a lane or “co-ride” with one other motorbike.

Lane splitting has two versions. One version involves a motorcyclist sharing one lane of traffic with another vehicle. The other version is when a motorcycle rider travels between lanes of traffic over the dashed white lines to overtake other vehicles, called “stripe-riding” or “whitelining.”

Why do Motorcycle Riders Split Lanes?

There are extensive legal restrictions on lane splitting, yet it is common among motorcycle riders who want to save time and avoid traffic jams, especially in major cities. Some supporters of the practice state that it removes motorbikes from behind halted cars, where they can be rear-ended. These proponents of the practice say that lane splitting is safer than being stuck in traffic. It enables the motorcyclist to move to a safer position, i.e., between two larger automobiles.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkley conducted a study on lane splitting safety several years ago. Upon analyzing nearly 6,000 motorcycle crashes, the researchers determined that many motorcyclists were hit from behind by distracted motorists while sitting in traffic.

The research study’s findings indicated that lane splitting could be safe in traffic traveling at 50 mph or less, and if the motorcyclist is not traveling more than 15 mph faster than other traffic. However, the researchers found that the risk of injury increased rapidly above the 15-mph differential.

Why is Lane Splitting Hazardous?

The below-mentioned scenarios show how motorcycle crashes occur due to dangerous lane-splitting maneuvers:

  • A motorcycle rider is traveling between two lanes of moving traffic when a passenger vehicle driver abruptly changes lanes and collides with the motorcyclist
  • A motorcycle rider sustains injuries when a passenger opens the door to exit a car and strikes a motorcyclist moving between two lanes of traffic
  • A motorcycle rider halts on the vehicle’s passenger side in the motorist’s blind spot and is struck at an intersection when the motorists attempt to make a right turn

If a motorcyclist receives a citation for lane splitting in Colorado, it is considered a Class A traffic infraction and is punishable fines ranging from around $15 to $100. In addition, they can get points on their driving records. An excessive number of points can lead to the suspension of your license.

Lane Splitting Accident Prevention

Lane splitting is deemed illegal in most states. Thus, it is likely that some measure of liability may be assigned to any motorcycle rider who is involved in a collision while splitting lanes. However, every case’s circumstances are different, and the ideal course is always to avoid situations that may lead to a crash.

When riding a motorcycle, this translates into exercising great patience and caution in congested road conditions, following traffic laws, avoiding a position in the other motorist’s blind spots, and clearly indicating your intentions.

Other drivers on the road should be aware of their surroundings at all times, allow adequate braking distance for motorcycles, and avoid cutting off or startling motorcyclists who are trying to make their way through slow-moving traffic. Whether you believe you are right or not, sharing the road with others can save lives and legal battles.

Obtain Legal Help from Colorado Motorcycle Accident Attorneys

If you have sustained injuries in a motorcycle accident due to another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensatory damages from the guilty party. You should seek immediate medical treatment and acquire the documentation which law enforcement provided you in such cases. After that, make sure you consult a skilled Colorado motorcycle accident attorney to discuss your case and find out what your legal rights and options are.