Personal Injury Cases: Preparing to Meet with Your Attorney

People like to think they’re in total control of their destinies, but based on the number of personal injury cases filed each year, this is clearly not the case. People fall, cars collide, and injuries happen – it’s a part of life. Luckily, there are laws are in place to protect people in these types of incidents. If you’ve been hurt in a fall or accident, you have legal recourse if you believe your injury happened due to someone else’s negligence. But the process is tedious, both physically and mentally. You’ll be preparing for your court case while doing rehab for your injury and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to make your first meeting with an attorney less stressful.

Write Down Everything

A detailed notation is often the key to victory in an injury case. When we say write down everything, we mean everything – the time, the actions that occurred before and after the accident, who was there, how bad your injuries are, etc. Anything you feel is important in accurately relating the incident should be recorded. Both Apple and Android smartphones have a notation app, which is very useful for traffic or outdoor accidents where pen and paper aren’t readily available. Smartphones also have built-in cameras, so take photos of any damaged property or injuries you’ve suffered.

Collect Police Reports

You should always contact police if you’ve been injured or had property damaged in an accident. A police report contains vital information regarding what happened to you. Cops record the names of witnesses, weather conditions, and whether any legal violations were committed. For example, if a police officer notes that one driver in an accident blew a stop sign before colliding with the other driver, that’s a crucial piece of information that can often lead to a settlement before the start of a court case. Make sure you get the name and department of the officer making the report so you can ask for a copy to show your attorney. A police report isn’t a golden ticket to compensation, but it’s one of the most official records a lawyer can use for leverage.

Obtain Medical Records

Documenting any health-related costs you’ve experienced during recovery from an accident is another critical piece of the puzzle in personal injury cases. Keep notes on the names and specialties of any doctors or therapists you see and be in contact with your insurance company to get copies of bills for any treatments or procedures. You should also meticulously track any pain or suffering you experience during your recovery. Write down how you feel, what level your pain is at, and how your injuries are keeping you from performing daily tasks. This isn’t something you can get a detailed doctor’s note for, so record what you’re experiencing with pinpoint precision.

Rush Injury Law has been helping injury victims receive the compensation they deserve for over 15 years. If you’ve been injured in the San Francisco Bay area and need to consult with a lawyer about your options, visit our website or call 415-897-4801.

Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Accidents

The perils we face when behind the wheel are well-known to drivers of all vehicle types. Whether you’re in a sports car, pickup truck, or motorcycle, the rules of the road (and common sense) must be followed to avoid accidents. Operating a vehicle is dangerous. Despite efforts to improve safety in cars and regulations to keep drivers more attentive, motor vehicle accidents are on the rise. The number of automobile fatalities has risen every year since 2014. Fatalities per 100,000 settled to its lowest ever in 2014 at 10.28, but reached 11.59 in 2016. In addition, three million people are hurt in motor vehicle accidents every year, with over 90 deaths per day. Accident injury cases may vary depending on the vehicle involved, so it’s important to know the facts about different types of automobiles.

Car Accidents

Accidents in normal, boring sedans are by far the most common types of accidents. Fortunately, they often also involve the least amount of pain, suffering, and property damage. Still, a car accident shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure to get a police report on any accidents and photograph any damages or injuries. Take a trip to the doctor just in case too, you might have injuries that aren’t visible or painful yet.

Truck Accidents

Trucks are bigger and heavier than cars or motorcycles, which is great for hauling construction materials or other massive industrial projects. There’s a downside to the size of trucks however as their size usually means more catastrophic damage or injury to people hit by them. Commercial trucks are even larger, like big-rigs or trash trucks. While they have industrial utility, they also take longer to slow down, have larger blind spots, and generally don’t perform as well as cars. Be wary when driving near large trucks; always stay out of their blind spots and give them a wide berth.

Motorcycle Accidents

Driving a motorcycle is a unique experience you just can’t get if you’re driving a car or truck. There’s a feeling of freedom and excitement that comes from the wind blowing past you and the landscape visible on all sides. Unfortunately, while motorcycle drivers have a clear, unobstructed view of the road, motorcycles are sometimes hard to see for drivers in cars or trucks. Motorcycles are simply more dangerous than other vehicles – the death rate is higher and the coordination and skill required to operate one proficiently is much more taxing than a car. In addition, some riders are resistant to helmet laws, which makes them 11 times more likely to die in an accident. Wear your helmet! Failure to wear a helmet not only increases the chance of death, but it might limit the amount of compensation you can receive in an accident case.

No matter what type of vehicle was involved in your accident, contact Rush Injury Law for a consultation. Accident victims are often entitled to compensation and you don’t want to miss out on a windfall to pay bills and expenses.

Accidental Death Cases

Death isn’t something we like to think about, but it’s a part of life and when it happens accidentally, there are lots of factors to consider. California has one of the lowest rates of accidental death in the country (which is obviously a good thing), but when it does happen, you’ll have questions that only lawyers can answer. The team at Rush Injury Law has years of experience dealing with accidental fatalities. If someone was negligent in the accident, you deserve justice. Our attorneys are dedicated to getting compensation for families who have lost a loved one.

The most common causes of accidental death in California are auto accidents, but injuries, falls, and drug use are contributors as well. According to records, car crashes are the 15th most common cause of death in California, falls are 23rd, other injuries 26th, drug use 42nd, and drownings 45th. These statistics may not seem high, but accidents accounted for nearly 10,000 fatalities. More importantly, accidents are the leading cause of death in children under 15 after congenital birth defects and low birth weight. California’s strict gun laws thankfully keep firearm deaths to a minimum. 

Accidental death cases don’t always end with the victim’s family receiving compensation. There’s a legal difference between wrongful death and accidental death.  If a person is killed because they pulled in front of your car and got hit, that’s likely to be ruled just an accidental death and the deceased at fault. But if a driver has a few drinks and hits a pedestrian, that will be wrongful death and that driver is in deep trouble.

Car accidents are the most prevalent reason that attorneys deal with accidental death cases. Reasons that an automobile accident that might cause a wrongful death case include speeding, failing to yield to stop signs, failing to yield to oncoming traffic, and driving while distracted. Drunk drivers still kill far too many people every year, but deaths from distracted driving are on the rise.

There’s nothing a lawsuit or financial compensation can do to bring back a loved one. Accidental deaths are always tragic; a family member is taken too soon, leaving behind a grieving family. Grief eases with time, but the financial burden families endure when they lose the breadwinner is devastating. When the high earner of the household is taken away, all of a sudden college funds, housing payments, and medical expenses could be unbearable. That’s why it’s critical to build your case through the help of an attorney.

Rush Injury Law knows what to do when these unfortunate events happen. No amount of litigation can ever bring back a family member, but it can ease the burden they leave behind when it comes to paying bills. Wrongful death cases are never easy. Wounds can be reopened during investigations when painful memories surface. But it’s important to discover all the facts if you think your loved one was killed with negligence. The team at Rush Injury Law will fight to get the compensation you deserve.

How to Handle a Teenage Driver

For a teenager, getting a driver’s license is one of the most exciting times of their lives. For a parent, it’s a white-knuckled, hair-raising experience fraught with perils real and imagined. Teenage drivers have high accident rates and car crashes are the leading cause of death for people aged 16-19. Your teenager views getting a driver’s license as a sign of responsibility and adulthood, but no one on the road is more dangerous than the 16-year old with their first license. Rush Injury Laws knows the concerns parents have about their kids getting into car accidents.

Make Firm, But Fair Rules For The Road

It’s important to set some rules for the road when your teenager gets behind the driver’s seat. The state of California has several restrictions on teen driving, such as no driving between 11 pm and 5 am and the banning of passengers under 20 years of age (unless accompanied by an adult). This is a good start, but parents would be wise to implement a few more.

Limit the number of passengers

The more people in the car, the more distractions for the driver. Friends want to tag along for the ride when a new driver gets on the road, but limit the number of friend pickups to 1 or 2.

Set driving boundaries  

The state of California doesn’t limit where teens can drive, but it’s not a bad idea to set a limit on how many miles away from home they can go. A novice drivers on a road they aren’t familiar with is a recipe for trouble. Only letting your teen driver go 20-30 miles away from the house is a good way to get peace of mind without restricting your child’s freedom.

No texting and driving

This rule might be difficult to enforce when your teen is on the road, but it’s a topic that needs to be discussed. According to the Center for Disease Control, you’re 23 times more likely to get in an accident while texting and driving. Talk openly about this policy and set a good example when your the driver and the teen is the passenger.

What Do If Your Teen Is In An Accident?

First of all, don’t panic. Teen crashes are common, but only 0.003% are fatal according to the United States Department of Transportation. A car is just a hunk of metal that can be replaced. But remember, the state of California made you put your John Hancock on your child’s license. This means their accident is your accident. Most accidents will be fully covered by insurance, but if your child as a history of reckless, you might be on the hook for the full damages.

Make sure the police are contacted. A police report is often the only thing preventing the case from becoming a ‘he-said-she-said’ argument. Take pictures of the damage on both cars for the insurance companies. An accident often puts great emotional stress on a teenager, so don’t immediately reprimand them. If your child was at fault, punishment can come later.

If your child was injured in a car accident in the San Francisco area, be sure to contact Rush Injury Law. Our lawyers are experts in car accidents involving teens and we’ll fight to get the compensation you deserve.