Articles Posted in Auto Accident

If you’ve been rear ended in a car accident, there is a good chance that you may have whiplash. Whiplash is not usually felt for hours after a car accident so it is vitally important to go to see your Dr or visit the ER immediately.Most people who experience whiplash will recover within a few months. However, some people continue to have pain for several months or years after the injury occurred.It is difficult to predict the outcome, but in general, chronic pain may be more likely when the initial symptoms include rapid onset of pain, severe neck pain, headaches and pain that radiates to the armsIn the case of a car accident, you might receive on-site paramedic or emergency room care. But a whiplash injury may not cause symptoms immediately. If you experience neck pain and other symptoms after an injury, see your doctor or an urgent care center as soon as possible .
Be prepared to describe in detail the event that may have caused the onset of symptoms and to answer the following questions.
How would you rate your neck pain on a scale of 1 to 10?
Does movement make the pain worse?
What other symptoms have you experienced?
How long after the event did the symptoms appear?
Have you experienced neck pain in the past, or do you experience it regularly?
Have you taken any drugs or used other treatments to lessen the pain? What was the effect?
Questions about the event and your symptoms are the doctor’s first step for making a diagnosis. You also may be asked to fill out a brief form that can help your doctor understand the frequency and severity of your symptoms, as well as your ability to do normal daily tasks.
Examination During the exam your doctor will need to touch and move your head, neck and arms. He or she will also ask you to move and perform simple tasks. This examination helps your doctor determine:
The range of motion in your neck and shoulders The degree of motion that causes pain or an increase in pain Tenderness in the neck, shoulders or back Reflexes, strength and sensation in your limbs Imaging tests Your doctor will likely order one or more imaging tests to rule out other conditions that could be causing or contributing to neck pain. These include the following tests:
X-rays of the neck taken from multiple angles can identify fractures, dislocations or arthritis.
Computerized tomography (CT) is a specialized X-ray technology that can produce multiple cross-sectional images of bone and reveal details of possible bone damage.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a technology that uses radio waves and a magnetic field to produce detailed 3-D images. In addition to bone injuries, MRI scans can detect some soft tissue injuries, such as damage to ththe spinal cord, disks or ligaments.The goals of treatment are to control pain, restore normal range of motion in your neck and return you to normal activities. The course of treatment will vary depending on the severity of your whiplash injury. For some people, over-the-counter drugs and at-home care may be sufficient. Other people may need prescription drugs, specialized pain treatment or physical therapy.Your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments to lessen pain:
Rest. Rest may be helpful during the first 24 hours after injury, but prolonged bed rest may delay recovery.
Ice or heat. Apply ice or heat to the neck for 15 minutes up to six times a day.
Over-the-counter pain medications. Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), often can control mild to moderate whiplash pain.
Prescription painkillers. People with more-severe pain may benefit from short-term treatment with prescription pain relievers.
Muscle relaxants. These drugs may control pain and help restore normal sleep if pain prevents you from sleeping well at night.
Injections. An injection of lidocaine (Xylocaine) — a numbing medicine — into painful muscle areas may be used to decrease pain so that you can do physical therapy.
Exercise Your doctor will likely prescribe a series of stretching and movement exercises to help restore range of motion in your neck and enable you to resume normal activities. You may be advised to apply moist heat or to take a warm shower before exercise. Exercises may include:
Rotating your neck in both directions Tilting your head side to side Bending your neck toward your chest Rolling your shoulders Physical therapy Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist if you need help learning range-of-motion exercises or if you experience chronic pain from whiplash. The therapist may introduce additional exercises to strengthen muscles, improve posture and restore normal movement. The goal is to create a customized routine that eventually you can do independently at home.
Foam collars Soft foam cervical collars were once commonly used for whiplash injuries to hold the neck and head still. However, studies have shown that immobilizing the neck for long periods of time can decrease muscle strength and impair recovery.
Recommendations for the use of a collar vary, but use is generally restricted to no more than three hours at a time during the first week after injury, when you are experiencing more-severe pain. Your doctor may also recommend use of a collar if it helps you sleep at night.
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Have you been in a car accident? Please follow these tips so you have the smoothest and least stressful experience you can have with your claim, these tips are based on my 24 years of experience with thousands of personal injury clients working with the insurance companies.These are the 10 tips I think will help with most car accident claims.

1. Do not record a statement with either insurance company without talking to an attorney, if at all possible. If you are reading this after already recording a statement, then don’t worry. If there is a problem from your recording an attorney will be able to help you out.
2. DO NOT sign anything without reading very carefully, the insurance adjusters want you to close this car accident claim as fast as possible. Be careful, the insurance company will try to offer you cash up front for your signature to close the claim. If you do this you are not entitled to receive any medical treatment, and you are not allowed to sue them for more money if you end up having a more serious injury.
3.Document, document document.Get a small notebook and write down how you are feeling, what you can’t do because of the accident, any issues the accident caused. Try to update this at minimum weekly. This will help you a lot when you are ready to settle.
4.Be consistent with your medical care, gaps in treatment can harm claims and can make it more likely the adjuster will close your claim early.
5.See a medical doctor at the beginning, the middle and the end of your car accident claim. Your medical doctor will strengthen your claim with the insurance companies.
6.Don’t over treat.Make sure that your treatments are related to your accident, the adjusters are looking for reasons to close all car accident claims by paying out the smallest amount possible.
7.Don’t under treat. Auto accident injuries affect the muscles, the bones and the nerves. Make sure you take care of each problem before closing your car accident insurance claim.
8.Your insurance adjuster is not your friend. I know it seems like he works for you, you pay your insurance every year, and you pay a lot. But your adjuster works for the insurance company, and the insurance company does not want you to spend their money.
9.Your adjuster can close down your claim if they feel you don’t need treatment. Your adjuster will share all your communications with the adjuster for the at fault party. So, be careful, less is more in these conversations.
10.If you receive a notice for an IME (Independent Medical Exam) call your lawyer right away. An IME is an examination conducted by a doctor who is paid by the insurance company who called for the examination. It is rare for these examinations to come out in your favor.
Bottom line is you need an attorney with many years experience to help you navigate the insurance maze and get you the money you deserve,don’t attempt it alone.
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There are millions and millions of car accident claims every year. In order to get the most out of your car accident claim it is required that you know about the process and what to do if you are ever in the unfortunate predicament of being in a car accident yourself.The time period immediately following a car accident can be filled with an overwhelming amount of stress, but it is necessary to keep calm so you can maximize your insurance benefits.Confidently navigating the claims process requires patience and organization.Follow the steps below for how to get the most from your car accident claim:

1.Contact us at the law offices of Joseph Ostad at 800 320-0080 and explain the circumstances of your accident claim in as much detail as possible.
2.Keep all documentation, including reports, receipts, and estimates relating to your accident, in order. Put papers together in a file so that when you need them, they are easy to find. Keep track of claim numbers and people with whom you have spoken.And make sure your lawyer has a copy of all this as well.
3.Document expenses relating to your accident, including missed work and medical costs. These will be part of the total settlement you receive, so make sure to include every related expense. If you are planning to claim an expense as part of the damages or loss from your accident, you will need to provide documentation of the expense. Letters, affidavits, estimates and receipts are all generally accepted as valid evidence.Research the value of your vehicle or get a second opinion about the cost of any repairs. The value of most vehicles is available online through Kelley Blue Book. A mechanic or body shop can provide an estimate for the cost of repairs if you do not trust the value proposed by your insurance. This will put your lawyer in the position to counter if they believe you are not offered a fair settlement in your case.
5.Review your policy with your attorney to see what the extent of your coverage is if you are uncertain.
6.Understand that your lawyer will be dealing with a car insurance claims adjuster and know that the adjuster works for the insurance company, and it is in their job duty and interest to save their company money!So, they are not looking out for you. You need to a good lawyer look out for you.
7.When you are offered a settlement, take time with your lawyer to review it. If you both think your claim is worth more than the offer, your lawyer can counter and explain why it is worth more. Insurance claims adjusters generally have a range (often thousands of dollars) in which they can work to settle out your case. While asking for more compensation doesn’t guarantee you will receive it, you won’t get it if you don’t ask!
8. Don’t be afraid of negotiating! At the law firm of Joseph Ostad we pride ourselves on our tenacity to receive top dollars for our clients claims.Negotiating is easy enough if you are armed with some facts regarding the value of your car and get outside opinions to support your counter.offer.The worse that can happen is that they will say no. The original offer will probably still be on the table, so nothing will be lost.
9. It may be tempting to hurry your settlement along,or trying to do it yourself but rushing can result in you not receiving the full amount of compensation to which you are entitled. Make sure you are in the capable hands of a good attorney to help you navigate the tricky claims process.
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When you are involved in a personal injury auto accident it can be a very frightening experience, but the most important thing to do is to keep calm.You must seek medical attention immediately and be careful not do anything that could jeopardize your insurance claim.Listed below are the steps you should take If you have been injured in an auto accident:

1) Call your Lawyer if possible before talking to anyone else,if you or unable to do this initially follow the steps below closely and take notes to give to your lawyer after the process is over.Do not sign any documents you don’t understand, talk to a specialist in personal injury law. Having experienced representation is the best way to make sure your rights are protected, especially in a serious accident.
2) Don’t Admit Fault Do not admit blame for the accident! Not to the other party or your passengers or the police any witnesses, or even your auto insurance agent. Even if you feel you may have been to blame for the accident, do not admit wrongdoing.Your perception of the accident could have been clouded by your emotional state so it’s best not to talk until you’re able to think clearly.First you should focus on getting the medical treatment you need and let your lawyer handle the other details.
3) Seek Medical Attention/Call an ambulance See a doctor immediately.Even though you may feel fine now or believe your injuries aren’t serious, symptoms such as pain, discomfort, dizziness, or numbness will appear in the days following the accident so it is best to get checked by a medical professional at once.Also if you wait too long to seek medical attention, it will be harder to prove that your injuries are the result of the accident. Have your doctor evaluate your personal injuries.Make sure your lawyer receives all doctor’s notes.
4) Take Pictures Take pictures at the scene (or have a friend do it if you need an ambulance) of your car, the other car involved and the scene.Make sure to include the car damages.Have a friend or relative take pictures of your injuries.Photos will be valuable evidence for your case. Cuts, bruises, and scrapes heal quickly, so getting photos immediately is a smart move. If you don’t have a digital camera, snap a few pictures with your cell phone.Submit these pictures to your lawyer.
5) Take Notes Take detailed notes regarding your medical treatment and give these to your lawyer.This information may be necessary for you to get full reimbursement from the insurance company.Jot down the names and addresses of any chiropractors, physical therapists, or other professionals you were referred to after the accident. Keep receipts for medications you were prescribed or any medical devices such as crutches that were needed.Your lawyer should help you with this file and will refer you to doctors as well.
6) Get the Police Report It is your right to receive a copy of the police report to verify that all facts regarding the accident are correct. Errors or omissions in the police report could delay your bodily injury claim.Make sure your lawyer gets this report as soon as possible 7) Make sure you use an experienced lawyer.Joseph Ostad has over 20 years experience in personal injury accident claims.
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The plaintiff says the jury award of $1.9 million was unfortunately bittersweet because he’s unable to do what he loved best, working as a Mason cop. After five hours of deliberations the jury found that the defendant was negligent and responsible for the injuries that causes the victim severe pain while he walks and he sometimes must rely on a cane for stability.The plaintiff was directing traffic after Mass at a Church on when the defendant sped out of the parking lot and struck him with her car. She then fled the scene.

The defendant’s Baltimore accident attorney, claimed the plaintiff was not hit by a car but instead had backed into his client’s car and only suffered minor contusions. The plaintiff’s Rockville injury attorney reminded the jury about a statement the defendant had written five days after the accident which she wrote that she hit him with her car and he flew up in the air and was knocked to the pavement.He also reminded the jury that several doctors testified about the victim’s injuries and the fact he will never be able to be a law enforcement officer and is only physically capable to work in one percent of available job categories in this economy.The plaintiff said the money will allow he and his wife to stop worrying about bills, but his life will never be the same. He said he doesn’t drive through the town anymore and doesn’t watch television police shows and all he does is go to rehab and counseling because the mental side is very difficult for him.
It was bittersweet, he said of the verdict. Financially we’re going to be taken care of, it was much more than I thought we would get. But for me it doesn’t change my life, I can’t do 95 percent of what I used to do, that includes working as a police officer. No amount of money is going to give me back that part, which was the most important part of my life.
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Seat Belt Case May Divide U.S. Supreme Court Over Minimum Standards U.S. Supreme Court justices signaled they may divide, perhaps evenly, in a case involving a Motor Corp. that could open automakers to more consumer lawsuits over vehicle safety.
Hearing arguments today in Washington, several justices hinted they would let accident victims sue even when automakers meet minimum federal standards set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA.

“A minimum by definition gives manufacturers options,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor said. Others, including Chief Justice John Roberts, suggested they would vote to limit lawsuits and reinforce a 2000 decision that shielded car makers from some claims. “You have a jury with an injured plaintiff,” Roberts said. “They are not likely to weigh heavily the fact that this would cost 3 extra cents per car fleet-wide. I think that is the sort of thing NHTSA considers.” The court might deadlock 4-4 because Elena Kagan, the newest justice, has disqualified herself. As the Obama administration’s solicitor general earlier this year, she urged the court to take the case. A tie vote would leave intact a lower court victory for the automakers without setting a national precedent. Protecting Carmakers The auto industry is asking the court to bolster the 2000 decision, which said federal law shields automakers from state law claims that manufacturers didn’t move quickly enough to install air bags in the years before they became mandatory in new cars. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, food producers and makers of children’s products have weighed in on Mazda’s side. NHTSA, an agency within the Transportation Department, has 59 safety standards that govern automotive components, including windshield wipers, internal trunk releases and seat belts. The standards set performance guidelines that manufacturers must follow. Justice Stephen Breyer hinted he was inclined to defer to the federal agency, which says its standards shouldn’t shield carmakers from suits claiming they didn’t do enough to make vehicles as safe as possible. Agency Expertise “Who is most likely to know what 40,000 pages of agency records actually mean and say? People in the agency,” Breyer said. “If the government continuously says, ‘This is what the agency means’ and the agency is telling them, ‘Yes, this is what it means,’ the chances are they will come to a better, correct conclusion than I will with my law clerks.” Mazda, based in Hiroshima, Japan, was sued by the family of the victim who died in 2002 in Utah as she was riding in a rear aisle seat in the second row of a 1993 MPV minivan. When the minivan was manufactured, seat belts that buckled only over the lap — without a shoulder harness — were permitted by law for some back seat passengers. The current regulations took effect in 2007 and require new cars to have shoulder restraints in all forward-facing seats, including rear aisle seats. The victim’s van struck a Jeep Wrangler that had become detached from a motor home that was towing it. The collision forced the victim’s body to jackknife around her seat belt, causing severe abdominal injuries and internal bleeding, according to the lawsuit filed by her husband.
The lawyer for the family argued that automakers “should be held accountable for the choices they make.” The attorney who argued the case for Mazda, said NHTSA “specifically gave manufacturers the option of installing one type of seat belt or the other.” A California state appeals court barred the suit from going forward, ruling it was preempted by federal law. Mazda’s U.S. headquarters is in Irvine, California.
The Supreme Court last year, ruling on preemption in a different context, said consumers can sue drug makers for failing to provide adequate safety warnings. The 6-3 ruling said drug companies aren’t shielded from suit by the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of a treatment and its packaging information.
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A lawsuit has been filed against the state on behalf of four bicyclists who were severely injured while riding on the Highway in August. The cyclists suffered everything from severe cases of road rash to concussions, broken bones, punctured lungs, even paralysis. The state agency hired an outside contractor to re-pave a portion of a major Highway. The re-paving process was in its initial stages. On the first Friday after the project began, the contractor left the job site unprotected, without warning of the danger it posed.

. Bicyclists riding northbound on the bike lanes encountered an incline without any reasonable notice of what they faced at the bottom of the incline, namely that the road was “…cut away and strewn with loose gravel, rocks, sudden irregularities in elevation, narrowing of the shoulder, ground-up roadway surfaces, cracks and crevices,” according to the lawsuit. These conditions “would and did cause said roadway to be unreasonably dangerous and defective for bicyclists who regularly and typically used this path…”. The hazardous conditions remained from Friday through Sunday despite messages left on the states hotline and e-mails sent informing them of the conditions. The governmental agency did not begin to remedy the situation until Monday, explaining that they were closed on Friday due to the state-mandated furlough. “The state did not do their job,” says Personal Injury Attorney and avid cyclist who specializes in handling bicycle cases. “Pursuant to policy and directive, they are responsible for issuing warnings about highway construction projects, and they dropped the ball … big time. Call it oversight, carelessness, stupidity or indifference … it still comes down to many innocent people being seriously injured.”

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The local state troopers found the victim comatose and face down in the street after a horrific multi- car crash on the Interstate that they believed was her fault. But at last her vindication is complete.She finally has settled the last of her claims, which total over $10 million.The victim a 47 year old woman cannot walk and can barely speak since the accident. She can only communicate with a pencil and paper and said she needs to use the money she was awarded to pay for her long term medical needs and to build a handicap-accessible house she shares with her two teenaged children.This is a stellar example of how our legal system can work (with the help of an experienced attorney) to help victims receive justice and help those in need.

On a sunny day in May the plaintiff left work at a Medical Center to attend her children’s preschool graduation.They were just little children then,and neither of them can remember me walking or talking, the victim said. She was driving a loaner car because her car was in the shop for service.According to the Highway Patrol report,the victim crashed into a semi-trailer truck after she improperly changed lanes shortly after pulling onto the interstate. Her car then crashed into another truck then back into the first one. She was ejected through the rear side window after the driver’s seat collapsed and her safety belt failed.She still had glass stuck in her hair when the police officers found her. The crash closed I-95’s northbound lanes for 3 hours during the afternoon rush hour. She was unable to dispute the police accident report because she was comatose and has subsequently never regained any memory of the crash.Her attorney’s experience told him the accident didn’t happen the way the police report said it did.Initially he went after the 2 trucking companies, which quickly settled even though they believed the plaintiff was was at fault.But while working those cases there was a breakthrough when they found a one-paragraph statement in investigators’ field notes from an armored-car driver which was never cited in the police report. His statement indicated he cut off the victim causing her car to swerve and crash into the trucks.He deserves credit for coming back to the scene and giving a truthful statement. The armored car company was the last party to settle after a jury found it acted in bad faith by not paying the victim’s claim.The victim also settled with the makers of the car because of design flaws that contributed to the accident and her injuries.The victim and her family will use the settlement for her lifetime care.
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It’s no secret that our roads and highways are getting busier and more dangerous every year and even with increasing gas prices,more Americans than ever are taking to the roads as their preferred mode of transportation.This glut of traffic is resulting in more accidents than ever before and an undeniable need to be aware of your rights in the unfortunate case of a car accident.

Thankfully fatal automobile accidents are decreasing due to stricter regulations regarding car manufacturing and seat belt requirement laws, but “fender-benders” are on the rise.If you find yourself he victim of a car accident it is imperative to seek help from a qualified attorney. Just because you have been paying car insurance since you’ve been 16 years old don’t believe for one second that the insurance companies are on your side.Their goal is to pay you little as possible so they can keep as much money as they can in their company.Ever notice how the biggest buildings in the city are insurance companies? How do you think they got that way? By keeping more money than they pay out,that’s how. Do yourself a favor and call an experienced attorney like myself who has over 20 years experience going head to head with all the major insurance companies.After the accident. wait for the police and have them write up a police report,exchange information including your license and registration and insurance information with the other driver through the officer if possible.Asses your injuries and call an ambulance to have the ER doctors further examine you.Many times due to shock you may not be aware of your injuries and having a professional look you over is really the best course of action.Call your lawyer and have all your info ready including police report and doctors reports.Do not talk to anyone else including your insurance agent and especially the other person’s insurance agent until you consult you lawyer!Insurance agents have many ways to trip you up during a phone conversation and it is not advisable to talk with them so soon in case you are still in shock and upset over the accident. The bottom line is we live in a busy world make sure you drive safely and in the unfortunate event an accident occurs take care of yourself by hiring a competent attorney.
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A jury awarded $25 million to a woman who lost her left leg after a City Transit bus ran over her while it was sharply turning a corner just two blocks from her apartment.The woman who had to have her leg amputated and has since worn a prosthetic leg, cried loudly when the verdict was read. She then thanked the jury who had sat through the nearly 10 week trial in Supreme Court.She feels vindicated her husband said because the transit authority called her a liar.
The injury that she sustained is a lifelong injury and whenever she looks down she’ll forever be reminded. The lawyer for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority made a motion to the judge immediately following the verdict arguing that the award was excessive. But the Judge let the verdict stand.The transit agency plans to appeal the verdict claiming that this is just a jury verdict and the appellate courts won’t sustain a verdict of this magnitude. The jury found the plaintiff negligent for not looking when she crossed the street but the jury also found that the City Transit and the bus driver had been negligent, and that their combined negligence was 100 percent responsible for the victim’s injury. A spokesman for the transit agency shared that the case was being appealed.Recently juries have awarded 3 other plaintiffs in personal injury cases against City Transit for a total of more than $15 million with the transit agency appealing all of them.In the case involving the plaintiff the main issue was whether she had been inside or outside the crosswalk when she was hit. The transit agency believes that she had walked into the path of the bus, and the wheel at over 40,000 pounds,crushed the plaintiff’s lower left leg, from above the ankle to below the knee,with no damage to the foot. The plaintiff’s leg was subsequently amputated at the hospital and 2 weeks later, doctors had to perform another operation to amputate her leg to the groin due to infection. She has been unable to work since then because of her severe injuries.In another case against the city transit a man was awarded $3 million after a subway train ran over him and he had to have his right leg amputated. Even though he was intoxicated a jury found that he was only 25 percent culpable because the subway operator did not stop.In another case a jury awarded a man $7 million when a subway train struck him after he stumbled onto the tracks. The jury found him to be only 20 percent at fault and his right leg had to be amputated and he also lost an eye.And finally a man was awarded $1.4 million after he was hit by a City Transit bus.
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