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What Would Cars Be Like If There Were No Personal Injury Attorneys?

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

Car safety is an extremely important issue. We’d like to think that car manufacturers will always create the safest cars they can, but the truth is that lawsuits brought to court by personal injury attorneys have been instrumental in ensuring that our cars are truly safe. Here are some examples of how personal injury lawsuits have made important life saving changes to our cars.

blue car on hill

Tires

When defective tires made by several different companies were responsible for 271 deaths, manufacturers tried to cover up the problem instead of trying to resolve it. A lawsuit was brought against them, and the resulting victory brought the tire manufacturers under much closer scrutiny to prevent anything similar from happening again.

Airbags

The technology behind airbags has been a work in progress since the 1950s, but by 1988 only 2% of cars were equipped with them. It was revealed in court during a lawsuit brought against car manufacturers that they were aware of the fact that equipping all cars with airbags would save many lives, but still didn’t add them to all their cars. It then became the law that all cars have airbags.

Seat Belts

close up of seatbelt

Lawsuits brought to court by personal injury attorneys were instrumental in ensuring that all cars must be equipped with seat belts, and that the seat belts would not malfunction during an accident. It used to be that most cars didn’t even have seat belts, and when they did they would often have problems. Over 14 million seat belts made by Chrysler were at risk for coming unbuckled during accidents. The lawsuits caused both the seat belts and the seats themselves to be remade so they’re now much safer.

Power Windows

As power windows became more popular, there was a corresponding increase in child deaths when kids would accidentally press the button to raise the windows and become asphyxiated. Car manufacturers were aware that they could solve the problem by installing new windows, but they didn’t because they cost slightly more. Thanks to lawsuits brought by personal injury attorneys, these safer buttons are the ones we now use in all our cars.

Gas Tanks

Several car manufacturers were aware that the placement of their gas tanks could result in fires or explosions, even in minor accidents. Thanks to successful lawsuits, the gas tanks in all cars are in the same place and enclosed in rigid metal frames to protect them from damage.

Personal injury lawsuits do have the chance to make a big difference in people’s lives, and at our law firm we’ve been involved in many major cases that have helped make things better for our clients. For more information or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today at (702) 522-7707!

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highway marker

American Attitudes Softening Regarding Highway Safety

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

A new study on U.S. highway safety garnered disturbing results: American drivers aren’t nearly as concerned about the issue as they should be. This scary revelation is definitely shocking considering the recent push to end distracted driving, or driving while texting or otherwise on the phone. Research conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety compared surveys from 2009 and 2012, and noted people’s concern for highway safety is slipping.

car driving at night

2009 Versus 2012

The AAA Foundation’s 2009 survey found 90% of participants considered drunk driving a serious issue. The survey also noted people believed other highway safety concerns, such as distracted driving, red light violations and drowsy driving, to be essential safety issues as well.

However, these attitudes have changed dramatically as of 2012. Only 69% of people regarded drunk driving as problematic, and 46% of respondents believed distracted and drowsy driving to be safety concerns. In 2009, 87% and 77% percent of participants considered distracted and drowsy driving serious issues, respectively. What’s more, a number of high-profile vehicular accidents over the last few years were linked to drunk and drowsy driving.

Why the Difference?

While it’s obvious Americans aren’t as concerned with highway safety as they used to be, it’s still unclear as to why. Numerous campaigns/nonprofit organizations, such as It Can Wait, discuss the often life-ending accidents caused by such driving with commercials featuring people talking about lost loved ones. Despite these campaigns, American attitudes towards highway safety issues such as drunk driving appear to be softening. Speculation could include the use of hands-free devices when driving, which often lead people to believe they aren’t as distracted as they actually are. Another possibility is that people may have looser ideas on what constitutes “drunk driving.” Many believe that having a few drinks before hitting the road isn’t a highway safety issue, when in reality it is a serious safety concern.

Why do you think people’s attitudes towards highway safety have changed so much? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

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wheelchair

The 5 Biggest Personal Injury Law Myths

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

Are personal injury lawsuits “out of control?” Are they a major reason why the U.S. has so many problems? Not at all! Drug, oil and insurance companies have worked very hard to create myths regarding personal injury law and have warped the truth to fit their respective agendas. Let’s look at five of the biggest personal injury lawyer myths courtesy of the American Association for Justice:

hurt hand in cast

Myth #1: The Number of Lawsuits Filed Continues to Climb

Actually, the opposite is true. The number of tort, or personal injury cases, has been in decline for years. According to the National Center for State Courts, personal injury cases made up only 4.4% of all 2008 filed civil cases, and the number of such cases between 1999 and 2008 decreased by 25 percent. The number of federal tort cases closed in U.S. District Courts dropped 79 percent between 1985 and 2003.

Myth #2 Lawsuits Hurt Small Businesses

Numerous surveys have shown that small business owners don’t view lawsuits as a big issue. Lawsuit abuse is instead found at the bottom of the list of concerns for small business owners. It’s actually corporations that want to alter the legal system to avoid misconduct or negligence lawsuits.

Myth #3: Trial Lawyers Want to Put Corporations Out of Business

Not true. While most big and small businesses manage to avoid misconduct and negligence, a fair legal system is one that allows individuals to get justice for wrongdoings, no matter how large and powerful the corporation.

Myth #4: Lawsuits Have Reached Ridiculous Levels, As Proven By That McDonald’s Hot Coffee Case

The go-to case corporations always use when attempting to pigeonhole trial lawyers is the Stella Liebeck/McDonald’s coffee case. Yet the facts of the case show Ms. Liebeck suffered from third-degree burns on numerous parts of her body, and was hospitalized for eight days due to skin grafting and debridement treatments. She also wanted the claim settled for $20,000, however McDonald’s refused. A jury eventually awarded her $200,000 for damages, though this amount was lowered to $160,000 as she was partly at fault for the spill.

Myth #5: Lawsuits Cost Taxpayers Hundreds and Hundreds of Dollars Per Year

Independent think tanks came up with the idea that American families pay a yearly “tort tax,” or that they pay for litigation. Such think tanks are funded by insurance companies and big corporations, such as oil and tobacco. This “junk science” is simply another way for big businesses to avoid negligence/misconduct lawsuits.

What do you think of these myths? Were any surprising to you? Share your thoughts in the comments section! If you are looking for a trustworthy auto accident lawyer, contact Remmel Law Firm today.

Disagree with the Police Report in your Auto Accident?

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

If you have been involved in a car accident, particularly one involving injury, responding law enforcement will typically arrive on the scene and write a detailed police report. While these are generally accurate summaries of what happened, no report is perfect. Find out what to do if you disagree with how law enforcement documented your crash.

police officer writing ticket

The information in a police report

When responding to an accident, police will collect a wealth of information about what happened. This includes identification of the people involved and witnesses who saw what happened, along with vehicle damage, road debris, the final position of the vehicles and sometimes a diagram or two. Cops will also look for some preliminary findings about the primary causes of the accident.

Police report and your insurance

Because of all the information included in a car accident’s police report, the document is used by insurance adjusters to review injury and vehicle damage claims. How the report is written can have a huge effect on the assignment of blame and settlements. Because it is also a fundamental document should your case go before a judge, any detail included by responding law enforcement could potentially be used against you.

Correcting factual errors and changing disputable information

Sometimes the police get objective information wrong. This might be details about your vehicle, your insurance coverage or the accident’s location. You can usually get an erroneous report changed or amended if you provide supporting documentation. It is a lot more difficult to make changes if you disagree with something from the report, such as a witness account or traffic law violations. You can write up your own version of the disputed details and this might be included as a supplement to the report, but whether or not to include your addendum is up to the law enforcement agency.

If you are looking for an auto accident attorney, give us a call today at 702.522.7707.

busted headlight

What to Do After a Car Accident: Steps to Help Your Case

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

Automobile accidents are shocking and traumatizing, and what to do first can sometimes seem confusing and overwhelming. In case the worst should occur, these steps will help create less stress regarding your personal injury case:

car crashed

1) Call the Police

The first thing to do is file a police report. Calling the police to the scene of the accident and having them write a report is essential in helping you prove you were not at fault. Ensure all pain and injury complaints are recorded, as this is proof of injuries sustained. While police are occasionally hesitant to write such reports, this information is imperative for protecting your rights, especially if you were injured.

2) Take Witness Names and Phone Numbers

Be sure to take down the names and phone numbers of every person who witnessed the accident. Often times witnesses will approach you with their information, although it’s still necessary to look around and ask for names and numbers. This is especially important if a witness overhears the other driver admitting fault and liability. Such admissions are taken seriously by insurance companies when in court regarding the accident. This will also help your auto accident attorney convince the liable insurance company of your injuries and need for compensation.

3) Take Pictures If You Can

Another way to prove damages is to take pictures of the accident scene. If you are too injured to do so yourself, have a friend or family member document necessary images from the scene. You’ll want to take note of any damage to your vehicle, where the accident occurred, location of debris and anything else that will help your case. Liable insurance companies often dispute personal injury claims, especially if no solid evidence is presented.

4) Record Names, Addresses and Phone Numbers of Those Who Can Verify Your Injuries

Friends, family and co-workers can all verify that you are unable to work, perform basic household tasks and anything else resulting from the severity of your injuries. It’s also a way to provide an injury timeline. Such witnesses will help your case tremendously as it’s not just you claiming your injuries.

5) Take Down Insurance Info

Write down all insurance information at the scene of the accident, or have someone do it for you. The other driver is likely to be forthcoming with this info, particularly if police are present. Some people refuse to divulge this information after the event, making injury claim settlements problematic. Make sure you walk away from the accident with all the information you will need for your case.

6) Get an Estimate of Vehicle Damage

Auto insurance agencies frequently round down concerning how much it will cost to repair your vehicle, especially if you decide to keep the money rather than fix the car. A lower estimated amount also hurts injury claims, so get your own estimate of damage incurred.

Keep these steps in mind should you be the victim of an automobile accident. Contact us today with any questions concerning automobile accident claims. Were you injured in a car accident? What was your experience with the other driver and the insurance company? Share your story in the comments section!

 

Someone Borrowed My Car and Got in an Accident: Am I Liable?

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

Car accidents generally concern the driver that caused the collision to occur. However, there are times when the person who is liable wasn’t driving or even in the car at the time of the accident. If someone borrowed your vehicle and got in an accident, many times you will be liable. Here’s why:

blue car crash

Employee Drivers

If you’re an employer and an employee driving a company car gets in an accident, you are liable for damages incurred. However, this is only the case if the employee was operating the vehicle as part of his or her job. If the employee borrows a company vehicle when he or she is not working and gets in an accident, that employee is liable for damages.

Teen Drivers

Most states hold parents responsible for their children’s negligent driving, especially if the parents know the child is reckless or otherwise unfit to drive. This is known as “negligent entrustment,” and applies when you let an underage or unlicensed driver use your car. This also includes when a parent signs the child’s driver’s license application, with most states holding the parent accountable for any accidents. Some states also employ the “family purpose” doctrine, which holds the vehicle’s owner liable for any family member who drives the car and gets in an accident.

Elderly and Intoxicated Drivers

Liability absolutely falls on you if you let an intoxicated friend or family member drive your car, as this is another example of negligent entrustment. This is also the case if the vehicle is lent to an elderly driver who is unfit to operate the car. Although you are not the one driving, you will be held liable in these situations.

Ill and Previously Reckless Drivers

Allowing someone who is ill or otherwise has a condition that affects driving, such as falling asleep at the wheel, will result in liability on your part. You could also be liable if you lend your car to someone with a history of reckless driving.

Keep these examples in mind the next time someone wants to borrow your car or you may be requiring the services of an auto accident attorney. Know of other examples of vehicle liability even if the owner isn’t driving? Share them in the comments section!

I Was Rear-Ended In A Car Accident: Can I Be Held Responsible?

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

Car accidents are always a shocking and traumatizing experience, no matter how big or small in nature. One popular question that we receive on a regular basis concerns rear-end accidents. Generally speaking, it is the person who rear-ends your car who is at fault, with some states using stricter laws regarding this issue than others. However, there are times when such accidents are not so cut and bone-dry. So how exactly does this occur?

car rear ended with cracked bumper

If another car hits you from behind, the accident is almost always that driver’s fault, no matter what your reason is for stopping. One of the basic rules of the road instructs drivers to halt their vehicles safely if another car or truck stops ahead of them. If the driver is unable to stop in time to avoid a collision, he or she is not operating the vehicle as safely as the person who got hit.

The other important part of rear-end accident claims is vehicle damage, which undoubtedly provides how the accident occurred. If the other car’s front end and your car’s rear are both damaged, it’s basically impossible to contest what happened.

Yet in some accident situations, both you and the car behind you get hit by a third car. This third car runs into the car behind you, which pushes that person’s vehicle into yours. When this happens, it is the third car who is responsible for the resulting damage, not the driver who actually rear-ended you. This means filing a liability insurance claim against the third driver.

Understanding automobile accident liability is an essential part of safe driving and will keep you out of the offices of an auto accident attorney. Keep these tips in mind whenever you use your vehicle and stay safe on the road.

Have you been involved in an accident such as this? Share your story in the comments section below!

justice statue

Jurors Keep The Public Safe

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

Today, pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson voluntarily agreed to pay a $2.2 Billion Dollar settlement to resolve both criminal and civil claims over allegations that they marketed three drugs for uses that were never approved.  Some of the claims alleged against the publicly traded company involved paying “kickbacks” to physicians who prescribed the drugs to patients like you and I.

Now, I want you to think about this for just a minute.  A major, billion dollar corporation just freely admitted that it has been paying licensed medical doctors financial incentives to distribute drugs to the public for treatments they were never approved for!?  I hope that concerns you at a very core level because this is a prime example of corporate greed.  This is the same type of conduct Ford was guilty of when it knew that the Explorer was a dangerous vehicle, but decided to place “profits over safety.”  So, why do these corporations keep pressing the boundaries of safety and ethics, regardless of the criminal or civil consequences?  After dealing with billion dollar insurance companies for more than a decade, I am convinced it is because they see the public’s disdain of the jury system — the last utility that actually protects the public’s well being.

court room

Unlike politicians who are paid millions in annual campaign contributions from major corporations, the jury is the only real “checks and balances” utility left in our government today.  The jury system is so fundamental to keeping the public safe, it was expressly protected by our forefathers in the Constitution.  Think about that for a minute.  What other public safety mechanisms have been individually safeguarded by the express text of the Constitution?  Off the top of my head, I can only think of two.  The right to vote and the right to a jury trial.  My hopes in sharing this is for you to see the importance of a civil jury system and what a true blessing it really is.

Today’s courtroom has become the modern day Elah valley, where an otherwise insignificant “David” can take on the corporate-funded “Goliath” and actually have a chance of winning.  Large corporations do not fear lawsuits.  To them, it’s a cost of doing business.  What they really fear, and have taken steps to eradicate, is the civil jury system.  Why?  It’s the only neutral entity that can hold them financially (and criminally) accountable for acts of corporate greed that otherwise, pose a direct threat to public safety.

If you see the importance of the civil jury system and want to take steps to protect the public, please participate in the process when you are called upon at a State or Federal level.  As a juror, learn what the law is and make every effort to follow the law (even when you disagree with what the law is).  Hold corporations (and individuals) accountable for any acts or omissions that endanger the public.  If you don’t, there will be nothing that stops them from going further and hurting more people.  The civil jury system is the only way a greedy corporation is held accountable to the public.  As the public, we should do everything in our power to protect this very precious gift.

For the best auto accident attorney in Las Vegas, contact Remmel Law Firm today.

What You Should Know About Car Accident Settlements

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

If you’ve recently been injured in a car accident as the result of another person’s negligence, you’re probably wondering if the coming settlement will be enough to cover doctor’s bills, replacing your transportation and all the other costs associated with your accident. Not to mention your loss of productivity as you recover from the accident. While each case is different, below are some aspects of your personal injury settlement that you should keep in mind.

car wreck

Special Damages

Special damages refer to any monetary loss due to your accident. Many expenses–from out-of-pocket ambulance rides and co-pays to physical therapy and surgeries–can be recovered in your personal injury settlement. Your lawyer can advise you about what expenses to document and it is important to keep careful records because these specific expenses are taken into consideration when determining your settlement.

General Damages

General damages are the monetary values placed on the more intangible detriments of your personal injury case such as pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and/or emotional distress. When arriving at a value for your settlement, the adjusters and lawyers representing the at-fault driver will factor in discovery responses, your appearance in testimony and the severity of your injuries along with witness comments on your degree of suffering. The word of your doctor is also significant in determining the general damages portion of the average car accident settlement.

Loss of Income

If you’ve experienced severe injuries, you may find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of being unable to work. If you have to miss work because of appointments or are forced to leave your employment entirely, you can recover lost income as part of your car accident settlement–including both past and future losses. You’ll need to bring information about your previous income (such as pay stubs or W-2s) to your lawyer in order to facilitate future claims. If your injuries prevent you from returning to your previous position and/or force you to retrain or find another, lesser-paying job, your Las Vegas auto accident attorney can assist you in recovering these losses in your settlement.

In order to maximize your car accident settlement, it is important to keep meticulous records how the expenses your accident incurred and the loss of income that has resulted.

learning to ride motorcycle

Safety First When Riding Motorcycles

Written by Jon Remmel on . Posted in Blog

Great things often come in pairs. From peanut butter and jelly to Simon and Garfunkel, two things combining as one can produce great results. This could not be more true than the combination of motorcycle and helmet. Without the helmet, motorcycles would be illegal in many states across the country.

remmel_helmet

During 2008, approximately 1,829 motorcyclists’ lives were saved by wearing helmets. The stakes are too high to NOT wear one. Simply put: safety first. For more information on a reliable Las Vegas motorcycle accident attorney, contact Remmel Law Firm today.

Contact us online or call us toll-free at (702) 522-7707 to learn more about our experienced personal injury services.
As necessary, we can visit you at home or in the hospital — we can also offer evening and weekend appointments.


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Remmel Law Firm, our Southern Nevada Office serves clients in the Las Vegas, Green Valley, Summerlin, North Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Our Personal Injury Law Firm is dedicated to helping families thru the legal process when involved in an auto accident, an accident at work or an ATV accident.

We are happy to meet with you in the hospital or your home to accommodate your unique needs. Contact our law office today!


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