Are Your Aches and Pains Related to a Recent Car Accident

You may have been hurt more than you initially suspected.

Whether it’s a head-on collision or a mere fender bender, a car accident is an unexpected and traumatic event. Even in cases where you’re hit by someone traveling at a low rate of speed, you’re most definitely going to feel the impact, which may result in you sustaining injuries. If you are hurt in an accident, it’s best to get medical attention immediately. If your injuries seem minor—or if you don’t notice any symptoms—you need to be looked at by a medical professional anyways.

Below are a few things you can do to identify whether or not aches and pains you’re feeling are related to a recent car accident. If, after completing this article, you’re convinced that your ailments are the result of a crash, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Your Body May Not Realize It’s Injured Right Away

There are times in sports when athletes will sustain injuries, but they will play on unaffected by the pain—Curt Schilling’s bloody sock during Game 6 of the 2004 ALCS is a great example of this. In such heightened circumstances like these, the human body will generate adrenaline and endorphins, two chemicals that amp up the body, sometimes to the point where it can no longer feel pain.

Individuals involved in a car accident will most likely feel something similar to what was just described above. However, because there will likely be a bunch of other things on your mind in the event of a crash—whether or not the other driver is okay, whether or not your car is totaled, etc.—you may not even realize that your body is in such a heightened state. This may cause you to pay little or no attention to the injuries you may have sustained during the crash, which means you’re most likely going to notice them later on.

Look for Soft Tissue Damage After an Accident

Soft tissues are what connect, support, and surround structures and organs inside the human body. Muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia, nerves, fibrous tissues, fat, blood vessels, and synovial membranes are all examples of soft tissue.

In the event of a car accident—even a low-speed one—drivers and passengers will, in most cases, come to a sudden stop after the initial impact; if not, they will be thrown around in the passenger section; in very severe cases, they may be ejected from the vehicle. In any event, your joints and other vulnerable areas are going to be at risk of being damaged.

Get a Concussion Screening

If you bump or jerk your head at all during the accident (which is quite likely), you’re going to want to get yourself screened for a concussion. Concussions are very serious, and sometimes you won’t exhibit symptoms until later on. A medical professional will be able to tell whether or not you suffered a concussion because of an accident.

What to Do If You Are Injured From a Dog Bite

In 2017, 1 in every 72 Americans was bitten by a dog. 20% of people bitten by dogs experienced their dog bite wound become infection. Sadly, 39 people died as a result of dog bites in 2017. Injuries caused by dog bites can become very costly for the victim. Victims may have significant medical bills and be unable to work. In 2015, California accounted for more dog bite related personal injury claims than any other state.

What to Do After Being Bit By a Dog

Seek immediate medical attention if you or a loved one is bit by a dog. Make sure to keep all documentation involving the injuries and medical bills. Follow all medical recommendations and document the exact nature of your injuries and their impact. File a police report or a report with your local county health office and give a detailed description of the incident. The dog may be quarantined to ensure the dog doesn’t have rabies. Try to remember if the dog was on a leash or roaming unsupervised.

It’s also important to locate any witnesses who were present when you were bitten.

Liability

In California, the dog owner is liable for damages if the dog bite causes injuries and the victim was in a public place or lawfully present in a private place. You do not have to prove that the dog’s owner knew the dog was aggressive or was negligent in supervising their dog.

The dog owner can escape liability if the victim was trespassing, if the dog was lawfully defending its owner, or if the dog was provoked. However, if the victim is under the age of 5, the provocation defense can’t be used.

You also have the right to sue the person handling the dog when you were bit, even if the handler is not the dog’s lawful owner. You would have the burden to prove that the handler reasonably knew the dog was aggressive or had a history of biting.

If you are bitten by a dog on the owner’s property, the dog’s owner may have renters or homeowner’s insurance that may cover some or all of your expenses.

If you sustained injuries from a dog attack that were not caused by a bite, you still have the right to pursue damages, but not under California’s dog bite statute.

Damages

You can claim compensatory damages for medical bills, physical therapy, lost earning capacity, lost wages, and scarring. Additionally, you can pursue punitive damages for things like pain and suffering.

If you are uninsured or underinsured and can’t afford out of pocket medical expenses, you can obtain a medical lien. Some medical providers will agree to extend you credit for medical treatment in exchange for becoming the first party paid if you reach an out of court settlement or obtain a judgement.

In California, there is a two-year statute of limitation to pursue damages for injuries related to a dog bite. If you have been injured from a dog bite, contact Rush Injury Law for a free consultation.

What is Wrongful Death and Do I Have a Case?

How to Know if You Have a Wrongful Death Case

Losing a loved one can be difficult, especially if their death was preventable. During the summer months, accidental deaths skyrocket. In fact, accidental deaths are most common in the months of July and August, with deaths related to falls and fires especially common during the summer. 

The summer months also bring increased fatalities related to drownings, hot car deaths, heat-related deaths, gun fatalities, and pedestrian deaths. More people swim, take walks, and travel during the summer, and seasonal heat waves can lead to strokes and lethal dehydration. Crime rates, including murder, also increase during the summer.

Unfortunately, many times accidental deaths are preventable. Manufacturer defects for products like flotation devices, firearms, vehicles, and air conditioners can cause accidental deaths. Although it is painful to lose a loved one, if their death resulted from preventable circumstances, you may have the ability to sue the responsible party for wrongful death.

Wrongful Death

California law states that wrongful death occurs when a death is deemed to be the result of criminal activity, a wrongful act, or negligence. Intentional acts include murder, and negligence can involve hit and run accidents, selling or manufacturing defective products, and medical malpractice.

Surviving family members have the right to file a wrongful death claim, which is a civil litigation action seeking financial compensation only. Children, spouses, parents, stepchildren, and domestic partners can file a wrongful death action, and if the deceased has no living relatives or next of kin, anyone entitled to the decedent’s estate under intestate succession can likewise file a claim.

When considering whether to file a wrongful death action, consider the circumstances involving your loved one’s death. If they died in a car accident and the vehicle had open recalls, you may have a claim. If your loved one died from a crime, you likely have the right to not only sue for wrongful death but to receive restitution from the convicted offender and potential victim’s compensation payments.

In California, you cannot sue for wrongful death if the decedent died from a justifiable homicide, and you can’t sue for wrongful death of an unborn fetus. California does allow wrongful death lawsuits if the decedent committed suicide if an individual inflicted mental anguish that led to the suicide, or if a party failed to meet their duty of care to the decedent and their omission was a substantial factor in the decedent’s death.

Wrongful death claims can seek damages on behalf of the estate for burial and funeral costs and expenses, the decedent’s final hospital and medical bills, and lost income the decedent reasonably could have earned had they lived. Surviving family members can seek damages for the value of household services the decedent could have provided had they lived, loss of expected and anticipated financial and monetary support, and loss of companionship, love, and affection.

Wrongful death claims are filed in California state court, and survivors have only two years to file a claim after the decedent’s death.

If you think your loved one’s death was preventable, or that you may have grounds to file a wrongful death action, contact the personal injury experts at Rush Injury Law today for a free consultation.

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.