Many of us are familiar with whiplash, not to mention the various head injuries that are often the unfortunate result of a brutal car crash. But what is less well known is that knee injuries are also commonly caused by car crashes.
Because car crashes sometimes happen at high speeds, the force of suddenly coming to a stop can hurl people against each other and against the insides of the car. If two or more cars crash into each other at high speeds, the damage can be even more severe.
Due to the amount of collision that tends to happen in car accidents (both inside and outside the vehicle) fractures are a common result of car accidents, especially knee fractures. If you notice any discoloration, misshapenness, or even the knee bone protruding out of the skin, you have a knee fracture. At the very least you will need to wear a cast, with surgery being recommended in some of the more extreme cases.
Dislocations are less common than fractures, but no less serious. If left untreated, a dislocated bone can cut off the blood supply to the bone (or other parts of the body), which could ultimately lead to the amputation of the limb if not treated right away.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are the results of stretching joints too far and/or in directions they should not be stretched. This is common in car accidents as body parts are forced into unnatural positions and the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around the joint become torn or damaged. Sprains and strains are given one of three grades, based on the amount of pain experienced as a result, with Grade I being assigned to those injuries with minimal pain and Grade III representing the most amount of pain.
The cartilage around your knee is there to act as a sort of shock absorber, but the force experienced in a car crash can exceed the amount of force the cartilage can handle, resulting in tears. Torn cartilage around the knee is also commonly experienced along with knee sprains and strains, since both tend to be caused by the knee getting forced into unnatural positions. In most cases, time and rest are all that’s needed to heal sprains, strains, and torn cartilage, although in some cases, surgery may be required.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Injury
The ACL is the ligament that runs across the knee to stabilize and strengthen the joint. Damage to that ligament is a serious injury and can result in the inability to walk or exert any kind of pressure with that leg. Immediate medical attention is required after sustaining an ACL injury. Surgery is usually required, followed by ongoing medical treatment.
In addition to the costs of medical treatment (which can easily exceed $10,000 if surgery is required), many people file claims for intangible damages as a result of having sustained a knee injury in a car crash. Even after treatment has been administered, many people report a loss or reduction of strength and motion in that leg for the rest of their lives after the accident, inhibiting their ability to work, play, perform household chores, and/or conduct errands.
If you’ve been in a car accident recently and sustained a significant knee injury, you could be eligible to collect damages. Contact a personal injury attorney today to discuss whether you might have a case.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
A deer can do a lot of damage to a vehicle. They’re big and heavy and have things like hooves, and sometimes antlers, all of which can do serious damage to your car. If your car isn’t totaled after hitting a deer (which it very well might be), then it will certainly need a lot of time in a repair shop, and that’s never cheap. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average cost per claim filed for a deer-related accident was just under $4,000 in 2016.
Make Sure You Have the Right Insurance
If you drive in an area where you know deer tend to be active (or you’re going to be traveling to a rural area in the near future), you might want to check with your insurance agent to make sure you’re covered in case you hit a deer. But it’s not just hitting a deer you need to worry about – there’s also the possibility that you’ll brake and/or swerve to avoid hitting the deer, only to hit another car or a light pole. These are two different types of accidents that require two different types of insurance, so make sure you’re covered for all possible scenarios.
Collision vs Comprehensive Insurance
If you have comprehensive insurance on your car, then any damage caused by a deer should be covered by your insurance. Just keep in mind that your insurance will cover the costs of the damage only if a deer actually makes contact with your vehicle. That means that if you swerve to avoid hitting a deer and crash into a tree, those expenses would not be covered by comprehensive insurance – although they would be covered by collision insurance.
Collision coverage is just what it sounds like: it’s coverage that’s meant to cover the costs associated with your car running into something – such as another car, a tree, a light pole, etc. All of those are considered to be significantly different from the random act of a deer running across the road in front of you. That’s why direct deer-related accidents are paid for by comprehensive insurance, rather than collision insurance.
Regardless of which type of insurance you need, don’t forget to factor in the deductibles and limits. All insurance plans require you to pay a portion of the damages before the insurance will kick in and they all have limits to how much they’ll pay. If the damages incurred exceed what the insurance company deems to be the current value of your car, they will consider the car to have been totaled and will pay you for the value of the car.
Timing Is Everything
There are certain times of the day, and of the year, when deer are more active than they are at other times. If you live in a rural area, or regularly drive over a stretch of road where deer are often seen, be careful when driving through these areas before sunset, at night, and shortly after dawn, especially from October through December. It’s deer hunting season for a reason, so you want to be extra careful when driving through rural areas around that time of the year.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Car insurance can get expensive, and when you’re strapped for cash, it can be tempting to look at the insurance as one payment you can forego. But is this something you can really do without?
Below are some reasons car insurance is a necessity, not a luxury.
There is no federal law requiring drivers to have car insurance, but every state requires drivers to carry some type of coverage.
Can’t Get a Loan or a Lease Without One
Most banks require you to buy car insurance as a condition of providing you with a car loan or lease to get the car. They know if you get in an accident and can’t pay for the damages, you’ll be less likely to be able to pay back the loan or keep up with your lease payments. So, they’re trying to protect you, as well as their own assets, by making sure all their borrowers have the proper insurance coverage.
Protect Your Finances
The cost of a car crash can go far beyond the cost of repairing the car itself. Depending on the extent of the damage, the car may be totaled (which means it will need to be replaced), people may need medical attention, and medical bills can pile up very quickly. If they’re hurt badly enough that they can’t work for a period of time, you may also have to pay them for that lost income. The same is true of legal bills if you have a dispute with anyone else who was involved in the crash. Even a few hours of an attorney’s time can easily reach hundreds of dollars, not to mention the costs of actually going to court, paying court fees, etc.
Without insurance, all that could come out of your own pocket.
Protect Your Passengers
It’s bad enough if you get injured in a car crash and can’t afford to pay your own medical bills, but what about if someone else is in the car with you and they get injured and neither of you can cover their medical bills? As the driver, you are responsible for their safety, which means you will also be liable for any medical bills to treat injuries from a crash you caused while behind the wheel. If you both get injured, you’re responsible for their medical bills, as well as your own.
If you get injured in an accident and neither you nor the other driver has any insurance, you’ll have to pay for all your own expenses, including medical bills. If the other driver is at fault and they don’t have insurance, you can try to sue them for damages to get them to pay for your medical bills, but if they can’t afford insurance, chances are they won’t be able to afford to cover your healthcare needs either.
Carrying insurance is about protecting yourself and those around you. The costs of a car crash can easily reach tens of thousands of dollars, which is more than enough to bankrupt a lot of people. By buying insurance and paying your dues regularly, you can protect yourself from financial ruin and ensure you can get back on your feet that much faster after the accident.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
It’s never easy to make the decision to move a loved one out of their home and into a nursing home or assisted living facility. It can be hard to take away some of their independence, but even more frightening is the thought of making them vulnerable and dependent upon another to provide care. When you put your loved one in someone else’s care, you are trusting those people with the people you love most, and sadly, not every company or person is worthy of that trust.
Here are some things you can do ahead of time to prevent your nearest and dearest from suffering at the hands of elder abuse.
Do Your Research
Before deciding on a nursing home or assisted living, ask around. Do you have any friends whose parents have moved into a nursing home or assisted living? What has their experience been like?
Take a tour of each building you’re considering for your loved one and look around carefully. Is it clean? How do the residents look?
Talk with the staff. Ask questions. See how they respond, how they behave around the residents, and determine if they’re people you can trust.
Get a power of attorney and/or a will before your loved one loses the capacity to make decisions for themselves. This will help protect their assets and make it easier for you to protect them, including making legal decision for them if anything does go wrong.
Visit your loved one early and often. Predators prey on the weak and the isolated, and one of the best ways you can protect your loved one is by simply being there and showing the staff you’re looking out for them.
The next part of that is to actually look out for your loved one. Know the signs of elder abuse, and know that the victim will rarely, if ever, tell you about it, so just asking how they are isn’t enough. Take note of any changes in behavior, weight, and any signs of injury. If you see anything suspicious, take note of it and take pictures.
Talk with the Staff
Ask about what medications your loved one is on and write it all down so you can keep track of it. Talk to the staff if you see anything suspicious. If nothing seems to change after you bring up a serious concern, you might want to consider alerting the authorities.
Know the signs of elder abuse and what to do about it if the unthinkable does happen. Know the requirements for filing a complaint within the nursing home or assisted living in which your loved one is residing, as well as the legal options available to you within your own state, county and city. Elder abuse isn’t tolerated anywhere, but the specifics protecting you and your loved one vary depending on where you’re located, so be sure to keep yourself updated on all the laws pertaining to elder abuse governing your area.
f you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
The kinds of injuries you might be prone to at work will depend on the kind of work you do, but there are some common ones, of which you might not even be aware. For example, many people don’t think of themselves as being prone to workplace injuries if they have a desk job, but the fact is that sitting at a computer all day can result in a variety of specific injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Here are some of the most common workplace injuries that might affect you, regardless of what kind of job you have:
Slips, trips, and falls
If you slip, trip, or fall on your employer’s property and suffer significant injuries as a result, your employer will likely be responsible for paying any medical costs associated with those injuries. Sidewalks that are icy, damaged or unrepaired are all examples of hazards with the potential to cause unwary employees harm. Because it is the employer’s responsibility to maintain the safety standards of their property, they are responsible for any injury suffered by someone working for them on their property.
Muscle Strains and Repetitive Strain Injuries
Carpal tunnel syndrome falls under this category. It generally results from holding your arms and hands in the same position (i.e. at a keyboard) and performing the same movements (such as typing or controlling a mouse) over and over.
But carpal tunnel syndrome is hardly the only injury to fall into this category. Any job where you’re performing the same motions over and over again has the potential to result in muscle strain and/or tendonitis (when the tendon becomes inflamed) in any part of the body that is repeatedly performing the same motions.
Inhaling Toxic Fumes
This is another one people tend to associate with something like factory work, but in fact many people have sued their employers for hazardous working conditions if the building they were working in contains something like asbestos.
Employers can also be held responsible for covering medical costs associated with other construction issues, such as mold, if they start making people sick or causing them to get injured.
Exposure to Loud Noises
Not only is it distracting, but it can also cause serious damage, including a certain amount of hearing loss. Workers who work in noisy industries (construction, factories, train stations, etc.) are most likely to suffer injuries from repeated and/or extended exposure to loud noises.
Being Hit by Falling Objects
This is another one that applies to as many office workers as factory or construction workers. Objects falling off shelves or storage units can cause serious injuries to office workers, especially if they don’t see it coming.
If you’ve been injured at work, call a competent personal injury attorney right away. Even if your employer is eager to pay up and put the matter behind them, don’t accept anything without first talking to a lawyer. They know all your rights and can protect you.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury or some other type of accident, work related or not, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.
The driver who caused the crash is responsible for paying any and all damages that may result from the crash. That includes damage done to both vehicles, other drivers, and any and all passengers in either vehicle who may have been injured. As a passenger in a car crash, and absent unique circumstances, you would not be responsible for the crash. Therefore, passengers have a claim against the at-fault driver(s) for their injuries and financial losses. Remember, if the driver of your vehicle caused a crash, you have a claim against that driver’s insurance policy.
As the passenger, there are multiple sources of recovery to consider and it is important to consult with an experience personal injury lawyer to consider these different avenues. For example, many policies include medical payment provisions which allocate a certain amount of money for medical bills. It is important to understand the process and identify which policies may cover your loss.
Additionally, medical expenses pile up quickly and your medical bills can easily exceed the medical payment limits. Also, if your claim is serious, and includes compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and/or medical bills, the driver may not have enough insurance to cover your loss. Therefore, it is important to identify all of the policies, including uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, that may protect you.
As a passenger, it is highly likely there are other insurance policies beyond the at-fault driver’s policy that may allow further coverage for your loss. These policies could include the driver of your vehicle, the owner of the vehicle, your policy, and/or the policy of others living with you. It is very important to determine the coverage from the outset of your case. If you wait too long, it could jeopardize the amount of coverage and/or the proper handling of your claim and your medical treatment.
If you were a passenger that was injured in a car crash, it is especially important that you consult with a personal injury attorney right away.
If you’ve suffered an injury from slipping and falling on someone else’s property, the property owner is generally the one responsible for paying your medical bills that resulted from the fall, as well as any pain and suffering claims you might have against them.
Of course, accidents happen, and not all of them are necessarily anyone’s fault, but there are times when someone’s negligence results in an injury that could have been avoided. Things like sidewalks that have become icy because they weren’t shoveled properly, or in a timely manner following snowfall, can cause accidents with the potential to result in serious injury.
But what can you do if you fall and hurt yourself on city property?
It depends on the city and its own laws and ordinances, which could be a problem, since the agency against which you might want to file a claim has created the rules that determine when it is liable for damages and how much they can be made to pay.
As with any claim for damages, there’s a procedure you have to follow in order for them to consider compensating you. Pay close attention to the ordinances of the city where you had your fall and do so as soon as possible after your accident because most include a time limit in which you can file a claim – some of those limits are as short as 30 days. It’s important you consult with an experienced attorney immediately after sustaining an injury.
You’ll also need to pay close attention to the form(s) you’ll need to fill out, and the information you need to include on those forms in order to be eligible for compensation. Some of them can take a while to fill out, depending on the amount and type of information you need to include in the form, so again, it is in your best interests to get started as soon as possible.
The forms needed should be listed on the city’s website, but when in doubt, contact the city clerk’s office and they can provide you with the proper forms and let you know about all their requirements.
While the process of filing a claim for compensation for an injury will differ based on the city or state and its own regulations, many elements of filing a claim remain the same as if you were filing a claim against a civilian property owner who failed to maintain reasonable standards on their property. Those elements include proving the city was negligent in maintaining their property, and that your injury was a direct result of their negligence. For example, if other citizens had complained about a physical defect in the property, and you can show a record of those complaints, it will help your case in filing a claim for compensation against the proper entity.
When dealing with a city or governmental entity, it’s especially important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to make sure you preserve your claim and protected throughout the process.
If it’s obvious the other driver was at fault in an automobile crash, and you just need to collect compensation for damage to your car, then you should be able to file a claim with their insurance company without an attorney.
On the other hand, if there’s any disagreement about who was at fault, you want to consider hiring a personal injury attorney to help you make your case. They can help you make sure you’ve got the right evidence and documents to support your side of the story.
Pain and Suffering
If you’re just trying to collect compensation for damage to your car and/or medical bills, asking for that amount is straightforward and may not require a lawyer. However, if you plan to claim compensation for pain and suffering (mental and physical damage), then it’s more difficult to quantify. If you’ve suffered intangible damage as a result of a crash, you are entitled to compensation and there are ways to calculate how much you may be able to claim.
A qualified personal injury attorney can help you determine how much you should be compensated for your pain and suffering, as well as help you produce documents to support your case. These documents generally include:
• Medical records and bills;
• Doctor notes;
• Disability reports;
• Future medical care, costs, and physical limitation reports;
• Police report of the accident;
• Witness statements; and
• Photos of any scarring or disfigurement as a result of injuries suffered during the accident.
A personal injury lawyer can also help you present the necessary documents to the other driver’s insurance company. If you let the insurance company conduct their own investigation, they’ll choose which documents to consider and which ones they’d rather ignore when determining the value of your pain and suffering.
If the other driver was at fault and didn’t have insurance, or had the minimum amount of insurance required by law and it’s not enough to cover the damages you suffered, you might want to consult a personal injury attorney to help you argue your case. You might have to take the other driver to court and ask for a court order requiring the other driver to pay your expenses out of their own pocket.
A professional attorney can help represent your rights in court, but more importantly, they can advise you as to whether you should go that route at all. Ideally, you should have your own insurance and most automobile insurance plans include coverage for uninsured and underinsured drivers. This means, even if the other driver was at fault, your insurance company will pay for the damages not covered by their insurance. But you have a window of opportunity after the accident in which to file a claim with your insurance company, and in some cases, taking the underinsured driver to court might negate your ability to file a claim with your own insurance company. A personal injury attorney can look over your plan, talk with your insurance company, and advise you about the best course of action for your situation.
Keep in mind, if the other driver doesn’t have enough money to purchase adequate automobile insurance, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to pay you for the damage they did, even with a court order for them to do so.
Every state requires all car owners to carry insurance on their vehicles, yet plenty of people are still driving their cars around without any insurance. If one of those non-insured (or uninsured) drivers hits you and is unable to pay for the damage they caused, what can you do?
Unfortunately, not much. Many drivers who don’t have car insurance don’t have it because they can’t afford it, which means it’s unlikely they’ll be able to pay for the damage done to your vehicle and/or your medical costs.
You can sue them and try to make them pay out of pocket, but that’s easier said than done. You’ll receive a court judgment saying you’re entitled to collect money from that person, but it’s unlikely you’ll ever actually see any of that money. Instead, the other person will probably just declare bankruptcy and avoid paying altogether.
If they refuse to pay the judgment, you can go back to court and get a court order for the uninsured driver to pay you. The problem with that is the court maintains reasonable expectations regarding what a person can pay. If you’re lucky, they might set up a payment plan in which they order the defendant to pay you a small amount every week, but depending on the total cost of the accident, it could take them years to pay in full, and that’s assuming they pay every week (which is also unlikely).
Be careful before deciding to sue an uninsured driver for damages. Regardless of what you’re entitled to, the reality is that you don’t have much of a chance of collecting anything from them and you’ll have to pay all your own legal fees out of pocket. That means, by the time you get through suing them for hitting your car, you’ll probably still have to pay for all the damage done in the accident, plus legal fees, without getting much, if anything, in return.
This is why most insurance companies offer uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – so they can pay for the damages if someone with little or no insurance hits you. Check to make sure you have this as part of your insurance plan, and if you don’t, have your agent add it to your plan. In most cases you’ll be better off filing a claim with your insurance company under your uninsured motorist coverage.
But file your claim sooner, rather than later. Most insurance companies require you to file a claim within a certain amount of time after the accident. Wait longer than their grace period, and you may lose the ability to file a claim with them at all, and then you’ll be stuck paying for everything yourself.
It is in your best interests to consult with a personal injury lawyer to determine your options. They can advise you and work with your insurance company to make sure you don’t lose your option to file a claim.
Medical care is a necessity and many can’t live without it. That said, just as we have the right to sue other professional who provide faulty products or services (including lawyers), patients should also be able to sue their health care professionals for failing to provide adequate care. But there are a lot of misconceptions about medical malpractice.
Nevertheless, there are those who insist medical malpractice lawsuits have gotten out of control, and rather than monitoring doctors and health care facilities, the government should limit patients’ ability to receive compensation for the physical and emotional pain and suffering resulting from improper care. Let’s take a look at some of the most common claims against medical malpractice lawsuits and compare them to reality.
Myth: There are too many frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals.
Fact: Lawsuits are a huge hassle that no one wants to deal with, including the plaintiff. They’re expensive, and depending on the size of the lawsuit, they can drag on in the courts for months, or even years. And after all that, the outcome is never a sure thing, which is why so many lawsuits settle before ever getting to trial. It’s in both parties’ interests to come to an agreement on their own, rather than put themselves at the mercy of the court.
Further, in Missouri and Illinois, prior to filing a medical negligence lawsuit, the plaintiff must obtain the sworn opinion of a medical professional verifying the alleged negligent act by the medical professional was below the standard of care. It’s a requirement.
According to a recent review by the Harvard School for Public Health, less than 3% of the more than 1,500 medical malpractice lawsuits included in the review lacked sufficient evidence to prove the medical practitioner or health care facility had been negligent in the care they provided.
Myth: Medical malpractice lawsuits are the reason behind the higher costs of health care in America.
Fact: There’s much more to the cost of medical malpractice than litigation. In fact, tens of billions of dollars are spent annually on medical care that would never have been necessary if the patients had been diagnosed and treated properly the first time. In actuality, the legal costs of defending a medical malpractice lawsuit, settling claims, and paying jury awards is only a fraction of a percent of the trillions of dollars spent on health care in America every year.
Myth: Doctors don’t want to practice in states that put caps on medical malpractice claims.
Fact: There are many factors determining where people live, including where they’re friends and family live, where they grew up, and where they went to medical school. Connections tend to matter more than laws, and numbers say the same. States that put a cap on the amount of financial damages for which a plaintiff can sue actually have fewer doctors per capita than states that have no such limit.
Myth: Limiting medical malpractice lawsuit claims will allow doctors to pay less for insurance, which will allow patients to pay less for care.
Fact: Since we’ve already determined above that medical malpractice lawsuits do not, in fact, have much, if any, effect on the costs of health care, we can safely say that limiting medical malpractice lawsuit claims would have little, if any, effect on health care costs.
The ability to sue service providers who fail to deliver on what they offer is a tool that’s meant to protect consumers and no where is that more important than in the healthcare industry. Not only do medical malpractice lawsuits enable us to keep doctors accountable, but the numbers show they have no effect on the costs of providing care.
If you or a loved one has suffered an injury, been a victim of negligence, or some other type of accident, you need the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer.