Posts

Get the Most Out of a Car Accident Settlement

A car accident settlement can be one of the toughest negotiations you’ll ever encounter. Don’t go into it without backup, in terms of evidence and representation.

 

 

Get Your Ducks in a Row

 

There’s no reason to delay the start of the negotiation process with the insurance company after you’re healed (or healed enough to devote time and energy to the process). Make sure you have all your evidence in place and organized, such as:

 

  • Police reports.
  • Medical records.
  • Photographs.
  • Witness statements.

The more detailed these records, the better — you don’t want to leave any stone unturned in getting enough in the settlement to cover your losses.

 

 

Aim a Little Higher Than Necessary

The first rule of negotiating a car accident settlement is similar to bartering: figure out a fair price, and start negotiations a minimum of 25 percent above it. The insurance company will undoubtedly come back with a lowball offer. If after several rounds of negotiation, no agreement is reached, you may be headed for court. It’s up to you to decide if the insurance company’s final offer is truly too low or if it’s close enough to your goal to not draw out the process any longer than necessary.

 

 

Don’t Lose Your Temper

The insurance representatives will resort to several tactics to get your emotions riled up, including minimizing the severity of your injuries. Don’t fall for it. Remain calm and stick to the facts to maximize your car accident settlement.

 

 

Don’t Go on Record(ing)

If an insurance adjuster requests that you make a recorded audio or video statement, don’t. Remember “anything you say can and will be used against you,” and the nervousness you experience while being recorded could trigger the tendency to talk more than you normally would.

 

 

Don’t Wonder Why

The whole process of negotiating a car accident settlement can seem convoluted and at times, make no sense. That’s why it’s a good idea to have experienced representation to stay focused on the task at hand, maximizing your settlement to cover your expenses.

Fatigued Driving: 6 Signs You Might Be Too Tired to Drive

,

It’s safe to say that the vast majority of drivers would never attempt to operate a vehicle after drinking alcohol or taking certain kinds of medication. These same drivers, however, think nothing of fatigued driving—getting behind the wheel (or hopping on their motorcycle) when they’re tired. In their minds, a yawn is not the same as a shot or a pint.

 

 

In reality, more than one-third of drivers have engaged in fatigued driving and fallen asleep at the wheel. Some of them are lucky enough to snap back awake in time to avoid a wreck. Some keep driving, seemingly functional while their conscious minds have checked out, only to blink and wonder how they missed their turn 20 miles ago. Too many cause an accident, hurting themselves and, often, someone else.

 

Don’t be a tragic statistic. The signs you shouldn’t be driving are often subtle.

 

Signs You Could Be Too Tired to Drive

 

1. You didn’t get enough sleep the night before. Combine a restless night with a long day at work, and it’s safe to say you shouldn’t embark on a long, monotonous trip, even if you think you’re stoked on caffeine.

 

2. You’re using the headrest. If you’re too weary to hold up your head, you’re not alert enough to drive any distance—short or long.

 

3. You can’t remember driving the past few miles. Muscle memory will only get you so far. If you’re well into your journey and it seems you just left, you’ve been snoozing, possibly even with your eyes open.

 

4. Your eyes are scratchy. Constantly needing to rub your eyes is a sign you’re too tired to keep going. Pull over at a rest stop and take a nap.

 

5. You keep hitting the rumble strips. This means you’re driving out of your lane, and you are fatigued driving. Get out from behind the wheel as soon as possible.

 

6. Your muscles feel twitchy. Lack of sleep can cause the release of stress hormones, which can make you achy, restless, and irritable. If you find you can’t keep from shifting in your seat, or you feel an uncontrollable need to shake out your arms and legs, you’re fatigued driving.

 

If you’ve been hurt in an accident and you suspect the other driver was fatigued driving, we can help. Call us today!

4 Reasons a San Antonio Car Accident Attorney Is Worth Your Time

, ,

We know what many people think when they hear “car accident attorney.” Trust us. We know. Misconceptions that include the word “ambulance” and some form of the verb “chase.” But stereotypes aside, if you’re ever in a serious wreck, a San Antonio car accident attorney could literally be a lifesaver.

 

 

 

 

Here are four main reasons it’s worth your time to research a good San Antonio car accident attorney:

 

1. Your injuries are serious. In the immediate aftermath of an accident, your adrenaline is pumping. That’s why you may not realize until later that what you thought were a few bumps and bruises are actually the outward signs of more serious injuries. These injuries could impact your job, your personal relationships, even your life. So when the first responders arrive at the scene, don’t waive the option to be transported to an emergency room. Start covering all your bases from day one—even moment one.

 

2. Recovery will take longer than you anticipated. What you thought was a simple broken bone turns into a complicated mess of pins, plates, surgeries, months of physical therapy, and an eye-crossing morass of bills and insurance claims. Trying to handle it all yourself while recovering from a serious injury is a nightmare. An effective San Antonio car accident attorney can relieve you of a significant amount of that burden so you can concentrate on healing.

 

3. The insurance company uses delay tactics. The insurance company for the at-fault driver will do everything it can to avoid making a payout. It will claim you don’t have enough proof that their client caused the accident. Meanwhile, your bills are mounting.

 

4. You receive unfair settlement offers. The at-fault driver’s insurance company may attempt to rush you into accepting a lump-sum settlement that won’t make a dent in your medical bills, claiming that if you push for a fair settlement, the answer could be “no” and you’ll get nothing. Don’t fall for it. Sign nothing until you have a San Antonio car accident attorney on your side.

 

Don’t settle for less than you deserve! Give your San Antonio car accident attorney, Pat Maloney, a call today. Don’t wait!

Demand Justice with an Experienced San Antonio Truck Accident Lawyer

, ,

The words “minor” and “truck accident” seldom appear in the same sentence. Trucks are big and heavy; most cars don’t hold up well to what a truck would consider a love tap. Trucks are notorious for having major blind spots, but before you let a truck driver shrug it off with a “Sorry, I didn’t see you,” get on the phone with an experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer.

 

 

 

 

How can a San Antonio truck accident lawyer help you?

 

Gathering Evidence

 

Chances are, the driver of the truck you tangled with is backed by a trucking company, and trucking companies won’t hesitate to use their lawyers to twist everything around to make it look like the accident was your fault. With an experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer on your side, you can concentrate on healing from your injuries while your attorney:

 

Studies reports and documentation generated by police and other first responders.

Tracks down witnesses and gathers their statements.

Determines if any nearby security cameras captured any video or photographic evidence.

Contacts specialists, such as computer graphics experts, to re-create the accident using available evidence.

Represents you in settlement negotiations with the trucking company’s legal team.

Collects information about the truck driver’s training, prior driving record, and possible criminal record.

 

Knowing the Law

 

An experienced San Antonio truck accident lawyer knows which trucking companies tend to travel more on local, regional, state, or interstate roads, and which laws apply. He or she also knows what kinds of logs truck drivers are required to keep, including driving hours vs. rest hours, routine drug testing, vehicle load, and maintenance records. In addition, if the truck was subject to a recall, the ultimate fault may rest with the manufacturer.

 

If you need a San Antonio truck accident lawyer, contact us today. One of our outstanding team members is ready to back you up.

How a San Antonio Truck Accident Attorney Strengthens Your Case

, ,

After a run-in with a semi-trailer truck, the biggest mistake you can make is setting foot in the courtroom without a qualified San Antonio truck accident attorney at your side. You have enough to deal with recovering from injuries, keeping your job, replacing your vehicle, and maybe even grieving the loss of a loved one.

 

 

A San Antonio truck accident attorney can shoulder much of the burden of filing and winning a personal injury claim so you can concentrate on healing, not juggling a mountain of paperwork, deadlines, and details.

 

How do you go about choosing the best lawyer for your needs? It’s not unlike choosing the best doctor for medical treatment.

 

Choose a Specialist

If you need knee surgery, you wouldn’t visit a dentist, would you? The same holds true for a San Antonio truck accident attorney. Pick one who deals with truck accident claims day in and day out. Select someone with dozens, if not hundreds, of winning cases under his or her belt.

 

Choose an Expert

The best practitioners of any profession work hard to stay on top of the latest developments in their fields. The very best write about their own discoveries and publish articles, and attend conferences to obtain and share knowledge. When choosing a San Antonio truck accident attorney to handle your case, don’t forget to look on their website for a list of published articles.

 

Choose a Professional

A qualified attorney will be a member of professional associations that concentrate on their area of expertise and will be board certified in their specialty. When you’re researching the above-mentioned articles, also look for membership in organizations such as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

 

Choose a Friend

A good San Antonio truck accident attorney has the experience to know not to overload himself or herself with too many cases at once. In this manner, he or she will have the time to focus on your case and your needs, on your timetable.

 

Researching a San Antonio truck accident attorney? Lawyers at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney have the experience, training, expertise and time to handle your case. Call us for a free consultation.

Drowsy Driving: How Driver Fatigue Accidents Damage Lives

,

Are you a male between 18 and 29? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but statistics show that you are more likely to be involved in one of a growing number of driver fatigue accidents. Drowsy driving, while often difficult to pin down with hard evidence, is thought to be the cause of up to 30 percent of all crashes. All crashes, not just distracted-driving type crashes.

Here are a few more driver fatigue accident facts:

  • Not only are men more likely to drive drowsy, they’re more likely than women to fall completely asleep at the wheel.
  • Parents with children tend to drive tired more often than childless adults.
  • Shift workers are more vulnerable to driving drowsy due to sleep deprivation.

Too often, there’s a cost involved when someone chooses to drive drowsy. And that cost can be high.

Human Costs

  • Injury, disability, and death are often the result of driver fatigue accidents, affecting a wide circle of people, including spouses, children, other relatives, friends, and work colleagues.
  • For the driver at fault, add pain, psychological suffering, and the personal costs associated with possible jail time to the above.

Economic Costs

  • Driver fatigue accident victims and their families often suffer financially due to lost wages, loss of a career, medical bills that drain savings accounts, and the not-insignificant cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle.
  • Employers are also impacted by driver fatigue accidents. For the victim who isn’t at fault, the employer could be faced with having to hire and re-train a replacement worker, who may not have the equivalent skills and experience of the lost employee.
    Worse, the employer of the driver at fault could be held financially liable if the employee was on the clock when the driver fatigue accident

Driver fatigue can be difficult to prove, but if you find yourself involved in what you suspect is a driver fatigue accident, an experienced attorney can help.

The Science Behind Fatigue Accidents

Fatigue accidents are one of the leading causes of automobile accidents each year. One study determined that fatigue leads to 30% of vehicular accidents annually, most occurring between midnight and 6:00 a.m. The science behind these types of accidents has been increasingly discussed and studied in recent years. Fatigue causes drivers to become less aware of what is happening on the road; it also delays a driver’s reaction time.

 

The symptoms of driver fatigue vary from person to person, as each individual has their own tolerance level for fatigue. Being able to self-assess becomes more and more difficult as fatigue sets in. However, the driver’s confidence in their driving abilities typically does not wane, despite increased fatigue.

 

Difficulty focusing vision or attention, nodding of the head, inability to keep eyes open, and inability to retain short-term information are just some of the warning signs of fatigue that a driver and/or passenger should be on the lookout for. If any of these symptoms begin to appear, it is very likely that the driver’s ability is already impaired.

 

There are generally believed to be two main causes for fatigue; properly addressing these causes can greatly reduce the risk of fatigue-related accidents. The first cause is a lack of quality sleep. The second is driving during the time when you normally sleep (nighttime driving). Either of these situations leads to the building of a “sleep debt”—in essence, sleep you owe yourself.

 

Adults between 18-29 are much more likely to drive while drowsy compared to other age groups, and until sleep is “caught up,” the risk for fatigued driving only increases. Other factors that influence fatigue include being awake on particularly long days (upwards of 17 hours or more), the level of physical and mental activity required by the drive (long stretches of “boring” driving), and whether or not any type of sedative drugs have been taken.

 

No one is immune to fatigue accidents, and they can have disastrous consequences. A lapse in concentration may occur for just a few brief seconds, but the ramifications can last a lifetime. It is important to properly assess yourself each time before you step behind the wheel. When accidents do occur, it is important to be aware of your legal rights and responsibilities. For more information, contact the offices of Pat Maloney.

 

6 Steps to Avoid Driver Fatigue Accidents at Your Trucking Company

,

Driver fatigue accidents are a serious problem in the United States. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 100,000 crashes are the result of drowsy driving every year, resulting in more than 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12 billion in damages.

 

Naturally, it makes sense that trucking companies would want to do all they can to avoid these dangerous accidents. Driver fatigue accidents put employees at risk, threaten the lives of those sharing the roads, and could end up costing companies millions of dollars in losses.

 

Fortunately, if you work for a trucking company, there are steps you can take to avoid driver fatigue accidents within your ranks. Just implement these 6 changes, and your employees – and every other driver on the road – will be all the safer for it.

    1. 1. Enforce hours of service regulations – Hours of service regulations are mandated by theFederal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to safeguard commercial drivers, as well as anyone on the road around them. These regulations set strict time limits for being behind the wheel, and they require regular rest breaks and time off to ensure drivers are at their best. If you want to ensure your trucks aren’t involved in driver fatigue accidents, then do everything you can to enforce these regulations. Install an automated device in each vehicle to track when the truck is moving and when it is at rest. Require your drivers fill out a log book detailing their rest breaks, hours behind the wheel and time off, and have their supervisors check and verify it regularly.

 

    1. 2.Educate drivers on recognizing symptoms of fatigue – In addition to enforcing hours of service, you can also teach your drivers to quickly recognize signs of oncoming drowsiness, so they can pull off the road and take a break. Common symptoms of tiredness include heavy eyelids, yawning, slow reaction times, slow driving speed, stiffness, cramps and more.

 

    1. 3.Encourage regular breaks – Though hours of service mandate when you must take a break, that doesn’t mean your drivers can’t take more if they need it. In fact, if you want your drivers at their best, you should encourage them to take breaks at least every two hours. Have them get out of the cab, walk around, take a bathroom break, stretch, or grab a bite to eat. These will all help get their blood flowing and keep them alert.

 

    1. 4.Conduct regular health screenings – Improper nutrition, vitamin deficiencies, chronic health conditions and even obesity can all have a major effect on a driver’s energy. In fact, the poorer their health, the more tired and fatigued they’ll feel, and the more likely they could be involved in an accident. To prevent this, require your drivers to undergo an annual health screening, and check them for any conditions that could affect their ability to stay alert and drive safely.

 

    1. 5. Discourage night driving, if possible – While it’s obviously possible for driver fatigueaccidents to occur during the daytime, they’re actually much more common at night. The darkness, the quiet traffic and the calming hum of the road can all but put a driver to sleep! If possible, discourage your drivers from operating their vehicles in the dark. This alone could greatly decrease the likelihood of a wreck.

 

  1. 6.Conduct truck inspections often – Nothing puts you to sleep like a warm, cozy environment, right? The same goes for truck drivers. That’s why you need to conduct regular, annual inspections of each and every vehicle in your fleet. Make sure the AC and ventilation systems work properly, so that your drivers won’t be lulled to sleep by a warm, cozy cab when they’re behind the wheel.

 

Despite the number of preventative steps you can take, driver fatigue accidents can seem inevitable. If someone on your team is involved in one, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney as soon as possible.

Tips to Stop Driver Fatigue Accidents

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatigue causes an estimated 100,000 car accidents every year. These driver fatigue accidents result in more than 1,500 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12 billion in damages and losses. Unfortunately, despite these sobering statistics, American drivers continue to drive drowsy.

Putting a Stop to Driver Fatigue Accidents

In a poll administered by the National Sleep Foundation, 60 percent of adult drivers admit to driving while fatigued within the last year. Thirty-seven percent say they’ve even fallen asleep behind the wheel. These sleepy drivers pose a dangerous threat to themselves and other drivers on the road.

 

However, drowsy driving can be prevented – and you can help. Put a stop to tired driving and prevent yourself and your passengers from falling victim to dangerous driver fatigue accidents by following these simple tips.

    • Always get plenty of sleep, especially before taking a long road trip. Ideally, you want to get at least six hours of sleep before driving long distances.

 

    • Only travel during hours you’re normally awake and alert. Avoid driving overnight, or very late or early when you’re usually asleep. This can cause you to drift off and be less alert than you should be.
    • Be sure to schedule a break every two hours or so. Trying to drive longer than that can leave you unfocused, inattentive, and tired.

 

    • Take a friend along for the ride. Having a passenger can help you stay awake and alert, plus you can rotate driving shifts with them, so neither of you gets tired or weary.

 

    • Avoid driving in the dark. The low visibility combined with the glare of headlights can put you into a sort of hypnosis, making you tired and unable to operate your vehicle properly.

 

    • Keep stimulation levels high. Never let your mind drift off while driving. Always keep yourself stimulated, alert, and involved. Roll down the window to let the wind blow your hair, turn up the radio and sing along, or turn up the A/C to make yourself cold and alert. All of these can help keep you in tip-top shape while driving.

 

    • Don’t drive under the influence. This includes alcohol, drugs, and prescriptions. Many prescription painkillers and other medicines have a tiring effect, making you drowsy and inattentive. Avoid taking these before getting behind the wheel.

 

    • Start your trips bright and early. You’re most alert in the early hours of the morning. Avoid starting your trip late in the day when you’re starting to get tired or fatigued.

 

    • Focus on good posture. Slumping and slouching may be more comfortable, but it’s also more conducive to relaxing and sleeping. Put your seat upright and ensure your legs and back are assuming proper posture. This keeps your muscles alert and focused, and ensures you don’t get fatigued too easily.

 

    • Wear sunglasses. If you don’t wear sunglass, you’ll be forced to squint all day long due to sun and bright lights. This can make your eyes tired and dry, and cause you to want to close them. Sunglasses can help shield the sun’s bright rays and keep your eyes alert and focused all day long.

 

With these tips, you can stay focused and alert while operating your vehicle and avoid dangerous fatigue accidents on the road.
Recognizing Symptoms of Drowsy Driving

In addition to following our safety tips, you can also help put a stop to fatigue accidents by being able to realize when you’re tired or drowsy while behind the wheel. If you have any of these symptoms, you may need to pull over and catch some Zs before continuing on your journey:

    • Excessive yawning
    • Difficulty concentrating or focusing
    • An inability to remember directions to where you’re going
    • Restlessness or boredom
    • Excessive blinking, dry eyes, or tired eyes

 

Even when you follow our safety tips and pull over at the first sign of fatigue, you still could fall victim to dangerous driver fatigue accidents on the road. When you do, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today to discuss your legal options.

Avoid Driver Fatigue Accidents By Knowing Causes and Prevention

Avoid driver fatigue accidents by knowing causes and prevention. Driver fatigue is a serious problem in our country. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatigue played a role in 2.2 to 2.6 percent of all fatal crashes between 2005 and 2009. Additionally, in 2009, the NHTSA estimates that more than 30,000 injuries resulted from driver fatigue accidents, and a shocking 72,000 crashes involved some sort of drowsy driving. Those are some sobering statistics.

 

Fortunately, driver fatigue is entirely preventable. By knowing the common causes and following a few simple guidelines, drivers can prevent these dangerous accidents from ever occurring.
Causes of Driver Fatigue Accidents

Driver fatigue accidents aren’t just caused by simply falling asleep at the wheel. There are a number of underlying causes and conditions that can lend themselves to this type of accident. Specifically, driver fatigue accidents most commonly occur because drivers:

  • Have been behind the wheel for a lengthy period of time.
  • Operate their vehicles late at night.
  • Fail to keep their minds stimulated while driving.
  • Fail to travel with a buddy and drive in shifts.
  • Drive on back roads where traffic is sparse and scenery is monotonous .
  • Fail to get enough rest before getting in the vehicle.

By being aware of these common causes, drivers can work to avoid driver fatigue accidents on their local roads and highways.
Prevention of Driver Fatigue Accidents

Driver fatigue accidents can lead to devastating consequences for both the driver and others on the road at the time, including pedestrians and nearby drivers. Fortunately, many of these accidents are preventable by taking just a few simple precautionary steps.To help prevent driver fatigue accidents from occurring, drivers should take care to:

  • Always drive with another person.
    The passenger can not only help keep the driver occupied and alert whilst driving, but they can also offer to take turns behind the wheel, so neither party gets too drowsy to drive.

 

  • Get plenty of sleep before a long trip.
    When a road trip is on the horizon, drivers should always take care to get plenty of rest in the days before embarking. This will best ensure they’re alert and awake for the long drive ahead.

 

  • Never drive late at night.
    Driving at times when you’d normally be sleeping is a big no-no. Your body is conditioned to fall asleep at a certain time, and trying to push past that can have disastrous consequences. Always pull over and get some rest when it’s late at night or early in the morning.
  • Allot plenty of time to get to the destination.
    Being under the gun and up against a time crunch can often cause drivers to push themselves, driving when they’re tired, drowsy, or otherwise unfit to be behind the wheel. Be sure to always allot plenty of time to get to your final destination, so you’re not forced to push yourself beyond your limits.
  • Keep stimulated.
    Driving alone for long stretches of road can get mind-numbing. Drivers should make efforts to keep their minds active and their bodies stimulated. They can play music, roll down the window, or even pull over and take a quick walk around – anything at all they can do to keep the whole body alert and at attention.
  • Stay on busy roadways.
    Driving on dark back roads or roads with little traffic can cause drivers to get drowsy faster. Always make efforts to stay on well-lit, busy roadways. This will ensure you’re kept on your toes and are always on alert.Avoid driver fatigue accidents by knowing causes and prevention. These are just a few of the many ways you can make efforts to avoid dangerous driver fatigue accidents that could injure you, your passengers, and others on the road. If you’ve been hurt or involved in a driver fatigue accident, contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Pat Maloney today to discuss your legal options.