What Happens If You Get in a Rental Car AccidentOver the Holidays?

Whether you’re traveling locally, across state lines, or internationally, a rental car may figure into your travel plans over the holidays. Of course, getting into any vehicle puts you at risk for being involved in a car crash. When you’re riding in a rental car at the time, post-crash etiquette and legalities are somewhat altered from a “normal” car accident. Preparing for the possibility of an auto accident ahead of time will give you protection should the worst occur.

The Third-Party Element

There are similarities between being involved in an accident with a commercial vehicle while operating your personal vehicle, and an accident between your rental car and another person’s vehicle. Along with the drivers of both vehicles being involved, there is a third party to consider. In this case, the rental car company – the owner of the vehicle – can also be held liable for the accident.

Do You Need Extra Car Insurance?

When you rent a car, you are typically offered the option to purchase additional insurance coverage on top of the liability insurance that the rental company is required by law to have on all of their rented vehicles. This can include collision damage insurance, supplemental liability protection, or personal accident insurance. But you can’t assume that the car rental enterprise’s insurance is enough to cover injuries, damage, or fault. It’s up to every Michigan driver of a rental car to check with their own car insurance company about their no-fault benefits and coverage when it comes to driving a rental car.

How to Avoid Rental Car Crashes

Rental car crashes are not uncommon. But certainly no one wants to get into an auto accident, especially at holiday time. There are steps you can take to try to avoid getting into accidents:

  • Designate a navigator: Sure, your phone has a built-in GPS, and your rental car may have a dashboard GPS. Even if the Bluetooth is announcing directions to you, things can get confusing. If you’re driving the rental car in an unfamiliar area, be sure to have some company in the car, someone who can read a map and notify you of directions so you can be extra-alert about navigating the roads.
  • Put the smartphone down: You may be excited to announce your arrival to family or friends and just can’t help but call from your rental car. You may even be tempted to text or email. Resist the urge to use your smartphone while driving any vehicle, rental car or otherwise. Taking your attention away from the road in any way, shape, or form is a recipe for disaster.
  • Don’t drink and drive: Celebrations and holidays are a cozy pair, but drinking and driving is not. If you have had too much to drink, find a safe ride home, even if it means leaving your rental car behind for the evening. Better to pay an extra fee for having the car one more night than be involved in an expensive, complicated – and potentially fatal – auto accident.

If You Are the Victim of a Rental Car Crash

If the driver of a rental car or anyone else is hurt in a car accident, the victim will have to file a third-party claim with the rental company’s insurance and the driver’s insurance company. However, things can get complicated if the driver of the rental car does not own a vehicle themselves and does not have a personal liability policy. In this case, the victim will have to appeal to the rental company. If the rental company has only a small liability policy and the victim’s injuries exceed the policy’s limit, it is possible for the victim to personally sue the driver of the car.

About: David Christensen is an accident injury attorney at Christensen Law in Southfield, Michigan. He specializes in helping auto accident victims secure benefits from insurance companies and at-fault drivers.

 

Finding a Personal Injury Lawyer in New York City

After suffering an injury, the last thing you may be thinking about is the idea of finding and hiring a personal injury lawyer. But because of the type of injury you’ve sustained, it’s most likely a necessary step in your recovery. This is because, often times, the other party involved (the one who caused your injury) has no plans to pay up and cover your medical expenses. This means that instead of being able to solely focus on healing and getting back to work and your everyday life, you’ll instead find yourself locked in a battle with the other party while trying to get them to cover the necessary damages. The best way to do this however, is to have a personal injury lawyer on your side as it is pretty much guaranteed that the defendant is going to have one or more lawyers at the ready.

New York City is a rather large city, which is great in many ways. One way is that the city plays hosts to numerous different attorney centers and offices including the office of Zlotolow and Associates, P.C. But how do you find a lawyer in the first place? What steps do you need to take? Take a look below for some more information.

Through friends and family

If you know of someone close to you that has been in the same situation or one very similar and has used a personal injury lawyer before, you’ll want to see if you can get that lawyer’s information. However, don’t do this if your loved one gives them a bad review, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.

Via social media outlets

Facebook, Google + and Twitter are fantastic ways to find local businesses. If fact, these days social media has become one of the most popular ways for business and firms to advertize their services and to reach out to potential customers and clients directly without having to go through an advertising agent.

The newspaper

Though some might consider newspapers to be outdated in a world of technology based news, they’re still very much used for advertisements, including those manufactured by attorney firms and agencies. Just take a look at your local newspaper and see if any of your local firms have a phone number listed. If they do, feel free to call them to ask more information about what they do and how they can help you.

Billboards

In large cities such as New York City, billboards still play a big role in a company’s advertisement plan, as long as they can afford it. Though you may not be able to drive yourself, if you’re a passenger and happen to come across a few billboards, take a close look to see if one of them is for a lawyer. Even if the billboard doesn’t advertise the services of a personal injury lawyer, if it does for another type of lawyer, you still may want to call them as they might be able to refer you to one.

There are many easy and great ways to find a personal injury lawyer for your case; however it is important to note that not all lawyers are made the same. Avoid lawyers that seem too excited to gain your case and those who seem ill-equipped to handle one. It’s best to set up an initial consultation to find out if the lawyer you’re speaking with is the right one for you.

Things a Healthcare Lawyer Can Do for You

The quality of your legal representation in any type of court case will literally determine whether you will win or lose. Therefore, it is in your best interests to take all of the time you need to find a competent attorney. However, you should never be foolish enough to believe that all lawyers are created the same. This is simply not the case. The level of skill that lawyers possess will tend to vary greatly based on many factors such as the quality of their education and the amount of experience they have. Do you have a legal issue in the healthcare field that you need assistance with? Here are just a few of the reasons why hiring a skilled healthcare lawyer is so important to the outcome of your case.

  1. A detailed strategy will be laid out by your healthcare lawyer in an effort to win your case.

    It would be foolish for a general to go to war without some sort of battle plan. The same logic applies to a healthcare lawyer who is about to represent you in a court of law. A lawyer cannot simply walk into a courtroom and cross his or her fingers that everything is going to work out in their favor. A great deal of preparation must be done in the weeks leading up to your case being heard by a judge or jury. A good healthcare lawyer will make a contingency plan for every possible outcome. This will prevent your lawyer from having to scramble at the last minute if something happens in court that he or she did not anticipate. Any healthcare lawyer will agree that things do not always go according to plan in a court of law. This is why the planning and strategy that a lawyer does will often go a long way to determining what decision the judge or jury will make.Jerry Sokol Miamiis known for the amount of preparation he does prior to a case. This is one of the reasons whyJerry Sokol has had a great career.2. A settlement can be negotiated by your healthcare lawyer.

    It is always better to reach a settlement outside of a courtroom than to wage a long and expensive war inside of one. Engaging in a lengthy court battle is a bad decision for a number of reasons. First of all, it will cost you a great deal of money in legal fees regardless of the outcome. Also, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will win the case. You might be forced to walk away with nothing except a massive legal bill for your efforts. This type of uncertainty means that you would be much better off having your healthcare lawyer negotiate a settlement where you will at least get something out of it.

    3. Your healthcare lawyer will offer advice at critical moments during your case.

    Every lawsuit has several critical moments that will make or break the case for one side or the other. It is at these moments that you must make the right decision in order to ensure your victory. Your healthcare lawyer will use his or her many years of experience to guide you to make sure you make the right decisions.

The Most Dangerous Intersections in California

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The Most Dangerous Intersections in California

Before you think about hitting the streets to see the sights in California’s biggest cities, it’s important to realize how the trip will be affected by their traffic hotspots and accident-prone intersections. Whether you are a local or you’re just in town for a visit, knowing the sites with the most accidents in each city can help you be prepared to navigate around them. This saves you time, keeps you safe, and helps you save your energy for when you really need it. Check out the infographic below for more information about accident intersections in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and Sacramento.

Is Berkshire’s Workers’ Compensation Innovative, Or Too Costly?

Berkshire Hathaway Inc., controlled by the famous tycoon Warren Buffet, has branched out into other ventures such as real estate and insurance. The niche that Berkshire is attempting to fill is a more “customized” approach to home selling and insurance.

Recently, Berkshire Hathaway rolled out a program that would give commercial businesses, a break on their workers’ compensation insurance premiums, if they promised to minimize the risk posed to their customers. Many companies thought it was an excellent way to cut costs and to reduce the risk of being involved in litigation for injuries.

The problem is that what most companies assumed was a deal, has not worked to their advantage in practice. The contracts that many businesses signed have become a burden, both financially and legally, for those who signed them. After paying out far more than they would have with other insurance coverage policies and to construction site accident lawyer firms, many businesses have joined together to sue Berkshire Hathaway for deceptive practices.

Why are they suing?

Businesses that contracted through Applied, the insurance portion of Berkshire Hathaway, insist that they were given insurance options that insurance regulators had not yet approved. This has led to inflated bills, determined according to formulae that are consistently stacked to profit the insurance company.

Applied is not covering specific injuries, and is passing along the costs to those they insure. In fact, so much widespread chaos has ensued that Vermont, California, and Wisconsin have banned some of the plans that are offered by Applied.

The insurer insists that the “innovative product” that they sold was all in writing, and that the companies who signed on were completely aware of the logistics and legalities involved. To date, only 400 of the policies sold have ended in litigation. Because some companies didn’t see the results that they had hoped for, Applied insists, they are using regulatory situations to avoid having to pay their fair share. The fact is that as many as 90% of those carrying the innovative new product have renewed their contract.

Applied, the Berkshire Hathaway insurance subsidiary, has agreed to halt policies in California, Wisconsin, and Vermont. Although they continue to fight against removing their product from California, where they have the largest customer base and where demand is highest, they have put the policies on hold.

Jeffrey Silver, the lawyer for Applied, insists that any time a new product is offered and things don’t go exactly as planned, it takes regulators a while to catch up and sort through the details. In the meantime, the product will remain available in those states that have not identified a problem with it.

Informed by the testimony of both disgruntled businesses and employees of Applied, courts are finding that the new product was nothing short of a gamble. Recent findings have suggested that the reason why some companies aren’t upset is that they won on the deal. Many parties who were questioned have admitted that not all the logistics were explained. When businesses lose, they can lose big, without having any idea how much they could be on the hook for.

Applied is an insurer that grew out of a small startup business in 1994. Small businesses would hire them to arrange workers’ compensation packages and coverage, as well as handling tax reporting and payroll. After exponential growth, Applied eventually acquired a company that would provide workers’ compensation directly. As a one-stop shop, they became more appealing to small companies who wanted to take care of financials and insurance by outsourcing.

Buffet didn’t get involved until 2006. Even at that time, there were questions about the potentially unscrupulous behavior of Applied. In 2004, Applied was being accused of evading state unemployment taxes in the amount of over $27 million. When sued, they lost in court.

Their product is a loss-sensitive insurance policy, whereby companies can save on their workers’ compensation premiums based on actual claims. If they could stay accident-free, their coverage would remain reduced.

A “profit-sharing plan” was then initiated. Employers were required to fund accounts in case major accidents occurred, so that they could cover the cost. If a major accident happened, the premium price could climb to a guaranteed maximum amount.

Insurers have underwriters that work to set a calculated price for risk. Applied worked under the guise that if an employer was able to maintain an accident-free business, they could get a break on their insurance. The problem is in the fine print, and in the fact that businesses can’t control accidents in all cases. In fact, that is why they call them accidents. In an attempt to save money on workers’ compensation through Applied, many businesses have unintentionally made themselves vulnerable to much higher costs. Some big companies have saved pennies to spend dollars.

What Should You Do Right After The Car Accident Happened?

In the USA alone there are over 6 million car accidents that happen every single year. In many of the situations we are faced with just small property damage. However, in some of the cases we do have to deal with personal injuries. Whenever a personal injury appears, you want to call specialized car accident lawyers Tampa. That is going to help you deal with the situation. However, as soon as the accident happened, some things are really important. Always be sure you do the following.

Stop The Vehicle

If you are involved in the car accident, even if it is minor, you want to be sure you quickly stop. You do not want to leave the scene of any car accident without actually stopping the vehicle.

Be Sure The Scene Is Safe

The very first thing that will need to be done after you stop the car is to look at the people that were involved. Those that are present may be faced with an injury so you want to be sure the scene is safe. In order to avoid further collision danger, try to add warning lights or flares around the vehicles that are now stationary. Hazard warning lights need to always be on. If the highway is busy, be away from the oncoming traffic that is fast moving.

Emergency Service Contact

Always notify the police that an accident happened. This is necessary even if there are absolutely zero serious injuries that happened. When a fire appears, the fire services and the ambulance have to also be contacted. Always notify the police because you need that police report for your insurance company. Whenever possible, try not to move vehicles before police will arrive.

Take Some Photographs

When the vehicle is damaged, you want to take photographs as soon as possible. Also, be sure that you take photos of all the other vehicles that are involved. When injuries are visible, this is also a subject for photos. Unfortunately, it is so common that people ask for many more damages. Photographs basically prove what happened and you can dispute all the claims that are wrong. Just make sure you never stop the emergency services from doing their work. The same thing is important when referring to the police.

Go To The Doctor

A medical check up will always be necessary after the accident. This is necessary even in the event you do not think you suffered an injury. Sometimes you may have been injured and you know nothing about it. Be sure that you get checked up to identify potential problems like whiplash or spinal damage. These are hard to identify without the help of a doctor.

Seek Some Legal Advice

After you get checked out it is important that you look for legal advice. There are many cases in which the insurance companies simply want to pay you less than what is necessary. That is something that is so much more common than what you may believe. An attorney will always help you.

Why the Broken Windows Theory of Policing Has Failed

Between the years of 2010 and 2015, the New York police issued over 1.8 million summonses for minor offenses such as public urination, graffiti, drinking alcohol, possession of marijuana, or disorderly conduct. A dog bite attorney stipulates the citations were issued under the 1980s-era theory, named the Broken Windows policy, which stipulates that if low-level offenses are sanctioned, more serious crimes can be prevented. But instead of improving the quality of life, as promised by the theory’s developer, George Kelling, the Broken Windows policy has become over-aggressive and managed to create even more problems.

The implementation of the policy took a dangerous turn during the last years. The relationship between law enforcement and minorities has fractured, and the trust level in the police department has very much decreased.

Today, authorities are in the position to re-strategize their approach regarding the Broken Windows policy, but the truth is that there is no quick fix in recreating a confidence-based relationship between a violent perceived police institution and some already traumatized communities.

The Wrong Use of the Broken Windows Policy

Kelling himself declared that the Broken Windows policy is misused and misapplied. When he introduced the theory in 1982, he based its arguments on the findings that foot patrols in the city of Newark were improving the relationship between law enforcement and black residents, thus reducing their fear of crimes and assaults.

Nowadays, people are more afraid of the police interference in their communities, as each minor offense is regarded as a big aggression, that needs to be punished. Tragedy cases have not helped the issue. In 2014, the police’ chokehold killed Eric Garner in an attempt to summon him because he was selling loose cigarettes.

George Kelling still believes that the Broken Windows theory is not broken, it just needs to be correctly implemented. He claims that the theory shouldn’t be taken as a strategy by default, but as a tactic in a broader community policy. The problem that led to the current situation is the lack of training and guidelines that should have been enforced before giving officers the free will in exercising their powers.

The Run for Many Small Arrests to the Expense of Catching Real Criminals

The fact is that the monitoring and admonition of all small offenses have diminished the interest of the population in collaborating with the police for the investigation of more serious crimes. And, truly, the system has contributed to the degradation of the relationship between the law enforcement and the communities.

Police officers are rewarded with career incentives for the number of summons and arrests they make, rather than for the solving of fewer, but more complex cases. The run for the numbers made older adults receive many citations, even though they are not considered able to commit serious crimes.

Why? Older people are easy targets. Also, more fines and more payments for courts are extremely valuable for the local government’s budgets.

However, there are still people believing that community policing helps improve the general impression of locals towards the safety of the place. The bigger the number of arrests, the stronger the feeling of safety.

The perception is, however, a tricky one. A feeling of safety doesn’t necessarily represent the reality. There is no proven data that the implementation of the Broken Windows policy helped reduce the number of crimes. On the contrary, sociologists demonstrated that there isn’t a strong cause-effect relationship. In other words, there is no proof that condemning these small misdemeanors helps decline the felony crimes rate.

Also, there are other factors that show that the current implementation of the Broken Windows policy degenerates the wellbeing and safety of the communities. Aggressive enforcement of the law in non-offensive crimes has side effects that are turning into local wars. Such cases include police shootings, civil protest, violent confrontations, which lead to nothing but chaos and fear.

Also, incarcerating people with low-level misdemeanors, together with serious criminals, actually makes them more likely to commit bigger infractions.

What Comes Next?

The population of the US has already begun taking action against police abuse. The “Black Lives Matter” movement is the most vocal in asking for an end to the criminalization of minor offenses.

The need for a properly formulated law is bigger than ever. Whether the Broken Windows theory remains active or not, the police should embrace a more widespread notion about community policing and refrain from targeting the population they must serve and protect.

 

Cerebral Palsy And Medical Negligence Cases

Whenever talking about traumatic brain injuries, people think solely about horrible automobile accidents, a blow to a head region due to criminal assailants or some sports related injuries. We rarely tend to think about cerebral palsy caused by medical negligence. When referring to the newborns that ended up with this horrible condition because of the negligence of a doctor or another healthcare professional, things are incredibly traumatic. Around 8,000 infants that are born in the US alone are affected by such a situation.

A huge problem with cerebral palsy is that it is not normally detected at birth. Close to 70% of the children that have cerebral palsy are basically born with factors that can cause the condition. An extra 20% will develop cerebral palsy because of injuries that happen during birth. Just 10 percent of the children will be faced with a scenario that involves factors that appeared after birth. In this case we normally say that we are faced with “acquired cerebral palsy”. An example of such a situation is an infection that appears because of the appearance of viral encephalitis.

We do not have just one cerebral palsy cause that can be mentioned. According to professional research, various factors have been proven to be connected with cerebral palsy. There are some that are completely unavoidable or naturally occurring phenomena but others will be attributed to mother or doctor medical negligence. Examples include:

  • Birth asphyxia – a condition where the brain of the fetus is faced with a lack of oxygen.
  • Material intra-uterine infections – examples include rubella, German measles and toxoplasmosis.
  • Breech deliveries – the fetus will appear for delivery in an improper position.
  • In utero strokes.
  • Rh incompatibility.
  • Maternal substance abuse – including cocaine, malnutrition and cigarettes.

In so many of the 20% birthing process problems mentioned above, the injury is preventable. Cerebral palsy caused directly by delivery problems only account one percent of the cases.

The congenital cerebral palsy will result from various errors possible during the delivery process and during labor. Many errors include reading the fetal heart rate monitor improperly or not monitoring the condition of the fetus. Some of the problems that are common in these situations include:

  • Doctors that do not respond or are way too slow in responding to the calls of the nursing staff.
  • Medical personnel that indicates FHM tracing concerns.
  • Emergency Cesarean section that is necessary but that is delayed.
  • Personnel in the hospital that does not respond properly or is evasive about offering information during the birth process that is complicated.

When cerebral palsy is caused by a third party, the law protects the mother and the child. It is important in such a situation that you consult with birth injury attorneys or medical malpractice attorneys. Obtaining financial compensation for the mistakes that healthcare professionals did is something that is really difficult. So many things have to be proven and you will surely end up needing all the help that you can get. Have patience and do work just with those that have a high reputation and success rate.

Reasons Why You Should Contact A Personal Injury Law Firm

It does not really matter how simple the personal injury claim seems. In most situations people end up receiving low compensations because of the fact they do not hire a personal injury law firm. According to the experience of Mount Vernon personal injury attorneys, most people receive a lot less than what should be entitled in their case. The truth is the help that you receive from this professional is so much more than what you may think at first glance. That is because of some really simple reasons to understand.

Insurance Companies Are Not Honest

An insurance policy is always meant to offer protection from events that are unexpected. This does include accidents. Insurance companies get involved when personal injury claims are filed. For instance, if there is a driver that makes a mistake and causes an accident, he should pay for the problems that appeared. Unfortunately, insurance firms will not want to pay as much as should be offered. They will always try to take advantage of the fact that people do not really know the law and will offer much lower compensations.

The Statute Of Limitations

We should all be aware of the fact that courts will not want to be overburden. Statute of limitations practically means that you can only file a personal injury claim for a specific time frame. There are many cases in which people cannot actually file valid lawsuits as too much time passed since the incident happened. Personal injury attorneys will help out a lot as they will make sure that everything that has to be done is done in time.

Strict Filing Rules

Personal injury claims have to follow a specific set of rules. We are faced with a legal process that is really strict. Any small mistake made during the claims process can lead to the claim being nullified. You want to contact the reputable personal injury law firm in order to be sure the filing will be done correctly and with the addition of all the necessary documents. An attorney will easily help you to be sure you properly respect all rules and regulations as the claim is filed.

Understanding How Much Damage Appeared

We tend to think that the medical claim should only cover the money we pay for treatment. This is not actually the case. Current and future expenses are covered by law. For instance, in a car accident you may end up with an injury that requires ongoing physical therapy for a number of months. The money you would pay for that therapy is also included in the claim and needs to be added to the compensation amount you ask for. Physical injury attorneys will make sure that the compensation you ask for is exactly as much as you actually should receive.

It Is Hard To Prove The Case

When you file the physical injury claim you need to prove that someone is responsible for what happened. Contrary to popular belief, police reports are not actually enough to do that. A lot of proof has to be gathered and the physical injury attorney is going to basically guarantee that everything necessary is included so that proof exists.