One Common Mistake an Injured Party Makes After a Car Accident

Getting into a car accident can make a person feel rattled, nervous, and anxious.  You may have had a slight injury or something more serious, but either way, it can be easy for an injured person to make mistakes when dealing with the aftermath, especially when it come to the other party’s insurance company. After an accident, the other party’s insurance company will call the injured person. At this time, the insurance company will ask the injured party questions as well as make other requests of the them, many of which may seem perfectly logical and reasonable.

What kind of requests? For starters, the other party’s insurance company may ask the injured party for some of all of the following:

Medical Records and Medical Bills

This is one area where injured parties can make a common mistake.  The insurance company will call and ask for your medical records related to the suffered injury.  They may tell you they need the records to consider your claim.  While this could be true, what they also want to see is your medical bills.  However, it should be known that they are not legally entitled to see all that is on your billing statement. To avoid the mistake of handing over documents you shouldn’t to the other insurance company, it’s important to have a trusted attorney representing your claim.

For example, let’s assume that the injury sustained from a car accident of which it was the other party’s fault ran up $75,000. The hospital, however, gave you a discount of $20,000.  If the other insurance company sees that discount, they will only compensate the injured party for $55,000 instead of $75,000. Again, they are not entitled to this information so there is no reason to give it to them.

To avoid making the common mistake of giving an insurance company too much information , it is best to retain the services of a lawyer immediately after you are in a car accident.  As an injured party you are entitled to fair and just compensation for the injury you sustained by the other driver’s negligence.  At Hastings & Hastings, we have represented hundreds of individuals who have been the victim of a car accident.  If you would like to discuss your claim and receive a free no obligation with one of our experienced attorneys, call Hastings & Hastings at 800-975-0080. We will listen to your story, answer all your questions, and make our professional legal recommendation.  Call today.

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.

Documenting Your Pain and Suffering After an Accident

After you’ve been in an automobile accident, or any type of accident that resulted in an injury, you’ll find yourself left with pain, suffering and possibly functional limitations. Your individual pain and suffering that you experience after an accident will signify a major component of your future lawsuit or legal claim. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly document your pain and suffering throughout your recovery.

Pain and Suffering is Difficult to Prove

Since pain and suffering can make or break a case, it’s a significant factor that is a challenge to prove in the court of law. You need to take every necessary step you can to document your experiences following the accident or injury that was caused by someone else being negligent.

Keep a Simple Journal

The easiest and most effect step to take is to keep a journal. With every journal entry, discuss the pain and suffering you experienced that day. Be as detailed as you can in order to make a compelling case for the legitimacy of your case. You don’t need to make this an overcomplicated or even time consuming process; simply record your daily experiences before bed each night (or whenever works for you).

Make note of when you feel pain, where you feel it and what motions it’s inhibiting. Include the time and date of every journal entry. Additionally, it’s worth developing a rating system so that you can assign a numerical value to your pain. A simple 1-10 system is often all that’s required. A ‘one’ represents minimal pain, while 10 represents intense pain.

If you experience any persistent pain, be sure to record this in your pain journal. Discuss what’s hurting, how long it hurts and what, if anything, provides any relief.

Retain All Medical Documents

It’s vital for your case that you retain a copy of all medical documents related to life in the aftermath of your accident or injury. Keep everything the doctor gives you, and even write about each visit in your pain journal. Not only does keeping all medical documents help prove pain, but it will also help prove the financial burden that’s been placed on you since the accident. You can staple important documents to your journal, or simply keep them in a folder.

Consider Hiring the Professionals

Working with a personal injury lawyer will be advantageous to documenting and proving your pain. These specially trained lawyers are skilled at knowing what the courts need to see in order to prove the hardships caused by the accident or injury. Contact us today to setup an appointment to determine how we can best protect your interests in your personal injury case.

Calculating Lost Wages in a Personal Injury Case

Were you injured because of the negligence of someone else?  Are you spending nights awake worrying about lost wages and your financial future?  For injured parties who are out of work, this can be a frightening and overwhelming time for the injured person and their family.  If this has happened to you, then it’s time to get back your wages in a court of law and secure your financial future.

What Qualifies as Lost Wages?

When it comes to the courts, they want to see documentation of lost wages, such as a W-2, 1099, or other tax document.  For individuals who have multiple jobs, this can prove difficult.  For example, people who perform non-traditional, part-time jobs like lawn care, weekend waitressing, babysitting, or bartending a couple of nights a week may have a harder time proving the worth of their lost wages.  Sometimes, these jobs cannot be included when calculating lost wages due to a personal injury case.

As the plaintiff, you are owed lost wages as part of the compensatory damages incurred by your personal injury case.  At this point, the plaintiff needs to examine their overall income and where it comes from for the attorneys to determine which sources are eligible for lost income. If a tax documentation is not available, there must be some reasonable documentation to prove the lost wages, like receipts for example.  This would especially be the case for income earned from a source that is less than $600 for the entire year.

What about Future Lost Wages?

It is also important to consider future lost wages at this point.  To determine this, an attorney will look at the plaintiffs’ current level of income to determine future loses that also include recovery time.  If a person’s injuries need three months, six months, or even a year or more to heal, the plaintiff is entitled to compensation for lost wages during this recovery time.  The estimated recovery time is determined by a formal medical recommendation. The court will only accept reliable documents that prove your current income, future income and time needed to recover.  This documentation will go on the record and will ensure that you receive the appropriate amount for lost wages to be awarded.

At Hastings and Hastings we successfully win personal injury cases everyday.  We will win yours too.  For a free consultation about your personal injury case call us at 800-975-0080 and we will listen to your story, answer all of your questions, and give you our professional recommendation.

Dangers of Emotional Driving and Other Distractions While Driving

Our lives are filled with hills and valleys and in between these ups and downs of life, we need to keep on driving – even on bad days. We drive when we’re feeling sick, tired, mad, sad, and glad.  However, did you know that feeling overly emotional or agitated when you drive can be as distracting as trying to balance a hot cup of coffee, talk on the phone, text, or reach for the radio controls?

In fact, researchers at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute conducted a study that came up with some startling results about emotions and distracted driving; drivers who feel emotions like extreme anger or sadness are ten times more likely to get into an accident than an emotionally stable driver.  The researchers also studied the effects of distracted driving in general. Their findings stated that drivers increase their chance of getting into a crash by 50 percent when they are distracted.  Furthermore, the researchers found that drivers typically engage in distracting behavior while driving half the time they get behind the wheel.  Many of these distracted drivers, the study found, are younger generations of drivers, particularly teenagers.

Being a distracted driver means your eyes are not on the road at all times.  Eating a taco and trying to drive at the same time is like playing Russian Roulette with the road. The same goes for driving while crying or feeling another intense emotion, like rage.  Anything that takes your attention from the road and the task of driving in general, such as turning around to talk to someone in the back seat to reaching for a ringing phone or feeling agitated, dramatically increases your chance of an unavoidable car accident.

If you or someone who love has been injured in a car accident because of a distracted driver, there are actions you can take. In fact, holding a distracted driver liable for your injuries is within the law.  At Hastings and Hastings, we have the experience to see your case financially resolved. You probably have many questions, such as how you will pay your bills while you recover and how long it will take to see compensation. You may have questions about the particular injury you sustained. We can answer these questions and more.  Let our team take care of the financial aspects of your case while you focus on recovering.  For help getting just compensation for injuries caused by a distracted driver, call our compassionate and experienced legal team at 800-975-0080 for a free no-obligation consultation. Our friendly team of experts are here to listen to your story and be your voice to fight for the compensation you deserve.

The Risk of Wrong-Way Accidents in Arizona

Wrong way collisions are rare but they do happen and their one of the most deadly and frightening kinds of accidents to be in. According to statistics, there are approximately twenty-two wrong way accidents that occur in Arizona every year out of a total of 120,0000 collisions across the state. Of the total amount of auto accidents in Arizona, there are approximately 1,000 resulting deaths.

Whether from intoxication, distracted driving, or another reason, drivers sometimes cross medians and drive in the opposite direction or get on an off ramp on the highway and continue until there is a head on collision. 65% of wrong way accidents involve intoxication by the driver.

When a wrong way accident does occur in Arizona, authorities expect an average of eight of those accidents to include one or more fatalities. In 2016, there were 1,600 reports of a wrong-way driver, according to the Arizona Department of Pubic Safety’s information officer Raul Garcia. Of those 1,600 wrong way crashes, twenty-seven resulted in serious injury and death. Police arrested over 100 drivers for intoxication out of these 1,600 crashes. Garcia went on to say in his interview with KTAR News that “a very small percentage of that 1,600 has resulted in a crash, and in many instances, these people reorient themselves or get to where they are going and exit the highway.”

The reason many wrong way accidents are fatal lies in the extent of the victims’ injuries in the front seat or from ejection when not wearing a safety device, like a seatbelt. Some of the most common injuries sustained by those involved in a head-on car crash include:

  • Broken bones
  • Head trauma
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Concussion
  • Whiplash
  • Dental damage
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Airbag injuries
  • Internal organ injuries

Get Legal Help Today

At Hastings and Hastings, we are an experienced team of lawyers dedicated to helping victims of wrong way collisions and other negligent accidents.  If you or a loved one have been involved in a wrong-way accident or any other negligent car accident, it is important to understand your rights. Further investigation could help an accident victim hold a negligent driver liable for injuries and other damages suffered by the victim of a wrong way crash in Arizona.  We are here to help you get the just compensation you deserve whether you or someone you love was injured in a head on collision in Arizona. Call us today at 800-975-0080 to tell us your story.  We will offer you a free, no-obligation consultation and answer all of your questions and concerns. Call today and let Hastings and Hastings be your fighting voice for justice.

Most Accidents on the Road are Caused by Teen Drivers

There are many vehicular accidents that occur in Phoenix and other parts of the United States that could easily be prevented. In fact, any accident that is a result of drowsiness, drunk driving, or distracted driving can be prevented. And while a large portion of accidents to take place because of the three reasons previously mentioned, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted a study and found that the majority of accidents include teen drivers. Why is this? Part of the reason is because teen drivers are inexperienced when it comes to driving, especially when it comes to problematic weather and dealing with aggressive drivers.

A study released by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 are three times more likely to be involved in an accident than those who are 20-years-old or older. And while many times elderly drivers are deemed as the culprit for a large percentage of car accidents, when compared with teen drivers, the latter still pulls out on top for being responsible for more wrecks. In fact, less experience — the type that comes with being a teen driver — spells out to be a primary cause for vehicular accidents. From a percentage standpoint, over 12 percent of accidents are caused by teen drivers, with only 7.5 percent being caused by senior drivers.

Fortunately, legislatures across the country have started taking note to this undeniable trend existing among teen drivers, and thanks to their recognition of this issue, all 50 states have implemented graduated drivers licensing programs; this requires teens to have more practice behind the wheel before they are able to qualify for a driver’s license. It is believed that with more experience behind the wheel comes a reduction in the number of accidents that will take place with teen drivers the at-fault or responsible party.

Teen drivers today are dealing with distractions that other teen drivers were not distracted by years ago. With the increasing popularity of smartphones, it has become a major concern among all states that teen drivers be prohibited from texting or using a cell phone while driving. When distractions are combined with a general lack of experience in driving, this often proves to be a disaster.

If you have been involved in a vehicular accident with a teen driver, you need to consult an attorney as soon as possible to see if you qualify for a personal injury claim. A professional attorney can assess the details of your case and provide you with the proper steps you need to take to ensure you get any monies owed to you.

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. 

Drunk Drivers, the Super Bowl, and Your Safety

The fifty first Super Bowl will grace television screens across the country this February and along with traditional Super Bowl snacks like chicken wings and chips, beer and other alcoholic drinks are usually part of any size Super Bowl party.  In fact, Super Bowl ranks up there with New Year’s Eve and the Forth of July as one of the nation’s top drinking days.

It’s no surprise, then, that Super Bowl day also sees a spike in people who drink and drive.  With and average of 325 million gallons of beer consumed on Super Bowl Sunday, according to Forbes Magazine, the reality of this drinking day really hits home.

In Southern Arizona, where a DUI task force is implemented reduce drinking and driving accidents on Super Bowl Sunday, an average 550 cars are stopped on Suspicion of drinking and driving. That can add up to a lot of arrests at Pima County checkpoints where five out of seven arrests are for driving while intoxicated. The Arizona legal limit is 0.08 and anyone whose blood alcohol level exceeds this and who causes an accident faces serious consequences in the Grand Canyon State.

The key is to avoid drinking and driving on this day and to avoid drunk drivers, especially since your chances of being involved in an alcohol related car accident on this day doubles.

  • To start with, if you’re going to have a few drinks, either stay home, use public transportation, call a cab or designate a sober driver.
  • If you’re the designated driver, be sure to pay attention to everything around you.  You’ll need to be able to spot a motorist who appears intoxicated from any direction.  Signs to look for are swerving in and out of lanes and driving fast and aggressively. Get far out of the way of these drivers.
  • When driving be sure to take it slow. You will want as much reaction time as possible to slow down or swerve out of the way to avoid a drunk driver.
  • Avoid distractions.  As much fun as it is to blare the radio or talk about the game, you really want to minimize distractions when driving on Super Bowl Sunday.  Taking your eyes off the road for even a moment to adjust the stereo can mean the difference between being the victim of a car accident or not.

Even by obeying the speed limit and following these tips, you may still find yourself the victim of a drunk driver in Arizona on Super Bowl Sunday.  If you are injured in a car accident on this day or any other day, you are legally entitled to compensation that includes costs of medical treatment, time out of work, and other expenses. But to get these, you need a trusted, competent lawyer to help.

Don’t delay. Call Hastings and Hastings at 800-975-0080 for a free, no obligation consultation.

Uber and Lyft, Popular Ridesharing Apps, are Making for Safer Streets in Arizona

Ridesharing apps have taken the world by storm over the past few years. Uber, which was founded in 2009, created the market out of thin air. Their main competitor, Lyft, was established in 2012. Both of these ridesharing apps have created an entirely new way to travel. Simply type in the address of the place you want to into the app, push a few buttons, and a car with a professional driver shows up at your door.

Uber and Lyft are more than just a great convenience. There’s evidence to suggest that they’re actually making the streets safer. How? By taking drunk drivers off the road and putting them into the back of an Uber or Lyft.

Ridesharing is a Safe Way to Get Home

Due to the convenience of Uber or Lyft over a traditional taxi, more people are using these services to get home from a late night of drinking. Both of these services are viewed by the general public as a safe, reliable way to travel around their town. Instead of getting behind the wheel of their own car while intoxicated, would-be drunk drivers use a ridesharing app.

Overall, ridesharing is an extremely safe way to get home after a night of drinking at a bar or club. Instead of assuming you’re good enough to drive, an inexpensive Uber or Lyft ride home keeps you – and other people on the road – safe.

The Decline of Alcohol Related Crashes

How much of this is speculation and how much of it is backed up by research? Some research has shown a correlation between decreased incidents of alcohol related crashes and Uber/Lyft usage in the area. The first correlation occurred in Seattle. Before Uber entered the market, approximately seven drivers per day were arrested for driving under the influence. After Uber had entered the market, this figure dropped by 10 percent. Uber published this data, citing themselves as the cause for the decrease.

Another study coming out of California further supports this thesis: ridesharing apps are decreasing DUIs and alcohol related crashes. This study cited a six percent drop in DUI incidents after Uber entered the market.

Both of these studies bring up the age-old debate: is this correlation or causation? Are people becoming more responsible independent of Uber and Lyft, or are Uber and Lyft making people more responsible? One thing is for sure, Arizona streets have become safer since ridesharing apps have become commonplace.

Uber and Lyft: A Social Phenomenon

Ridesharing apps have taken the world by storm and have created a safe way for anyone to travel around their city. Beyond that, they’re also a social phenomenon. Approximately 93 percent of people asked would recommend Uber (or Lyft) to someone who was intoxicated. This data comes from major cities all around the country.

One thing is for certain: ridesharing apps have revolutionized the way people travel in the best of ways. They’re actively making the streets of Arizona a safer place to drive.