Holiday Safety on the Highways

Dec 20, 2015

With Christmas and New Year’s fast approaching, it’s a good time to think about highway safety and what to do if you are involved in an automobile collision. As truck wreck attorneys, and experienced automobile crash lawyers, there’s a lot we can share with you that might be of some use. First, drive safely. That seems like an obvious piece of advice but far too often people ignore potential bad weather, alcohol use, and fatigue. So, make it your plan to drive appropriate and safe speeds in inclement weather, have snow tires and chains on when needed, avoid driving drunk, and make sure you are well rested. This is a great time to be thinking about defensive driving because while you might follow all of these rules, unfortunately, your neighbors might not be so careful.

Second, if you do get in an automobile wreck or truck wreck, the first thing to think about is making sure you get the best medical care available. Be completely candid with your medical providers. If you went to the doctor about your back or neck six months ago, and now your neck hurts again because of a wreck, make sure you tell them. Failing to do so might affect the the medical care they give and could also have devastating consequences on any civil lawsuit that you bring down the road. Speaking of truck wreck and car wreck lawsuits, make sure you completely document the collision. If it’s a serious car or truck wreck and you or your family member is taken away by ambulance, have someone go back to the scene as soon as possible to take photographs of the skid marks, debris in the roadway, and other facts relating to the car wreck or truck wreck including photographs of the vehicles. Make sure that you put your own insurance company on notice of the wreck as soon as possible so that in the unfortunate event the other driver is not properly insured, you will not have waived any coverage you might have under your own uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage.

Third, the more serious the wreck, particularly truck wrecks, the more imperative it is that you immediately seek the help of a qualified experienced truck wreck attorney. You can be assured that the trucking company will have its own investigators, complete with lawyers, at the scene of the collision within hours, if not while the vehicles are still there, to start building a case to prove that the wreck is not only not the truck’s fault but is your fault instead. When you choose an attorney for your self or your family member, don’t pick them by the size of their advertisements, instead pick them by the quality of the legal services they are likely to provide. See how their peers have graded them by election to things like Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers in America, and AV ratings. Check to make sure that they have actually tried cases. The insurance companies know the “settlement lawyers” from the “trial lawyers”. They compensate the trial lawyers’ clients with full compensation and they pay the settlement lawyers’ clients whatever they’ll take.

While I’m on the subject of holiday safety, one of the little-known facts about the holidays relates to medical care. First, there are lot of injuries not only from the wrecks I discussed above, as well as domestic injuries at home, but also stress like hear attacks. As a result, many people find themselves in the emergency room. Now, let’s think about this for a second. Do you think the most experienced doctors work on Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day? Of course not – seniority has it privileges. Sadly, statistics show us that more people find themselves in emergency rooms during these events both from traumatic injuries (http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Newsroom/News-Releases/2014/CPSC-Estimates-More-Than-15000-Holiday-Decorating-Injuries-During-November-and-December/) as well as stress-related problems such as heart attacks (https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2011/12/11173/heart-attacks-other-emergencies-spike-during-holidays). Because the hospitals are often staffed with less than a full complement of nurses and doctors, the potential for substandard medical care and medical malpractice is higher than normal. Accordingly, pay attention to the medical care you and your loved ones are provided. Ask questions. Demand answers. Document what is happening if you are concerned.

We do hope you have a wonderful and safe Christmas and New Year. To our friends – we look forward to seeing you in the future. To those of you who have not met us – we hope that your future is without accident, injury, or calamity so that you will never need us. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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