What Happens When a Car Accident Has No Witnesses?

Imagine another driver T-bones your car as you’re entering an intersection. In the aftermath, you get out and realize that no one saw what happened. You call the police to file a report and contact your insurance carrier to start a claim. If the damage and injuries are significant, you wonder who is going to corroborate your statements.

Witnesses can play a key role in the resolution of car accident lawsuits, often helping along the insurance claims process. However, just because no one witnessed the scene, does not mean you have no claim. As such, documentation and evidence become even more important as your claim goes forward.

If a case has no witnesses, the witness is not willing to speak or someone makes an inaccurate statement, understand what you can do to prove your side of the story.

The Police Report

At the scene of the accident, police officers serve as neutral, unbiased witnesses. The police report must include both yours and the other driver’s statements, so make sure you describe what happened in a clear and detailed manner.

Reconstructing the Scene

In certain instances, it can be clear who was at fault. Yet, T-boning or accidents that occur at a camera-free intersection can be harder to prove, as both vehicles will likely display some degree of damage. As a result, conditions and actions at the scene play a greater role.

An attorney may recommend that you work with an accident reconstructionist, who can determine which vehicle had the right of way, the timing of the incident, how fast the cars were going, the impact, any weather conditions, and whether someone went through a red light or stop sign. At this point, most of the fault is assigned to one driver.

Put Together Your Own Evidence

At the scene, take as many photos as you can of the damage and the setting:

  • Use your camera phone to take shots of the damage done to both vehicles from multiple angles.
  • Capture the timing of the traffic signals or anything else pertinent – perhaps weather conditions.
  • Photograph the rest of your surroundings, including skid marks, shattered glass, lighting, reflections from the sun, any obstructions and any property damage.

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Are Drug Companies & Doctors Responsible for the Opioid Crisis?

The current opioid epidemic in the United States is the worst drug crisis our country has ever seen. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 91 Americans die each day from an overdose. Of more than 30,000 annual opioid overdose deaths, half are due to prescription drugs. Amidst this national emergency, the question has become: Who is responsible? Over the past several months, evidence has pointed to the pharmaceutical industry and doctors in collusion with them.

Lawsuits Against Pharma

Did you know there have been twice the number of opioid deaths in the United States than a decade ago? As a result, there have been many lawsuits filed against the pharmaceutical industry for not being transparent about the dangers of opioid addiction and overdose.

Although opioids are primarily used to treat acute pain, doctors have been encouraged to prescribe them for chronic pain in recent years. One lawsuit, Mike DeWine vs. the State of Ohio, claims that millions of marketing dollars were used to promote benefits of opioids and downplay their significant risks. Mr. DeWine also alleges that some doctors were provided funding in exchange for their support of opioid prescriptions.

In 2012, there were 793 million doses of opioids prescribed in Ohio alone. Unfortunately, opioid drugs tend to be less expensive than alternative pain medications. Some insurance carriers have dropped coverage for pricier choices.

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What Can Happen When a Nursing Home is Understaffed?

If your loved one is living in a nursing home and you notice bedsores, broken bones or other forms of abuse, you wonder how it happened. You did your research, regularly check in with staff and make frequent visits – how did your loved one end up injured? Although one or more employees may be involved, understaffing may be at the root of nursing home neglect or abuse.

How Some Homes Become Understaffed

Looking to increase their profits, homes may intentionally understaff a facility. Paying hourly wages and salaries can become a facility’s greatest expense. In response, those overseeing its operations often stretch its trained nurses and CNAs to the limit.

As a result, one worker gets assigned to as many as 30 to 40 residents, employees have to work overtime to meet unreasonable demands and patients requiring a high degree of care don’t get the attention they need. These issues often get exacerbated in rural areas, where homes may not be able to find enough qualified staff.

Added to this, federal law throws in a few loopholes. Facilities that receive funds from Medicare or Medicaid must provide a round-the-clock nursing staff to meet residents’ needs and have a registered professional nurse available for at least eight hours each day, seven days a week. Yet, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services waives this requirement on the following grounds:

  • The home is located in a rural area with a limited supply of qualified workers.
  • The facility has a full-time registered nurse on duty for at least 40 hours per week.
  • The facility’s patients do not require a registered nurse or physician for a 48-hour period.
  • The facility had made arrangements for a registered professional nurse or physician to provide care when a full-time professional isn’t present.

Due to these factors, homes can manage with the basic staff level or fewer-than-average employees. On the other hand, its residents may suffer in the following ways.

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GM Announces Plans for Autonomous Vehicles By 2019

The Chevrolet Bolt EV is an all-electric vehicle with one-pedal driving that can shift gears electronically. General Motors, who owns Chevrolet, has announced they will transform this model into a driverless car by 2019. The Cruise AV will not have a steering wheel or pedals. To communicate with the vehicle, passengers will use touchscreens.

About the Cruise AV

As autonomous vehicles become increasingly more popular, the concerns about their safety also rise. For instance, to deploy the Cruise AV for testing, GM must submit a petition to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because the car does not comply with 16 federal standards. This does not sit well with opponents of driverless cars. They argue that abiding by the government’s safety standards is more important than rushing this new technology to market.

However, the company states they will meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards in other ways. For example, there can be no steering wheel airbag in a vehicle that does not have a steering wheel. GM proposes to put a passenger side airbag on the driver’s side.

Are Driverless Cars Safe Enough?

Although GM must release a safety report to the US Department of Transportation to help the government keep track of its progression, one question remains: How safe is safe enough? Many industry experts worry that each driver’s interpretation of autonomous vehicle safety and functionality could cause conflict.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, a fatal accident involving Tesla’s Autopilot was caused by the driver’s overreliance on the system. Although Autopilot is not a self-driving car, the company has marketed its software as “full self-driving hardware.”

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A Word to the Wise: 5 Tips to Win Your Personal Injury Case

Trantolo & Trantolo has an excellent record of success for our clients. We have fought on the behalf of many people throughout Connecticut, who have been awarded millions in damages for their injuries. Our Firm loves to help others in need because many of us have experienced personal injury and loss too. We know what it is like to have nowhere to turn, so we ask that you turn to us! Continued medical treatment is one of the most important steps in this process. Here are 5 tips to help you win your personal injury lawsuit.

1. Receive Medical Treatment Right Away

Although symptoms may not surface right away, you were likely hurt in your accident. It is extremely important to seek medical attention immediately after a car crash, slip and fall or other type of physical injury. If you wait until pain settles in, it may be harder to prove that the accident is the cause of your discomfort. Without a clear medical diagnosis, the defendant can claim you were never hurt.

2. Continue to Record Your Symptoms

Just as you should continue to see a doctor for medical treatment following an accident, you should also keep a detailed record of your symptoms. Has a minor backache become excruciating pain every time you move? An accurate record of your symptoms since the accident can strengthen your case.

3. Don’t Leave Out Any Details

It is better to provide the doctor with too much information than too little. A slight feeling of discomfort in your lower back could turn into a herniated disc if you do not take it seriously. Be specific about where and what kind of pain you are experiencing to avoid further damage to your body.

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