What You Should Know About Rear End Shunt Accidents

Whenever you get behind the wheel of a car, you are at a risk for an accident. There are a variety of types of accidents that can occur. One of the potentially most devastating accidents you may ever encounter is rear end shunt accidents. These accidents happen when a car is hit from behind and pushed forward. Due to the forward motion, the struck vehicle may in turn hit the vehicle in front of them. This can be extremely devastating because the impact occurs on both ends of the vehicle, causing serious damage to the car, as well as to its occupants.

Careful Investigation Is Required

Because of the complexity of these accidents, it’s important to make sure they are properly investigated. This will help your court case along the way. Once the accident is reported, law enforcement officials and any necessary medical personnel will arrive on the scene to piece together what happened and provide assistance where needed. They will file a police report you can then submit to your insurance company, as well as provide to your lawyer to help determine whether you have a good case. Some of the most common causes of these accidents include tailgating, broken or poorly maintained tail lights, road rage, distracted driving, poorly maintained brakes or intoxicated driving. The cause of the accident and who is at fault will help your lawyer determine if you qualify for a case against the other driver.

Motorcyclists Are at an Increased Risk

While any driver or passenger can be injured in rear end shunt accidents, motorcyclists are at a particularly higher risk, especially of severe injury, because of the lack of protection. These accidents are also more common when motorcycles are involved because it can be easy for other drivers to miss seeing them until it is too late. When drivers don’t see a motorcyclist and ultimately hits them, they are at a much higher risk of serious injury than those who travel in other types of vehicles. Soft tissue injuries are among the most commonly reported as a results of these types of accidents. This is due to the back and forth whiplash motion that takes place when a stopped vehicle is hit, especially without the support found in cars, trucks and SUVs. Motorcyclists are also more likely to experience spinal or head injuries, particularly if they are thrown from the motorcycle when they are hit.

If you’ve been injured in a rear end shunt accident, you need the assistance of a qualified attorney to help you seek the compensation to which you may be entitled.

Do I Need Evidence After a Car Accident?

Right after a vehicular accident takes place, the entire situation can seem a bit overwhelming, leading to confusion and a sense of not knowing what to do. And if there are any injuries involved, the intensity of the whole situation will likely seem greatly amplified. Fortunately, though, there are steps you can take to help ensure you take the right steps after being involved in a car wreck.

Think clearly about everything

Thinking clearly right after an accident may seem like a very difficult task to accomplish, which is why it is so important to take pictures or even video of the situation. Later on, once your adrenaline has died down, you can go back and look at the pictures and video and see if it helps to refresh your memory.

Make copies …. of everything

Whether it is a police report or pictures of the accident, you need to make copies of everything related to the wreck. Even doctor’s statements need to be copied. And while you will need to work cooperatively with your insurance company to ensure you receive proper compensation for any monies they owe to you, you will want to make sure you keep copies of the pieces of information you share with them. It is highly suggested that you contact a professional personal injury attorney before contacting any of the involved insurance companies.

Share everything with your lawyer

As mentioned above, speaking with an attorney before contacting any of the involved insurance companies is of the utmost importance; this helps to ensure you do not share any information with the insurance companies that would deter you from receiving the most amount of compensation you can receive for the wreck and any injuries sustained. A professional lawyer can walk you through the entire process of filing a personal injury claim, and if needed, the attorney can handle all communications between you and your insurance company as well as any other insurance companies involved. Your lawyer can also talk with you and help you to recall any of the details that need to be remembered about the accident; details that could be used in your favor to help you receive the most compensation possible.

If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident, it is pertinent to contact a personal injury attorney. An assessment of your case will help determine if you have the grounds to file a personal injury claim, and if you do, this attorney can help you with the entire process. 

Understanding an Insurance Company’s Case Evaluation Process

A car accident can rattle even those with nerves of steel.  Oftentimes, there is also a sense of confusion after an accident and involved parties may disagree who is at fault. One may not have insurance or may object to having the police called, wanting to just settle it between you and them.  In a worst case scenario, someone is injured. If this is the case, it is important to file a personal injury claim with a reputable law firm as soon as you’ve received treatment for your injuries.

For individuals in car accidents it can be easy to make a mistake following the accident. You may forget to get witness information, take pictures, or miss something else important. One of the most common mistakes that victims make is giving the other insurance company too much information.  After being in a car accident where the other driver was at fault, you can expect to be contacted by the other driver’s insurance company who will ask you for the following information:

Medical Records and Medical Bills

While in some cases,  medical record and medical bills may be needed for the claim, you should be aware that you don’t have to hand over billing statements that contain any discounts given to you by the hospital after treating you for your injuries.  For example, if your injuries cost a total of $200,000 but the hospital gave you a discount of $50,000 and the other insurance company sees this discount, they will only reimburse you for $150,000 instead of the $200,000 you are actually entitled to.  To be safe and to avoid losing money in a personal injury case, contact a lawyer in Arizona immediately after a car accident to make sure you make all the right decisions, starting with the phone call from the other insurance agency.

To prevent making mistakes with the other insurance company, as well as other mistakes during your personal injury claim, it is important to retain an experienced lawyer in Arizona.  The legal team at Hastings & Hastings can guide you from start to finish during your personal injury claim in Arizona.  We offer a free, no obligation initial consultation where we will listen to your story, ask questions and answer all of your questions. We will give you our expert legal advice at no-obligation. To speak with a friendly, experienced member of our legal team, contact Hastings and Hastings at 800-975-0080.

How Long Do I Have to Resolve My Auto Accident Case

When you’re involved with an auto accident in Arizona, it’s likely you are focused on recovering from your injuries and getting your life back to a sense of normality. Few people are eager to talk to a lawyer and jump into a court room to seek compensation for their injuries. However, there are limitations to the amount of time you have to file a claim in court against the person at fault in your vehicle accident. It’s important to talk to a lawyer and get the process started when the clock starts ticking so you don’t miss out on the compensation to which you are entitled.

How Long Do You Have?

The good news is Arizona law allows a reasonable amount of time during which you can file a claim against someone if you have been injured in a car accident deemed to be their fault. For the most part, the case must be started and commenced within two years from the date of the accident, This includes any personal injury or death, along with any damage to property that may have occurred. This means it’s important to start taking steps as soon as possible after the accident to ensure you fall within this timeline.

Do the Statutes of Limitations Ever Not Apply?

Many people feel there must be exceptions to the rule when it comes to an auto accident statute of limitations. After all, what if you are so severely injured it takes you a long period of time to recover in order to properly pursue your case. While there are no set regulations that address this issue, it’s important to talk to a personal injury lawyer to determine whether you will be held strictly to this statute of limitations or if there is a possibility it will be overlooked for your case. For individuals who are severely injured or in situations that involve death, a family member can often consult with an attorney to inquire about the best way to proceed.

Do You Need a Lawyer?

Another common question individuals have in regard to their auto accident is whether they really need a lawyer. When the police officer has already proclaimed the other party to be at fault, it can seem like an easy case. However, this isn’t often the case. In fact, insurance companies are notorious for offering settlements that are much lower than the amount to which you are entitled. Working with an attorney experienced in auto accidents and personal injury cases can help you take the right steps to obtain the compensation you are owed as a result of the injuries you have suffered from.

What to Do If a Drunk Driver Causes Your Auto Accident

Drunk driving is a much bigger problem than many people realize. Although approximately one-million Americans are arrested for these violations each year, there are many times more self-reported incidents of drunk driving. This leads to wondering what you should do if you are ever involved in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver. Therefore, it’s important to learn what you should do in order to properly protect yourself and get the compensation to which you are entitled.

What Should You Do?

If you are ever hit by a drunk driver, you are well within your right to sue for compensation as a result of the accident. However, this isn’t something you should pursue on your own. Instead, you should seek the assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer to help guide you through your case.

Handling the Insurance Claim

Like all automotive accidents, it’s important to learn how to handle the calls you will get from the other party’s insurance company. They often want you to settle for far less than the amount to which you are entitled. It’s important to work with an auto accident lawyer you can rely on to handle these offers for you so you don’t have to deal with the stress associated with these calls.

Get the Appropriate Compensation

One of the most important things you need to know about your auto accident claim is how to get the appropriate compensation. In most cases, drunk driving accidents are quite severe and leave victims badly injured or worse. This requires more than simply compensating you for time lost at work and medical bills. There is often pain and suffering to consider, along with the potential for a permanent loss of income. The right auto accident lawyer will be able to help you seek the appropriate amount compensation so you can resume the quality of life you were used to prior to the accident. Most people fail to consider the future impact of this type of accident when calculating the amount they ask for.

Work with the Professionals

Because of the sensitivity and severity of a drunk driving case, it’s important to work with personal injury attorneys in Phoenix who have the experience necessary to handle your case. With the right assistance, you will be able to seek the right amount of compensation and get the stress-free representation you need to be successful in your case. They will go over all of the details and help you find the best way to approach your case so you can get the outcome you deserve.

Types of Head Injuries & Symptoms

When you are involved in an auto accident, one of the most common types of injuries you may experience is a head or brain injury. In fact, you don’t even have to hit your head to experience this type of injury. These injuries can vary in severity, causing an array of issues that can have a negative impact on your life. The following discusses some of the common types of brain injuries and what types of symptoms you should watch for after you are involved in a car accident.

Types of Head Injuries

Head injuries are among the most traumatic, causing issues with your mental function, some of which can be permanent and could even result in death. Some of the most common types include:

  • Concussions — This type of injury is the result of a rapid, sudden movement of the head, such as in a car collision. This causes the brain to collide with the skull, often resulting in blurred vision, nausea, memory loss and confusion. Some individuals may even lose consciousness. Multiple concussions can lead to permanent problems.
  • Edema — Edema is a medical term for swelling. When the brain swells as the result of a head injury, it can build up pressure, which can have a severely negative impact on the function of the brain.
  • Hemorrhage — This term refers to an internal bleed. When there is bleeding around the brain, it can lead to a build up of pressure similar to edema. In some cases, the bleeding is inside the brain, which can cause an entirely different set of issues.
  • Contusion — A contusion is a more clinical term for a bruise. When there is a sudden impact on the brain, it can cause this type of bruising, which can have minor to life-threatening effects, depending on the severity and the location of the contusion.
  • Whiplash — Often felt more profoundly in the neck, whiplash is caused by the rapid forward motion of the head during impact. It is typically defined as the damaging of the muscles and tendons in the neck, which can lead to headaches and other symptoms.
  • Secondary Impact Syndrome — This problem occurs when an individual suffers a second traumatic injury to the head before the initial injury can heal. This is not commonly found in car accident victims unless they are in multiple crashes in a short period of time.
  • Diffuse Axonal Injury — Instead of causing bleeding like some other brain injuries, this injury damages the brain cells directly. This makes it one of the most dangerous head injuries as it is almost always permanent and can be life threatening.

Symptoms to Look For

If you’ve been in a car accident, there are a few symptoms you should watch for to help determine if you may have a brain injury, including:

  • Memory Loss
  • Dizziness
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Blurred Vision
  • Personality Changes
  • Depression
  • Sleep Problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of Balance
  • Difficulty Concentrating

If you notice any of these symptoms, see your doctor right away.

Who Is at Fault In a Chain Reaction Vehicle Accident?

One of the first steps after a car accident is determining who is at fault. This allows insurance companies to decide who is eligible for a settlement and which company should be paying for the damages. While this is often relatively clear cut when it comes to one- or two-vehicle accidents, a chain reaction accident can be more difficult to assign blame. IN most cases, more than one person will be assigned a portion of the blame.

How It Occurs

There are many ways in which a chain reaction accident can occur, though there are two common types. The first typically happens when one vehicle hits another, pushing the car that was hit into another vehicle in front of it. While this is the most common way these accidents occur, there are other ways as well. For instance, after a two-car collision, the obstacle present in the roadway can cause other vehicles to crash into those that were already involved in the accident, especially if it takes place around a curve or other drivers are traveling too fast.

Who Is at Fault

In most situations, the driver who first hit another car will bear a majority of the responsibility for the accident, if not all of it, because none of the cars would be hit if the first collision didn’t take place. However, this isn’t always the case. If other drivers or public agencies can be proven to be at fault as well, this can alleviate some of the fault from the initial driver. Some of the other factors that can determine if another driver is also at fault can include:

  • Following too closely
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone
  • Failure to use brake lights or turn signals
  • Improper maintenance of traffic signals
  • Road obstacles that weren’t cleared

In some situations, no one is deemed at fault based on the current driving conditions, such as bad weather or other natural hazards, such as ice. Causing an accident because of the effects of a medical condition can also alleviate fault in an accident.

Establishing Fault

The key is proving the person is at fault to allow you to win your case and get the compensation to which you are entitled. There are several ways in which this can be done, but each of them must prove negligence on the part of the at-fault party. Some of the ways to prove fault include:

  • Physical evidence, such as type of vehicle damage and debris and skid marks on the road
  • Witness statements
  • Police reports
  • Traffic violation records for the at-fault party

Establishing fault in an accident is a critical component of getting compensation after an accident. When it comes to chain reaction crashes, this can be even more difficult, but still possible with the right tools.

How to Handle an Accident with an Uninsured Driver

No one plans on being in a car accident. When this situation does arise, it can be at the most inconvenient time, leaving you to deal with the other driver, insurance companies, damages and even the possibility of having to hire an attorney. Unfortunately, about 25 percent of people on the road in the U.S. are driving without insurance. Do you know what to do if you were involved in a car accident in Phoenix, AZ with someone who was not insured? If not, then you need the information here.

What to Do if the Other Driver is Uninsured 

If you are involved in a small accident, or fender bender, with an uninsured driver, they may just try to pay you for the damages on your vehicle. You should not do this. You need to first get a professional estimate for how much the repairs are going to cost since there may be structural or frame damage that isn’t visible. As a result, this could significantly increase the cost of repairs.

A smart option is to purchase uninsured motorist coverage. When you have this, your insurance will cover damages and repair costs for any accident – even if the at-fault person doesn’t have coverage. All you have to do is get the other person’s information. If you don’t have this type of coverage at the time of your accident, then you may have to hire an attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve.

While there are some states that have made it a law for drivers to have uninsured motorist coverage, this is not the case in Arizona; however, it is something you should consider doing.

What to Do if You are Uninsured? 

It is illegal for you to drive without insurance in Phoenix, Arizona. The consequences of doing this vary, but if you are involved in an accident, you may have to pay for the damages to both vehicles. If you are the cause of the accident and there are any related medical expenses, you may have to hire a lawyer for assistance.

The bottom line is that when it comes to driving, it is better to be safe and purchase the insurance now, rather than sorry that you don’t have coverage after an accident. With uninsured coverage, you don’t have to worry about how damages and medical bills will be covered after an accident.

Halloween Safety Preparation Tips

While you’re busy planning for your Halloween celebrations, you may fail to think about safety precautions you should be taking. However, in order to have the most fun possible, you will need to know how to protect yourself and your children. Accidents do happen, but you can decrease the risks of a catastrophic holiday by taking the right precautions.

Safe Costumes

Everyone loves to dress up for Halloween. However, it’s important to do so safely, especially if you plan on taking your kids around the neighborhood after dark. Even though you want to help your child create a costume that reflects the character they want, you can get a little creative by adding a few safety features on the costume. For instance, apply some reflective tape or other reflective stickers to the costume or your child’s treat bag. You can also buy glow sticks to wear or carry. This will increase visibility, especially on darker costumes.

Safe Walking

As you walk around with your child, it’s important to make sure your child knows how to stay safe. Even though a lot of people will be out walking, there will also be a lot of drivers. people driving as well. Talk to your child about obeying any traffic signals and always looking both ways more than once before crossing any streets. Your child should also be encouraged to keep phones and electronics put away. You should also instruct your child to make eye contact with a driver before crossing the road to ensure they are seen.

Safe Driving

If you will be out on the road Halloween night, you will need to exercise even greater caution as you drive. Despite parents’ best efforts, children have a tendency to get overexcited and may dart into the road unpredictably. This means you must put greater focus on the road in front of you and your surroundings and avoid getting distracted by cell phones or anything else. Drive slowly, especially through residential area, and stay alert to everything going on around you.

Staying safe on Halloween will ensure everyone has a good time. However, accidents can still happen. If you are involved in any type of accident during this holiday celebration, it’s important to contact a qualified attorney in Arizona as soon as possible. They can help guide you through the process of seeking the compensation to which you are entitled.

Settling a Personal Injury Claim for a Minor

Minors have no say over legal matters due to their age. While in many cases, this means parents are responsible for making decisions, the court will often step in and make sure a child’s best interest is protected when it comes to settling a personal injury case. This can add time and expense onto a case, which is why it’s important for parents to understand how this process works.

An Added Layer of Protection

Parents are supposed to protect their children, which is why they will typically work with an experienced personal injury attorney to handle their child’s case. However, sometimes the dollar signs can cloud judgment and parents make decisions that aren’t particularly in the best interest of their injured child. Requiring approval from the court prior to accepting a settlement will ensure a neutral third party is looking at it from the child’s perspective, providing an additional layer of protection to ensure a child is compensated appropriately for the injuries they have suffered.

Protecting the Assets

Once a settlement has been reached, the courts require the funds received in the settlement are placed into a conservatorship so they will be used for the child’s needs. Even parents with the best intentions can make mistakes that lead to using the money in a way it shouldn’t be. This process works by naming a conservator to take control of the settlement funds. In many cases, this money is placed into a high-interest bearing account so it can grow and the child will have the finances needed to maintain a good quality of life as they go through their lives. If the money isn’t required immediately, it’s best to leave it to gain interest. However, if the parents do need assistance with bills and other costs directly associated with the injury, the conservator can withdraw the funds as needed. This money cannot be used for clothing, food or shelter because these are considered basic needs every parent should provide.

Who Can Be Conservator

Anyone can be named conservator over a personal injury settlement. When the settlement is on the lower end, the parents are typically named as conservators because there is little risk of abusing the money. However, when a larger sum is obtained, it is often wise to choose an outside party who has nothing to gain personally by controlling the money. In these situations, the conservator must be bonded and will be required to check in with the courts on a regular basis to ensure the money is managed properly. Any conservator must be approved by the court.

No one wants to see their child injured, especially when someone else is at fault. However, if this does occur, it’s important to understand how these settlements work so you can more easily navigate through the case and get the compensation your child deserves.