Category: Car Accidents

Can I fire my car accident lawyer and get a new one?

Car Accident Lawyer

If you are in the midst of an injury claim or lawsuit, and have become dissatisfied with your car accident lawyer you may be wondering about your options for replacing them. The good news is that you can probably manage this easier than you think. And you should also know that you are not alone in wishing you had chosen a different car accident lawyer from the start. In the chaos and aftermath of an injury accident, many big decisions must be made quickly and when one is in pain and feeling anxious, mistakes are bound to be made. If you are in need of a respected and highly qualified car accident lawyer, like a car accident lawyer from MartinWren, P.C., give a law firm a call.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions asked about the process of moving on from one car accident lawyer to another who will better suit the client’s needs.

Will I owe the car accident lawyer any money if I terminate our contract?

Assuming that there is not a settlement offer that has already been made by the at-fault driver’s insurance company, it is a straightforward process to terminate your existing car accident lawyer. Not only will they not charge you anything but they are obligated to give you your complete case file. (If they need to make copies, they may charge you a modest copying fee.)

If your first car accident lawyer spent time on your case before you terminated them, they have the right to file a lien on the settlement you receive. Should this occur, when your new car accident lawyer negotiates a settlement, the first lawyer’s lien will kick in and they will be paid from the portion of the settlement that your second lawyer receives. In other words, the two lawyers will share the pre-agreed percentage of the settlement for lawyer fees and it will not be taken out of your share.

How will I know if I should get a new lawyer?

The answer is different for anyone. And though nobody is perfect, including car accident lawyers, there are some red flags to be mindful of that may indicate it’s time to change lawyers. If several of the follow are true for you, and the lawyer is not willing to change these behaviors, you may be best served by hiring a new lawyer.

  1.   The lawyer has neglected to tell you what their strategy is for resolving your case.
  2.   The lawyer has not explained what facts must be proven before the claim can be filed.
  3.   The lawyer does not return your phone calls within 48 hours.

What if a low settlement was offered to me and my car accident lawyer refuses to negotiate with the insurance company?

If your documented damages from the car accident far exceed what the at-fault party’s insurance company is willing to pay you, your car accident lawyer should make every effort to negotiate a fair settlement. However, you cannot fire the lawyer and then accept the low-balled settlement offer because the lawyer will have placed a lien on it and will take their fee before you receive the check for the balance. Your only options are to stay with the original car accident lawyer or else find another one who believes they can negotiate a much higher settlement. As long as you and your new lawyer do not accept the original offer, you should be okay but finding a new lawyer under these circumstances may be challenging.

To discuss your case with an aggressive and experienced car accident lawyer, call a law firm today.

Unpaid Tickets

Car Accident Lawyer

Receiving a traffic ticket or a parking ticket is almost as frustrating and unexpected as getting a flat tire. Much like the flat tire, you should take care of the parking or traffic ticket as soon as possible. In the event that you forget to pay a ticket, not only will you still owe the fine, you may be arrested and face jail time, as well as having to pay additional fines for being late or at least failing to appear in court. To make matters worse, in most places, should you fail to pay traffic or parking tickets by its due date, your driver’s license will be suspended. It seems small at the moment; sometimes these tickets can be as small twenty-five dollars. Unfortunately, these seemingly unimportant and small fees can lead to a heap of issues should you not pay them.

Should you decide to pay the ticket, all the information on how to make a payment should be on the citation you received. In the event that you wish to fight your ticket, the information on who to contact or where to appear should also be on the ticket. To prepare to fight traffic tickets or parking tickets, you will need to be prepared. This means, having all records readily available; this includes but is not limited to, any documentation that proves that the ticket may be invalid, a record of the people you spoke with in regards to the ticket, and of course have the ticket on hand as well. 

Laws vary from state to state and there are times where failure to pay a ticket only results in additional fines added to what you owe. Should you receive a traffic ticket or parking ticket, pay attention to its due date to avoid any additional fees. 

If you have any questions or concerns it is also ok to speak with a criminal defense or traffic attorney. Most traffic attorneys offer free consultations and will advise you on what is the best step to take. Should you or someone you know have a traffic ticket that has been unpaid, or that they would like to fight a ticket they received, speak with a skilled attorney in your area, like a Dekalb County attorney, to see what legal options are available to you. In the event that an arrest has been made due to non-payment, contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible; there may be a good defense for you.

 


 

Thanks to the law office of Andrew R. Lynch for their insight into what to expect with unpaid parking tickets. 

Understanding the Legal Blood Alcohol Content Limit

Car Accident Lawyer

It is the responsibility of every citizen to avoid driving while under the influence of alcohol. The consequence for failing this duty is a DUI, which is one of the most serious criminal charges an average person will ever face. A person’s blood alcohol content level, or BAC, is what we use to gauge how much alcohol someone has had. Do you know what the legal BAC limit is to drive a vehicle? The answer is more complicated than you might think.

The Legal BAC Limit

The first thing you need to understand is that there are two laws that govern driving while intoxicated. Only one deals with a specific BAC level. Let’s discuss that law first. The law states that no one may operate a motor vehicle with a BAC level at or above 0.08.

Remember, everyone is different and alcohol affects certain people more than others. All of these factors affect how much alcohol is needed to reach this 0.08 limit:

  • Weight
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Medication

When it comes to driving a vehicle after a drink or two, you should always err on the safe side.

Driving While Impaired

There is another law that you need to be aware of. In addition to it being illegal to drive with a BAC above a specific level, it is also illegal to drive while impaired. As you can tell, this law is much vaguer than the other one. What constitutes being too impaired to drive is subjective.

This law is intentionally vague so that each driver is judged on a case-by-case basis. There are no loopholes to get out of legal trouble due to using a mind-altering substance that is not specifically stated in the DUI law. If a drug impairs you enough that you cannot drive safely, it is still illegal even if it does not affect your BAC level in any way.

However, this does mean that it is up to the arresting officer to decide if you are too impaired to drive safely. It is possible to receive a DUI even if there is not any alcohol in your system. This judgment is usually made based on swerving while driving, inability to function after being pulled over, and colliding with objects.

If you have been arrested with a DUI charge, the first thing you should do is speak with a DUI lawyer in Fairfax, VA. It is important to get legal representation as soon as possible to maximize your chances of winning your case.

Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into criminal law and blood alcohol content in a DUI case.

3 Injuries That May Be Hidden After A Car Accident

Car Accident Lawyer

In the aftermath of a car accident, when adrenaline and emotions run high, some injuries are not always immediately apparent. In fact, it can take anywhere from 24 hours to a few weeks for serious car crash related injuries to manifest. Below are 3 of the most common injuries that may be hidden after a car accident:

Herniated Discs

A herniated disc is a common car accident related back injury. It occurs when the soft center of a spinal disk pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. This injury often happens when a person experiences whiplash in a car accident. The bulging disk can put pressure on and inflame nerves coming out of the spine. Symptoms include intense pain in the buttock, thigh, calf, shoulder, and/or arm. There may also be numbness or tingling and a weakness in the affected muscles.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Car accidents are one of the top three leading causes of traumatic brain injuries. While riding in car, the head is exposed to any number of objects that could cause arm if struck with force, including the steering wheel, the windshield, the back of the head rest, etc. Even if the head doesn’t strike an object, the sheer force of the collision can cause the brain to collide against the internal hard ones of the skull, resulting in a brain injury. Symptoms often include headaches, chronic pain, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, etc. and don’t always manifest themselves immediately after an accident.

PTSD

PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, including car accidents. Someone involved in a traumatic car accident may experience nightmares, insomnia, flashbacks, and unpredictable emotions. People may also have anxiety and fear in and around cars. If these symptoms persist for longer than three months, cause great distress, and/or disrupt a person’s personal life, help should be sought from a professional who specializes in mental health.

Seek Immediate Medical Attention

No matter how well you feel, or how minor your injuries appear, always seek immediate medical attention after a car accident. Certain injuries are not always apparent on the surface, and you’ll want to be sure to have a medical professional exam you right away to see if you are in danger of suffering from such an injury.

If you think you may have suffered any of the above injuries due to a car accident, contact a law office. An experienced car accident lawyer Central Phoenix, AZ offers can help you understand what sort of damages you may be entitled to and will fight to make sure you receive fair compensation for your injuries.

Thanks to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into car accidents and injuries that may be hidden after an accident.

“I was in a car accident. Who pays for my medical bills and lost wages?”

Car Accident Lawyer Delray Beach FL

As your car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL residents trust from the law office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A., every car registered in Florida must carry No-Fault insurance. This coverage is also known as PIP, or personal injury protection coverage. No-fault pays 80% of your reasonable medical expenses and it also pays 60% of your lost wages if you are unable to work due to injuries suffered in the accident. The maximum amount payable, for both medical bills and lost wages, is $10,000.


Florida’s No-Fault Law
A few years ago the legislature made substantial changes to Florida’s No-fault law. Most significantly, in order to be eligible for No-fault benefits, you now must receive medical care within 14 days from the accident or you are ineligible for benefits. In addition, if you do not have an “emergency medical condition,” you will not be able to receive more than $2,500 of the $10,000 in benefits. If you have not visited a doctor for an exam and treament of your accident injuries, then a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL clients depend on recommends doing so as soon as possible.

Florida law defines “emergency medical condition” as a medical condition that requires immediate medical attention and could reasonably be expected to result in serious jeopardy to the patient’s health. Another change made by the legislature to the No-fault law was to exclude coverage for acupuncture and massage therapy. These services used to be covered by PIP.


The good thing about No-fault is that (as the name implies) it doesn’t matter who was at fault in causing the auto accident. Your own insurer is responsible for paying your medical bills and lost wages, even if the other driver caused the accident. Certain conditions must be met, but generally speaking, the medical bills and lost wages must be paid within 30 days of the insurer’s receipt of the bills or documents substantiating the wage loss. Most medical providers have patients sign paperwork authorizing and directing the insurer to pay the medical provider directly, as opposed to sending a check to the patient.


Compensation For Lost Wages
In order to receive benefits for lost wages, most insurers require that a “Wage & Salary Verification” form be completed by the injury victim’s employer. The form asks the employer a number of questions related to the victim’s employment and also asks the employer to verify the employee’s salary for the 13 weeks preceding the accident. The form then is submitted to the insurer, who calculates the victim’s average weekly wage for the 13 weeks before the accident and benefits are paid at 60% of the average weekly wage. The insurer will also require documentation from the injury victim’s treating doctor verifying that the victim is unable to work due to injuries suffered in the accident.


Other Types of Damages

When a car driver causes a serious accident because they were being negligent, the injured victim may be able to recover various types of damages. Whether these damages may be recovered depends on the severity of the injuries and what other losses were endured. Since damages are dependent on facts, it is important that victims speak with a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL clients trust about what their rights are, legal options, and value of their claim. Other types of damages aside from medical bills can include:

  • Income Loss: accident victims who are not able to work, temporarily or permanently, may recover damages for their wage loss. Your lawyer can calculate how much you have lost in earnings by reviewing statements from your employer regarding used PTO or vacation hours, past paychecks or automatic deposits, etc. If you are now permanently disabled, then your lawyer can include approximations for future anticipated income loss or a reduction in your capacity to earn, through using certain formulas.

  • Pain and Suffering: victims who experienced immense pain and suffering due to their injuries may receive compensation for this type of damages. The law permits recovery of pain and suffering and depending on the diagnosis, the restitution can be substantial. While determining a pain and suffering award is less straightforward to calculate an amount for, it is worth talking about with your car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL injured residents rely on.

  • Loss of Quality of Life: your injuries may have left you with permanent physical damage and disabilities that reduce the quality of your life. Perhaps you have not been able to participate in the same hobbies you used to, or you now have more trouble getting around on a daily basis. Additionally, if you are struggling mentally and need support through counseling or have seen a therapist, then please do not forget to share this with your car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL residents trust so it can be factored into your case.

  • Loss of Consortium: victims who are suffering from a condition that prevents them from enjoying their relationship with their spouse, the spouse may be entitled to damages for loss of consortium. But, the spouse may only be able to receive compensation if the victim is also successful in seeking damages. The spouse’s claim is a component of the victim’s personal injury claim.

  • Scarring or Disfigurement: accidents can result in permanent scarring or disfigurement. The victim may be awarded a significant amount in disfigurement damages, especially if their scarring is clearly visable (such as on their face, neck, or hands).

  • Property Loss: the car accident may have caused your vehicle to be damaged and needed repairs, or was considered totalled and now you must purchase a new automobile altogether. Victims can pursue property loss compensation so they can replace the personal items that were lost.

Insurance Coverage
If you have additional coverage under your automobile insurance policy (usually called “Medical Payments,” “Med Pay” or “Extended PIP”), your insurer will pay 100% of your medical bills. This additional coverage will sometimes cover 100% of your lost wages, depending on the policy language. Different insurers offer different limits of coverage, but you can usually buy at least another $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage above the $10,000 in No-fault coverage. If you do not have this optional coverage, the 20% of your medical bills and the 40% of your lost wages that are not covered by your own PIP are recoverable from the driver and/or owner of the vehicle that caused the crash.


Call Eric H. Luckman, P.A. Right Now
If you have been involved in an auto accident and you need help with your claim, please feel free to contact a car accident lawyer Delray Beach FL clients trust with their case from the law office of Eric H. Luckman, P.A. at (561) 867-6010 right now.