How to Talk to Witnesses for Your Personal Injury Claim
Advice from Our Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Witness statements can make or break your personal injury claim. If you have no witnesses or do not want to name any witnesses, then you will look suspicious. Therefore, as soon as you call a personal injury lawyer, you should find witnesses and talk to them. The longer you wait, the more likely they are to give distorted statements because most people quickly forget the details of events that doesn’t actually involve them. Who can be your witness? A witness is a person who actually saw the accident happen. But he or she could also be a person who did not actually see the accident, but who arrived at the scene of accident soon after and saw that you were injured or had suffered damages. A witness could also be someone who heard an involved party talking about the accident implying that the accident happened due to the fault of someone other than you. How to approach witnesses? Talk to the people who are or were at the scene of accident. Introduce yourself. Ask them politely about what they saw and where exactly they were. Ask them if they would be able to give a statement. If they are unwilling or uncooperative, do not push them. You want them to be on your side, so do not say anything that might irritate them or scare them away. If the witness is someone you know, then things will be much easier. What to do if a witness refuses to talk? A witness may refuse to talk for reasons of his/her own. If that happens, then there is nothing you are can do. You cannot force him/her to talk or give a written statement. You cannot threaten him/her. You cannot bribe him/her. The only thing you can do is get a subpoena from the court once you have filed a lawsuit. A subpoena is a writ ordering a person to appear in a court. What to do if a witness agrees to talk? If a witness is cooperative and agrees to talk, then write down his/her name, address and phone number. Explain to him/her that you may need a written statement to corroborate the facts you have presented. With the consent of the witness, write down what he/she has told you as soon as possible. You can write it on the spot if you can. Send a typed copy to him/her, requesting him/her to review it and sign it, and then send it back to you. If a witness agrees with your version of what happened, but has reservations about getting involved (which often happens), then write down what he/she has told you and ask them to sign it. Don’t forget to get their name, address and phone number. What rights does the witness have? Even after agreeing to become a witness, the witness has the right to refuse to make his/her phone number public, refuse to give written statement, reject an in-person meeting, and refuse to take part in a recorded interview. However, you may politely request them to agree to these things. The witness can withhold as much personal information as he/she wishes. He is not required to revisit the scene of the crash if he/she doesn’t wish to. He/she doesn’t have to sign on any written document if he/she doesn’t want to. Once he/she has been interviewed by the adjuster, he/she doesn’t have to repeat himself/herself to any other representatives of the insurer. What can you NOT say to a witness? You can’t tell a witness to withhold any information that might put you in trouble. You can’t feed your witness statements that you want emphasized. You can’t instruct him/her to say the things that you want to be said. Your witnesses have the ability to make or break your case with what they say. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can help you gather witness statements to strengthen your claim.
Getting Back On Your Motorcycle After A Crash
A bad motorcycle crash can result in serious injuries requiring days or even weeks in the hospital followed by a lengthy rehabilitation process. But it’s not just the physical injuries that will make you think long and hard before getting back on your motorcycle again. The psychological trauma you have experienced can leave you unable to ride for the rest of your life. If the crash was caused by another vehicle, then talk to reputable motorcycle accident lawyers as soon as you can. You want to start riding again, but fear is stopping you. You do have the ability to overcome your fear, but it will take some effort and work. Here is how to get back on your motorcycle after a particularly bad crash. Receiving Treatment for Your Injuries The most important thing after you are injured in a crash is to get medical treatment. Even if the injuries do not look serious, go to the hospital and have a medical checkup because you may have sustained internal injuries. If you have one or more broken bones, then get them x-rayed and receive a plaster cast as soon as possible. If the doctor recommends a hospital stay, then get yourself admitted and stay there for as long as is necessary. After you are discharged, the doctor may recommend a period of rehabilitation, which may include a stay in a rehabilitation center, physiotherapy, and other types of therapies to restore your health and mobility. The entire treatment process may take several months. However, it is important that you recover fully before trying to ride again. Receiving Treatment for PTSD If you were involved in a really bad motorcycle accident, then you may have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is a mental health problem that some people have after they have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, such as an accident, combat, or sexual assault. The symptoms of PTSD include frequently reliving the event, recurring nightmares about the event, images of trauma that follow you wherever you go, inability to fall asleep, change in eating patterns, and the urge to avoid people, places, things, and situations that remind you of the event. The most common treatment for PTSD is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which includes cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and medication. CBT can last from three to six months. In cognitive therapy, your therapists will help you understand how your trauma is causing stress, and teach you how to replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. In exposure therapy, your therapist will talk about the trauma repeatedly and teach you to conquer your fear of the trauma. In EMDR, your therapist will help you change the way you react to the memories of your trauma. Medication may include serotonin, which can lessen your worries and sadness. Getting Back on Your Motorcycle Once you have fully recovered, both physically and psychologically, you can get back on your motorcycle. You may feel a little apprehensive the first time. Most experienced bikers will tell you that getting back sooner rather than later is better. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can immediately start riding like you used to before the crash. Take it slow and easy. Take only short rides for the first few days and then gradually increase the distance as your confidence builds up. Pretty soon, you will be riding like before. Get Legal Representation from Qualified Motorcycle Accident Lawyers Now, while you are recovering from your physical injuries and psychological trauma, don’t forget one very important thing: to file a personal injury claim if another motorist was responsible for the accident. Medical bills, rehabilitation, and therapies can cost you a lot of money. You can recover the costs and other expenses with a fair settlement. So, talk to the skilled and experienced motorcycle accident lawyers at Wilshire Law Firm as soon as you are able to.
Filing an Injury Claim as a Passenger
Passengers Are Entitled to Damages After a Car Accident Passengers account for a significant portion of car accident fatalities and injuries every year. This is perhaps because they are normally caught unawares in most accidents, in contrast to drivers, who sometimes have a few milliseconds to ‘prepare’ themselves or to brace themselves for oncoming collisions. When injured in an accident, there are various steps that you as passenger should take to get compensation for hospital bills and other damages. The first and most important step is to seek the advice of an experienced car accident attorney. As a passenger who has sustained injuries in an accident, you have an easier case to prove than the driver, that you are not liable for the damages resulting from the accident. However, just like any other personal injury claim, you should still be able to prove who is liable for the accident and that the damages were directly caused by the accident. Determining liability If the car accident involved two cars, one of the car drivers is without a doubt liable. It is nearly impossible to have an accident involving two cars without one of the drivers being found negligent in one way or another. On the other hand, if the car accident just involved one car (for example the driver hitting a tree) then the car driver is liable. If the driver collides with an object other than a vehicle, then he/she did most likely something which amounts to negligence. However, there are some exceptions – for instance, a deer runs onto the road out of nowhere and the driver cannot possibly avoid hitting it. Filing the claim A passenger injury claim is similar to all other car accident claims, the only difference being that you, the passenger, is the claimant suing the driver(s). If more than one driver was found to be at fault you would need to get the insurance information of each drivers, and file claims with their respective insurance company. Your car accident attorney can easily do this for you. If only one of the drivers is found to be at fault, then you will file a claim only against the insurance company of the driver found solely to be at fault. In most cases, passenger injury claims are easily settled, but there are various instances that these cases can be a bit difficult to settle. In such cases, you can rely on the experience of your car accident attorney to win you the case. Multiple passenger injury claims In cases where multiple passengers sustain damages in a crash and sue the driver, the value of compensation you could get could be limited to the total value of the at-fault driver’s injury coverage. Depending on the circumstances, each claimant usually gets a portion of the total insurance policy coverage. Legal assistance Being involved in a car accident can be a difficult and confusing experience. Your first obligation is to get medical treatment. Afterward, you ought to discuss your legal options with a car accident attorney. If you have been injured in a car accident as a passenger, you might be entitled to compensation for all resulting damages. For your claim to be successful, it is crucial to discuss the circumstances of your accident with an experienced car accident attorney who can assist you in determining which claims to file and also protect your legal rights.
Looking at the Future of Autonomous Semi-Trucks
Big Rig Accident Lawyers Say Change Is on the Horizon Trucking is a huge business in the United States and around the world. Every year, America’s hardworking truckers collectively haul more than 10 billion tons of freight over North America’s roads and highways. Without them, USA’s economy would grind to a halt. But it looks like their days of glory are coming to an end. The arrival of self-driving autonomous trucks has put their profession at risk of becoming history. Even if they can survive the age of automation, things will not be the same anymore, as any big rig accident lawyers can tell you. The technology is already there It is a well-known fact that companies like Google and Tesla have been working hard to develop driverless cars. In fact, some prototypes have already hit the road with some success, making international news headlines. What most people don’t know is that a number of truck manufacturers are in the game, too. In fact, the technology is already there. German automotive company Daimler, the world’s biggest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, is testing a self-driving truck in Germany and Nevada. Recently, a convoy of semi-autonomous trucks drove twelve hundred miles across the European continent. Mining giant Rio Tinto is already using 45 driverless trucks to move iron ores in its Australian mines. Driverless trucks are expected to hit the road soon Compared to driverless cars, which still need to win over skeptical buyers (it looks like it will take a long time for people to warm up the idea of robots driving them around), driverless autonomous semi-trucks have a much better chance of hitting America’s roads much sooner. Why? The reason is economics. Freight companies are always looking for ways to cut costs. It is estimated that the use of automated self-driving trucks will help the US freight transportation industry save $168 billion annually. That’s a huge amount of money going straight into the operators’ coffers, which makes these new breed of trucks all the more irresistible to them. Savings in costs will come not only from laying off workers (an estimated $70 billion), but also from fuel efficiency ($35 billion), increase in productivity ($27 billion) and decrease in accidents ($36 billion). Yes, self-driving autonomous semi-trucks consume less fuel, can drive at all hours, and are safer on the road than conventional human-driven trucks. The reason they aren’t already on the road So what’s preventing trucking companies from acquiring self-driving autonomous trucks and putting them on the road? First, the technology is still new. It will take a while before such trucks are fully tried and tested on America’s highways. The second, and more important, reason is legislation. Self-driving autonomous trucks will have a huge impact on the US economy. Currently, the trucking industry is the largest employer in 29 of USA’s 50 states. There are 3.5 million professional truck drivers in the USA and an additional 5.2 million people who don’t drive trucks but provide support to the drivers, according to the American Truckers Association. The loss of such a huge number of jobs that can result from the wholesale adoption of autonomous trucks by the trucking companies can have catastrophic effects on the US economy and politics. There will likely be protests and violence across the nation. Therefore, it will take a while before regulations can be formulated to allow long-haul self-driving trucks on America’s highways. The future belongs to automated trucks Despite the obstacles and oppositions, there is little doubt among truck manufacturers and freight companies that the future belongs to automated self-driving trucks. So, the question is not if they will ever be allowed to operate on America’s highways, but whether humans will still be needed to operate them. Currently, the technology that makes it possible for automated trucks to work independently 100 percent of the time doesn’t exist, which means they will need some form of human control. So, there is hope yet for truck drivers. But their job will be different. Instead of driving, they will likely be handling more mundane things like paperwork, routing, and scheduling. If you would like to know about truck accident claims relating to self-driving automated semi-trucks, then contact big rig accident lawyers. They will explain to you all you need to know in detail. (#case-consultation-form-container)FREE 24/7 Consultation
What Is the Anti-Coercion Rule
Answers Provided by Our Experienced Truck Accident Lawyers The anti-coercion rule is a new federal rule that makes it illegal for commercial carriers, shippers, and brokers to pressure truck drivers to operate their vehicles beyond federal regulations. Effective from January 29, 2016, this rule is designed to make trucks safer and to protect truckers from threats of economic harm (loss of business or pay). A trucker who has been coerced can now file complaints for coercion with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Talk to truck accident lawyers to find out how you can file truck accident claims. Scott Darling, FMCSA Acting Administrator, said this about the anti-coercion rule: “Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion. No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road.” When does coercion occur? According to the anti-coercion rule, coercion occurs when a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or a transportation intermediary threatens to fire, suspend, withhold work, or punish a truck driver to coerce him to operate a vehicle in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSR), the Federal Motor Carrier Commercial Regulations (FMCCRs), and the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs). Coercion may be deemed to have occurred even if the violation has not taken place. A truck driver can file a complaint for coercion with the FMCSA if the following has occurred: A motor carrier, shipper, receiver or transportation intermediary requests him to perform a task that would result in violation of the provisions of the FMCSRs, FMCCRs and HMRs, such as driving beyond the number of hours allowed by the hours-of-service rule. He declines to perform the task on the basis that complying with the request would result in him violating certain provisions of the FMCSRs, FMCCRs, and HMRs. The person who made the request then threatens him or takes action against him to force him to comply with his request. How to file a coercion complaint? A truck driver can file a coercion complain with the division office of Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) or with the National Consumer Complaint Database (NCCD). The complaint must be in writing and can be posted by mail. To be able to file a coercion complaint, the driver must have stated explicitly upon receiving the request that he or she cannot perform the requested task without violating the applicable regulations and that the coercing entity must have explicitly given threats or taken actions against him. However, it is not necessary for violation to have occurred. In order to ensure that this has happened, the complaint must be accompanied by supporting information as evidence of coercion, such as text messages or email exchanges between the driver and the coercing party, and the names of individuals who may have been a witness to the act of coercion. The complaint must be filed within 90 days of the day the alleged coercion happened. What are the penalties for coercion? The FMCSA has set a hefty fine for coercion. If a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or a transportation intermediary is found to have been guilty of coercing a truck driver to perform a task in violation of the FMCSRs, FMCCRs, and HMRs, then he or she may be fined a sum of up to $16,000. However, as of this date, there is no provision for coercion claim since the agency is not in a position to enforce claims. However, the FMCSA is planning to in conjunction work with the Occupational Safety Hazard Administration of the Department of Labor on coercion claim. This means that in the future, coerced truck drivers will be able to file claims for back wages and punitive damages. You can talk to truck accident lawyers to find out if and how this law can affect your truck accident claim. ? (#case-consultation-form-container)FREE 24/7 Consultation
The Dangers of Truck Tire Blowouts
Tire Blowouts Can Cause Major Big Rig Accidents As a nation that relies heavily on trucks, big rigs, 18-wheelers, and semi-trucks to transport inland freight, tire blowouts are common on America’s highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), tire blowouts account for more than 12,000 truck accidents annually, many of them causing injuries and fatalities, not to mention property damage. If you are injured as result of a truck tire blowup, talk to experienced big rig accident attorneys immediately. Causes of tire blowouts On average, truck tires have a pressure of 75,000 lbs. weighing down on them at any given time. At the same time, they are forced to turn for hundreds of miles without stopping. The tremendous strain subjects the rubber to a lot of wear and tear, making it ripe for a blowout. When the air pressure inside the tire builds up, the tire can explode. Tire blowups can happen due the following reasons: Overinflated tires: When tires are overinflated, the heat from the hot sun, asphalt, and friction raises the temperature of the air inside them, causing the air to expand until the rubber stretches beyond its limit and gives way with an explosion. Underinflated tires: Underinflated tires are put under even more stress, transferring the weight of the load to their internal components and forcing them to flex past their limit. At the same time, the heat buildup inside the tires causes the rubber to crack and explode. Overloaded vehicles: Overloading is a common problem in the trucking industry. Overloading puts added pressure on tires that are already under tremendous pressure, causing even perfect tires to blowout. Wear and tear: Truck tires operate under tremendous pressure day in and day out. Quite often, they have to run cracked and pothole-filled roads. All these combine to put them through a lot of wear and tear over time. A worn out tire can easily blowout when the air pressure inside it builds up. Road hazards: Roads cannot be expected to be smooth and shiny everywhere. Truckers often have to face road hazards like cracked road surfaces and potholes, which can tear and damage the tires over time. Damaged tires can easily blow up under extra weight or heat. Consequences of tire blowups Tire blowouts are not like a flat tire. They can be extremely dangerous – to both the truck and to other vehicles near the truck. Not only can they cause the truck to become unstable and go out of control and collide into other vehicles, but flying fragments of exploded tires can also imperil the lives of the people in vehicles and pedestrians. The main consequences of a tire blowup are as follows: Truck driver may lose control: The force of the explosion along with the instability of the trailer when having to balance on the suddenly uneven tires may cause the truck driver to swerve and lose control and even tip over. The result, as you can imagine, can be catastrophic. Flying tire debris may hit other vehicles and pedestrians: When a tire blows out, the force of explosion rips the tire apart, sending large and small chunks of rubber flying in every direction. If there are other vehicles and pedestrians in the path of the flying debris, the result can be deadly. The cargo may become loose: The trailer may open and release the cargo all over the road, creating hazards for other vehicles. It may cause other drivers to panic: Truck tire blowups are usually very loud, which is enough to frighten many people. Seeing the truck go out of control after that may cause panic among other drivers and may cause them to swerve, brake, or speed up irrationally, further adding to the chaos. The only way to prevent tire blowups is proper maintenance. Trucking companies must maintain a regular maintenance schedule and ensure that their vehicles fulfill all safety requirements at all times. If you or a loved one is injured in a truck tire blowup, contact big rig accident attorneys immediately to find out how you can get compensated. (#case-consultation-form-container)FREE 24/7 Consultation