Friday, August 27, 2010

Personal Injury Lawyer Referrals

The likelihood that you have a friend who has gone through a significant personal injury case is low. So if you do get injured in a car accident or motorcycle accident, you may not know where to turn. Personal referrals are often the best. However even with personal referrals you still need to weigh your options and choose the lawyer you work with best, not just the one someone recommended. If you do know a lawyer or someone who had the misfortune to be involved in a Denver motorcycle crash, then ask that person for advice first.

If you do not really know where to go for a lawyer be cautious. All lawyers are looking to get their name out there with some sort of advertising, whether it be internet marketing, yellow pages, TV ads, or state Bar directories. You must understand that not all of these sources have quality Denver personal injury lawyers. In fact some injury lawyers are downright predatory. One style of lawyer that is considered predatory and not sanctioned by the Bar are ambulance chasers.

Ambulance chasers are injury lawyers that are just looking to use looser civil law to sue anytime anyone gets a serious injury. They often work as an unspoken scam between the plaintiff and lawyer. The plaintiff is basically indirectly told that if they get injured by say, slipping on someone's property that can afford to pay, the lawyer has a good chance of getting a settlement and a check for the both of them.

Physically going to the accident or the hospital to solicit business is against Bar regulations everywhere in Colorado and the rest of the United States. The Colorado Bar does a good job of distinguishing between trustworthy Denver injury attorneys and ambulance chasers.

If you do know a lawyer you trust, they usually have a network of referrals just like doctors and specialists. Every lawyer knows an injury attorney because large injuries can be lucrative. Companies often have insurance which pays settlements before such cases go to court. When selecting a lawyer it is important that they match your wishes in personality, service and goals. Do you want the lawyer to be aggressive as possible? Do you want them to walk you through the process like a coach? Do you just need a settlement as quickly as possible? Have a list of your wants and needs and talk to the accident attorney about them before you decide on who to hire.

Obtaining Medical Records after a Motorcycle Accident Personal Injury for Negotiation with the Insurance Company

After any kind of accident or injury involving either a lawsuit or insurance company, you will need copies of your medical records. Medical records help establish the facts of the case and are one of the basic metrics used to determine damages or compensation from a Denver motorcycle injury.

In our adversarial legal system, people and companies usually will not pay unless they have to, regardless of fault. So the first thing that medical records do is establish that an injury or condition was caused by the car accident. If you do not have a Denver personal injury lawyer, unscrupulous insurance adjusters may try and claim that your injuries were pre-existing. As the claimant, you do have the burden to prove your case against any attacks.

Of course you may also need to know how to access and distribute your records if your injury requires the attention of a specialist.

Outside of motorcycle injuries, medical malpractice suits usually revolve around medical records, which may mean the doctor is loath to give them up. However you do have the right to access all of your records because of a piece of legislation called the Federal Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. Generally, the act states that you have access to your own records, or someone else's if you are their representative or guardian. Executors of estates also have access to the deceased party's records. You also may ask for the records if you are related to the deceased and their disease history may shed light on your own problems.

There are a few exceptions to the records you are allowed to access. Usually these are not important for your Denver injury lawyer unless your case is related to psychotherapy or could endanger you. The law requires the medical provider to give you records within 30 days, or give a written reason for delays. Of course some state laws give patients more rights. Colorado injury patient laws are a little stricter. If you need the records and the hospital will not release them, you may need to hire a lawyer. This usually only happens when there is a pending medical malpractice lawsuit.

The doctor or hospital is allowed to charge you a reasonable fee for the records, and sometimes the records are not complete if they consist of several different specialists. You may have to file requests to each doctor to get your full medical history. It is always best to have as complete a medical history as possible before going to court as a car accident victim.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Motorcycle-Bicycle Collisions

Both motorcycles and bicycles offer their drivers little protection in a collision. Bicycles are especially at risk at intersections for two reasons: bicyclists often ignore traffic laws at intersections, and drivers often ignore cyclists. Almost all motorcycle accidents with bikes occur at intersections, although both types of riders commonly lose control in other areas. For cyclists, the best protection from car and motorcycle accidents is to follow road rules and maximize visibility.

They must understand that intersections are exceedingly dangerous. The rules of road liability can be discussed with a Denver accident attorney, but this article aims to give a brief overview. Although cyclists have little protection, they can still be held liable for accidents if they get hit by a motorcycle while violating a traffic rule. As many Denver personal injury lawyers will attest, the actual facts and sequence of events in an accident can get skewed, and a biker who was injured by another driver who violated the law may still be blamed for the crash.

In order to keep safe from a motorcycle accident lawsuit, riders need to learn the law of liability and traffic. Motorcycles and bicycles are just harder to see. A Denver motorcycle lawyer told me a story of a motorcycle taking a left turn into a large Denver HVAC company truck. Trucks cannot see cyclists because of reduced visibility and the fact that they are simply not looking. Bikers need to keep this in mind when approaching an intersection. Keep front and rear lights on and slow down even if you have a right of way. Any rider who presumes to ride on busy streets needs to have enough command of his bike to make emergency maneuvers without losing control.

When it comes to strict liability, bikes and motorcycles are treated like any other vehicle. So liability depends on who had a right of way, or who was driving recklessly. Consider reviewing the rules of right of way at intersections with no signals, as many drivers make mistakes there. New high-tech traffic signals have sensors to detect cars at intersections. If a cyclist is not picked up by the sensor, the light may not change, so the biker or cyclist will have to wait until it is safe or cross at a crosswalk. Just be ready to explain your decision to an officer. If you do not follow these guidelines, you may have to explain your decision to the doctors at the medical center and your motorcycle lawyer

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Insurance Adjusters in Motorcycle Accident Claims

In any injury claim - whether it be negligence, car accident or workplace related - dealing with the insurance company is the most critical step you have to take before going to court. All injury cases are serious, but the high speeds at which motorcyclists ride often cause crashes and injuries that cannot be paid for without insurance help.

It is the insurance company's job to make money and therefore they are loath to pay most claims. They are required by law to pay for any of their insuree's accidents if they were deemed negligent in a Denver motorcycle crash. The expenses that must be paid are: all medical expenses, lost work and income, physical rehabilitation or permanent disabilities, property damage, and the social and emotional losses from the accident.

The last two - social and emotional effects are not as easy to add up as simple property damage and medical bills. So insurance companies use a kind of formula where they multiply the normal damages by a factor to get the number that includes pain and emotional trauma. The usual range is around 1.5x to 5x the normal damages depending on the type of injury. So one of the most important jobs for a Denver injury lawyer is to get that multiplier up as high as possible.

The insurance adjuster takes the formula - general expenses times a multiplier plus lost income to get a starting number. This is the number your Denver motorcycle attorney must show is as much the other person's fault as possible. The process is not over because this number is often negotiated. Then the number is reduced by comparative liability to whatever amount the negligent person was liable for.

Negligence for another's Motorcycle Accident

In most injury or accident cases, the key to the case is proving negligence. If you can show that you did not behave in a risky or negligent way, you have a good chance of winning. There are some situations where car and motorcycle accident liability can be assigned to someone who was not even in the car at the time.

The most common situation where someone who is not at the scene of a Denver motorcycle accident is still sued is when one of their employees was involved in the accident. Case law has ruled that employers have a duty to not let their employees drive if they know them to be in a dangerous state.

The employee must be on the clock or performing a job duty. Denver motorcycle lawyers have successfully argued that a drunk employee allowed to drive home was also the responsibility of his employer. In these situations of vicarious liability, one party is liable for the conduct of the other. So a motorcycle delivery company is liable for their deliveryman.

Some state laws also hold vehicle owners liable for the actions of anyone in their car. Let's say you let your friend drive your car and he crosses state lines, gets into an accident and needs to hire a Denver accident lawyer. In some states, as soon as you give someone permission to drive your car you become another party to any accident claims. Stolen cars are different of course.

Well, experience has taught us that children driving is an accident waiting to happen - and that accident can easily result in a lawsuit against the parents. Allowing a minor or anyone else that they know is incompetent they are eligible for suit under negligent entrustment.

In states where minors can get driver's licenses, the parents my be responsible for any negligent driving when they sign the waiver granting the license. Other incompetent drivers in negligent entrustment are drunk, sick, or you know for some reason they would be reckless. A personal injury lawyer is the first person you should talk to if you have any problems from reckless motorcycle driving.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Why Riders Crash

Motorcycles are more dangerous than cars. A motorcycle injury is more likely to be fatal because riders have no protection other than what they can wear. Some bad Denver motorcycle crashes have also resulted in disabling injuries. The best way to protect yourself from injuries is to not ride a bike. But riding a motorcycle can be so fun and efficient, what most riders need to do is be vigilant and wear the proper protective gear. If you do get into a motorcycle accident that causes a severe injury in Denver, you will want to hire a personal injury lawyer. Insurance companies and the average Joe are not going to want to pay for your medical bills, even if it means missing work or a permanent disability. A Colorado personal injury attorney will be your advocate when trying to receive compensation from a insurance company.

To reduce the chance for an injury you can educate yourself on the causes of common crashes. Denver personal injury attorneys see these kinds of crashes causing injuries all the time.

Head on collusions account for more than half of all motorcycle fatalities. Head on collusions are often at high speed and give little chance to the rider. Examples of a car rear-ending a motorcycle are rare.

The other major danger for motorcyclists in Colorado in is the Left-Hand turn. These collusions account for most of the rest of Colorado motorcycle accidents. The motorcycle's small size makes it even less visible to cars when the motorcycle is trying to go straight through an intersection or when trying to pass a car. Even if a motorcycle crashes into a fixed object, the likelihood of personal injury or death is much higher than for cars. Road hazards are also more varied and dangerous for bike riders. These accidents are also common between cars, but the motorcycle's lack of protection makes injuries more likely. Trying to pass a car in the same lane, or lane splitting is also less likely to be recognized by car drivers, and therefore increases the likelihood of a crash. Cutting between stopped cars is another example of lane splitting that commonly causes motorcycle crashes in Colorado. Accidents that occur while a motorcyclist is doing a dangerous maneuver like lane splitting are likely to be considered negligent driving by Colorado injury law. A Denver personal injury attorney will try to establish that you were driving safely.
The opinion of any police officers at a motorcycle crash will also be important if you want to bring a Colorado personal injury suit.

Now we have reached the dead-zone of Colorado personal injury liability - Speeding and Alcohol. If you were involved in a motorcycle crash involving speeding or alcohol, you will probably be liable for any dangerous Denver motorcycle accidents. Speeding and alcohol will never receive good treatment from the judge or law enforcement because this is the primary preventable cause of most accidents.

If you are riding a high performance motorcycle, you had better have excellent insurance or a Denver injury attorney on speed dial. Supersport and sport motorcycles have racing engines and frames that will easily take your bike beyond the limits of control. Supersports are just street-legal racers. Many young riders take these bikes up to insane highway speeds. The sport motorcycles are only a step down and the death rate of riders of supersport and sport motorcycles is much higher than for other bikes. Drivers tend to be young and reckless.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Legality of Lane Splitting

Lane splitting is when motorcyclists weave through traffic in between the marked lanes. Lane splitting is not recognized as legal in most areas, but it is not expressly illegal either. If a traffic accident occurs while a bike is lane splitting, the liability is determined by the Colorado laws regulating lane splitting, the opinion of the officer or judge, and the actions of the car driver and motorcyclist in the accident. Usually the motorcyclist will be liable in a Colorado accident. Some states like California expressly allow lane splitting in a safe and prudent manner.

Because of the proximity of cars during lane splitting, and the fact that most drivers are not watching for weaving motorcycles, lane splitting is the perfect storm for Colorado motorcycle injuries. If there was a motorcycle accident during lane splitting, the blame will usually be placed on the motorcyclist if a Denver personal injury attorney can prove the biker was behaving negligently. If the rider was the cause, they are out of luck in settling a Colorado personal injury claim. There are a few ways your Denver motorcycle accident lawyer can attempt to prove you were not negligent. If you were not speeding and instead riding carefully, are an experienced rider, have completed all safety and licensing courses, and the other driver was behaving more recklessly.

Lane splitting is dangerous and it has a good chance of ending you up in a Colorado traffic court, but if you are going to lane change follow these tips to try and stay safe.

Be alert and aware of the cars around you.
Ride with visible clothing and the headlights on.
Wait until the lanes of cars are moving at the same speed to reduce the chance of a sudden lane change.
Watch the car's blind spot.
Honk if cars get too close.
Pay attention to signs that a driver may be about to change lanes.
Do not zoom between cars, and limit lane splitting to under 30mph driving.

Evidence of your safe driving will make it easier for your Colorado car injury lawyer to eliminate any wrongdoing in the mind of the judge.