Bear Attack Defense When In the Wilderness, Or at Home

I just read the tragic story of the bear mauling of a hiker in Yellowstone National Park. It is impossible to know whether the man could have been saved had he been carrying something to repel the bear attack. Bear spray is something one should consider bringing along when in the deep woods. Although it is rare for something like this to happen, it does make one wonder if it doesn’t make sense to prepare for the unexpected when entering into their habitat.

The man apparently surprised a mother bear with her cubs. The mother bear did what is natural in those circumstances, protect her family. This is not only an issue when traveling in our national parks but increasingly a problem in our communities. I live in Connecticut and there was a recent article with an Animal Control Officer about the increase in bear sightings locally. As developments take more and more open space, the wild animals are coming into contact with humans more frequently. Black bears have been reported in trees, on lawns, busy roadways and even a bear cooling off in an in ground swimming pool. Bird feeders, garbage cans and outdoor grills are big attractions for bears. No bear attacks have been reported locally this year but with the frequency of sightings in our neighborhoods, doesn’t it make sense to have something at home that can repel a bear if need be?

If you are on a trail and come across a bear, you should not pursue it. Some bears can run 35 mph so they can also easily out run you. You want to create space, make yourself look large (raise your arms up) as bears have poor eyesight, and make noise so the bear knows that you are human. When camping or at home, trash containers are available which are bear proof. If there is no food source for the bears, they will move on to greener pastures.

So although odds are against a bear attack happening to you, the increasing incidences of contact with them should make us consider having something close at hand to protect yourself from them. It is a small price to pay for added safety.

There are several bear sprays on the market. Mace Bear Spray can spray up to 30 feet. Guard Alaska Bear Spray is the only one registered with the EPA as being a repellant for all species of bear. Another advantage of the Guard Alaska brand is that is has no expiration date. It also can work on wet bears, like the one in the swimming pool, because the specific gravity of the spray is heavier than water.

Missile Defense in Europe

The U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) system is a single, integrated system to protect the United States, its deployed forces, and U.S. allies and friends against growing threats posed by ballistic missiles from rogue states such as North Korea and Iran. It is the policy of the United States to work with its allies to deploy defenses against existing and emerging threats from missiles of all ranges.

This is important because a ballistic missile carrying just one weapon of mass destruction payload could cause catastrophic damage to a country. The missile defense system deployed over the past four years protects the United States against long-range attack. It also integrates mobile sea-based and transportable land-based capabilities to intercept shorter-range missiles. In missile defense, geography matters.

The early warning radars in Alaska, California, and the United Kingdom and the long-range missiles based at Fort Greely, Alaska, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, are not positioned properly to defend Europe against intermediate-range and long-range ballistic missile attacks from Iran. The short-range defenses (including Patriot systems) deployed by a handful of European allies and current U.S. sea-based missile defenses cannot provide adequate defensive coverage and engage with high confidence the much faster missiles coming out of the Middle East. Iran is in an aggressive race to build on its shorter-range missiles to extend its military reach. It is also acquiring missile technologies and even whole missile systems through trade with proliferators such as North Korea. Iran has publicly announced that it is developing a space launch vehicle, which means developing the technologies and knowledge (e.g., rocket staging) for longer-range ballistic missiles.

These developments, combined with the statements by Iran’s leaders (e.g., Ahmadinejad’s stated goal “to wipe Israel off the face of the map” and his admonition that other nations must “bow down before the greatness of the Iranian nation and surrender”) are reasons for concern about Iran’s military direction. One must ask why a country such as Iran is acquiring ballistic missiles that can reach more than 1,500 kilometers, a strike range that would overfly Israel and the American bases in the region.

One possible answer is that Iran sees value in having the ability to coerce and impose Iranian policy on European leaders by holding them hostage. The power to blackmail and threaten European and U.S. leaders means that Iran might not need to fire a single missile to affect the foreign and defense policies of its enemies.

An operational missile defense system that protects European nations could counter any such move by Tehran. Preparing defenses against an emerging missile threat takes many years, which is why the Bush Administration decided to proceed with deploying 10 long-range interceptors in Poland and building a midcourse discrimination radar in the Czech Republic.

The missiles and the radar would provide redundant protection of the United States and an initial defense of Central and Northern Europe from long-range ballistic missile attack. The radar in Central Europe would supplement sensor coverage from the early warning radar in the United Kingdom, which is already integrated into the U.S. system, and other radars that might be deployed in and around the region on land and at sea. These Central European sites provide geographically ideal locations for protecting both the United States and our European allies. Allies in Southern Europe are not vulnerable to long-range missile attack from Iran, but in a crisis, they would need the shorter-range defenses offered by Patriot PAC-3s, Aegis BMD ships, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries, and other NATO missile defense systems. The United States has concluded negotiations with the Czech Republic and Poland. In April 2008, all 26 NATO nations formally endorsed the missile defense plan, agreeing with the United States that the threat from Iran is serious and that the Bush Administration’s planned defense approach is the right one. The benefits of this deployment are clear.

Long-range defenses in Europe will increase the options available to U.S. leaders to defend against sophisticated threats by providing more decision time and engagement opportunities. This deployment would strengthen transatlantic security by reassuring and defending allies and friends, complementing emerging NATO plans to defeat short-range and medium-range threats, and preventing coercion and preserving U.S. and NATO freedom of action. An effective missile defense system could also dissuade rogue states from pursuing ballistic missiles in the first place and deter ballistic missile launches. Critics of the European deployments worry about the predictable negative reaction from Russia’s leaders and the possibility of damage caused by debris. However, the 10 interceptors in Poland and the midcourse radar in the Czech Republic oriented toward the Middle East are incapable of intercepting the hundreds of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and the thousands of warheads in the Russian arsenal.

Russian concern that the United States could turn these defensive interceptors into offensive weapons is likewise groundless. Future U.S. activities at missile defense sites in Europe will be transparent to the Russians and to host nations. Perhaps more important, this concern does not make military sense from the U.S. point of view because the U.S. already has the capability to bring offensive strike submarines or bombers into a regional conflict. The United States has also assured its allies that the launched objects’ momentum will cause debris resulting from intercepts in space to continue along the missiles’ original trajectories and that most of this debris will burn up when it reenters the atmosphere.

Another way to view the debris question is to compare it to Europe’s experiences during World War II, when leaders found that shooting down enemy aircraft, regardless of where they crashed and the level of damage caused by the crashes, made far more sense than allowing them to survive and deliver their bombs.

One fact, however, is beyond dispute: Once a missile has been launched and its payload has acquired the target, our leaders and the leaders of Europe will have only the option of missile defense to secure the safety of the citizens of their countries. Find out more about the growing nuclear proliferation threat facing the world today. Visit 33 Minutes – Missile Defense in a New Missile Age, a new documentary film about missile defense in America. The site includes video commentary, animations of missile defense strategies, and extended missile defense resources and articles.

Guard Alaska Bear Spray Is The Perfect Gift for Campers

I think the gifts that I most remember receiving are the ones that are just a little out of the ordinary but still have been very meaningful and purposeful. So if you have anyone on your gift shopping list that happens to be a camper I have the perfect gift for them. One that might be just a little out of the ordinary but could very well save their life one day and it doesn’t get any more purposeful than that, does it? You should buy that camper on your list a canister of Guard Alaska bear spray.

I’m an avid camper myself and often times that camping is done in areas where bears are present and I love not being bitten in the head, throat and chest area by these bears. Heck, I love it when no part of my body is bitten by half-ton grizzly bears. Because of this fact I always carry Guard Alaska bear spray on my person when travelling in bear country. Nothing will ruin an enjoyable family camping trip like an old-school bear mauling. sure camping is a great deal of fun but 500 pounds of black bear will put an end to all of that real quick if you aren’t prepared. And being prepared while camping in bear country means making sure you have Guard Alaska bear spray on you at all times.

Guard Alaska bear spray works in the same way that pepper spray works on humans. Bears, much like humans, do not like being sprayed in the face with insanely hot pepper spray. It is extremely painful and I urge you to check out videos on the web of bear spray being used on actual bears. I know that might sound a bit cruel but the bear suffers no permanent damage from bear spray just as a human suffers no lasting effects from pepper spray in the vast majority of cases.

Guard Alaska bear spray has an effective range of about 15-20 feet depending on wind conditions. this spray also boasts no ozone-depleting chemicals so you can do your part to preserve nature while not being mauled to death in it. And as I just stated the bear will suffer no long term ill effects just enough temporary pain to leave you and the area alone long enough for you to high tail it out of there to safety.

So when shopping for that camper on your list, or even for yourself if you are an avid camper in bear country, please consider this bear spray.

What Is Tort Law Exactly?

Have you ever done something that was against the rules? Well, torts are something like that; but much more serious. Torts are civil wrong-doings; immoral behaviors and actions against civilians. The law identifies a tort as immoral, and approves it as grounds for a lawsuit. Most often, torts come with severe consequences, like serious injuries and death. These consequences establish a civilian’s right to file a personal injury claim against a wrongful party.

Torts that result in serious injury or death can be punishable by imprisonment; however, the objective of tort law is to acquire compensation for damages incurred by victims and families of victims. In addition, and equally important, intent is to prevent similar wrongdoings from occurring in the future. In fact, victims of tort can take legal action for an injunction in order to inhibit further torturous conduct of the opposing party.

Explaining Torts and Tort Law

Victims of tort can pursue fair compensation for damages incurred as a result of the offence. Exemplary damages include everything from pain and suffering to loss of companionship, and much more; such as lost wages, hospital bills, medical expenses, scarring or disfigurement, funeral expenses, prolonged rehabilitation, permanent disabilities, and much more. Injured victims can also pursue compensation for damages like diminished quality of life and loss of benefits from loved one’s death. Tort law is established to protect injured victims that were wrongfully hurt by a negligent party. Negligent parties can include people, companies, individuals, organizations, products, and much more.

Categories of Tort

There are several individual capacities of tort law that all depend on the type of injury or accident that harms a person. Types of tort include motor vehicle accidents, product liability, assault and battery, sexual harassment, drunk driving accidents, wrongful death, slip and falls, head or brain injuries, dog bites, nursing home neglect, motorcycle accidents, and several other types of deliberate inflictions of emotional or physical trauma.

Every type of tort can be grouped into three separate categories of tort law; these categories are Intentional Torts, Negligent Torts, and Strict Liability Torts. Intentional torts are deliberate, premeditated, and purposeful. Assault and battery, sexual misconducts, and nursing home neglect are some examples of intentional tort. Negligent tort occurs as a result of carelessness and disregard. Disobeying traffic signals and causing an accident that harms another person is an example of negligent tort. Other examples include pedestrian accidents, hit-and-run accidents, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, and slip and fall accidents. Strict liability torts, on the other hand, occur when a particular action causes harm or damage to another person; such as liability for making and selling defective products that are hazardous.

If you are a victim of tort, or was recently injured in an accident caused by the negligence or misconduct of another party, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact a licensed personal injury law firm for professional guidance and counsel. It is important to take immediate action following a serious injury before the State’s statutes of limitation runs out. An experienced tort lawyer will substantially increase your chances and likelihood of winning your personal injury claim recovering compensation for your damages.

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Common Benefits Received From Workers’ Compensation

It is common for people who are injured on the job to collect workers’ compensation benefits. The amount of compensation and degree of benefits received by injured workers largely depends on the extent of their injuries or damages. Damages can include but are not limited to pain, suffering, prolonged rehabilitation or illness, diminished quality of life, lost wages, medical expenses, hospital bills, mental trauma, PTSD, and much more.

It is wise to hire a personal injury attorney that specializes in workers’ compensation law to recover the full and fair recompense deserved. Continue reading to learn what type of benefits to expect, or that is possible, to receive after being injured while on the clock.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Not all workers’ compensation claims are for physical injuries. Although most involve some sort of bodily harm, mental anguish or trauma can be just as damaging. Sometimes, personal injury cases can involve sexual harassment, discrimination, assault or battery, contracting a work-related illness or disease, experiencing an armed robbery, and more. Either way, the common coverages and benefits received from workers’ compensation claims are as follows:

Paid Hospital Bills, Medical Expenses, Physical Therapy, Medical and Vocational Rehabilitation, Doctor Visits, Counseling, Prescriptions, Etc.

Paid Weekly Earnings for Time Off Work Longer than One Week (2/3 of Average Weekly Pay-400 Week Maximum)

Benefits for Dependents in the Case of a Wrongful Death at Work

Punitive Damages in Cases of Malicious Intent or Blatant Disregard

Compensation for Excessive Pain, Suffering, Loss of Companionship, Mental Anguish, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Diminished Quality of Life, Etc.

Travel Expenses (If Applicable)

There are several other types of benefits available to those injured on the job, however, they vary depending on the company’s policies, insurance coverage, the extent of injury, and much more. It is strongly encouraged to discuss your recent work injury with a licensed Indianapolis workers’ compensation lawyer for accurate case assessment and legal guidance. They retain the proper resources, experience, and knowledge to navigate your workers’ compensation claim.

In order to recover the full and fair remuneration deserved to an injured victim and their family, a personal injury lawyer is the path to take. Be sure your personal injury law firm employs attorneys with extensive trial and litigation experience in workers’ compensation cases. This will further ensure you are choosing a lawyer that can successfully navigate your claim and have a better chance of recovering for your damages and losses.

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Who’s Liable for Injuries Sustained in Public Transportation Accidents?

Public transportation is a wonderful asset for thousands of Americans all across the country. Buses, trains, subways, limousines, metros, taxi cabs, and more are just a few examples of the variety we have to choose from when it comes to public transport. As customers and clients, we generally trust that these choices are safe and reliable; but sometimes unexpected accidents happen.

If someone is injured while using public transportation, who is at-fault for their damages? There can be several outcomes when determining who is liable for accidents such as these. Continue reading to understand all the possible parties that might be liable, under law, for injuries sustained to public transient customers.

Public Transportation Traffic Accidents

When it comes to public transportation, buses are one of the most popular. Tickets are inexpensive, and some buses are complementary to individuals in the community. School buses are also widely used for public school transportation. With the rising popularity of public buses, more and more are on the roads every day. As a result, the number of bus accidents continue to increase each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 300 bus accidents happen every year, all of which resulting in fatalities.

Bus crashes, and other public transport cases, are complicated to litigate. Determining the at-fault party is a bus crash can be tricky because it may be more than one, or none at all. It requires the professional litigation skills and trial experience of a licensed car accident attorney to effectively pursue a bus accident injury lawsuit or claim. If you or someone you loved has recently been injured in a public transportation accident, like buses or taxis, contact a local personal injury lawyer to learn your rights.

Possible At-Fault Parties:

  • The Driver
  • Management Company
  • Other Negligent Vehicles
  • Government Entities (If Public)
  • Equipment Manufacturers
  • City Traffic Management (If Defective Light or Sign)

Common Causes:

  • Drunk Driving
  • Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
  • Defective Stop Light or Traffic Sign
  • Hazardous Weather Conditions
  • Reckless or Careless Driving
  • Poor Equipment Maintenance
  • Treacherous Roads
  • Defective Equipment
  • Obstruction of Views
  • Other Negligent Vehicles on the Road

Traffic accidents, public or not, can happen very suddenly, and usually result in serious injuries and damages to innocent bystanders and drivers. If a person is injured using public transportation as a result of another carelessness or negligence, they are entitled to legal compensation for their pain, suffering, lost wages, medical bills, and more. 

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A Myth Regarding Personal Injury Protection

I often get told by my clients that they “do not want to make any claims on their own insurance policy” because “it will raise their rates.” Like many things, this is an insurance tactic meant to scare people from claiming what is rightfully theirs. Let me elaborate further.

Under Texas law, every person in the State must carry Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage on their auto insurance policy, unless you expressly sign a rejection or “opt-out” of this coverage. The State minimum requirement is $2,500, although many people carry $5,000 or $10,000 in coverage (or sometimes even more, depending on what their auto insurance carrier offers). Importantly, under the Texas Insurance Code, it is illegal for your insurance company to raise your insurance rates, drop your coverage, affect your credit, etc. for making these claims. Therefore, if you have this coverage, you always want to use it.

PIP coverage is meant to reimburse you for two things: (1) medical bills you have already incurred or (2) lost wages (although it will only cover 80% of your lost wages). Additionally, Texas allows “stacking” of insurance benefits. For example, let’s say you get into an accident and you are taken to the emergency room where you incur a $10,000.00 bill. Let’s also say that you have the standard $2,500 PIP policy through your insurance company. After you are finished treating, we send that same $10,000 bill to both the Defendant’s insurance company and to your own. We get you paid $10,000 from this insurance company plus $2,500 from your own PIP coverage for a total reimbursement of $12,500. That’s right, you get paid $12,500 for a bill that was originally $10,000.

I always tell my clients the same thing: If you pay for this coverage every month in your premium, and if your insurance company cannot raise your rates for using it, then why wouldn’t you use it? It is free money falling out of the sky. However, because it’s free money falling out of the sky, many insurance companies (and their agents) will deliberately try to convince you that you do not need it because “it cost more.” Again, this cannot be further from the truth. The cost of this coverage is literally pennies on the dollar for what you get in return should you need to use it. Further, the best part is that this coverage is no-fault, meaning you are entitled to these benefits whether you caused the accident or if someone else hit you.

For these reasons, it is a no-brainer not only to have this coverage, but also to use it once you need it.

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How to Complete a Self-Health Assessment Following a Car Accident

As soon as you are involved in a car accident, the first priority is to have your health and over-all condition assessed by a professional emergency medical technician on-site or at the hospital. For less serious car accidents, it is still important to assess your own health to be sure you are not suffering from a head, spine, or neck injury. The issue with these kinds of injuries is that they can become evident or worse as time passes. So you might seem fine after a car wreck, but can then start to develop symptoms later on that point toward neck and back injuries.

There are signs and symptoms to look for, as well as, tips to learn how to identify the difference between vague soreness and tenderness of muscles, and an actual serious injury. Continue reading for a post-accident health assessment guide and information about filing a car accident injury claim for injuries and damages sustained in a serious collision.

Checking On Your Health

Once you have been involved in a car accident, whether it was your own fault or not, is to seek immediate medical attention. As a car accidents happens, authorities are usually alerted almost immediately; either by someone involved in the wreck or a bystander. Police will ask if you or your passengers need to go to the hospital if it is not obvious or evident that someone is hurt. You can make this assessment yourself, or you can simply have an EMT check you out at the scene of the accident or at the hospital.

You can choose to ride in an ambulance for a faster commute to the hospital for emergencies, but for less serious and less evident injuries, you may choose to take yourself or have a loved one drive you. In other cases, you might feel like you are not injured enough for professional medical care, and pass up the opportunity to go to the hospital altogether. Once you are familiar with how to assess your own condition after an accident, you will be able to responsibly make the choice of seeking further medical assistance, or to care for yourself.

Here are some symptoms to look for immediately after, as well as, the days following a motor vehicle accident:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Soreness or Tenderness of Neck
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Mental Confusion
  • Pain or Tenderness in Lower Back
  • Pain in Neck or Spine
  • Difficulty Standing
  • Pain When in the Seated Position
  • Swelling of Neck, Back, or Head
  • Redness or Abrasions on Body
  • Nausea or Dizziness
  • Blurred Vision
  • Slurred Speech
  • Bleeding
  • Broken Bones
  • Immobility

Any of these symptoms could be a sign of a more serious injury or internal damage. If you are experiencing more than three of the above symptoms, it is strongly encouraged to go to the hospital or to request an EMT at the sight of an accident. Concussions are one of the most common and overlooked head injuries that results from car accidents. And the problem with this type of injury is that a person can seem fine at first, only to later suffer serious consequences and health decline as a result of a neglected head, brain, or spine injury.

Filing a Car Accident Injury Claim
Contact a licensed personal injury lawyer for information about filing a car accident injury claim against a negligent party that caused you or a loved one serious harm following a traffic accident or collision. You may be entitled to compensation.
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Personal Injury Should Be Well Taken Care Of

If there is ever a situation where a person is suffering terribly from an injury, disability or in worse case scenarios, even death, mostly due to a careless negligence of an individual, in such cases, the personal injury law covers these instances and extends its hand for help.

A severe injury can cost an individual to shell out a lot of money, sometimes an amount that the individual might not even be capable of paying, if you opt for a personal injury claim in such desperate moments then you are eligible to seek some compensation for the injury you have faced and the payment gets taken care of because of the claim.

Mostly this law covers all the kinds of injury that can possibly take place, these injuries can be of any type. It can either be something that can cause a lot of harm to your body or it can make you face some kind of emotional trauma as well. It can be anything and at anytime and having a claim especially for these kinds of injuries will help you in emergencies.

Be alert and be careful of every step you take.

Let us have a look at some of the tips that can help you get this claim:

• DO NOT DELAY TO GET SOME MEDICAL ATTENTION

The first and foremost step that you need to take when you get an injury is to seek out for medical help immediately and instantly. Do not under any circumstances delay that step because the more you delay it, the more serious it can get, therefore seek out for some medical help as soon as you find yourself in such a situation.

• BE CAREFUL OF THE STATEMENTS YOU MAKE

Be absolutely confident and clear in what you say in the accident scene. Do not say anything that might make the situation much more complicated than it already is or give rise to some kind of a conflict. Be clear in what you have to say and keep it straight when asked about it. This will help in dealing with the process much quickly.

• KEEP A CHECK ON ALL THE EXPENSES

This would include all the bills in the hospital. Be it expense bills; diagnose bills, medical bills or any other tests that you might have undergone. Have a record of all the expenses because it might be asked for when you go to claim for compensation. You can also keep a record of some lost wages that you might have faced due to missing work. Keep a track of everything.

Posted in Law

How Car Accident Victims Can Improve Their Cases Before Their First Legal Consultation

Initial Impact

One oft-repeated phrase is, “it’s better read about than experienced for yourself.” Few maxims can better encapsulate what it’s like to be a victim of a car collision.

Like any paradigm shift in someone’s life, it’s often dramatic and sudden. The screeching of wheels, the scream of the unexpected, or the shot of unfamiliar adrenaline.

All such tragic events mark the beginning of a typical personal injury case. For simplicity’s sake, we will discuss a common car accident. This piece explores how a victim of circumstance can take control of their situation, and turn their misfortune into an opportunity to better their case and their chances of reasonable compensation.

Self-Assessment

After the initial shock and twisted metal, victims at the scene may be dazed and confused. Regardless of where you are on the road, examine yourself and passengers for injuries. If there are no visible injuries, do the obvious thing and move your vehicle to a safe location if you are blocking the road.

If anyone is injured, get medical help as soon as possible. Truth be told, calling 911 has the added benefit of documenting the incident for later insurance evaluation purposes. This is because the documentation generated from the call tends to indicate a propensity of a person being truly injured. While it may come across as callused, car accident cases – and other cases involving personal injury – are all about documentation.

Insurance claims representatives will even go so far as to reduce the value of a claim on not going to the emergency room, even if there are later objective findings indicating that an injury occurred. Injuries, such as cervical strain and sprain, tend to appear more than one to two days later after the “shot of adrenaline” wears off. However, it’s the documentation early on that is important.

Interaction With Law Enforcement

If police were summoned by a party contacting 911, documentation will again be generated. It is common that police, in addition to checking for injuries, may cite the at-fault driver for either a crime or a traffic infraction.

Keep in mind that a criminal case is the government (or, in Virginia, the “Commonwealth”) versus the defendant. A criminal case is about seeking justice. On the other hand, a personal injury case is about “being made whole again.” Until a magic wand is invented, that means the “bad guy” paying some form of compensation.

Before law enforcement makes a general “first look” at liability, they will gather evidence – including statements from other drivers and witnesses, as well as obtaining contact information. This information is crucial for a Virginia auto injury or car accident attorney to later help prepare a case.

Keep in mind that the initial police investigation is entirely separate from the civil process, which may, in turn, rely on documentation generated as a result of the crash investigation. Even should an officer believe that a person is at-fault in a collision, the other driver’s insurance company may come to an independent conclusion.

One final point is that calling for help may be legally required in some circumstances. In Virginia, assume that it is required if there is someone that is injured or visible property damage to the vehicles.

Document The Facts For Later

Feel free to be your own detective if you have not yet met with a personal injury lawyer.

Ask for the other driver’s name, address, telephone number, and insurance information. If there are other witnesses to the collision, ask for the same. Take pictures with your cell phone of the accident scene and the driver’s license, if provided.

It is perfectly normal and expected for you to provide your insurance information to the other driver, even if they were at-fault. We highly recommend to clients not to make statements to the other driver’s insurance company. They’re frequently very motivated to assign blame to someone other than their own insured.

Don’t be limited in pictures of property damage of the vehicles. If it’s safe and prudent to do so, take copious amounts of pictures of you and your passenger’s injuries. This includes bruising that may later develop.

By being your own detective, the insurance company for the other driver may not be so quick to turn a blind eye to the blame of their insured. Documenting (if safe and not obstructive) while still at the scene to show the location of the impact, road conditions, and the condition of the vehicles may be critical bits of evidence later that a personal injury attorney can later utilize.

A good law firm will use this evidence to help develop your case into the best it can be under the facts. If you don’t have any of this evidence don’t worry. In most cases a client doesn’t provide this information during initial intake. That said, the more information provided the better.

Seek Medical Treatment

In line with the need to call 911, if necessary, is the simple fact that you need to seek medical treatment if you are hurt in the collision or later develop conditions that didn’t exist the day of the accident.

It is critical that you go to every appointment scheduled with a health provider and do everything that they tell you to do. Top in the playbook of every insurance company is to highlight any and all delays or gaps in treatment and try to use that information to diminish the value of your claim.

This is even true if you don’t have health insurance at the time of the collision. It is highly important that if you don’t have health insurance that you waste no time in getting it. In addition to being legally required at the time of this writing, health insurance may cover tens of thousands (if not millions) of dollars in treatments.

Even if you have the most amazing case, not having health insurance means that the proceeds of any later settlement or trial goes to pay the providers when it could have gone to your pain and suffering that you had to endure as a result of the injuries.

As a slight caveat, under some circumstances the insurance company for the other driver may reduce any settlement offer by the amount paid by insurance. However, this depends on the state and an entirely different analysis. You’ll need to consult with a car accident lawyer in your state to determine if this applies.

Avoid Waiting Until The Last Minute To Seek Necessary Medical Treatment Or Blowing Off Your Appointments If They Are Recommended By A Treating Healthcare Professional

Whether it’s the day after the accident and you were discharged from the Emergency Room or it’s month three of physical therapy or chiropractic care, you need to keep your appointments. We cannot stress this enough.

Car insurance companies for the other driver will even go so far as to unjustly say that you’re faking your injuries. They may resort to this accusation if you stop going to your appointments or blow off treatment all-together before it has run it’s course. Frequently, soft tissue injuries can “flare up” if maintenance treatments do not continue until their natural conclusion.

Once upon a time, it was a socially-acceptable attribute for people to be “tough” and “suck it up” despite pain. That doesn’t appear to be a common thread in today’s negotiations with insurance companies, especially when it comes to auto-injury cases. If you feel a certain way, pursue treatment. We recommend to clients to keep a daily pain and inconvenience journal, so we can see how they are progressing in their treatment.

Lawsuit Time: “Let’s Get It On!”

While this article was limited to what a victim of car accident can do to improve their case prior to their first legal consultation, I would be remiss if I did not include one final bit of information: choose an attorney that isn’t afraid of going to trial. If you don’t get the settlement offer that you are looking for (and is reasonable given prior settlements or verdicts), a knowledgeable Virginia car accident attorney would have no qualms about filing a lawsuit and making a request for appropriate damages to the judge or jury.

If, after negotiation with the insurance company and discussion with my client, we don’t get a settlement offer that is reasonable, then it may be time to file a lawsuit.

Occasionally, it may be advisable to cut the claims representatives out all together and file the lawsuit against the person that hurt you.

If the other driver’s insurance company doesn’t place the right value on your case, a jury of your peers may see that you internalized your pain, choosing not to be a burden on your family and friends, and assess damages a more reasonable way.

Posted in Law