How to Access Your Medical Records After an Injury

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you are entitled to receive financial compensation for your injuries, including medical treatment and any missed wages due to time away from work. Medical records are the most important evidence in a personal injury claim, and they will be made available to both the plaintiff’s and the defendant’s attorney.

Medical records include the nature of the plaintiff’s injuries, where he or she sought treatment, physiotherapy treatment, and medical bills. Continue reading to understand how to access your medical records after an injury.

Requesting Release to Your Medical Records

If you are filing a personal injury claim, you can draft a formal request to have your medical records released. The request must include your name, SIN number, date of birth, account number, address, and partner’s name. You will also have to specify if the records you are requesting cover a certain date range if you only want records that pertain to your recent injury.

The laws governing the release of medical records vary from state to state, and some states require that the statute or law pertaining to the release of medical records is included.

Your attorney can also request your medical records as long you have given written permission that includes your signature and the date. These requests can either be faxed or sent via regular mail. It is recommended that you call your medical provider to double-check that your request has been received. In some cases, you will need to pay a fee for the release of your medical records. Hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer from Los Angeles lawyers Custodio & Dubey can help you through the process.

Denial of Medical Records Release

There are circumstances that can result in the denial of the request. If insufficient information is provided, the request can be denied. Also, in the case of battery claims, the defendant might attempt to access the plaintiff’s medical records, and that request can be denied on the basis of confidentiality. When the release of medical records is denied, the next step is to file a medical records subpoena.

Reasons to Have Your Medical Records Released

There are a number of advantages to having your medical records released to both sides involved in a personal injury claim: Doing so allows the plaintiff and the defendant to assess records of the injuries and the nature of the claim. It also provides evidence of the injuries and is an instrumental part of calculating the damages sustained by the injured party. Medical records also allow medical experts to examine the records and determine the cause and extent of the injuries, and in the case of medical malpractice cases, they can show whether the doctors gave the patient reasonable care or were negligent in some way. They also protect the defendant against paying for any of the claimant’s preexisting injuries or conditions.

Los Angeles: City of Auto Accidents

Many people are killed or wounded in traffic accidents in LA, even though the city has tried to make the roads safer with its policy of Vision Zero, which was introduced in 2016. This policy’s aim is to lower the quantity of road injuries in LA and eliminate all fatalities within half a decade. To date, this has not occurred, and the quantity of fatalities and injuries keeps rising.

During 2017, which was the year after Vision Zero was introduced, fatal road accidents in LA increased by twenty-two percent. These days, LA has more fatalities and injury-causing automobile accidents than any other American city. The victims of such accidents can pursue damages by contacting LA injury attorneys Custodio & Dubey.

Proponents of Vision Zero argue that they’ve analyzed data concerning traffic collisions for over twelve months. During this time, they say, they have identified the city areas that have experienced the highest number of severe accidents. Many of these roads are scheduled to be rebuilt to slow motorists down and reduce avoidable fatalities. Many cities with policies like Vision Zero have reduced traffic accidents. New York is one such example, where deaths on the roads have declined for three consecutive years. In LA though, the rise in automobile deaths exceeds national averages. Over forty-thousand people lost their lives in vehicle collisions in 2016, which is an increase of six percent over the year before, according to the Council for National Safety.

The main factors responsible for these figures are vehicle speeds and a rise in the quantity of vehicles on the roads. Speed was identified as the underlying cause of almost six-and-a-half thousand fatal and injury causing LA road accidents in 2015. The LA Transport Department intends to address this by implementing conventional road safety measures (such as enforcement, engineering, assessment and education) by adopting a wider strategy that includes attempting to alter public attitudes about safety, and recognizing that all collisions are avoidable.

As a busy urban metropolis with a warm climate, LA has many cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists. Lots of road accidents in the city affect people who opt for these types of transport. Thousands of these people died or suffered injuries in LA automobile accidents during 2015.

LA pedestrians have right of way, and motorists must drive defensively and carefully to avoid injuring other drivers and pedestrians. Motorists who violate traffic rules, break speed limits, become distracted at the wheel, or drive after consuming alcohol or drugs can be prosecuted for injuries arising from their carelessness.

The enforcement procedure for speeding offenses in LA is hindered by a rule that stops the police from catching speeders with radar unless the area has had its traffic patterns studied. In addition, several traffic officers have been moved to other duties, due to increasing crime rates in the city. As a result, Los Angeles motorists have less reason to be worried about ignoring local traffic rules.

How to Stay in Control of Your Life During a Divorce

One of the most stressful life events an individual can go through is a divorce. Not only does it involve a complete life overhaul, it can leave you feeling emotionally raw and displaced, especially for people who did not want the divorce. Realizing that their partner wants to move on and can’t be held back, leaves them feeling like they have no control or mastery over their lives. While leaning on friends and family during times of stress is a positive means to coping, there are other ways of how to stay in control of your life during a divorce.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

We’ve all heard how much easier a divorce is if it is kept as amicable as possible. This doesn’t just pertain to couples with children, but also in general, as keeping the lines of communication open with your spouse is a way to keep as much control over a potentially volatile situation as possible. When communication breaks down is when things can start to get messy.

Simple details of life that used to be shared are now up in the air and no one knows who does what or who fulfills which roles anymore. Maintaining a dialogue throughout the divorce process can be one of the hardest aspects of the entire process, but it is a dynamic that will serve both partners well throughout the duration of the process and into the rest of their lives, especially if children are involved.

Stay Informed

One of the best ways to gain control in any and all areas of life is to stay informed. Knowledge is a powerful tool; if you stay informed and aware of what your rights are, and what part of the process you are in, it is much easier to stay in control of a situation that can easily slip away from you.

There are numerous resources available to people who are going through a divorce covering support, advice, and research. By choosing to stay as informed as possible, you are exerting your control over the situation, and that can be an empowering feeling that can bring you the confidence of knowing that you are as on top of things as you can be.

If you are going through a divorce, hiring an attorney to advocate for you from a reputable firm, such as Karp & Iancu, S.C., can provide you with the support you need to navigate through the process.

How to Win Your Iowa Workers Comp Lawsuit

An injury suffered at the workplace can be devastating. Both the short-term and long-term costs of recovering from it can be overwhelming. Not only do you have to prepare for heavy financial costs, but you also must be wary of the possibility of suffering a disability and mental distress. Such effects have the power of messing up your quality of life. These concerns among others are the reason why the Workers Comp Program exists in Iowa.

Ideally, the compensation program is meant to help you and the insurance company (through your employer) agree to a settlement to prevent a trial. If what they suggest does not appeal you, then you can go to court. But before you take this route, you should know how to win your Iowa Workers Comp lawsuit:

1. Obtain Medical Help First

Don’t wait to discuss a settlement or proceed to court before you can seek medical help. The claim process normally takes longer than expected, so you shouldn’t risk aggravating the injury. Furthermore, this allows you to obtain medical records that you can use as evidence during the court hearing.

2. File the Injury Claim ASAP

Once you are on course to get the necessary medical treatment, you should report the injury legally. This is assuming that you’ve already reported to your employer and to the insurance company and they have denied you a settlement. Although the law allows you to file the claim within two years of suffering the injury, you should do it sooner to ensure that you get compensated as soon as possible.

3. Understand the Work Comp Benefits

When injured on the job and you are pursuing a lawsuit, it’s important to know what to ask for compensation. The Workers Comp Program provide you with disability benefits (in case the injury puts you off work for a specific time or for good), medical benefits (caters for the hospital costs), and mileage benefits (to compensate you for medical appointment travels), among others.

4. Beware of Private Investigators

When the insurance company doubts your credibility, it’s likely that they’ll hire private investigators to look into your claim. So, you must prepare for them. Here are some of the tips to use in case this happens:

  • Avoid being captured on surveillance camera doing things that contradict your claim.
  • Be on the lookout to see if a stranger is following you or watching your home.
  • Follow the doctor’s instructions so as not to give the investigators a reason to question your claim.

5. Get Witness Statements

When it comes to proving your story in front of a judge, you need people who can give their personal accounts to support yours. Ask them to write their statements down—this is better than verbal testimony since it can’t be changed and provides you with physical proof, even if the witnesses can’t make it to court.

6. Hire a Workers Comp Attorney

Last, but not least, you need a legal expert to help you prepare for the lawsuit and to defend you. If you are not sure who to call, just give workers comp attorney Niko Pothitakis a call. With the expert on your side, the process is much easier.

When you know how to win your Iowa Workers Comp lawsuit, it becomes easy to go to court and ask for compensation. The above tips will certainly help you get the most out of your injury claim.

Mild Winter? St. Louis Residents Can Still Be Injured on Icy Sidewalks

Many area residents don’t give a great deal of thought to how the weather might affect not only their safety, but also their liability. Even with mild weather, occasional snow flurries can lead to icy steps and sidewalks. Perhaps with warmer than usual temperatures, you’ve simply chosen to let the snow melt rather than go out and shovel your driveway and front entrance. Have you become complacent with the mild winter? St. Louis residents can still be injured on icy sidewalks and you need to take measures to ensure that your walkways are clear of potential hazards.

While the warmer temperatures are certainly welcome, it’s important to make sure that you also keep sidewalks clear. For example, don’t just clear a path down the middle of your driveway so that you can get your vehicle in and out. This type of snow removal typically means that you’ll leave behind a ridge of snow that crosses the sidewalk. Eventually, as the weather turns colder, this block of snow can turn to ice. Similarly, if you leave snow on your sidewalks, the mild temperatures might melt the snow cover, but when evening comes, and temperatures drop, that damp surface can turn to a slick, icy walkway that is fraught with potential danger.

It’s easy to not give a lot of thought to the condition of your sidewalks, especially if you don’t use them regularly. Maybe you drive to and from work, the grocery store, or to run the kids around to their various activities; however, there are plenty of people who do rely on sidewalks to get from one point to another. Whether it’s the postal carrier, delivery personnel, joggers, those people looking for a bit of fresh air and exercise, or school kids trying to get to their bus stop, if your sidewalk is a tripping hazard or it’s icy and creates a dangerous situation, it’s time to take action. Clear your sidewalks and remove ice and tripping hazards to help prevent accidents.

Injuries from falls can happen to anyone, but the elderly are especially vulnerable. If you’ve ever slipped on an icy driveway or parking lot, you may have been fortunate enough to get away with nothing more than a bruised ego; however, it’s fairly common for seniors to break a hip or injure themselves in a slipping accident. Regardless of your age, if you have been injured in a slip and fall accident as the result of icy sidewalks, a reputable St. Louis personal injury lawyer can often help.

A lawyer who understands the nuances of this type of case will be able to give you professional advice regarding your specific situation. Of course, if you are injured, seek medical attention first, then contact a personal injury lawyer to help you understand your rights. Don’t just assume that you were careless and that the accident was your fault. There are many times when a homeowner or business might be negligent because they hadn’t taken common steps in order to ensure the safety of those who need to use the sidewalks in front of their property.

What Is an Attorney Contingency Fee?

If you’re researching law firms to handle a personal injury case, you may be running across a lot of phrases and terms that you’re not quite sure what they mean. While looking into Albuquerque personal injury lawyers one of the phrases that you’re probably running across, again and again, is attorney contingency fee. What is an attorney contingency fee? Is it the right option for you?

Contingency Fees

First off, if you’re looking for an attorney for a personal injury lawsuit then you are most likely going to be paying your attorney fee through an attorney contingency fee. That’s because it’s standard practice in those types of cases.

An attorney contingency fee, in the simplest of terms, means that your attorney doesn’t get paid unless you win your case or get a settlement. What happens is when you win your case or settle, the attorney gets a predetermined percentage of the money you win.

How Much of Your Settlement Does the Attorney Get?

Well, in most cases an attorney contingency fee is between thirty and forty percent of whatever amount you win. Specifically speaking, for personal injury cases, that fee is usually one-third of your settlement or the money you’re awarded.

An attorney contingency fee is the standard practice when it comes to personal injury cases, but is it the best option for you? Is it worth spending time finding an attorney that will take your case under an hourly fee instead?

Is a Contingent Fee the Best Option for Me?

There are both pros and cons to an attorney contingency fee that can help you decide if it’s the right way for you.

Probably the best thing about an attorney contingency fee is that you do not have to pay your attorney upfront. Because there is no upfront fee, you can get started working towards a settlement faster.

The next best thing about an attorney contingency fee is that your attorney doesn’t get paid unless you get paid. If you pay an hourly fee you pay your attorney regardless of the outcome and you end up losing your case, not only would you have to pay your high-priced medical bills, but you would also end up paying your attorney.

With an attorney contingency fee, one thing to keep in mind is that while you don’t pay your attorney unless you get paid, you may still have to pay the costs that your attorney racks up to try your case. This is not the same as their fee though.

Another thing that makes an attorney contingency fee such a great option is that it motivates your attorney to do the best job possible. Think of it as a commission.  Your attorney doesn’t want to put in days, weeks, or even months working on your case without being compensated for their work.

While they are few and far between, there are certain downsides to attorney contingency fees. You should know them as well, so you know what to expect.

While it is rare, an attorney contingency fee can sometimes cost you more than an hourly fee. If your attorney can reach a settlement or win your case in a matter of days, then the hourly rate would be far less expensive than the average one-third of a personal injury settlement.

Another downside is that an attorney who gets paid from a contingency fee is much more likely to be highly selective of who they represent. If they don’t feel you have an easy case, they are much more likely to pass it over.

While there are downsides, an attorney contingency fee is generally the best option for your lawsuit, especially when it comes to personal injury cases. This type of payment is easiest on you in an already stressful time. So, if you are looking for an Albuquerque personal injury lawyer make sure they offer attorney contingency fee payment options.

Charleston Car Crash Statistics

Before you take your vehicle out on the roads of Charleston, you’ll want to make sure that you know the risks. Of course, there are always risks that you’ll be injured in an accident any time you are in a vehicle, but if you are aware of the most common cause of car accidents, you can take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your family.

For this reason, we have discussed some Charleston car crash statistics so that you can prepare yourself for the worst and ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes that those who caused serious auto accidents did.

Fast Car Crash Stats

Each year, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) releases a report that discusses several important car accidents statistics and their relation to the stats from the years prior. With that in mind, here are some of the most notable stats from the 2016 SCDPS report:

  • 125,754 crashes were caused by driver negligence
  • 3,930 crashes were caused by environmental hazards
  • 925 crashes were caused by the roads themselves
  • There were 61,899 car accident injuries and 1,020 fatalities
  • Total damages amounted to approximately $4.54 billion dollars

Although you can’t do much about environmental or roadway hazards, you can do your part to drive safely and reduce the amount of crashes caused by driver negligence. Some examples of unsafe driving practices might include operating the vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, drowsy driving, distracted driving, and aggressive driving.

Get the Most Out of Your Auto Wreck Claim

When you’re injured in a car accident, the best way that you can be sure to recover your damages is by working with an attorney who can help you achieve maximum compensation for your losses. Damages are often classified as being either economic or non-economic.

Economic damages will consist of your financial losses such as your lost wages, property damages, medical expenses, and the damage to your earning potential.

Non-economic damages are those that have affected your lifestyle and emotions. This category includes your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, scarring and disfigurement, mental anguish, and loss of companionship and love. Your lawyer will be responsible for reviewing each of your losses to ensure that each one is considered accordingly in your case.

Speak with a Charleston Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in an auto wreck caused by any of the aforementioned sources, you can reach out to a qualified auto accident attorney in Charleston for assistance in holding the at-fault party accountable for their actions. This way, you’ll be able to pick up the pieces of your life and focus on what matters to you the most.

Tired Truckers Endanger Detroit Drivers

The size and weight of trucks make them dangerous machines on the road. It takes a high degree of skill for drivers to control these beasts for the sake of the public and themselves. In any collision, the lighter vehicle will always be more damaged. Cars are simply no match for hulking trucks whether they are stationary or going at full speed. The situation gets even more precarious when the truck drivers are tired from their work. According to studies, truckers are five times more likely to perish from a work-related accident compared to the average worker. Tired truckers endanger Detroit drivers as well.  

Work Hours

The US trucking industry is massive and has millions of drivers employed at any given time. However, there is a perennial shortage due to the high demand, few new hires, and increasing turnover. Young people are wary about the long working hours required for the job. They will have to be away from home for weeks at a time and many travel across the country regularly to deliver goods. The pay is also relatively low when you factor in the number of hours put in. Most will get just one day off each week if they are over-the-road drivers.

Idling Restrictions

These people don’t get a lot of chances to rest while on their shift either. They have deadlines to meet with strict cut-off times along the way. There is also a glaring insufficiency of parking spaces where they are most needed. They require lots of space and it can get prohibitively expensive to develop areas for parking near urban areas – which are their common destinations. There are also parking restrictions and prohibitions even in commercial spaces. In many states, there are idling restrictions that prevent them from staying at one place for more than five minutes. This can make their trips extremely stressful.

Fatigue

Other studies have found that many truck drivers suffer from sleep disorders. They may lack sleep in terms of both quantity and quality. Their long working hours leave them physically and mentally exhausted. Since they need to focus on work for most of the day, nearly every day, they lead a sedentary lifestyle in which they sit for long periods and are barely able to stretch their muscles. Dietary habits are also relatively poor since they need to grab and go throughout the day. Many will eat at fast-food joints that do not offer nutritious items on the menu.

Lack of sleep negatively affect cognitive function and results in sleepiness during the daytime. In short, truck drivers are often less than one hundred percent when they get behind the wheel. Tired people tend to have slow reflexes and impaired judgment. They have an inability to focus that could prove to be fatal in certain situations. Indeed, truck accidents result in multiple fatalities every year and billions of dollars in damages. Those who have been affected by these accidents may get in touch with a Detroit truck accident lawyer to explore options regarding compensation.

Even Car Accidents Are Bigger in Texas

As residents of The Lone Star State, we all know that everything is bigger in Texas, but we bet you didn’t know that even car accidents occur with alarming frequency in our state as opposed to others. Of more than 2.6 million auto wrecks that happen across the nation, more than 550,000 of these are attributed to Texas.

With that being said, there are many different types of injuries that individuals who are involved in these crashes sustain, and steps that can be taken to hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. Read on to find out more about what you can do if you suffer a serious injury in a car accident.

Common Auto Wreck Injuries

It is not uncommon for those who are involved in car accidents to suffer catastrophic injuries. Some of the most frequently seen types of injuries that survivors endure include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord damage, broken bones, amputations, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and third degree burns, to name a few.

Injuries this severe in nature will often require you to take time off of work to focus on recovering. You could reasonably expect to spend months or even years in the throes of recovery depending on how impactful your injuries were on your life.

Traumatic brain damage for instance could require extensive physical and/or occupational therapy in order to learn how to live with the permanently debilitating results of your injuries. After you’ve been in an auto wreck, the last thing you should be expected to do is cover the costs of your damages. Working with an attorney can be the best way to compel the liable person or persons to compensate you for your suffering.

Hold the Liable Party Accountable for Your Damages

Your lawyer will conduct a complete investigation into the cause of your accident in order to determine who will be named as the defendant in your case. In most cases, this will be either the other involved driver, automakers, or the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

After culpability has been established, your attorney will begin calculating the value of your claim. This will be done by reviewing every way your life has been negatively impacted by your injuries.

Losses might include damage to your earning potential, loss of enjoyment of life, medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of household services, property damages, loss of companionship and love, inconvenience, and mental anguish, among others.

There is also a chance that your award could be increased if the judge awards you exemplary damages. Also referred to as punitive damages, this award is only issued when the judge finds the actions of the defense to be malicious or intentional.

Contact an Austin Car Accident Lawyer

When you’re ready to regain control over your life but aren’t sure what you should do next, get in touch with a highly trained Austin car wreck lawyer as soon as possible. Working with an attorney is the best way to ensure that you obtain full repayment of your damages from the liable party. This way, you can slowly begin to pick up the pieces of your life throughout your recovery.

Suing for Faulty Brakes in Your Car

When you’ve been in an auto wreck you probably automatically think that the other involved driver was to blame for the crash. If it wasn’t you then it must have been them, right? In some cases, an auto wreck would be the fault of the other driver, but not in all cases. In other cases, factors outside of the two involved drivers’ control is to blame.

For example, when a vehicle’s parts malfunction in some way this can cause a collision. If, say, a tire blows out because of poor manufacturing, then you can sue the manufacturer. If the brakes give out because of poor design or a defect, then you can sue the manufacturer. Learn more about suing for faulty brakes by reading on.

Who Could be Liable for an Accident Caused by Faulty Brakes?

When someone causes your vehicle accident then they are responsible for your losses. This is true of manufacturing companies that have created brakes that aren’t up to par. If your accident can be traced back to faulty brakes, then you can be compensated by filing and winning a claim against the manufacturer.

Additionally, in some cases your faulty brakes could be the fault of a mechanic or auto body shop. If you just took your vehicle in to the shop to have the brakes serviced and it’s found that they didn’t fix the brakes properly, then you could hold the mechanic or body shop liable.

You have a right to receive compensation from any person or organization that caused your accident and injuries.

What are the Damages You Can be Awarded When You Win an Injury Case?

An auto accident can lead to extensive damages for the accident victim. The more serious your injuries are the more losses you’ll be looking at. When you are seriously injured you will likely suffer medical expenses, lost wages, physical pain, and mental trauma.

You can be compensated for all the negative effects of your accident. Listed below are common damages awarded in auto wreck cases:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses including copays, medications, hospital bills, physical therapy
  • Mental trauma and mental health services
  • Lost work wages
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Permanent disability
  • Scarring/disfigurement

Do You Need Help with a Vehicle Crash Claim in California?

By filing and winning an auto wreck claim you can be awarded a settlement meant to pay you for your losses. These cases can be difficult to win, especially when you’re going up against a major manufacturer. You might want to consider partnering with an Orange County auto accident lawyer, to increase your case’s chances of success.

Attorneys will investigate your auto wreck, determine whether faulty brakes caused your crash, calculate your damages, put together your case, and fight for you. Dealing with insurance companies is a hassle, and if the insurer refuses to pay you a fair settlement, your attorney can even take your case to court, if needed.