One of the first steps in a personal injury case is meeting with an attorney to calculate the value of your claim. Personal injury victims may be able to recover compensation for any expenses they have incurred or expect to incur as a result of the accident. It’s fairly simple to make a list of the expenses that you have already incurred, but how do you know what expenses you should expect in the future? Here’s a look at some of the most common long-term expenses in personal injury cases:
Victims who have been seriously injured often suffer from chronic pain or mental health issues as a result of the accident. These conditions are often treated with prescription medications, which you may need to continue taking for years following the accident. Don’t forget to add the cost of these medications when calculating the value of your claim.
Mental Health Counseling
Being injured in an accident can be traumatizing, which is why many victims suffer from mental health issues. Victims may need mental health counseling for anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an accident. This is especially common in cases where a victim has sustained severe injuries that have greatly disrupted his life. For instance, a victim who is partially paralyzed or has lost a limb in an accident may be more affected than other victims who suffered far less serious injuries.
Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
Some victims may require long-term physical therapy and rehabilitation in order to return to work or live independently. It can be difficult to predict how long you will need this type of treatment because everyone’s body will respond differently. It’s best to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if you will need physical therapy and rehabilitation, and if so, how long you will need it.
Victims may not be able to return to work after an accident if their injuries are severe. Sadly, this is often the case for victims who have sustained serious brain or spinal cord injuries. If your injuries have made it impossible for you to work, then you will need to include future lost wages in the calculation of your claim’s value. How much would you have been able to make in your lifetime if the accident never happened? Work with your attorney to figure out how much you have lost because of your permanent injuries.
It can be difficult to calculate the value of a personal injury claim, but James Rush at Rush Injury Law can help. James Rush will ensure that you understand the true value of your claim so you don’t accidentally settle for less than what you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .
After being involved in an accident or suffering physical injuries, victims may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which is a complex mental health problem. People that develop PTSD can suffer from flashbacks, anxiety, and depression that can become so severe that it interferes with their lives. If you have been affected by this problem, you may be able to recover compensation for PTSD in a personal injury case. But, it’s not as easy as it may seem.
To prove a physical injury, plaintiffs can show X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and lab reports, but proving PTSD is much more difficult. PTSD does not leave any visible wounds and there is no test that victims can take in order to prove that they have this serious mental health problem. Instead, victims must rely on testimony provided by expert witnesses in the mental health field. Preferably, the testimony should come from a mental health professional that has treated the victim.
The expert witness faces a number of challenges when trying to prove that the plaintiff has PTSD. First, the witness must prove that she is an expert in this field. This means going over her educational background, work experience, and any awards that she may have received for her work in the field. Without this information, the jury may not know if they can believe what she has to say or not.
Then, the witness must clearly explain the condition in case one of the jurors does not know much about it. The expert witness should review the causes, symptoms, and link between PTSD and tragic accidents before discussing the plaintiff’s condition. This will help the jury understand why it is believable that the plaintiff could have developed PTSD.
Finally, the expert witness needs to discuss the plaintiff’s condition. If the witness has treated the plaintiff, she should discuss the symptoms that the plaintiff has experienced and the impact these symptoms have had on the plaintiff’s life. Has the victim been unable to work? Has she started to distance herself from her loved ones? These details will help the jury comprehend the severity of the situation. She should also discuss how long the plaintiff may continue to experience these symptoms so the jury understands that they need to consider both current and future pain and suffering when calculating damages.
If an expert witness has not treated the plaintiff, she should review the plaintiff’s medical records and comment on whether or not her symptoms are indicative of PTSD.
It can be challenging to prove PTSD in a personal injury case, but a good personal injury attorney can help. James Rush at Rush Injury Law will help you recover as much compensation as possible for all of your injuries—even those that may not be visible. Contact our office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.
Personal injury attorneys will rely on many different types of evidence to prove fault in a car accident, including medical records, testimony from healthcare providers, and police reports. But, some of the most important evidence is found at the car accident scene. Here’s how the evidence from the car accident scene can prove fault:
Personal injury attorneys recommend taking photos at the scene of the accident, but why? The attorney may pass these photos along to an accident reconstruction expert, who will use them to recreate the accident and determine which driver was at fault. Minor details such as the tire skid marks on the road or the angle at which one car hit the other could be the evidence that the reconstruction expert needs to place the blame on the other driver. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to take as many photos as possible at the scene. You never know what seemingly insignificant detail could be the missing piece of the puzzle that an expert needs to prove the other driver was at fault.
Even if an accident reconstruction expert is not involved, the photos from the scene of the accident can be used to paint a picture of what happened. Photos can clearly show the extent of property damage, the traffic signs nearby, and the location of the accident.
Red Light Cameras
If the accident occurred at an intersection with red light cameras , you may want to look into whether these cameras have any footage of the crash. It’s possible that the cameras captured the moments leading up to the accident, which could prove that the other driver was speeding, not paying attention, or driving aggressively.
Did anyone at the scene of the accident call 9-1-1? If so, request the audio of this call. The other driver may have admitted fault in the 9-1-1 call by saying, “I just crashed into someone” or “I ran a red light and bumped into another car.” This can be used as proof that he was to blame even if he later denies fault.
Innocent bystanders may also have called 9-1-1 to report the accident, and this audio may be helpful when it comes to proving fault. For example, a witness could have called 9-1-1 and said, “I just saw a speeding car slam into the back of another car,” which indicates that the other driver could be at fault for speeding.
All of this evidence can strengthen your personal injury case and make it easier to recover the compensation that you deserve.
If you have been injured in a car accident, seek legal representation from James Rush at Rush Injury Law . James Rush will immediately begin gathering evidence from the scene of the accident so he can identify the liable parties. Contact our office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.
Losing a loved one is one of the most painful experiences that you will ever have to endure—especially if your loved one was killed because of another person’s negligence. In addition to the emotional pain, many families also suffer financially after losing a loved one that provided for them. Fortunately, grieving families that have lost a loved one in a tragic accident may be able to recover compensation by filing a wrongful death claim. Here are the types of damages that can be awarded in wrongful death cases:
The surviving family members may be reimbursed for any expenses they have incurred that are related to the death. For example, the defendant may have to compensate the family for funeral expenses and any medical expenses incurred by the victim after the accident but prior to his death.
The family may also be awarded damages for lost income . These damages are awarded in cases where the surviving family members were financially dependent on the victim. It is crucial that you recover compensation for lost income so you don’t have to worry about how to make ends meet after the victim’s death.
To determine how much the family members should receive, the court will calculate how much the victim would have earned in the future. A number of factors will be taken into consideration when calculating lost income damages, including the age of the victim, his life expectancy, his occupation, and inflation.
Family members can also be compensated for benefits they have lost as a result of their loved one’s death. Some examples of benefits include health insurance, retirement funds, and pension plans. The lifetime value of these benefits will need to be calculated in order to determine how much the family members should receive.
Many families are compensated for the emotional losses that they have suffered as a result of their loved one’s death. The victim’s spouse may be compensated for the loss of companionship, whereas the victim’s children may be awarded damages for the loss of guidance and care. It can be hard to quantify these losses, which is why you should rely on your attorney to estimate their value.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent acts of another person, seek legal representation from James Rush at Rush Injury Law . James Rush will offer you the legal resources and emotional support that you need during this challenging time. Contact our office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.
Car crashes can occur because of bad weather, road hazards, and defective car parts, but they are often caused by a driver’s mistake. Here’s a look at some of the most common driver errors that lead to car accidents:
Failing to Use Signals
Drivers must use their turn signals when changing lanes or turning so other drivers on the road know what to expect. But unfortunately, many drivers fail to use their turning signals, which leaves little time for other drivers to get out of the way to avoid a collision.
You never know what other drivers on the road are thinking, which is why it’s best to never make assumptions about what they plan on doing. Making assumptions often leads to car accidents. For example, if you are stopped at a red light behind another vehicle and the light turns green, don’t assume that the car in front of you will immediately move forward. A driver that makes this assumption could crash into the back of the car in front of him if that driver is not paying attention to the light or having car trouble.
Driving Too Fast
Every driver should obey the speed limit, but some drivers fail to do so. Speeding is always a bad idea, but it becomes especially dangerous in certain situations. For instance, drivers should know to slow down when the roads are wet from rain or when approaching a sharp curve. They should also slow down if traffic is bad and the roads are congested. In these situations, speeding will most likely lead to an accident.
Failing to Yield
To avoid accidents, drivers must know when it is their responsibility to yield to oncoming traffic. A driver that is merging onto the highway, for instance, should never expect the oncoming traffic to stop in order to let him squeeze in. It is the driver’s responsibility to yield to traffic and look for an opportunity to safely enter the highway. There will not always be a yield sign to remind drivers of this responsibility, which is why this is one of the most common types of errors.
Have you been injured because a driver made one of these errors? If so, seek representation from personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law . James Rush will immediately begin gathering evidence that can be used to prove liability in your case. Contact our office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.
The details of what happened before, during, and after a car accident can become harder to remember as time goes by. For this reason, taking notes after a car accident is strongly recommended so you don’t have to rely on your memory alone. What should you write about? How detailed should your notes be? Here’s what you should know:
Details of the Accident
Write down as much as you can remember about the accident as soon as possible, including the weather conditions, road hazards, location of the accident, and what happened right before the crash. If you remember any conversations that you had with the other driver or witnesses, summarize what was said.
Even basic information such as the date and time should be jotted down in case you forget these details in the future. You can never have too much information, so write down anything that pops into your head.
You may not know what injuries you have sustained immediately following the accident. But, if you’re experiencing any symptoms, write them down. Then, update your notes after you have visited a doctor for the first time. What tests did you have done? What were you diagnosed with? What were the doctors’ orders? Include all of this information within your notes and continue to add more as time goes on. Write about how your symptoms are progressing—are they becoming better or worse? If you have to go to the doctor for a follow-up visit or see a specialist, don’t forget to make a note of this in your journal.
Jot down notes that describe how your injury has affected your life. For example, if you were an avid runner but you broke your leg in a car accident, take notes about how this change has affected you both emotionally and physically.
The Insurance Company
Every conversation that you or your attorney have with the at-fault party’s insurance company should be summarized within your notes. Include the dates and times of each conversation, along with a brief summary of what was discussed. Even if your attorney is keeping his own record, it’s a good idea for both of you to have these notes in case one of you misses something.
If you have been injured in a car accident, let personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law help. James Rush will fight tirelessly to recover the compensation that you deserve for your injuries. Contact our office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.
Have you been injured in a car accident? You may find that it seems like you and your personal injury attorney are speaking different languages. This is because there are many different car accident terms that you may not be familiar with if you’ve never been in this situation before. Here are some of the terms you need to know if you’re filing a personal injury claim:
Your attorney may discuss the need to determine liability in the car accident, which simply means figuring out who was at fault. Determining liability is important because whoever is at fault for the accident will be responsible for compensating you for your injuries.
An adjuster is also referred to as an insurance adjuster or claims adjuster. This is someone that works at an insurance company and is responsible for investigating the accident, gathering evidence, and negotiating the settlement.
In personal injury law, the term “damages” refers to compensation that the plaintiff may be able to recover from the defendant for his or her injuries. For example, car accident victims might be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Actual Cash Value
The term “actual cash value” will come up if your car was damaged in the accident. The actual cash value is the market value of your car, meaning the amount of money that you would have been able to sell your car for prior to the accident.
When a car cannot be repaired or the cost of repairs is more than the value of the car, the car is considered a total loss. In this situation, the at-fault driver’s insurance company typically pays you the actual cash value of your car.
The vast majority of car accident cases will end with a settlement, which is why this is an important term to learn. A settlement is an agreement made between the plaintiff and the defendant outside of the courtroom. The plaintiff will receive compensation from the defendant in exchange for dropping the case and agreeing not to take legal action again in the future.
If you have been injured in a car accident, contact personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law . The legal process can be confusing, but James Rush will guide you through it and help you reach the best possible outcome in your case. Contact our office by calling 415-897-4801 or filling out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com to request a free consultation.
Thousands of companies rely on trucks to transport cargo from one location to another. The cargo that is being transported can weigh tens of thousands of pounds, and unfortunately, if it’s not loaded onto the truck correctly, it can also cause fatal accidents. Here’s how cargo can cause truck accidents:
Too Much Cargo
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established weight limits for every commercial truck that transports cargo. If the truck exceeds this weight limit because of the amount of cargo it is carrying, accidents can occur. Overloaded trucks are incredibly difficult to control and may even experience mechanical failure, which is why trucking companies must follow the weight limit regulations at all times.
Improperly Loaded of Cargo
The people who load the cargo onto the truck must make sure the weight of the cargo is evenly distributed. If the cargo’s weight is not evenly distributed, the truck driver may not be able to control the vehicle when changing lanes or turning. In fact, trucks with improperly loaded cargo often flip over when making one of these maneuvers. When a truck flips on its side, the truck driver and other drivers on the road may be seriously injured or killed.
Once the cargo has been properly loaded so the weight is evenly distributed, the people who are loading the truck must ensure it is secured in place. Cargo that is not secured could fly off of the truck and hit other vehicles on the road. Even if it doesn’t make direct contact with a vehicle, it could land in the middle of a highway and create a dangerous road hazard that could lead to accidents.
Even if the cargo does not fly off of the truck, it could still be a problem if it is not secured. Unsecured cargo will begin to shift once the truck is in motion. Some of it may fall and create a loud noise that distracts the driver and forces him to take his attention off of the road. As cargo shifts, it can also affect the distribution of weight in the back of the truck. If a lot of cargo falls to one side of the truck, the weight distribution will be uneven and the truck driver may be unable to control the vehicle.
At first, it may not be clear that an accident was caused by the truck’s cargo. You may assume that the accident was the driver’s fault, but it’s important to have an experienced personal injury attorney investigate the accident to determine the actual cause of the crash.
If you have been injured in a truck accident, seek legal representation from personal injury attorney James Rush at Rush Injury Law . James Rush will immediately begin to investigate the accident by interviewing witnesses, requesting records from the trucking company, and working with truck accident experts. To schedule a free consultation, call 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .
An insurance adjuster from the at-fault party’s insurance company will contact you shortly after an accident to discuss your case. The adjuster is responsible for investigating the accident, so at some point he may ask you to give the insurance company access to your medical records. How should you handle this situation?
The insurance adjuster should already have copies of your medical records that are related to the accident. For example, if you sustained a broken bone in a car accident, the insurance adjuster should already have a copy of the X-rays and doctor’s notes where he diagnoses the injury. If the insurance company already has these records, it’s important to ask why they are requesting additional records. It’s possible that you forgot to send something, but it’s likely that the insurance adjuster simply wants access to your records so he can snoop around and find something that can be used against you.
An insurance adjuster may be dig through your records to find pre-existing injuries that can be used to lower the value of your claim. For instance, if you are seeking damages for a back injury, but your medical records show that you had a back injury prior to the accident, this could drastically lower the amount of compensation you are able to recover.
It’s important to remember that the insurance company is not on your side, no matter how friendly they may seem. In some cases, the insurance adjuster will look through all of your medical records just to find something that may embarrass you . If you were an alcoholic at some point in your life, the insurance adjuster may discover this after reviewing your records and ask you whether you were under the influence at the time of the accident.
Before allowing the insurance company to view your medical records, speak to an attorney. It’s very likely that your attorney will recommend obtaining the records on your own instead of giving the insurance company access to your personal information. Then, your personal injury attorney will carefully review any records that are sent to the insurance company to ensure there is nothing that will affect your case.
The insurance adjuster will not be looking out for your best interests—but James Rush at Rush Injury Law will. If you have been injured, get in touch with our personal injury attorneys before talking to the insurance company. To schedule a free consultation, call 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .
The injuries that you sustain in a car accident will need to be immediately treated by a medical professional. But, it could take months or even years for you to recover compensation from the at-fault party’s insurance company. As a result, many victims are left wondering how to pay medical bills after a car accident. If this happens to you, it’s important to understand your options.
If you are covered by health insurance at the time of the accident, then it’s in your best interest to use it to pay for your medical expenses. Of course, health insurance may not cover all of your medical expenses, but having insurance should significantly lower the amount that you have to pay out of pocket.
Car accident victims’ medical expenses may also be covered by their auto insurance policy. Medical payments coverage, or med-pay coverage , covers medical expenses for you and any other passengers that you have in the car. People who have this type of coverage can use it to pay medical expenses regardless of who was at fault for the accident. This means you won’t have to spend time arguing with your insurance company to prove the other driver was liable in order to take advantage of this coverage.
However, med-pay coverage is not required in the state of California, so it’s possible that this is not part of your current policy. If it is, ask what your policy limit is so you know how much the insurance company will cover.
Personal Injury Claim
The healthcare providers that treat you will want to be paid for their services immediately, so they will not give you more time to pay your bill just because you are waiting to reach a settlement in your case. But, a personal injury attorney may be able to help. If you don’t have health insurance or med-pay coverage, talk to your personal injury attorney to see if there’s anything that he can do. Your attorney should be able to contact the billing department of the medical facility and explain the situation to them. After speaking with your attorney, it’s possible that the billing department will agree to let you make small payments on your bill instead of paying everything at once.
Being injured in a car accident is stressful enough, so you shouldn’t have to worry about how you are going to pay your medical bills. If you have been injured, let James Rush at Rush Injury Law help you find a solution to this problem. To schedule a free consultation, call 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .
An airbag plays an important role during a collision. If you’re involved in an accident, the airbags in your vehicle will immediately inflate to form a protective barrier between you and the steering wheel, dashboard, and other parts of the car. Although they were designed to keep passengers safe, sometimes airbags cause injuries instead. Here are some of the most common injuries caused by airbags:
Your chest or face will most likely be the first body parts to make contact with the inflating airbag. In some car accidents, the force of a passenger’s body or face hitting the airbag is strong enough to break bones including the ribs, collarbone, cheekbone, or nose.
Hot gas is used to inflate airbags when a collision is detected. The temperatures inside an inflated airbag can reach over 900 degree Fahrenheit , and as the airbag begins to deflate, some of this hot gas will be released into the car through vents. As a result, some passengers do suffer thermal burns caused by deflating airbags.
A thermal burn is not the only type of burn that a passenger can sustain during a car accident. The chemical reaction that initiates the airbag’s inflation produces a byproduct called sodium hydroxide. This chemical is capable of burning passengers’ skin and damaging the eyes if direct contact is made.
Finally, passengers can also sustain friction burns from an airbag. These burns are caused by the friction produced when the airbag rubs against your skin. Fortunately, these burns are not nearly as severe as thermal or chemical burns.
Some airbags create an incredibly loud noise when they deploy which could lead to hearing loss. In fact, one study found that 17% of people who were in close proximity to a deploying airbag suffered some degree of hearing loss after the accident. The amount of noise that an airbag makes when deployed will vary depending on the make and model of the car. In general, cars that are made in the U.S. have larger and more powerful airbags than cars made in Japan or Europe. Therefore, the airbags in cars made in the U.S. will typically be the loudest.
If you are injured in an accident that is not your fault, it’s important to seek legal representation as soon as soon as possible. James Rush at Rush Injury Law will handle the negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. To schedule a free consultation, call 415-897-4801 or fill out the online form on our website www.rushinjurylaw.com .