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Hit By An Uninsured Driver? Learning Your Options

Car Accident Lawyer

The last thing you want to learn after a car has smashed into your vehicle is that the driver had no insurance. And yet it’s an unfortunate reality that as many as one in eight drivers on the road today is uninsured, according to a 2017 study. Being hit by a driver without insurance can immediately evoke fears of high repair costs and even a higher premium for your own insurance if you have to file a claim. The good news is that even in this less-than-ideal situation, you have options.

Uninsured Motorist Coverage

It’s fairly inevitable that you will have to look to your own insurance to cover damages if you are hit by an uninsured driver. Fortunately, most insurers offer something called uninsured motorist coverage. UIM is an add-on you can buy that will offer some coverage when you are in an accident with a driver who doesn’t have insurance. But this coverage often requires that the other drive be at-fault, so be aware before you file a claim.

Collision Coverage

Another handy add-on to your own insurance policy is collision coverage. This coverage is useful to pay to repair your car if it is hit by one of the estimated 13 percent of drivers on the road without insurance. It’s limited, typically only covering car repair damages and not medical bills from resulting injuries. But it can be a handy option, especially when damage is extensive. As with the previous coverage add-on, however, it often requires the other driver be clearly at fault.

File a Lawsuit

If you don’t have the above coverages, or your insurance company doesn’t offer them, it may be time to talk to a car accident attorney and file suit. But there are two caveats. If you live in a no-fault or traditional negligence state, the rules say that each driver or his insurance has to take care of their own damages, no matter who caused the accident. If you live somewhere where you can file suit, however, you should know that uninsured drivers are often money-challenged and may not be able to pay your damages any time soon.

Getting hit by another driver is a headache. But getting hit by a driver who is uninsured is a migraine. Invest in the proper insurance protections before you’re a victim. If it’s too late, call a personal injury lawyer in Harrisonburg, Virginia as soon as possible to begin mapping out a resolution that gets your bills paid and you back on the road.

Thanks to MartinWren, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and car accidents involving an uninsured driver.

Know What a Will Can Do

Car Accident Lawyer

The most common tool for estate planning is a will. This document is best known for deciding how your possessions will be distributed at the time of your death. However, a will is a little more complicated than that and it deals with more aspects than simply ownership. After all, what we usually just call a will is really called a “last will and testament.” If you are planning your estate, it is important for you to know what a will does and what you should include in yours. Remember, it is a complicated process to set up a will, so you should always speak with an estate planning attorney.

What a Will Can Do

The things your will can do includes:

  • Designate who receives your possessions – This is the most straightforward part of a will. You can decide who will receive each of your possessions individually. There are very few restrictions, which means you can distribute your estate nearly any way you wish.
  • Name an executor – Every will needs to have an executor, whether or not you name one. An executor is the individual who will ensure the will is carried out correctly. If your will does not name an executor, the courts will name one for you, which may delay the process considerably.
  • Choose new guardians for your children – If your children are young enough to not be considered adults, then your will should designate who their new legal guardian will be.
  • Provide instructions for pets – A will can even provide instructions for who will receive your pets so you do not have to worry about your animal companions’ well-being.

What a Will Cannot Do

While a will is an incredibly useful tool, it cannot do everything. Here are the things you should not expect a will to accomplish:

  • Set conditions – You can decide who receives what, but you cannot make it conditional. For example, you cannot specify that a family member will receive $1,000 only if he or she graduates college. This is something a trust can do instead.
  • Provide funeral instructions – Your will cannot specify how you would like your funeral or final arrangement to be. You need to provide these details in a separate document and ensure your executor knows about it.
  • Designate recipients for certain types of property – Most commonly, property that is already in a trust cannot be included in a will. Other types of property might be invalid depending your state. You should speak to an estate lawyer in Phoenix, AZ to learn more about this limitation.

Thanks to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into estate planning and what a will can do.

Injury At A Hotel

Personal Injury Lawyer

It is one thing to suffer an injury in the comfort, or discomfort, of your own home for reasons caused by you. However, when you leave the comfort of your home and decide to take a trip for any reason, when you pay for a hotel the last thing you want to do is suffer an injury on the hotels behalf. Especially after already having paid your money, even if you have not paid a dime yet. If you or someone you know has suffered an injury at a hotel due to their negligence, this is not just a personal injury case, this is now considered premises liability and if an injury occurs the hotel will be held responsible for the damages.

Because hotels are generally open to the public, the hotel is responsible for making sure that anyone who steps foot on the property is safe. This means, parking lots must be kept up, elevators must be up to code, everything even down to the bedding placed on the beds must be safe for those that may potentially come in contact with it. The injuries may come from a slip and fall, and electrical issue, or otherwise. No matter how the injured party suffered the injury, just so long as it can be proven that it was due to the hotels’ failure to ensure the safety of its guests, the hotel will be held liable. Unfortunately for the hotel, even if there was a hazard that they were not aware of, they would be responsible for damages caused to the injured.

The hotel must have a clear duty to ensure the guests safety, that duty must have somehow been breached. Duties are typically breached when the hotel staff or hotel management did not do their part. This may be their failure to clean a wet spot in the hallways, or even their failure to make sure the bed was properly secured before or during your stay. If these failures caused any injury to you or someone you know, you may have a decent premise liability case on your hands. Your home away from home should make you feel just as safe and secure as your home does, the moment it does not and an injury occurs, speak with a skilled hotel accident lawyer in Dekalb County, GA with experience in premise liability cases to see what your changes of compensation for your damages are.

Thanks to Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into personal injury claims and hotel injuries.

Minivan or SUV: Which is Safer?

Minivan SUV accidents lawyer

Today, a family car means either a car-based crossover SUV (“CUV”), or to a lesser degree a traditional truck-like sport-utility vehicle (SUV), or a minivan.  All offer three rows of seating to accommodate up to seven or eight passengers and the latest in family-friendly features, including important accident-avoidance systems.

CUVs are the sales leaders among the three categories these days. CUVs have great appeal far beyond growing families.  The compact and subcompact CUV models are being quickly snapped up by singles, young couples, and empty nesters. There are still a few traditional truck-based SUVs available. True SUVs stand out by virtue of their added off-road and towing abilities. Minivans are even fewer in numbers.  Minivans are probably the ideal family rides but they appear to be saddled with a dreary, soccer mom persona.

Minivans

While minivans are arguably the ultimate family cars, with sliding side doors, roomy three-row interiors, and a long list of available amenities, most buyers these days shun the minivan for its perceived “soccer mom” notion in favor of the brawnier-looking CUVs.

According to a 2018 US New & World Report ranking, the following are the top five safest minivans:

Honda Odyssey and Kia Sedona tied for first,

Chrysler Pacifica,

Toyota Sienna, and

Dodge Caravan rounded out the top five safest minivans.

Interestingly, these are the top five safest minivans because these are the only five minivan models still sold in the United States. Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Nissan and Mazda have all abandoned manufacturing minivans due to sagging sales. Blame rests squarely on the continuing rise in popularity of sport utility vehicles and crossovers.

SUV popularity does not appear to be slowing down, either. Chevrolet now has six SUVs in its stable when the 2019 Blazer hit showrooms last year. BMW has seven for purchase with the X1 through X7. 

Our love affair with SUVs and crossovers has pushed minivan sales downward every year. But, sales of sedans have fallen even further. So, in a way, minivans are holding their own against the SUV juggernaut.

SUVs/CUVs

SUVs are styled like tall station wagons and borrow some of their design from the original sport-utility vehicles, which were little more than enclosed pickup trucks.

Car and Driver gave all of the following SUVs equal top ranking for safety. All received the highest rating from both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) with its five-star overall crash-test rating and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+ award. In alphabetical order:

Acura RDX

Hyundai Santa Fe

Kia Sorento

Mazda CX-5

Mercedes-Benz GLC class

Mercedes-Benz GLE class

Subaru Ascent

Subaru Crosstrek

So, which one is safer, minivan or SUV?

When it comes to a blanket assessment of minivan vs SUV in terms of safety, the difference is barely noticeable. When researching for this article, I was surprised to find that there was no clear-cut winner. Both types of vehicles are well known for their safety features. Each has its pros and its cons and neither is necessarily right for everyone.

         However, some experts argue that their large size affords them an additional layer of security and protection when compared to smaller cars. It is expected that the vehicle with the larger mass and heavier frame will always survive better than the smaller and lighter vehicle. It also depends on what you hit or what hits you.

Different models offer their own unique safety features. For example, SUVs usually provide higher seating above the roadway. This feature can give the driver a much better view of the road. On the other hand, minivans are built on much lower platforms. The minivans’ lower platform makes them much less likely to roll over in auto accidents.

Most safety experts suggest that you look at your driving history and assess where you need the most safety. Then, choose your model based on your travel expectations.

In the end, vehicle safety and crash survivability depend as much or more on how and where we drive than what we drive. Driving practices such as seat belt usage, alcohol consumption, how often we drive, how fast we drive, and the type of roadway are the major factors in determining auto safety.

The big advantage:  All of these factors are totally in your control. Keep these factors in mind and you can achieve a better family survival rate than you would get from choosing any automobile from a safety list.

Thanks to our friends from Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys for their insights into auto safety.

Chiropractor and Denied Workers’ Compensation Claim

Construction Accident Lawyer

Sustaining a workplace injury can severely impact your life. You may think a casual slip and fall on a wet surface is not a big deal, or even the carpal tunnel you have been developing in your wrist will go away. However, when you do not deal with these injuries medically soon after they happen, you may find that when you go to file a legal claim your workers’ compensation is denied. Before giving insurance (or your boss) the chance to deny your workers’ compensation claim, though, work with the chiropractors to ensure you have the proper diagnosis and treatment plan for your workplace injuries. It is important to get this type of medical attention as soon as possible after an accident, so call an office to see how they can help you today.

What are common workplace injuries?

There are many common injuries an employee can sustain at their job. Depending on the line of work that you are in, you will be more prone to certain injuries than you would to others.

  1. Back/Neck Strain. This can be the result of sitting at a desk for 8 hours every day, or it could be from lifting, pulling, and pushing heavy loads at your job. In addition to coming up with a treatment plan for your back or neck pain, we can also show you better positions to help with your posture.
  2. Tendonitis. When you overuse different areas of your body like your knee, your shoulder, or your wrist, you may develop tendonitis.
  3. Pinched Nerves. Especially when you have a job that requires heavy lifting or pulling, you may pinch nerves in your body. When this happens, you can experience numbness and pain in different areas of your body.
  4. Muscle Strain. When you pull or stretch your muscles farther than they were meant to go, it can cause weakness and pain in those areas. Our chiropractors can help ease the pain and begin healing these muscles with different techniques.

How We Help With Workers’ Compensation

When you decide to work with an attorney to file a workers’ compensation claim, you will also need the medical evidence to show that you did sustain an injury as a direct result of a workplace accident and that the medical attention you are receiving from your chiropractor is the best way to heal your injuries.

While all states have some type of law regarding workers’ compensation, it is possible that your boss or the insurance company denied your workers’ compensation claim or may deny it when you file for workers’ compensation. This is why it is best to come to see one of our chiropractors as soon as possible after your accident so we can get your injury on file and have the proper evidence and documentation you will need when you file.

If you have sustained a workplace injury and are filing for workers’ compensation, please seek treatment from a chiropractor or physical therapist in Gaithersburg, MD today. They will get you on the treatment plan you need and help with your legal claim.

Thanks to the Pain Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into chiropractic care and workers compensation.

Have You Been Injured in a Car Accident But Don’t have Medical Insurance?

Car Accident Lawyer

Getting injured in a car accident is stressful enough, but if you don’t have health insurance, it raises the stakes. You’re probably wondering how your medical bills will get paid. Bottom line, you are responsible for your medical bills as you incur them.

If another driver caused the accident, ideally, his or her insurance company will eventually pay the bills. The problem is that the insurance company isn’t required to pay them as they are accrued. You would pay the medical bills out of your settlement, which could take months to resolve. What are your options?

Talk to Your Healthcare Providers

As you accrue bills for medical treatment, you may want to talk to the providers about payment installments or a cash price for treatment. It can benefit you to make payments on the account to keep it from going to collections until you resolve your claim with the insurance company. Some healthcare providers might ask for a lien on any settlement you receive, to protect their interests. This is common practice, so don’t let it cause extra stress.

Your Own Insurance Company

Depending on your policy, your own insurance company may pay for your medical bills. No fault car insurance pays some or all of the bills, no matter who was at fault. Of course, if you didn’t have the type of insurance required, this would not be an option. It’s worth exploring for your own peace of mind.

Federal/State Health Insurance

Most states offer Medicaid, a federal program that provides health insurance to low-income people. If you lose your job and don’t have health insurance due to the accident, you should at least try to apply for Medicaid to cover you until you find another job. You’ll need to look for the state agency that handles Medicaid to determine whether you qualify or not. In some states, Medicaid may even pay for your past bills, but it depends on the laws and regulations in your state.

Save All Documents

Regardless of your situation, save all copies of medical bills and reports as you receive them. These statements will be presented to the at-fault driver’s insurance company as part of your claim.

Get Help From an Experienced Attorney

Talk to a car accident lawyer about your situation. You want to make sure that you are fairly reimbursed for your medical bills and other expenses under the law in your state. Your car accident lawyer in Central Phoenix, AZ will protect your rights and work to find the best possible outcome for you.

Thanks to Kamper Estrada, LLP for their insight into personal injury claims and car accidents without medical insurance.

Tips for Preparing for Your First Session with a Chiropractor After a Car Accident

Back Pain Doctor

Experiencing a personal injury that was the result of another person’s negligence has the ability of leaving many accident victims feeling helpless. Many may be feeling apprehensive over seeking treatment from a chiropractor. However, once an accident victim learns of the potential benefits of chiropractic care, often just the thought of pain relief can help many to get on board. Despite this, it’s not uncommon to experience some sense of anxiety over what to expect from your first session with a chiropractor. Having some sense of what to expect from chiropractic treatments can not only help accident victims to feel prepared for treatment, but to reduce the anxiety that they may be experiencing. Here are some tips that may help you to prepare for your first appointment:

Tip #1 Call Your Chiropractor

Prior to your appointment, it may be a good idea to contact your chiropractor to make sure that you do not need to do anything to prepare for your appointment. In some cases, they may instruct that you gather all medical records, including: MRIs, XRays, and other treatment documentation. This will allow your chiropractor to review your medical history with you so that they have a full scope of your injuries prior to administering treatment. 

Tip #2 Arrive 15 Minutes Early

For your first appointment with any practitioner, it’s important that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of your appointment. This can give you the opportunity to complete the necessary paperwork in addition to providing your medical history and insurance cards. 

Tip #3 Wear Comfortable Clothing

Expect that your chiropractor will physically examine you. Because of this, it’s important that they are able to access areas of the body, especially the spine. Wearing a loose top will give them the ability to easily assess your spine. Know that you will likely be in a variety of positions. Because of this, wearing a dress or skirt may not be the most comfortable option for you. 

Tip #4 A Thorough Exam

Once your chiropractor has gathered information regarding your injuries, they will conduct a thorough exam prior to administering treatment. They may even order additional testing to get a clearer idea of the injuries you are suffering. During the exam, they will assess your range of motion, strength and muscle tone. Once they have examined you, they will explain to you the process of chiropractic adjustments prior to administering treatment. This will assist in helping you to know exactly what to expect from the process.

Building Your Personal Injury Case While Managing Injuries

Whether you have experienced a car accident or some other personal injury, it will be vital that you gather evidence to support your claim for damages. As straightforward as this may seem, it can be incredibly challenging to manage injuries while faced with a personal injury. It’s important to be aware that not only can your personal injury lawyer assist you in building your personal injury case, but your chiropractor can play a key role as well. A chiropractor will they be able to assist in treating your injuries, managing your pain, and providing your attorney with key documentation that may assist in strengthening your injury claim. 

Facing the unknown can be terrifying. You may be unsure of whether you will ever recover from the injuries you are suffering. As a result, your injuries not only stand to impact you physically but financially as well, especially if you are unable to work as a result. Pursuing your case with a personal injury lawyer can assist in managing your accident case, however, you will still be left to contend with your injuries. A chiropractor or back pain doctor in Gaithersburg, MD has the ability to assist you in managing your physical injuries so that you may ultimately be able to heal from the accident you have experienced. 

Thanks to the Pain Arthritis Relief Center for their insight into chiropractic care after a car accident.

Auto Accident When Pregnant: What To Do When This Happens

This is my worst nightmare, my wife getting in an auto accident while pregnant.  Being a chiropractor and pregnancy specialist, I know the damage getting in an auto accident can do to the spine, even if it is just a mild collision. When you add a baby in the womb to the mix it is all that much more frightening. Here is what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

SEVERITY OF AUTO ACCIDENT:

Where you begin will definitely depend a lot on how sever the auto accident is and how far along you are with your pregnancy. Here are a few other things to take into account: Were you driving or in the passenger seat?  Did your car roll or spin out or was it just a fender bender? Did the airbags deploy and were you wearing a seat belt? Did you physically collide with any parts of the car such as the steering wheel or window? Were you prepared for the accident or not? Is there any blood?

If the accident is severe, call 911. The paramedics should transport you immediately to the emergency room. After you are cleared (no broken bones and baby is safe with good heart rate), it is time to contact your lawyer and your local chiropractic pregnancy specialist, even if you are not in pain currently. Often times the pain won’t come on for a few weeks to months later, but if you were not initially evaluated by your chiropractor, the insurance will try to get out of paying your bills. This is why it is especially important you have a good lawyer as well.

PREGNANCY CHIROPRACTIC

As a pregnancy specialist what we will do is evaluate your spine and neurology, looking for a whiplash injury, muscle strain/sprain, and subluxations in the spine. A subluxation is a misaligned or malpositioned vertebra causing pressure/pinching of the nerves that exit the spine. When there is pressure on these nerves it decreases the communication to and from the brain, lowering the bodies ability to heal and recover. This is especially important to fix when growing another human in your body.

Even in a less traumatic, fend bender type accidents we see patients come in with whiplash and hips out of place. With pregnancy, your body is already producing Relaxin and other joint loosening hormones in preparation for birth. This makes it especially easy for a pregnant mom’s spine to get malpositioned. When the hips are “off” this creates a torquing of the uterus via the round and utero-sacral ligaments, causing baby to try to find a more comfortable position (usually not optimal for birth such as breech or posterior). Your local pregnancy Chiropractor trained in Webster Technique will know how to use gentle adjustments to re-align the hips and spine, helping to take away this torque and allowing the baby to get back in the right position for birth.

Chiropractic is a safe and effective treatment when pregnant and can help significantly decrease pain from the accident, decrease recovery time, and help you have a more comfortable pregnancy and birth.  

Thanks to our friends from Living Well Family Chiropractic for their insights into pregnancy care.


Reclaiming Your Name After a Divorce

Divorce Attorney

Your name is more than an identifier, it expresses identity, and in marriage, through the acceptance of your spouse’s last name, it represents unity and commitment. Unfortunately, when a marriage ends, a changed name can also stand as a reminder of a failed relationship. Therefore, it is understandable when women want to revert to their maiden names. While it may sound complicated, the process is straightforward, and you can complete it in one of three ways.

1. Divorce Petition or Response

The first option is to request the name change in your petition or response before finalizing the divorce. If you are the petitioner, then you express your desire to return to your previous name. If your spouse petitioned, then in your response or counterclaim, you can ask that the final decree includes a clause about the name change.

2. Divorce Decree Amendment

If you did not ask for the name change before the completion of the divorce, then you can ask for a divorce decree amendment. You will need to file a post-judgment motion or an ex parte application. While not always necessary, some jurisdictions will require a hearing where you will express your desire to return to your maiden name under oath.

3. Name Change Petition

The last option for getting your maiden name back is to file a name change petition. Again, this is not a complicated process. Most courthouses will have ready-made packets containing all the paperwork and forms. You only need to fill out these forms and complete any necessary background checks before filing with the clerk’s office. Again, a hearing is possibly mandatory in some jurisdictions to ensure your reasons for the change.

Once you legally restore your name, you will need to change your name with the social security office and the DMV. To change your name in these locations, you will need a copy of the judge’s order. After you complete these steps, you can use your new/old name to change bank accounts, subscription services and any other services that require your name.

Divorce is difficult and possibly requires a long process. Many people do not want to keep their married name when it is all over. For those interested in reverting to your maiden name, try any of the three methods above. If you are not sure which method is best to use, then contact a divorce attorney in Collin County, TX who can help you make and defend the decision. Divorce does not define you, and neither does a married name.

Thanks to Scroggins Law Group, PLLC for their insight into family law and changing your name back after divorce.

What Is Probate?

Personal Injury Lawyer

You may have heard about the probate process at one point or another. When you went to draw up your estate plan initially, your attorney may have mentioned something about it, but you may not have paid much attention. Now that you are dealing with the death of a close relative, however, the need to understand probate is critical. Does every will need to go through the court, or can some be administered without it? Understanding the process and what is required is one way to get more comfortable with it.

Probate Basics

There is no one-size-fits-all guideline to probate as each state has its own process. However, the general idea is probate is a court process that a will goes through to ensure the decedent’s wishes are followed. It is a guide for those in charge of administering the will to help them in knowing what steps to take and when to take them. In this way, probate is helpful, especially if the administrator is not an attorney.

Steps of Probating a Will

If your state law requires the will to go through probate, the first step is filing a notice of the will according to your local guideless. This begins the process. Once the court acknowledges the will and accepts the executor, the basic steps include:

  • Accounting of all assets
  • Identification of debts and beneficiaries
  • Notify creditors
  • Pay valid debts
  • Notify beneficiaries
  • Disburse remaining estate to beneficiaries according to the will

Once these steps occur and the estate has been distributed fully, the executor provides an accounting of the estate to the court and requests that the probate process be closed. The court then proceeds accordingly.

Issues That May Arise During Probate

People may incorrectly believe that their will ensures that their money and property gets divided the exact way they indicate. In some cases, this occurs, but in others, it doesn’t. The first thing an executor has to do is pay any valid debts. If these debts are numerous, the executor may have to sell property and liquidate assets counter to the instructions in the will. Therefore, when drafting a will, it is crucial to keep the amount of your debt in mind when making decisions about what to leave to your heirs.

When planning for your family after your death, keeping the probate process in mind is critical. It may help you decide the best way to get your beneficiaries the money and property you want them to have. A probate lawyer in Folsom, CA is an excellent resource for helping you leave your family in good financial shape after your death.

Thanks to the Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and probate.