At this time, we are directing everyone with information on the whereabouts of Brian Laundrie to the FBI tip line, 1-800-CALLFBI (225-5324).

How to Get the Most Money From a Car Accident

How to Get the Most Money From a Car AccidentA car accident is expensive, especially if you suffer injuries. In addition to medical expenses, injuries could limit your income by keeping you out of work for an extended period. You may also need to modify your home to accommodate a new disability, or hire someone to help out with your day-to-day needs while you heal.

Taking legal action against the parties at fault for the car accident can get you the money you need to pay for those unplanned-for expenses. Here are some steps to take that can help you get the most money possible.

Seek Prompt Medical Treatment

Always seek medical treatment as soon as possible after getting into a car accident, even if you think you only suffered only minor injuries. Sometimes, severe injuries do not hurt or show symptoms right away, but still must be diagnosed and treated immediately to avoid serious, and even fatal, complications.

A trained doctor can spot these potentially-hidden injuries and put you on the path to healing right away. In diagnosing and treating you, the doctor will create medical records that your lawyer can eventually use to prove the connection between the accident and your injuries, to calculate your past medical expenses, and to predict the cost of your future medical needs.

Finally, in some states, you may also have an obligation to seek medical treatment right away to preserve your legal rights to collect insurance benefits from your own insurance policy.

Report the Accident to Your Own Insurance Company

If you carry auto insurance or other types of insurance that may cover your accident-related expenses, you may have an obligation to report the accident to your insurance company. Check your insurance policy or speak with an experienced car accident lawyer to learn what you need to tell your own insurance company to make sure you get the full benefit of the insurance you have already paid for.

Remember, however, that insurance companies always look for ways to avoid paying you, even when you are their customer. Saying the wrong thing can cost you real money. So, stick to the facts, and do not get into a discussion with your insurance adjuster about who caused the accident. Refer any questions you are unsure of how to answer to your lawyer.

Do Not Speak With, or Take Money From, Anyone Else’s Insurance Company

It’s ok to speak with your own insurance company, but try not to speak with anyone else’s. Never agree to a settlement offered by someone else’s insurance company without first speaking with an experienced lawyer. Here’s why.

As we said, insurance companies always look for ways to avoid paying benefits. If someone else’s insurance company contacts you, the company thinks its policyholder has a legal liability to you for the damages you suffered in the car accident, and that the company wants to find a way to get out of paying you.

Anything you say to an insurance adjuster from someone else’s insurance company, in other words, will probably be used against you. Adjusters have a reputation for asking confusing questions designed to trick you into saying something that gets their policyholder, and them, off-the-hook for your damages.

Likewise, if someone else’s insurance company offers you a settlement, it’s virtually guaranteed the amount of that settlement will not come close to paying you what you deserve.

Do not take unnecessary risks by speaking with someone else’s insurance company or agreeing to a lowball settlement. Instead, if an insurer who you don’t recognize calls or contacts you, refer them to your lawyer.

Keep Records of All Expenses, No Matter How Small

The party who caused your accident, and/or that party’s insurance company, may well have a legal obligation to pay for virtually all the extra expenses caused by your car accident—but only if your lawyer can prove them.

To make sure you have a chance to get repaid for every dollar a car accident costs you, keep records of every expense you have because of it, no matter how small. Keep medical bills. Keep insurance statements. Keep receipts from the pharmacy, repair invoices for your car, Venmo records for the money you paid to an in-home nurse, and text receipts from Ubers you take to-and-from a doctor’s appointment.

No expense is too small to request as damages, so long as you can prove it. So, keep everything and give it to your lawyer.

Consider Keeping an Injury Journal

People who suffer injuries in car accidents often want to heal and put the injury behind them as soon as possible, and to forget the discomfort and difficulty they suffered. That’s understandable, but it can complicate the process of seeking damages when it comes time for your lawyer to prove the pain and suffering you endured.

One way to preserve the recollections of your injuries is to keep an injury journal, which notes the symptoms, pain levels, emotional effects, and personal consequences of your injuries for you and others. Jotting down a note or two about how an injury interferes with your personal relationships or prevents you from enjoying an activity or event can help you remember those difficulties later-on.

Keeping a journal isn’t for everyone, and it can help to have a lawyer’s input to know what sort of information to track. But it can often serve as a useful tool to preserve memories of difficult times so that you do not have to struggle to remember them when the time comes.

Stick to Your Medical Treatment Plan

Do as your doctor tells you until you have reached what your doctor considers maximum recovery. That means keeping appointments, going to physical therapy, doing rehab exercises at home, filling prescriptions, and taking your medicine.

Follow your doctor’s orders for three key reasons. First, it keeps you on the path to healing. Second, it keeps your medical records up-to-date and available for your lawyer to use. Third, it prevents defense lawyers and insurance companies from arguing that you made your own injuries worse by not taking care of yourself.

Contact an Experienced Lawyer Right Away

car accident attorneyThe sooner you have an experienced car accident lawyer on your side after suffering injuries in an accident, the better your chances of protecting your legal rights and getting the most money possible from the accident.

Car accident lawyers work on contingency, which means they only get paid if you get paid. You have nothing to lose, and potentially lots to gain. Contact a skilled car accident attorney today to learn more about your rights.

How Long Can I Wait to Hire a Lawyer for a Motorcycle Accident?

How Long Can I Wait to Hire a Lawyer for a Motorcycle AccidentA motorcycle accident forces injured riders and their family members to contend with all sorts of unexpected challenges and expenses. The confusion and difficulty of life in the aftermath of a motorcycle crash can make it difficult to know where to turn, or when to ask, for help.

If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a motorcycle accident, then you may have a sense that you need to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer, but you may not know when that should happen.

How long can you wait to make the call? The sooner the better. Here’s why.

The Clock Is Already Running out on Your Rights

As the victim of a motorcycle accident, you likely have the legal right to receive compensation for your injuries and losses from the parties who caused them.

However, that legal right has an expiration date, known as the statute of limitations. If you wait too long to take legal action to recover compensation for your injuries and losses, you can lose your rights altogether.

The length of the statute of limitations varies from state-to-state, but typically lasts months to just a few years. The clock starts running on the statute of limitations beginning the moment you suffer injuries in a motorcycle accident.

The best way to make sure you do not accidentally miss the expiration date for your rights to seek compensation after a motorcycle accident is to contact a lawyer as soon as possible after your motorcycle crash.

When It Comes to Talking to a Lawyer, Good Things Come to Those Who Do Not Wait

The statute of limitations is the outside time limit on your legal rights. Do not think of it as a suggestion for when you should seek the help of a skilled motorcycle accident injury lawyer.

If you want to give yourself the best possible chance of recovering full compensation for your injuries and losses, then you do not have a moment to lose in speaking with an attorney. Here are several reasons why you cannot wait another minute to hire a lawyer for your motorcycle accident.

Someone Needs to Preserve Evidence and Witness Recollections Right Now

With every day that passes after your motorcycle accident, chances increase that key evidence will go missing and that witnesses will forget important details about the crash. The sooner you contact a lawyer, the sooner the lawyer can prevent that from happening by locating and securing evidence and speaking with witnesses.

It Might Take a While to Investigate Your Motorcycle Accident and Build Your Strongest Case

Winning lawsuits aren’t built in a day. Even the most skilled and experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyers often need a solid block of time to dig into the details of your motorcycle crash to determine how it happened, who should take the blame for it, and how much money you deserve as damages. They may need to hire experts to reconstruct the accident. They may want to wait for your doctors to give you a firm prediction of your future medical needs. They may think you should explore alternatives to a lawsuit.

The sooner you hire a lawyer for your motorcycle accident, in other words, the more options and opportunities you give your lawyer to build you the strongest possible case.

Defense Lawyers and Insurance Companies Take Quick Action Seriously

To make the most of your legal rights, you need representatives of the parties who owe you money to take your claim seriously. The sooner you act, the better the odds that those defense lawyers and insurance companies, in particular, will see you as someone who means business. Serious claims can lead to serious money.

If you wait to hire a lawyer after your motorcycle accident, however, you risk making your claim look like an after-thought to the people who decide how much money to offer you as a settlement. Do not risk making that mistake. Hire a lawyer for your motorcycle accident today.

It Costs You Nothing to Hire a Motorcycle Accident Lawyer Today

Sometimes, people wait to hire a motorcycle accident lawyer because they fear they cannot afford to pay legal bills.

They do not need to worry. Skilled motorcycle accident injury lawyers offer free case consultations to potential clients. It costs you nothing to contact a lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options.

Those same lawyers also virtually always work on contingency. That means they agree to work for motorcycle accident victims without receiving any payment up-front or as the case goes along. Instead, their legal fee gets paid out of any money they succeed in recovering on a client’s behalf. If you don’t get paid, in other words, then the lawyer does not get paid either.

Experienced motorcycle accident injury lawyers represent clients on contingency because they know how injuries and losses can put crash victims under severe financial strain. These lawyers believe that everyone deserves to have a high-quality lawyer representing them in their moments of need. Working on contingency makes that possible.

Instead of “How Long Can I Wait?” Ask “How Long Should I Wait?”

motorcycle accident attorneyLet’s recap. The basic answer to how long you can wait to hire a lawyer for your motorcycle accident is: until the statute of limitations expires and you lose your rights.

But, as we’ve said, it’s not always obvious how long the statute of limitations lasts, and in any event, it’s an outside time limit, not a target date.

The better question to ask is: “How long should I wait to hire a lawyer for my motorcycle accident case?” The answer to that question is clear: Not another moment. You have potentially valuable legal rights to receive significant compensation for your injuries and losses, and you have the best chance of receiving that compensation if you act now.

To learn more about your rights after suffering injuries and losses in a motorcycle accident, contact an experienced motorcycle accident attorney right away.

Delayed Concussion Symptoms

Delayed Concussion SymptomsMany people do not realize it, but a concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury. In fact, the official medical term for a concussion is “mild traumatic brain injury” or mTBI.

Names, however, can be deceiving. Many “mild” brain injuries have major consequences for their victims, especially those who suffer from delayed concussion symptoms.

Let’s take a look at delayed concussion symptoms and other post-concussion health complications that can impact your life.

Causes of Concussions

Concussions, like any traumatic brain injury, happen from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body, which causes the brain to shake, twist, or deform momentarily inside the skull, leading to damage to brain tissue.

Concussions commonly occur in connection with:

  • Contact sports, such as hockey, football, rugby, soccer, or boxing, and sports that involve the potential for high-impact falls, like skiing, figure skating, gymnastics, or cycling.
  • Violent crimes, such as domestic abuse or assault.
  • Falls on hard surfaces or from high heights.
  • Combat-related exposure to explosions or concussive forces.
  • Motor vehicle accidents, including when cars collide with cyclists or pedestrians.

Symptoms of a Concussion

Concussion symptoms fall into four general categories: cognitive, physical, emotional, and sleep-related.

They include:

  • Fuzzy thinking and having a hard time creating a coherent thought.
  • Feeling as though everything you do is in slow motion.
  • Inability to concentrate, even for short periods.
  • Difficulty in retaining new information and other memory issues.
  • Headaches.
  • Blurry and/or fuzzy vision.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Poor balance.
  • Being more sensitive to light or noise.
  • Having no energy.
  • Feeling irritable.
  • Feeling sad.
  • Being more emotional.
  • Increased nervousness.
  • Increased anxiety.
  • Sleeping more or less than usual.
  • Trouble getting to sleep.

Concussion victims may suffer just one of these symptoms, or several symptoms simultaneously. Symptoms may also come-and-go, or change over time as the brain heals or adapts to the injury.

As concussion protocols in professional sports show us, anyone who has suffered a violent blow or jolt to the body should seek a medical evaluation right away. Never treat a concussion as something you can shake off or ignore.

Delayed Concussion Symptoms

Most concussions display at least some symptoms immediately. But, not all do.

Sometimes, noticeable concussion symptoms emerge only days or weeks after the injury occurs. That does not necessarily mean the injury gets worse. Initial symptoms might be so mild that you do not recognize them right away. In fact, you may not even have realized that you suffered a concussion in the first place. New symptoms might also emerge as the brain heals and adapts to the injury.

The whole variety of symptoms listed above can emerge over time, but delayed concussion symptoms often include memory problems, headaches, fatigue, and disrupted sleep.

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Delayed concussion symptoms can also accompany or be related to a condition known as post-concussion syndrome, which is characterized by concussion symptoms that last long after the typical week-to-month-long timeline for healing and recovery from a concussion. In some patients, post-concussion syndrome symptoms can last a year or more.

According to the famed Mayo Clinic, doctors believe post-concussion syndrome may result from structural changes to the brain stemming from the initial traumatic brain injury.

Concussions and Re-Injury

After a concussion, your doctor will most likely tell you to take it easy for some time. It’s advice well-taken, even if your symptoms have not disrupted your life. Research suggests that if you have suffered one concussion, you face a higher-than-average risk of suffering another one, particularly if your brain has not yet healed from the first. Activities that could cause jostling of the brain while it is healing can cause you to re-injure yourself, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

A subsequent injury could cause more severe damage to the brain, including bleeding, swelling, and tissue death. This may lead to a host of worsening symptoms, including more-severe occurrences of symptoms you have already experienced, or the emergence of new and debilitating symptoms.

Concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Suffering one or more concussions can also put you at risk of developing long term health complications. Doctors believe a strong link exists between concussions and the newly-recognized brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

CTE is a progressive degenerative brain disease that tends to emerge years after someone has suffered repeated brain injuries. Recent high-profile CTE studies have found it prevalent in former football players, who likely sustained numerous concussions or just microtraumas throughout their playing careers.

The trend of sports leagues at all levels adopting concussion protocols owes itself to increasing concern over the possibility of athletes suffering severe and lifelong brain damage from repeated, minor concussions and microtraumas.

Doctors believe repeated trauma to the brain causes the brain tissue to degenerate and build up tau—a protein—in excessive quantities, resulting in severe physical, cognitive, and emotional deficits. However, medical understanding of CTE is still incomplete, such as why CTE develops in some people who have a history of multiple concussions, but not others.

Symptoms of CTE can include:

  • Memory loss;
  • Impaired judgment;
  • Confusion;
  • Aggression;
  • Problems controlling impulsive behavior;
  • Feeling like committing suicide;
  • Depression;
  • Parkinson’s-like symptoms; and
  • Progressive dementia.

At present, doctors can only deliver a definitive diagnosis of CTE after death by performing an autopsy on a patient’s diseased brain. Doctors can, however, diagnose presumptive CTE cases and start patients on a course of treatment. As of this writing, researchers have not yet found a cure for CTE, although numerous studies are ongoing.

Patients suffering from CTE might mistakenly believe they have Alzheimer’s Disease or similar dementia. Those conditions do share many symptoms with CTE, but differences also exist. Generally, CTE emerges at a younger age than Alzheimer’s Disease and age-related dementia. Also, the most common symptom associated with the onset of Alzheimer’s is a gradual loss of memory, while CTE’s early symptoms tend toward struggles with reasoning, judgment, aggression, and impulse control.

Delayed-Symptom Concussions and Your Legal Rights

A concussion with delayed symptoms can take a heavy toll on your life and livelihood. If that injury stemmed from someone else’s wrongful conduct, then you may have the right to take legal action seeking financial compensation to help you treat and adapt to your condition.

To learn more about your potential legal rights after suffering a concussion because of someone else’s careless or dangerous actions, contact a skilled brain injury attorney for a free consultation.