Frequently Asked Questions About Personal Injury Law
You probably have a lot of questions about your legal options, the people involved in your claim, and next steps. Here, our experienced personal injury lawyers answer some of your most common questions.
Personal Injury Law
What Is a Personal Injury?
Personal injury refers to legal cases that involve someone who was injured physically, mentally, or emotionally and can also include property damage. You can demand compensation for these losses through a settlement or a jury award.
You might have a personal injury claim if someone else's negligence or recklessness caused your injuries. For example, if you are injured in a car accident because another driver ran a red light, you likely have a personal injury case.
Typical personal injury cases arise from:
- Car Accidents
- Commercial Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Workers' Compensation Cases
- Premises Liability or Slip and Fall Accidents
- Product Liability (Defective Products)
- Nursing Home Abuse
- Wrongful Death Claims
How Much Is My Personal Injury Claim Worth?
Each case is different. Your best bet is to discuss your claim's strength with an experienced personal injury lawyer to know for sure.
You may have a strong case if:
- Someone else's action (or inaction) caused your injury
- That injury negatively affected your life (in terms of health, finances, and quality)
- You have bills, statements, or other ways to show the other party's fault and your losses
- The at-fault party has adequate insurance coverage to compensate you for the damages they caused
You'll also need to calculate damages, financial losses, and emotional losses associated with your claim.
Your damages might include:
- Medical and health care costs (Now and in the future.)
- Lost income and wage-earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Punitive damages (In rare cases, if the at-fault party was found to be grossly negligent or acting intentionally and worthy of "above and beyond" punishment.)
In all states but New Hampshire, drivers must carry a liability insurance policy that's at least $25,000 for the injury or death of an accident victim. Many drivers have policies with higher limits.
When you schedule your free consultation, our team will start calculating your damages and investigating your case.
What Does an Insurance Adjuster Do?
An adjuster is a specially trained employee at an insurance company or claims management service. They investigate claims and negotiate with the injured person. Their goal is to resolve all issues as quickly and cheaply as possible. They may also be called a claims specialist, an independent claims analyst, or a claims representative.
No matter what they are called, the insurance adjuster is not on your side and cannot provide legal advice. Sometimes, they will even pressure you to settle, arguing that your case isn't worth much or that an attorney is a waste of money. These are red flags—and you should immediately call a lawyer for practical, honest advice.
Should I Accept a Settlement From the Insurance Company?
You should never agree to a settlement until you've spoken with an experienced personal injury lawyer. The insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible. Usually, they will make an initial, low-ball settlement offer, hoping that you will take the "easy money."
However, once you settle your case, you cannot go back and demand more compensation. So, if you take that initial settlement offer, you might find yourself paying for your accident-related bills later on.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a legal term describing both the physical and emotional injuries suffered by an accident victim. Substantial physical pain or mental anguish suffered after an accident can qualify as pain and suffering for settlement purposes.
Severe physical injuries may last for years or become permanent, leaving a victim with a lifetime of physical pain. Likewise, emotional pain and suffering can also result in severe mental and psychological distress lasting years after an accident.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Depending on what state you live in, you have 1-6 years to file a claim after an accident. In most personal injury cases, the average is two years from the date of the incident to file a lawsuit against the negligent party.
This time limit is called the statute of limitations. In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years, and in South Carolina, it is three years. If you try to file or negotiate with the insurance company after the time limit expires, you may lose your legal rights and be prohibited from seeking compensation.
What Is a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
A personal injury lawsuit is the formal, court-based process of claiming that a person or entity caused harm to someone else. Not every personal injury case involves a lawsuit. Often the parties reach a settlement agreement out of court.
However, if the pre-litigation negotiations break down, you (the plaintiff) may file a formal, civil complaint against the party at fault for your injuries (the defendant). Filing that formal complaint is also called filing a lawsuit.
What Do I Do if an Insurance Company Contacts Me After an Accident?
Don't say anything to them until you've spoken with a personal injury attorney. Anything you say can be used against you in your case. Insurance companies will often try to get a statement, even if it only hints that you carry some fault for the accident.
Often, insurance companies will contact you to offer a settlement amount. These are typically low-ball offers intended to close the claim quickly and cheaply rather than truly cover the needs of the injured person.
What Can I Be Compensated for if I Am Involved in a Personal Injury Accident?
If you are involved in a personal injury accident, there are many different things that can be included during your settlement negotiations, although it depends on the type of accident you were involved in. In a lot of personal injury cases, settlement amounts include compensation for:
- Property Damage
- Medical Costs
- Loss of Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Life
- Funeral Costs
It is important to have an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case to determine which of these factors should be included in your personal injury settlement and ensure that you get the maximum amount of compensation available.
How Long Will It Take To Get My Personal Injury Settlement?
Personal injury lawsuits can vary a great deal when it comes to the length of time it will take to settle.
First, it depends on how soon after your accident you speak to an accident lawyer and how quickly all of the case information is assembled.
Second, the seriousness of the accident and the extent of the bodily injuries can cause the length of time to vary. In most cases, insurance companies will want to wait until the victim is completely healed from their injuries and they have all of the medical records before settling. This is another reason why speaking with a personal injury attorney is beneficial since they can set up a medical lien so that you do not have to pay your medical bills and then wait for reimbursement.
Finally, it depends on the size of the settlement. If you are willing to accept a smaller settlement, then your case can usually be resolved in a shorter amount of time. If you are going after a larger settlement and have to go to trial, it may take longer.
Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer
How Much Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost?
Hiring a personal injury attorney will not cost you anything up front. Our law firm offers free initial consultations.
Our attorney fees come out of your final settlement and are, on average, 30%. This is also known as a contingency fee.
That means there are zero charges up front and zero charges if we do not recover compensation for your case. You have no risk!
Our goal is to get every client the maximum compensation money as quickly as we can. We have an experienced legal team of dedicated attorneys, investigators, and legal assistants who are at your service. They are all trained to fight on your behalf and get you fair compensation for your losses.
Our personal injury law firm takes the time to:
- Interview you carefully
- Answer your questions about your case and present your legal options
- Talk to your medical team about your injuries
- Gather police reports, medical records, and other evidence
- Visit the crash scene
If I Lose, Will I Be Responsible for Any Case-Related Costs?
Most personal injury cases rely on contingency fees. With contingency fees, your lawyer is paid a small percentage of your settlement (usually around 30%). So if you lose your case and don't recover any compensation, your lawyer isn't entitled to collect a fee. The law firm will generally absorb any additional costs as well.
If you win your lawsuit and recover compensation in a settlement agreement, attorney fees and additional costs are deducted from the settlement compensation.
Some additional fees in a personal injury case include:
- Document fees for things like police reports and medical records
- Court filing fees
- Expert witness fees
- Creating transcripts of testimony
- Creating trial exhibits
Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney?
When you are hurt in an accident as a result of someone else's negligence or malfeasance, you should hire a personal injury lawyer.
An experienced attorney can assist you in obtaining compensation for your injuries. A lawyer also defends you against the responsible party's insurance carrier that is trying to avoid paying you the proper financial compensation for your injuries and damages.
Hiring a personal injury lawyer is your best chance at a claim for compensation.
If I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney, Will I Have to Go to Trial?
Usually, you will not need to go to trial during your accident injury lawsuit. Most of the time, a settlement will be reached between your attorney and the at-fault party's insurance company.
However, your attorney will discuss the best options for you to receive the largest settlement possible, and occasionally that can mean going to trial.
What Should I Bring to a Free Consultation at The Brown Law Firm?
Our team will want to learn as much as possible about your claim and injuries during your free consultation.
The following information can help speed up our investigation:
- A written account of the incident as you remember it
- The police report
- Any evidence gathered at the scene, such as pictures or witness statements
- Medical records explaining your injury, diagnosis, and treatments you've had or will need
- Copies of your medical bills
- A copy of your paycheck
- Letters from the insurance companies
If you have trouble accessing the police report or other records, that's okay. If we take your case, our team can help you collect these documents.
You should also bring a list of any questions you might have to make the most out of your consultation.
What if I Do Not Think That I Was Injured in My Car Accident?
If you have been in a car accident, you should always get an evaluation by a medical professional, even if you do not think that you suffered an injury.
In many of the minor car accidents we handle at our law firm, the injuries that people sustain have delayed or mild symptoms. If these injuries go untreated, they can lead to further complications or more severe damage.
As well as possibly leading to more serious injuries, failing to get medical treatment can result in your injury being excluded from your lawsuit.
Do I Need To Call My Insurance Company After a Car Accident?
You should report the traffic accident to your insurance carrier, but make sure you have discussed your case with a personal injury attorney first.
When it comes to making a financial settlement offer, the insurance company wants to pay out as little as possible. Usually, they will make an initial lowball settlement offer, hoping the victim will accept it instead of speaking with an experienced accident attorney who can negotiate on your behalf and get you the settlement you deserve.
Your attorney will coach you on what you can and cannot say to the insurance adjuster. They will also contact the other party's insurance company to begin the insurance claim against them.
Do You Have To Call the Police After a Car Accident?
Anytime you are involved in an auto accident, you should call the police. When the police officer arrives, they will prepare an official accident report, including contact information for all parties involved.
The report will also include the police officer's expert opinion of how the accident happened. You should always have a police report because it serves as official documentation to help you win a strong insurance claim or lawsuit.
What Should I Do if I've Been in a Car Crash?
At the scene of a car accident, you will need to take steps to protect your legal rights.
If you were not at fault in the accident, the other driver is liable for your damages. You will need to file a personal injury claim with their insurance carrier to seek compensation.
Here is what you should do at the accident scene to help strengthen your accident claim:
Call 911- Check for severe injuries and call emergency services.
Obtain Police Report- Ask the police officer at the accident scene for their name, phone number, badge number, and police report. Keep in mind that it may take a few days to obtain the police report. If the other driver is trying to dispute blame, it will be useful to have a copy of the police officers' opinion.
Collect Evidence- Take pictures of injuries, property damage, and the surrounding crash scene. Include any roadway or weather conditions that contributed to the accident.
Exchange Insurance Information- Immediately after the car accident, it might be difficult to determine who was at fault, but even if you think you were, you should never apologize or admit guilt.
When talking to the other driver, simply get their name, number, address, insurance policy information, license plate number, make and model of their vehicle, the location of the accident, and driver's license number. If there were passengers, you should also ask for their names, numbers, and addresses. If the other driver is driving for work, get their credentials. Also, do not sign anything other than police documentation, do not provide a statement about the accident, and do not indicate you were at fault.
Talk To Potential Witnesses- If there were any witnesses to your car accident, be sure to take down their names, numbers, and addresses as well. If it is hard for the police to tell who was at fault, an eyewitness will be a paramount factor in who gets cited for the accident.
Get Emergency Medical Care- Go to the hospital or a primary care doc within 24 hours of the accident.
Call A Personal Injury Attorney Near You- If you have been in a car accident that was not your fault, The Brown Firm has experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you maximize your recovery and defend your interests.
The Brown Firm represents people who have been injured due to the negligence of others. We take a personal approach to ensure that your case is receiving the proper amount of time and attention.
Keep Records- Your attorney will need important details, such as missed work, medical expenses, and your physical pain.
If you obtain medical care such as chiropractic care, physical therapy, or emergency medical treatment for any reason after the crash, you will need to keep all medical records of the procedures. You will also need a copy of all medical bills. This will be vital to receiving a fair case settlement.
How Much Is My Car Accident Injury Case Worth?
The value of an automobile accident lawsuit depends on a lot of different factors, including:
-Amount of Fault
-Amount of Damage
-Extent of Injuries and Medical Bills
-Amount of Insurance Coverage Available
Depending on the details of your individual accident, your auto accident attorney will be able to draft a demand letter with you that will give an accurate estimate of the total amount of fair compensation you are entitled to.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Car Accident Attorney?
If you are involved in a car accident, the type of attorney you hire to represent you is called a personal injury attorney.
These attorneys specialize in helping accident victims caused by someone else's negligence get financial compensation.
Thankfully, these attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee basis. A contingency fee basis means that you do not pay any attorney fees upfront, and the law firm only collects a fee in the form of a small percentage of your final settlement.
What Can I Be Compensated for in a Motor Vehicle Accident?
When you are involved in an auto accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to the following economic and non-economic damages:
-Pain and Suffering
-Loss of Consortium
-Loss of Enjoyment
How Long Will It Take To Get My Accident Settlement After a Car Crash?
The length of time that it takes to settle an accident lawsuit depends on a lot of different factors.
First, it depends on how soon after your accident you contact an experienced car accident attorney, and they are able to begin their investigation.
Second, the seriousness of the accident and the types of injuries can cause the length of time to increase. A lot of the time, insurance providers will want the injured persons to finish treatment and recovery so that the medical expenses are all accounted for before they settle.
Finally, it depends on the size of the insurance settlement and how much negotiating happens between your auto accident lawyer and the at-fault party's auto insurance company.
If you are willing to accept a smaller settlement, then your case can usually be resolved sooner. If you are going after a larger settlement, the legal process may take longer and could end up going to trial.
Should I Accept a Settlement Offer From the Insurance Adjuster?
Generally, no. At least not until you have discussed your case with a personal injury law firm.
When it comes to making a settlement offer, the insurance provider wants to pay out as little as possible.
Usually, they will make an initial lowball offer, hoping the injury victim will accept it instead of speaking with experienced attorneys who can negotiate on your behalf and get you the fair settlement you deserve.
How Long After a Car Accident Do I Have to File an Accident Claim?
Depending on what state you live in, there are set laws called "statute of limitations" that determine how long an individual has to file a legal claim after their accident.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. In South Carolina, it's three years from the date of injury. If you do not file your accident claim within this time period, the courts will usually not hear your case.
Although you have a two-year window to file your claim, the sooner you speak to an experienced car accident lawyer after your motor vehicle collision and file your injury claim, the greater the success rate and chance of a larger settlement.
What Should I Say if the Other Driver's Insurance Company Contacts Me After My Car Accident?
Nothing! If you are contacted by the at-fault driver's insurance adjuster, do not say anything related to your case.
The main reason that they are contacting you is to get you to make a statement about your accident, which depending on what you say, can be used against you to lower the value of your settlement.
Let your car accident attorney deal with them first. Your attorney will speak with them in order to protect the value of your case and get you maximum compensation.
Who Is Responsible for Compensation in a Semi-Truck Accident?
There may be a few negligent parties financially responsible after a semi-truck accident.
First, if driver negligence causes the accident, they could be financially liable for your injuries. Trucking companies may also be financially liable if they violate any rules or regulations. Trucking companies often have more assets than their truck drivers, so it's usually worthwhile to pursue maximum compensation from the trucking business.
If mechanical issues caused the accident, a third party may be financially responsible for your injuries. Your trucking accident lawyer will obtain the truck's event data recorder and maintenance records if this is the case.
Do Truck Drivers Have to Follow Different Traffic Laws?
Yes. Because of the massive responsibility of driving a semi-truck, federal and state laws regulate the following for commercial trucks:
- Hours driven without breaks
- Length of driving periods
- Cargo loading
- Vehicle weight
- Driver's health
- Drug use and drug testing
- Truck maintenance schedules
Violating any of these guidelines can mean a more significant penalty for the defendant and a larger settlement for you.
What Information Do Law Firms Look for When Investigating a Trucking Company?
The first thing a law firm will look at when they start investigating a trucking company is the police report. The police report details critical information and mentions if any criminal charges were filed.
Next, they'll have the area investigated where the accident occurred. A truck accident scene provides an array of evidence, so your attorney may send experts to investigate. Road conditions are evaluated, and tire markings are noted, which can all play a vital part in a truck accident case. These facts may also be reported by police in your accident report.
The truck accident lawyer will also inspect the vehicles involved. Eyewitnesses from the police report will be contacted since they can provide unbiased third-party evidence for your case.
Most commercial trucks have a "black box," which is an electric logging device. These devices capture the speed and brake data of the truck. They also record driving duration and the length of rest periods prior to impact. These small details can help prove why the accident occurred.
Other trucking company records, like the commercial driver's background, cargo records, and compliance history, can also be used as evidence to support a truck accident lawsuit.
What if the Truck Driver That Hit Me Was a Private Contractor?
Even if an independent contractor caused your truck accident, you could still be eligible for financial compensation. However, this might mean that instead of filing a lawsuit against the trucking company, you'll need to file a truck accident claim with the driver's liability insurance company.
Issues involving truck accident liability can become complicated in situations like this. To protect your legal rights, it's best to consult with an experienced truck accident lawyer.
What Should I Do if I Am in a Truck Crash?
If you are involved in an accident with a semi-truck, there are some steps that you should take that can help get you through the experience as efficiently as possible.
First, Call the Police. Contacting the authorities is important to both making sure that everyone who needs emergency medical care gets it as well as formally documenting the accident in case you have to file a lawsuit. Usually, truck accidents cause more severe injuries, leading to larger settlement amounts. Getting an accurate police report from the authorities is a crucial piece of evidence that will be used to prove fault in your accident and make sure you get the fair compensation you deserve.
Second, Gather Evidence. If you are able to, you should gather as much evidence from the scene of the accident as possible. The important pieces of evidence you should obtain include:
- Pictures of Both Vehicles
- Photos of Injuries
- At-Fault Driver's Credentials
- Official Accident Report
- Witness Statements
- License Plate and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
By gathering relevant evidence, you strengthen your potential lawsuit, potentially leading to a larger financial settlement.
Third, Contact an Accident Lawyer. Semi-truck accident injury cases can become incredibly complex due to the severity of injuries and the number of liable parties that are responsible. Speaking with an experienced attorney early on can educate you about your legal options, prevent you from making any mistakes that could negatively impact your case, ensure your legal rights are protected, and increase the value of your settlement.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Truck Accident Attorney?
Thankfully, most personal injury lawyers work on what is called a contingency fee basis, as well as provide free consultations to accident injury victims.
A contingency fee basis means that clients do not pay any legal fees upfront, and their truck accident lawyers only collect legal fees if they win, which comes as a small percentage of the total settlement.
Working on a contingency fee basis is very beneficial to truck accident victims because they can rest assured knowing that their personal injury law firm will do everything in its power to maximize their settlement.
What if I Do Not Think That I Was Injured in My Accident?
Even if you do not think that you were injured at the time of your accident, you should always seek medical attention as soon as you can after the accident. Unfortunately, there are many injuries that people sustain in motor vehicle accidents that do not cause immediate symptoms.
Common injuries, such as whiplash, can sometimes take days or even weeks to materialize. If certain injuries go undiagnosed for that long, the insurance companies will try and attribute them to a different event, meaning you will lose out on adequate compensation in your settlement.
What if My Commercial Vehicle Crash Took Place Months Ago?
Although the sooner you act, the better off you will be, just because you made the mistake of waiting to act after an accident does not mean that all is lost.
States have what is called a statute of limitations which provides a timeframe for which a legal claim must be filed after an accident.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of the accident. In South Carolina, the time limit is three years from the accident. Even though you are given years to act, cases are usually stronger and have larger awarded settlements the sooner they are filed.
What Should I Tell the Insurance Company When They Contact Me?
If you are contacted by an insurance company representative after your accident, DO NOT SAY ANYTHING until after you have spoken with an experienced accident lawyer.
The insurance company's goals are to minimize the amount that they have to pay out in an accident settlement. Anything that you say to them over the phone regarding your accident can be used to argue that they should not have to pay the amount of compensation that you deserve.
An experienced truck accident attorney will inform you of exactly what you can and cannot say to the insurance company representative, or they may just deal with them directly. Following their instruction is vital to protecting the value of your case.
What Are Some of the Common Causes of Semi-Truck Accidents?
There are many different factors that can lead to a truck accident that may not necessarily be as common as other auto accidents. Some of the common causes of truck accidents include:
- Poor Driving Conditions
- Overloaded Trucks
- Driver Fatigue
- Driving Under the Influence
- Reckless Driving
- Poor Truck Maintenance
- Mechanical Failure
- Failure to Yield
- Lack of Driver Training or Experience
Many of the factors that cause trucking accidents are due to one or multiple violations by either the commercial truck driver, the trucking company, the cargo loading company, or another third party.
Having an experienced attorney who can investigate the cause of your accident and determine if there were any violations can help protect your legal right to compensation.
Driver and Company Liability for Commercial Truck Accidents
If you are involved in a semi-truck accident, there can be multiple liable parties. Liability in your case depends on a number of different factors, but the usual guilty parties are either:
-The Truck Driver
-The Trucking Company
-The Cargo Company
-The Party Responsible for Truck Maintenance
Depending on what is determined to have been the cause of your accident and injuries, one or all of the above entities can share a portion of the liability. This is where having an experienced law firm thoroughly investigate your accident can help to clear up the details of your case and prove liability.
What Are Some of the Injuries That People Suffer From When They Are in a Truck Accident?
Unfortunately, traffic accidents involving semi-trucks often leave the injured person with fatal or debilitating injuries. Although every accident is different and can result in different outcomes, some of the common injuries include:
- Air-Bag Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Nerve Damage
- Soft-Tissue Damage
- Neck Injuries
It is important that if you have been involved in an accident that you seek out an evaluation by a medical professional. This will ensure that any injuries you have suffered are documented, you receive proper treatment for them, and they can be included in your truck accident settlement.
What Is the Most Common Motorcycle Injury?
Inexperienced drivers are especially susceptible to motorcycle crashes. But there are other reasons aside from inexperience. Whether it's other drivers not seeing them in blind spots or due to bad weather, motorcycle wrecks can happen every day. Even experienced motorcycle riders can be involved in motorcycle collisions that result in injuries.
Motorcycle accidents can result in various injuries, from minor to severe and life-altering. However, road rash is likely the most common motorcycle injury. Road rash occurs when motorcycle riders are thrown off their bikes and slide across the pavement. Road rash is a severe injury because scraping the pavement could cause multiple layers of your skin to peel away, exposing the muscle underneath.
Other common injuries in motorcycle accidents are head and neck injuries, leg injuries, and arm injuries.
If the injuries result in the death of the motorcycle rider, a wrongful death claim can be filed by the surviving family members.
How Does My Motorcycle Accident Attorney Prove Negligence After a Motorcycle Accident?
Negligence is a breach of the duty of care that causes a motorcycle accident. Your motorcycle accident attorney will investigate the crash and gather all available evidence to prove negligence after a motorcycle wreck.
This evidence might include:
- The results of chemical tests conducted after the crash
- Eyewitness statements
- Photographs of the accident scene
- Cell phone records
- Dashcams, private residence/business security cameras, or traffic camera footage
- The police report
Your motorcycle attorney may consult with accident reconstruction experts to determine how the wreck occurred. If there is a dispute over who is at fault for the accident, the testimony of the accident reconstruction expert could be essential for proving negligence.
I Was Not Wearing a Helmet. Can I Still Sue the Driver Who Caused the Accident?
Like all other personal injury claims, no two motorcycle accident cases are alike.
It is always in your best interest to wear your motorcycle helmet because it can save your life. It can also make your motorcycle accident claim a lot easier. Not wearing a helmet makes things far more complicated if you are injured in a motorcycle accident.
The defense of the at-fault driver will likely use the fact that you were not wearing a helmet to argue that this makes you partially liable or that they don't have to cover your medical expenses fully.
The bottom line is that wearing or not wearing a helmet is not related to the cause of the accident.
Where is Lane Splitting Legal?
Motorcycle riders that encounter heavy traffic may attempt to ride between the lanes of traffic. This is known as lane splitting. Lane splitting can be dangerous if not executed properly at low speeds.
Current states where lane splitting or lane filtering is legal:
California – California was one of the first states to adopt lane splitting even before it was legalized. In 2016, it was finally declared legal across the state. When lane splitting, riders should not travel faster than ten mph above the speed of the surrounding traffic. Lane splitting is highly discouraged when the traffic flow is above 30 mph.
Arizona – Arizona passed a lane filtering law that allows motorcyclists to pass between stopped cars at traffic lights/traffic intersections at speeds not exceeding 15 mph. The move is only legal if the posted speed limit is below 45 mph.
Hawaii – Technically, lane splitting is not legal, but the state has allowed shoulder surfing for motorcyclists when there is traffic congestion.
Connecticut – Lawmakers are still in discussions to pass legislation regarding lane splitting.
Utah – In March 2019, Utah legalized lane filtering formally. Lane filtering is legal in Utah, where posted speed limits are 45 mph or less, meaning it is never legal on the freeways. In addition, motorcycle speeds can not exceed 15 mph when filtering. Lane filtering in Utah is permitted only when a road has two or more lanes that go in the same direction.
Oregon – Lawmakers are still discussing the legislation.
Virginia – Lawmakers are currently considering lane filtering laws.
Montana – Senate Bill 9 allows drivers of two-wheeled motorcycles to overtake stopped or slow-moving vehicles at speeds not greater than 20 mph to "filter" between lanes of stopped traffic that are traveling in the same direction.
What Should I Do if I Have Been Involved in a Motorcycle Crash?
If you have been in a motorcycle crash, there are some steps that you should follow so long as you are physically able to do so.
The first action you should take if you are in an accident is to call the police. This is necessary to ensure that medical services are provided if needed, the crash is documented, and the scene is cleaned up to prevent further incidents.
After you have contacted the police, you should gather as much evidence as possible. The types of evidence you should attempt to collect include:
- Photos of the scene
- The other driver's information
- Vehicle information
- Witness statements
Once you have collected the relevant evidence, you should seek medical care even if you do not think you have been injured. Many injuries can take time to develop symptoms, and you want to ensure you get all of your injuries documented to give yourself the best chance at a speedy recovery so that your lawyer can include your medical bills in your settlement amount.
Now that you have spoken with the police, gathered evidence, and received a medical evaluation, you should speak to an experienced motorcycle accident attorney. An attorney will be able to provide you with the information and help you need to get compensated for financial damages after your accident.
What Type of Attorney Do I Need for My Motorcycle Accident and How Much Will They Cost?
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, you specifically need legal consultation from an experienced motorcycle accidents lawyer.
Technically a motorcycle accident lawyer is a personal injury attorney. These attorneys specialize in helping accident victims get financial compensation.
Thankfully, these attorneys work on what is called a contingency fee basis.
A contingency fee basis means that you do not pay any legal fees upfront, and your attorneys only collect settlement costs in the form of a small percentage from your final settlement.
During an initial consultation, your lawyer will review your case, and you can discuss percentages. The Brown Firm charges between 33% and 35%, depending on if your case settles before negotiations or goes all the way to trial.
What if I Do Not Think I Was Injured in My Motorcycle Accident?
If you have been in a motorcycle accident, you should always get seen by a medical professional. In many accidents, victims' sustained injuries have delayed or mild symptoms. If these injuries go untreated, they can lead to further complications or more severe damage.
Besides the negative health ramifications, failing to diagnose your injuries as soon as possible after your accident can lead to them being left out of your lawsuit, as the insurance company will attribute them to another event.
How Much is My Motorcycle Accident Lawsuit Worth?
The value of a motorcycle accident lawsuit depends on a lot of different factors, including:
- Amount of Fault
- Amount of Damage
- Extent of Injuries
- Amount of Insurance Coverage Available
Depending on the details of your accident, your motorcycle accident lawyer will be able to draft a demand letter for the insurance company that will give an accurate estimate of the total amount of compensation you are entitled to.
If it was a fatal motorcycle accident, your lawyer can sue for wrongful death damages.
What Can I Be Compensated for if I Am Involved in a Motorcycle Accident?
If you are involved in a motorcycle accident, victims are entitled to receive many forms of compensation.
The compensatory damages you receive are broken down into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Usually, the main factors in a motorcycle accident injury lawsuit include:
- Property Damage
- Medical Bills
- Loss of Wages
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Consortium
- Loss of Companionship
- Loss of Quality of Life
You may also be awarded punitive damages. Punitive damages are in addition to compensatory damages and are meant to punish the liable party and keep others from doing the same thing.
It is vital to have an experienced motorcycle accident attorney on your side. Your lawyer will evaluate your unique situation to determine which of these should be included in your settlement and ensure that you get the maximum amount of financial restitution.
Motorcycle accident victims with legal representation almost always receive higher settlement amounts than those without.
How Long Will It Take To Get My Motorcycle Accident Settlement?
The length of time it takes for motorcycle accident victims to settle a motorcycle accident injury lawsuit depends on many different factors.
First, it depends on how soon after your accident you contact an attorney, and they can begin their investigation.
Second, the seriousness of the accident and the extent of the injuries can cause the length of time to increase. Often, insurance companies will want the injured persons to finish medical treatment and recovery so that the medical expenses are all accounted for before they settle.
It might take a long time for you to heal if you suffered any broken bones, a spinal cord injury, or a traumatic brain injury, so your case will take longer to settle. This is because your law firm will need your medical records to determine a proper settlement amount that covers all medical costs.
Your lawyer will also need time to collect witness contact information for witness statements to help your claim.
Finally, it depends on the size of the settlement. If your injuries are less severe, then your settlement from the negligent party is smaller, and you can resolve your case faster.
If you are going after a larger settlement, it may take longer and go to trial.
An experienced motorcycle accident lawyer will help you decide when to accept a settlement.
How Long After an Accident Do I Have to File a Motorcycle Accident Claim?
Depending on what state you live in, there are set laws called "Statute of Limitations" that determine how long an individual has to file a claim after their accident.
In Georgia, the statute of limitations to file a personal injury lawsuit is two years from the date of the accident. In South Carolina, it's three years from the date of the injury.
If you do not file your claim within this time period, the courts will usually not hear your case.
Although you have a long window to file your claim, the sooner you speak to a personal injury lawyer after your accident and file your claim, the greater your success rate and chance of a larger settlement.
What is Medical Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is when a health care professional, like a doctor or a provider, neglects to give appropriate treatment, takes an inappropriate action, or provides substandard treatment that causes harm, injury, or death to a patient.
Medical malpractice typically involves a medical error in diagnosis, medication dosage, health management, treatment, or aftercare. Fortunately, medical malpractice law allows patients to recover compensation for the harm that has resulted from sub-standard or negligent treatment.
What Must Be Proven in a Malpractice Case?
If a healthcare professional caused you or a family member injury, illness, or loss of life due to reckless acts or omission, you might be able to recover compensation.
The four elements that must be proven in a medical malpractice case are:
- Duty: The duty of care owed to patients.
- Dereliction: The breach of duty of care.
- Direct Cause: Establishing that the breach of duty of care caused injury to a patient.
- Damages: The non-economic and economic losses suffered by the patient due to their injury or illness.
A medical malpractice lawyer will seek evidence to prove these four elements of medical malpractice exist so they can win compensation for their client.
Whom Can I Sue in a Medical Malpractice Claim?
You can sue the person who committed the malpractice in a medical malpractice claim. The defendant is typically a doctor, but it could also be a nurse, anesthesiologist, or hospital staff member.
You can also sue multiple individuals if they all contributed to the error, especially if it is not immediately apparent who was responsible. In some cases, a hospital would be on the hook for an employee's mistake, and these exceptions may allow a patient to include the hospital in the lawsuit.
What Is the Standard of Care in Medical Malpractice Cases?
The standard of care in a medical malpractice case is the level and type of care a reasonably skilled and competent health care professional with a comparable background would provide under similar circumstances.
In a medical malpractice case, you need to ask, "Would a similarly skilled doctor have provided me with the same treatment under similar circumstances?" If the answer is "no," you may have a medical malpractice case.
Can I Sue if My Doctor Did Not Tell Me About the Risks of a Procedure?
Doctors and other healthcare professionals must inform their patients about the risks involved in any surgery or medical procedure they propose. Your doctor must let you know all the risks before performing a procedure, surgery, or mapping out a treatment plan.
If you believe your doctor failed to inform you of the risks of a medical procedure and you sustained an injury, you may be able to pursue a medical malpractice claim.
How Long Do I Have to File a Medical Malpractice Claim?
Depending on what state you live in, the statute of limitations on medical malpractice cases is between 1-5 years.
In Georgia, a victim has two years from the date of injury or death to file a lawsuit against a medical professional. Georgia law also establishes a five-year filing limit for circumstances when the health care provider's error was not discovered—and could not have been discovered immediately.
In South Carolina, the statute of limitations for filing a medical malpractice lawsuit is three years from the date of the medical procedure or three years from the date the injury was discovered.
If you think you have a medical malpractice case, you should speak to a licensed attorney so they can file your lawsuit as soon as possible.
What Is a Wrongful Death Claim?
If an individual is killed because of wrongful conduct, the victim's family and other beneficiaries may be able to file a wrongful death action against the person or entity responsible for the incident.
The actions that cause injury and result in death can be intentional or unintentional. For example, a blow to the head during an argument that results in the person's death is an intentional action. Yet a driver who unintentionally causes the death of another person in an accident can still be sued for wrongful death.
A wrongful death action differs from criminal charges, like murder. Neither of these two proceedings affects or controls the other. This means that the victim's family can still sue a defendant acquitted of murder in a civil action for wrongful death.
Another example is fetal wrongful death cases. In Georgia, the loss of an unborn child in an auto accident may be considered a wrongful death if the unborn child was “quick,” meaning the mother could feel the fetus moving inside the womb before the accident. This is usually around 4 months.
Wrongful death can also be applied to birth injuries that result in the death of the child. If the infant is born alive and later passes away because of an injury caused by a medical professional, the mother can sue for medical malpractice and wrongful death.
What Can I Be Compensated for in a Wrongful Death Case?
The damages in a wrongful death case are similar to those in a personal injury case, with a few additions.
A wrongful death claim can include compensatory damages for financial costs and emotional pain, like a personal injury claim. The victim may have endured all the difficulties of a personal injury before their death. In addition, the victim's family also endured emotional loss and financial loss.
There are different categories of losses and potential compensation in a wrongful death claim:
- The pain and suffering of the deceased person before passing away. This is also called a survival claim.
- Medical costs the deceased victim incurred before their death.
- The funeral and the burial costs.
- The loss of income of the deceased person.
- The loss of inheritance because of early death.
- The average value of the services that the deceased person could have provided.
- The loss of love and companionship to a spouse and children.
Punitive damages may be awarded to survivors in a wrongful death case if the defendant's actions are proven to be reckless. Punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault party and discourage their behavior in the future.
Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Wrongful death laws vary from state to state. Depending on the state, the following people can file a wrongful death lawsuit:
- The surviving spouse
- The victim's domestic partner
- The victim's children
- The victim's stepchildren
- The victim's parents
- The victim's siblings
- The victim's grandchildren
- Their estate's personal representative
Loved ones, like grandparents, siblings, long-time partners, or grandchildren, typically cannot file a wrongful death claim in many states, so it's best to ask your personal injury attorney what the wrongful death statutes are in your state.
What Is Wrongful Death Malpractice?
Medical malpractice is when a doctor or hospital causes an injury to a patient.
In medical malpractice cases where a victim loses their life, their loved ones or estate representatives may pursue a wrongful death claim to recover compensation for damages resulting from their loss.
Not all wrongful death cases involve medical malpractice, but some malpractice claims can lead to wrongful death lawsuits.
Common Types Of Accidents That Result In Wrongful Death
Unfortunately, any type of accident can lead to a fatal outcome.
Here are a few we see most often in our law office:
- Motor Vehicle Accidents
- Truck Accidents
- Motorcycle Accidents
- Pedestrian Accidents
- Bicycle Accident
- Defective Products
- Medical Malpractice
- On-the-Job Accidents
Does a Wrongful Death Have To Be Caused Intentionally?
Most of the time, wrongful deaths are unintentional acts. But wrongful deaths can be INTENTIONAL or UNINTENTIONAL.
For example, a blow to the head during an argument that later results in the person's death is a type of injury that is intentionally caused but resulted in death.
An example of an unintentional wrongful death is when the driver of a car unintentionally hits a motorcyclist causing a fatal accident. Or if a person neglects to enclose a swimming pool and a child falls in and drowns, they can be held responsible for their neglect.
What Qualifies as a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
A wrongful death claim is only applicable when a victim of a personal injury accident is killed because of the negligence of the person at fault or because of an intentional act of injury that resulted in death.
Here are the situations that wrongful death can be applicable.
- The victim dies because of medical malpractice. If, for example, a doctor fails to diagnose a condition and if the doctor was too careless in providing care and results in death, it is considered a wrongful act and can be taken against the doctor.
- Vehicular accident death because of negligence. A wrongful death claim is applicable when a victim dies because of car accident injuries.
- The victim is intentionally injured, but the defendant did not mean to kill the victim. For example, a victim is punched, but when he falls back, he hits his head on a table and dies from a head injury.
Who Is Entitled To Compensation Following a Wrongful Death?
Individuals entitled to wrongful death compensation will depend on the state statute. Some statutes provide for the recovery by the surviving spouse, next of kin, or children.
Some states allow a surviving spouse to take action even when they are separated unless the spouse is proven guilty of abandonment or if the spouse did not provide support. In some instances, the children will file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of their parents.
And parents will also be able to file a lawsuit for the wrongful death of their children.
There are some states where only minor children will be allowed to sue the one responsible for the wrongful death of their parents. And some state statutes will not allow the parents to file a suit for an adult child who is already financially independent or married.
In Georgia, the following surviving family may file a wrongful death claim:
- The deceased person's surviving spouse
- If there is no surviving spouse, the deceased person's surviving children
- If the descendent has no spouse or children, the deceased's parent or parents may file
- If there is no spouse, children, or parents, the administrator or executor of the deceased person's estate may file a claim
In South Carolina, the following surviving family members may file:
- The deceased's surviving spouse and children
- If there is no spouse or child, then the deceased person's surviving parents
- If there are no parents, spouse, or children, then the deceased person's heirs
What Must a Wrongful Death Attorney Prove When Filing a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?
For the defendant to be liable for the wrongful death claim, the plaintiff should be able to meet the proof required. This will be the same proof the deceased victim would have provided if they lived.
Using "negligence" against the defendant shows that the defendant needs to provide the victim with their deserved care. This also means that the defendant did not meet their required duties, and they caused the death of the victim. The victim's death also caused damages that the plaintiff is now trying to recover.
How Do You Prove "Negligence" In Wrongful Death Case?
Usually, the damages incurred in a wrongful death case are different from a standard negligence case. Still, the plaintiff should be able to prove this in the lawsuit.
The things that need to be proved are:
- Duty of Care - Whether the defendant owed a duty to the plaintiff.
- Breach of Duty - The negligent party breached their duty to the plaintiff.
- Cause of the Injury - The plaintiff must prove that the defendant's negligent actions were the actual cause of their injury.
- Proximate Cause of Harm - A defendant in a wrongful death case is only responsible for damages that the defendant could have expected from their actions.
- Damages - Physical damage to a person or to property.
How Are Wrongful Death Damages Calculated?
Certain factors must be considered when determining the monetary amount of damages for a wrongful death claim.
To calculate wrongful death compensation, the salary that the deceased could have earned will be multiplied by the possible number of years that the deceased could have lived and will be adjusted for inflation.
There are actual tables that personal injury lawyers use to show the average life expectancy depending on age and gender. The health status, as well as the nature of their work, will also be taken into consideration by the jury.
Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Wrongful Death Claim?
Technically you do not need a wrongful death attorney to help you file a wrongful death action. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding your loved one's death, you may want one during this difficult time.
Having an experienced attorney on your side will be helpful when negotiating settlements with insurance companies and other parties involved in the case. If you decide to hire a lawyer, you should choose one with a track record of successful personal injury cases.
The best lawyers specialize in this type of work because they know how to negotiate effectively with insurance companies and hold the liable parties accountable.
What Should I Do if I Was Injured While on the Job?
If you are ever injured at work, the most important thing you can do is report the injury immediately to a supervisor, preferably in writing. Some states have a short filing deadline (statute of limitations), so you need to file immediately to avoid losing any workers' compensation benefits from your employer.
Whether you think your injury requires it or not, you need to seek medical care immediately. When you seek medical care, it shows your employer that you took the injury seriously. This medical documentation can help with your workers' compensation claim.
Who Is Responsible for Making Sure That the Construction Site Where I Work Is Safe?
Construction companies are responsible for creating a safe and secure work environment for all employees on the job site. There should be standards in place requiring proper equipment, preventing hazards such as falls or electrical shocks, and maintaining a log of any injuries or illnesses.
These standards apply whether the workers are permanent or contract employees. Construction companies should always follow OSHA's guidelines for managing temporary and permanent workers to avoid unnecessary risk.
Can I File a Claim if I Have Workers' Compensation Insurance?
If you have an injury that requires medical treatment, you should file a workers' compensation claim. Likewise, you can file a workers' compensation claim if you seek treatment and incur a bill.
This includes injuries such as:
- Lacerations that require stitches
- Broken bones
- Deep bruises
- Muscle, tendon, and ligament tears
Some employers also require workers to report instances where an injury almost occurred to keep track of safety code violations.
Someone Other Than My Employer Caused My Injury. What Do I Do?
You can sue a third party for your injuries if they were responsible for injuring you at work.
Filing a personal injury lawsuit against a third party won't prevent you from receiving workers' compensation. Third-party personal injury claims help you recover more than what's available under your workers' compensation.
Suing a third party for a workplace injury follows the same general rules regarding negligence. Your attorney will have to prove that the third party was negligent and their negligence caused your injury.
An example of this is a road construction laborer. If a road crew is doing their job, and a car hits them because the driver was not paying attention, the road workers could sue the driver for compensation.
Nursing Home Abuse
How Do I Report Nursing Home Abuse?
If your loved one is being abused and is in immediate danger, call 911 to report nursing home abuse and get them help as soon as possible.
Other ways you can report nursing home abuse:
- Elder justice groups
- Local police or law enforcement
- Long-term care ombudsmen
- Medical professionals like doctors or nurses
- Contact a lawyer who specializes in nursing home abuse claims
It's estimated that only about 1 in 14 elder abuse cases gets reported. You should always report instances of possible nursing home abuse. Even if a resident is not willing or able to speak up, their family should take immediate action on their behalf.
What Do I Do if I Suspect Staff is Abusing Nursing Home Residents?
If you ever suspect a nursing home resident is being abused, report your suspicions immediately to the nursing home director. Family members, doctors, nurses, and staff need to be aware a claim has been made, and a full investigation should be conducted.
If you do not think that the director is taking care of the incident, contact a personal injury attorney.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect?
There are many signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect. The main types of nursing home abuse include:
- Neglect: This includes failing to treat bedsores, infrequent check-ins, etc.
- Physical Abuse: This involves hitting, pushing, punching, etc.
- Mental / Psychological Abuse: Verbal abuse, screaming, intimidation, insulting, withholding mail, etc.
- Sexual Abuse: Using residents for sexual gratification. This is more common with female residents and patients with Alzheimer's or dementia.
- Exploitation: Manipulating residents to give them money or favors.
Should I Move My Parent When Abuse Is Reported at Their Nursing Home?
Sometimes there is no choice but to relocate a parent who has reportedly been abused, mistreated, or neglected at a nursing home.
You may need to relocate your loved one if:
- There is any suspicion of neglect or abuse
- The nursing home uses abusive tactics to transfer or move the patient
- The nursing center cannot provide proper care
- The nursing facility neglects the care required for specific health conditions
You should also file a formal complaint to relocate a loved one in an unsafe or abusive situation in the nursing home. Contact a personal injury lawyer to look into the matter so that no other residents have to suffer.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is when residents of nursing homes suffer physical, emotional, or psychological harm due to their caregivers' negligent or intentional acts. Nursing homes can be held liable for nursing home abuse for inadequate care, negligence in screening employees, inadequate supervision, or improper facilities maintenance.
A nursing home resident in a home that participates in the federal Medicare program has the legal right to be free from physical abuse, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, mental abuse, and medical restraints for punishment or convenience.
Slip and Fall
Who Can Be Held Liable in a Slip and Fall Case?
A slip and fall accident is a form of negligence that falls under the umbrella of premises liability. Premise liability law states that property owners are legally responsible for any injuries on their premises if they are a direct result of the property owner's negligence. A landlord or manager of a store may also be held liable.
What Are Common Causes for Slip and Falls?
Some common causes of slip and falls are:
- Hazardous Areas: Hazardous areas on an owner's property that are likely to lead to a slip and fall accident may include things like wet floors. Wet floors increase the risk of falls, especially where floors are made of smooth, waxed tile.
- Inclement Weather: Snow, sleet, rain, and ice can quickly create dangerous conditions. These conditions increase the risk of falls on the outside areas of businesses and homes.
- Building Structure or Building Conditions: The condition of a structure may increase the risk of injury to visitors. Dangerous conditions on a property make it difficult to navigate safely. This is a common type of accident on construction sites.
I Fell on a Friend's Property, But I Don't Want to Sue Them.
If you sustain an injury at a friend's house, you probably don't want to sue your friend. But when you have thousands in medical debt because of a genuine accident, you need to be compensated.
Typically, homeowner's insurance covers slip and fall accidents. Therefore, the question becomes whether the homeowner could have corrected the problem that led to the slip or trip. A slip and fall claim is often possible even if the homeowner was unaware of a leak, exposed root system, or instability in flooring.
What Are the Elements of a Slip and Fall Case?
The elements of a slip and fall claim are:
1. There's a Hazard on the Property: Property owners must keep their premises safe for guests and visitors. It should be free of hazards that could cause injury to others.
2. The Victim Was Allowed on the Property: If you want your slip and fall accident claim to be valid, you must have been on the property legally during the accident.
3. The Hazard Injured the Victim: Next, it has to be determined if your injury was directly caused by a hazard created by the property owner's negligence.
4. The Victim Suffered Damages Due to the Property Owner's Negligence: You must have also suffered injuries and damages due to your slip and fall injury to have a valid slip and fall injury claim. This includes financial losses that you incurred due to suffering an injury.
Can I Get Compensation for a Dog Bite?
You can recover fair and adequate compensation for your losses and damages as a dog bite victim. You should be compensated for the medical bills, expenses of transportation for medical appointments, future medical costs, loss of income, and future loss of income or opportunity.
You can also be compensated for mental suffering resulting from the attack.
What Do I Do if I Was Bitten by a Neighbor's Dog?
If your neighbor's dog bit you, the first thing you should do is seek medical attention for your injuries. Dog bites carry a high risk of infection, so follow all your doctor's orders and save all paperwork related to your treatment.
Once you've received treatment, you need to speak to a skilled dog bite attorney to advocate for the total and fair compensation you need to heal.
Is It Worth Suing for Dog Bite?
It is always worth suing for a dog bite injury if it is severe. If the dog bite is serious, you have likely incurred significant damages like medical bills, lost wages, or permanent scarring.
You should pursue legal action in cases like these. Even if the bite was minor, you still might be able to recover compensation.
What Are the Main Causes of Pedestrian Accidents?
The most common causes of accidents involving pedestrians include:
- Left-Hand Turns: It's estimated that three times as many people get hit by cars turning left than vehicles turning right. This is true even at intersections with signals and crosswalks.
- Distracted Drivers: Distracted driving is the leading cause of many types of accidents. Many pedestrian accidents occur when the driver isn't paying attention to the road.
- Unmarked Crosswalks: Many intersections have lined, designated crosswalks, but some don't. The absence of a clearly marked crosswalk can make drivers forget to look for pedestrians.
Where Do Most Pedestrian Accidents Occur?
Here are a few places pedestrian accidents are most likely to occur:
- Urban Areas: Most of these accidents (about 81% of all fatal pedestrian accidents) occur in urban areas
- Intersections: A considerable amount of pedestrian fatalities occur on sections of the road with no intersection. Pedestrians are often hit while walking along the road or otherwise sharing spaces with motorists.
- Roadsides or Shoulders: Pedestrians often walk in areas not designated explicitly for pedestrians, like highways or busy streets with narrow shoulders. Motorists in these areas may not anticipate pedestrians to be present.
What Do I Do After a Pedestrian Accident?
Right after a pedestrian accident, you need to get medical treatment for your injuries. If you can, take as many photos of the accident scene as you can. Exchange contact info and insurance info with the parties involved, including eyewitnesses. Always call the police to the accident scene to get a police report.
When Is a Pedestrian at Fault for a Car Accident?
In pedestrian accidents, the driver of the vehicle is typically at fault. But that is not always the case. For example, if a pedestrian unexpectedly steps into a road and a car hits them, the driver might not be liable. Any time a pedestrian fails to exercise reasonable care and that failure causes a car accident, the pedestrian could be considered at fault.
Are Drivers Always at Fault in Bicycle Accidents?
The assumption is often made that drivers are always liable for bicycle accidents. However, cyclists have their own rules of the road they must follow. If the cyclist does not abide by these rules, they could be partially liable for the crash. For example, cyclists who don't fully stop at a red light or stop sign or ride against traffic may share fault if a collision occurs.
What Do You Do After a Bicycle Accident?
Knowing what to do after a bike accident can make a big difference in protecting your legal rights and injury recovery.
The following steps can help you maintain control and preserve critical information after the accident:
1. Wait for the police to arrive.
2. Never negotiate with the motorist.
3. Obtain driver information.
4. Obtain witness contact information.
5. Document what happened by taking notes and photos with your smartphone.
6. Make sure the police make a report.
7. Seek immediate medical attention and document your injuries.
Can I Recover Damages Through Car Insurance After a Bicycle Crash?
Car insurance in the United States typically covers cyclists that suffer injuries in an accident with someone driving a car. The coverage is often through uninsured motorist coverage or personal injury protection.
Cyclists may also be covered by their personal health insurance policy. Some bikers even carry insurance for the bicycle and liability costs through a homeowner's or renter's insurance policy.
Always call the police to file a report and seek immediate medical attention. If you are unsure how to proceed, contact a licensed personal injury attorney to help you through the claims process.
A Vehicle on the Road Changed Lanes With No Blinker and Caused Me To Crash, Resulting in Injuries. Do I Have a Claim?
Turn signals are necessary to tell everyone on the road where a vehicle is going. Any car that makes a sudden turn or spontaneous lane change without signaling can cause an accident.
If you are riding your bike and you are in an accident because a driver didn't use their turn signal, you can file a personal injury claim to receive compensation for your damages.
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