Preparing To Meet With A Personal Injury Lawyer

Say you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. This accident has totaled your car and left you with severe injuries. Those severe injuries required several surgeries and medical procedures costing thousands of dollars and you’re having to miss work on top of that. You’re in pain, you’re suffering, and you want to take steps to have your life put back together. If this situation sounds like your current one, you probably are entitled to some compensation and you’ll need to file a personal injury claim. And before any personal injury claim, you’ll need to meet with a personal injury lawyer, like Rush Injury Law in San Francisco. But how do you prepare for that meeting?  Planning, planning, planning.

Information First

Your personal injury attorney will ask a lot of questions about your accident in order to get an idea of what happening. You’ll be asked to describe the accident – when it happened, why it happened, how it happened, and who saw it happen. Hopefully you’ve taken detailed notes about the incident. Strong details are usually the key to maximizing your compensation. You’ll want to tell your lawyer everything about the incident, including the weather at the time, condition of the road, and the names of any potential witnesses. And they’ll also ask about your pain and how bearable or unbearable it is.

Bring All Your Documentation With You

A car accident will inevitably bring lots of paperwork and documentation. If police are called, they will take statements and file a report. If injuries occur, doctors and hospitals will document them, and possibly order X-rays and MRIs. Statements will be made to insurance companies. All of these documents are helpful in your personal injury claim and you’ll need to collect as much evidence as you can to present to your personal injury attorney. Here’s a list of items you’ll want copies of:

-The police report of the accident.

-Any medical procedures like X-rays.

-Medical bills from procedures or prescription medicines.

-Documents from work noting your missed time due to injury.

-Any notes from conversations with either your insurance company or the other driver’s.

-A list of important dates regarding the accident and any medical treatment received.

-Photographs relevant to the accident.

You don’t need to have a word-for-word account of everything that’s happened since the accident, but the more documentation you can provide, the stronger your case will be.

Ask Good Questions

Your lawyer won’t be interrogating you about the accident; it’s an open dialogue where you’ll need to ask questions as well. You might want to inquire about how the lawyer will be communicating with you as the steps of the case proceed. You might want to ask how long the process will take and whether you should discuss the case with friends and family. Asking questions is important for understanding how your case will play out, along with your chances of winning it.

Hurt in a car accident in the Bay Area? Rush Injury Law has you covered. Their attorneys have recovered millions of dollars for accident victims and they’ll fight to get you proper compensation.

Who Is Responsible For Filing A Wrongful Death Claim?

The death of a friend or loved one is a traumatic experience no matter how it happens. But when that death is caused by the negligence of another person, the stress is increased tenfold. For friends and family, many questions remain about how to handle the situation. Who should call the attorney? When should they call the attorney? What damages can the family receive?  The Rush Injury Law team has experience handling these delicate situations. Here’s a helpful guide on how to proceed with a wrongful death claim.

Wrongful Death vs Accidental Death

Remember there’s a difference between these two terms. An accidental death is usually the fault of the deceased person. Maybe the person blew a stop sign and got hit by a truck or failed to put on their seatbelt during a wet, rainy day. Wrongful death can only be caused by the negligence of another person. If a driver causes an accident because they had been drinking, then you’ll be looking at a wrongful death case.

Who Can Claim Wrongful Death?

The deceased can’t claim for themselves, so this task must be undertaken by a family member or loved one. But California law has specific statutes on who can file a claim like this. Usually, the claim must be made by a surviving family member. A spouse or domestic partner and children of the deceased are usually granted this claim without much hassle, but special exceptions can be made for stepchildren, parents, and other relatives if it can be proved they depended on the deceased person for financial stability.

If no direct relatives or dependents exist, a wrongful death claim can still be filed in California by the person who will receive the deceased person’s assets. This process is known as intestate succession and usually applies to people who die without making a will.

When Must a Claim Be Filed and What Compensation is Available?

In California, eligible parties must file within two years of the death of their loved one. If you don’t file within two years, you’ll likely kiss all possible compensation goodbye. Dealing with a wrongful death can take time to overcome, but make sure you don’t wait too long to make your claim.

Compensation for wrongful death suits comes in two different methods. First, damages are awarded to the estate of the deceased. These typically cover acts from the time of the incident to the death of the individual. Lost wages, medical expenses, physical pain and suffering, and funeral expenses will fall into this category. Next, damages will be awarded to the surviving family members (or dependants). These can be trickier to value since they fall under the non-economic damages statute. Mental anguish, depression, moral support, and future guidance fall under this heading.

Losing a loved one due to someone else’s negligence can devastate families and communities. If you’ve suffered through the death of a loved one like this, contact Rush Injury Law immediately and schedule a consultation. James Rush will fight to make sure you are properly compensated for having to deal with the unexpected demise of someone you care about.

Injuries In Public Places: Who Bears Responsibility?

Property owners generally understand that they’re responsible for maintaining their own residence. It’s on the homeowner to make sure walkways are cleared of debris and trees are kept out of neighbor’s yards. If someone gets hurt on your property because of your negligence, get ready to hand over a large check.

For example, say you have a kid who just loves setting up Halloween decorations. To illuminate these horrifying displays, your creative child uses spotlights with extension cords. But the cords are left dangling over the porch and one day, the postman trips over them and breaks his elbow. In this situation, you better call your lawyer and your homeowner’s insurance company.

But what happens if someone trips on the floor of the post office? Or a courthouse? Or even the visitors center of a state park? When the accident happens on government property, where to turn becomes a bit more confusing. Finding the responsible party can be time-consuming and often requires the assistance of a well-trained lawyer.

Differences Between Public and Private Property Injuries

Believe it or not, it’s more difficult to get compensation for injuries from the government than private companies or individuals. (Nevermind, maybe you do believe this). The rules and regulations for filing a lawsuit against local, state, or federal governments are far more strict than other cases. For a victim to receive compensation from the government, they must prove two things – that a government employee was negligent and that negligence directly caused the injury.

Proving negligence in a public property slip and fall is similar to private cases, but there are often limits on damage rewards. There’s also a very short window in which you can report your injury to the government and expect to win a claim. If you wait too long to file a report, you might lose your ability to win compensation.

Know Who To Contact And When

If you’re injured on public property, do all the same mental accounting techniques you would in any other accident. Take pictures of the property and note what caused you harm. If you slipped on an icy sidewalk and didn’t take a picture, there’s little that can be done to prove the sidewalk was actually ice-covered at that time.  After you’ve gathered all the necessary information, you’ll need to file a report with the proper government body. But how do you know who’s responsible? Are you suing the federal or state government? Is the government responsible, or is the outside contractor hired to do the job responsible?

In most cases, you’ll want to contact both the local municipality and a personal injury lawyer. Tracking down the responsible government unit might take some time, but you need to file a report with the proper administrative office or your claim will be denied. Remember, the government will make you run through lots of red tape. If you’re getting the runaround from state officials, contact Rush Injury Law and let us work to get you proper compensation.

Police Reports In Car Accidents Are Sometimes A Necessary Tool

Most drivers won’t readily admit fault in an automobile accident and insurance companies aren’t eager to pay out in “he said, she said” type claims. If you’ve been involved in a car crash that produces significant damage, it’s important to make sure the police are contacted and a report is made. A police report is often the only thing that will keep your claim from being denied.

Not all accidents require a cop to be on the scene. A scratched bumper, busted tail light, or any other small damages might not add up to your insurance deductible. A minor fender bender where there’s only $200 worth a damage is something you won’t file an insurance claim for. If no one is injured and the cars are both fine, drivers will usually share their information but rarely does a claim result.

So why is a police report so important? We like to think the world is full of honest, trustworthy people, but unfortunately, that isn’t the case. A driver who smashes up the front of your car may offer to pay for repairs, but if you don’t file a police report and the driver denies fault, you might be looking at a long battle between two insurance companies who don’t want to pay up. A police report has specific information on it that insurance adjusters want to see before making their own individual reports.

What’s in a Police Report?

A police report will have information that a driver involved in an accident might not remember. Victims of an accident are often emotionally distraught and might have trouble remembering all the different aspects of their ordeal.

At the scene of an accident, cops will record lots of details that drivers might miss. Time and date, weather conditions, the address of the accidents, names of witnesses, and the contact information of everyone involved will be included on these reports, so insurance companies want to see copies of them.

Police also have the authority to assign fault in car accidents and hand out citations. Getting the other driver to admit fault to a police officer is usually a good sign for your claim.

How Do I Obtain a Police Report?

Getting a copy of a police report is a relatively easy task. The responding officer will usually give everyone his card with a phone number for the station. If you aren’t offered one, be sure to ask before everyone leaves the scene.

Call the station and ask for the officer who responded to your accident. You’ll usually need to leave a message, so don’t be long-winded and use some information about the accident to identify yourself. Sometimes you won’t even need to talk to the officer; the station receptionist often has access to police reports of this nature.

If you can’t get anywhere with the station, contact the local courthouse or insurance company of the other driver(s). And be sure to contact Rush Injury Law to discuss your options if you’ve been in a car accident in the San Francisco area.

What to Do If You’re Bitten by A Dog

Dogs are a staple in many American households and not just as pets, but beloved family members. Dogs are trained around the world for emotional support and therapy, providing comfort to grieving and injured people. Man’s best friend is a very appropriate statement, but untrained dogs with poor or inattentive owners have risks. Over 4 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year and most of the bites happen to young children. We don’t like to think about dogs biting people, but it does occur, and California happens to have some the strictest laws in the country regarding these incidents. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, or if your own dog has acted up and hurt someone, Rush Injury Law can answer any questions you may have.

California Civil Code section 3342 covers dog attacks. States in America have two policies regarding dog bites – strict liability or negligence. California is a strict liability state, meaning owners of dogs who bite rarely escape liability. The law says that a dog’s owner is responsible for any person’s injuries inflicted by the dog in public space or while the person was lawfully on private property. “Lawfully on private property” refers to postal workers, firefighters, police, or emergency personnel. If a police officer chases a suspect into your backyard and your dog bites the officer, you could be on the hook for damages and more. Same goes for anyone invited into your home or property – if they get bit, it’s on you.

The law has protections in place for police or military animals. If a police dog bites someone during the pursuit of a suspect or if the dog was agitated or bothered, a lawsuit won’t fly. These laws aren’t absolute though – a police dog can still get in trouble if it bites in a setting where police are not doing work.

Dog owners aren’t helpless against fraudulent or suspect claims. If the owner can prove that the victim was unlawfully on their property, they may escape blame for dog bites. If the owner can prove that the dog was provoked to the point of being in pain, the victim may lose their case as well.

If you’re bitten by a dog, be sure to immediately sterilize the wounds with soap and water and then apply an antibiotic ointment daily to prevent infection. If bleeding, be sure to elevate the affected area and apply pressure to the area with a clean towel to stop the flow. Be sure to seek medical attention immediately if the bleeding doesn’t subside or if an infection is feared. Your first call should always be to medical personnel, not your attorney. Only discuss legal options once the immediate danger of the injury subsides.

Dog bite victims are often entitled to payment of the medical expenses, lost wages, and personal pain and suffering. Rush Injury Law has attorneys that specialize in getting dog bite victims the compensation they deserve. Contact them today to see if you have a legitimate claim.