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Fact or Fiction: Speaking to At Fault Party’s Insurance Adjuster

Fact or Fiction: After an Automobile Accident, I Should Speak to the At Fault Party’s Insurance Adjuster.

Fiction.

Generally, an insurance adjuster is representing the client who pays them. An insurance adjusters’ job is to offer you as little compensation as possible. If you do not know
what your rights are or what compensation you may be entitled to, then it means you could get far less than you deserve. This also means the adjuster will try to settle quickly before you are
done treating to avoid a possible lawsuit. Talking to the insurance adjuster can deter you away from any treatment you may be getting, cause you to return to work too quickly, or cause you to pay out of pocket when not needed. If you have been involved in accident, then your best option to protect yourself by declining to speak with the at fault party’s insurance and to consider
getting the help of an Attorney. The experienced attorneys at Tompkins, Selph, & Associates have years of experience with accident litigation and have the skills necessary to resolve your
claims and protect your rights. At Tompkins, Selph, & Associates, our main focus is making sure you get the treatment you need to get healthy, not worrying about how to navigate this
confusing legal area.

How do settlement negotiations work in a medical malpractice case?

Medical Malpractice cases are some of the hardest cases to win at trial due to complexity of the subject matter and they are some of the costliest cases to take to trial. Furthermore, they odds are not in the Plaintiffs favor that they will walk away with a verdict in their favor. For these factors, many plaintiffs are eager to settle their cases out of court. In order to do, the plaintiff must first have to prove that the doctor was negligent, and the negligence caused the plaintiffs damages. This is no easy task, which is why medical experts are almost always needed to prove these points. If the plaintiff can overcome these hurdles without going to litigation, then it is possible to begin negotiating the value of their claim. The value of a medical malpractice claim includes compensation for all losses sustained as a result of the negligent treatment, including; pain and suffering, lost wages, and decreased future earnings.

In some situations, these values are relatively easy to come up with. For example, a mistake in your knee surgery might have added on a few extra weeks of rehab, but now you are fully recovered. In other situations, these numbers can never be calculated. It would be almost impossible for someone to place a value on losing a limb or losing a spouse. What is even more concerning is that many states have caps on medical malpractice claims.

Even if you could put a numerical value on losing your spouse, your state might tell you that you can only recover at most $250,000. Settlement negotiations in medical malpractice have a lot more at stake and thus are a lot longer and more difficult to negotiate. Having an experienced medical malpractice attorney alongside your side can help you maximize your recovery.

The experienced medical malpractice attorneys of Tompkins, Selph, and Associates LTD are here to assist you! Don’t hesitate to contact us now.

What Happens if I Have Been Hit by an Uber Driver?

More and more people are turning to companies like Uber and Lyft for their transportation needs and as a result there are an increasing number of Uber and Lyft vehicles on the road. In a normal car accident, the at-fault party’s insurance would bear liability for the damages. Does this change in instances where the at fault driver was actively driving for a ride share company like Uber and Lyft? Uber works by allowing drivers to driver their personal vehicles during hours that they choose. If a driver is not “on the clock” when they are in an accident, then that driver’s personal insurance will bear the liability. Uber purposely tries to avoid being named in accident litigation by treating its drivers as independent contractors in order to create a legal boundary between the company and its drivers. Instead, Uber provides additional liability coverage for certain circumstances in which the damages incurred exceed the capacity of the driver’s personal insurance. If you have been hit by a negligent or reckless Uber driver and suffered an injury that exceeded the costs of your own personal insurance policy, then the Uber driver may bear some of the liability.

The Uber accident attorneys at Tompkins, Selph, and Associates are available to help with your case. Simply contact us for a FREE consultation.

Common Pedestrian Accident Injuries

Even as a pedestrian, you remain vulnerable to a wide variety of accidents.  Accidents can occur between yourself and another pedestrian, between yourself and a negligent driver, or even between yourself and an inanimate object, like a large crack in the sidewalk.  As a pedestrian, it is important to know how to protect yourself from accidents and to be alert to your surroundings.  Knowing how to protect yourself while walking, jogging, biking, etc. can help prevent serious injury such as Traumatic Brain Injuries, spinal cord injuries, fractures, and soft tissue injuries.  The most common pedestrian accidents occur in crosswalks, parking lots, and as the result of someone losing control.  Crosswalks and parking lots are vulnerable areas for pedestrians as we are trusting that someone driving a 2-ton car will see us and stop.  The best thing you can do to protect yourself in these circumstances is to always check your surrounding before crossing a cross walk, avoid jay walking, and if you see a car approaching the cross walk at a quick pace, do not assume they are going to stop; wait until the car comes to a complete stop for you before crossing.  Similarly, if you are in a parking lot, pay attention to which cars have taillights on that indicate that they are in reverse, and if you see a car starting to back out a spot, do not cross behind it and assume they can see you. Small actions like this can be the difference between going about your day and ending up with a broken arm, or worse.

Why Medical Experts are important to your Medical Malpractice Claim

Negligence on the part of a healthcare provider can have serious consequences and lasting health effects.  In the best of cases, a mistake might just prolong your recovery, but in the worse cases it could result in a mistake that requires years of rehabilitation to correct, loss of limb, and even death.  Medical Malpractice cases are complex and as such it is crucial to have the opinion of an expert medical witness in order to prove your claim.  Obtaining a medical expert before your case is filed can ensure that you and your attorney have prepared the best strategy and know exactly how to convey the impact of your damages to a jury.  People are not trained medical providers often do not understand medical language, so a medical expert is crucial in making sure the jury understands exactly what went wrong and how you were injured.  In wrongful death cases, a medical expert can help you relate certain factors back to the cause of death.  Unfortunately, medical experts are costly, with most have a retainer of $3,000 to $4,000 and an hourly fee of several hundred dollars.  However, if you have been injured by a negligent provider a medical expert can sometimes be the difference between winning your case or receiving less than you are entitled to.

Types of evidence to gather after a fall

As humans, most of us have fallen at some point.  Usually, tripping over a shoe or slipping on water will result in little more that a bruise.  However, if you fall outside of your home, such as a restaurant or a parking lot, you run the risk of sustaining serious injuries.  As the injured party, you have the burden of presenting the court with evidence that shows that the defendant was liable for your injuries and that you were not acting negligently.  If you have been involved in a slip and fall, there is certain evidence you can gather to help protect your claims.  If you are able to, take pictures of the scene.  Look for things such as wet floor signs or cleaning equipment.  Take a picture of what caused you to fall.  Was it food, liquid, a crack in the sidewalk?  If you slipped on food or water on the floor, look for something that may have caused it, like a leaky refrigerator in the frozen foods aisle at the grocery store.  If there was anyone around who say you fall, ask for their name and number so that you can contact them as a witness if necessary.  Documenting the scene can help prove that you were not at fault and can erase any claims of “he said, she said”.

The importance of taking safety precautions when riding on a motorcycle in Ohio

Motorcycle crashes can occur in a variety of situations and are often difficult to predict.  However, there is a significant amount of data that suggests that almost half of all motorcycle accidents occur at traffic intersections and are between a motorcycle and some sort of passenger vehicle.  As the weather warms and summer holidays loom, the number of motorcycle accidents peak.  Motorcycle accidents are particularly deadly.  An accident that might just be minor property damage between two passenger vehicles could be one that turns deadly for someone on a motorcycle.  Many motorcycle accidents can be easily prevented by just following some simple safety rules and not putting yourself at risk.

Why a helmet matters.

The most important thing to do every time you get on a motorcycle is to make sure you are wearing a safe and properly fitting helmet.  Wearing a helmet could be the difference between life and death if you are involved in an accident.  A good helmet should have a thick inner line, sturdy chin straps, and should weigh about 3 pounds.  A motorcycle helmet is different from a bike helmet.  A motorcycle helmet should cover your entire head versus a skullcap style helmet.  Finally, know that the U.S. Department of Transportation requires that all helmets sold in the U.S. meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218, which defines the minimum level of performance that helmets must meet to protect the head and brain in the event of a crash.  Manufacturers are required to place a sticker inside the helmet stating the manufacturing information.  When you are buying a helmet, make sure to check for this information to know that your helmet meets Federal safety standards.

Loud pipes save lives.

If you are an avid rider, chances are you have heard this saying before.  A loud motorcycle can alert other drivers to your presence and make them aware that a motorcycle is around.  Making sure people notice you on the road can save your life.  Wearing Hi-Viz gear, adding auxiliary lighting to your bike, and upgrading your horn are all great ways to make your presence known.  Riding with a group that you know, and trust is another great way to make sure you are noticed on the road.  When riding in a group, you should always ride with a group you know and trust.  You never know when you could become mixed up in a group of riders that do not take safety seriously.  A group that tends to show of may not understand how to handle their bike, creating a situation that could turn deadly.

Following these steps can help lower your chances of being involved in an accident but can never fully eliminate your risk.  If you or a loved one have been involved in a motorcycle accident you need an experienced motorcycle attorney to help you protect your rights.  The attorneys at Tompkins, Selph & Associates are ready to evaluate your case and get you the relief you are entitled to.

What to do if you are injured as a passenger in a car in Ohio?

If you have been involved in an accident in which you were injured, and you were a passenger in someone else’s car then you may be wondering how to recover damages for the injuries you sustained.  The good news is that passengers generally don’t have to worry about liability, which should help to make the legal process a little less confusing.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Before you do anything, assess yourself and your surroundings as best possible to see if you or anyone else has been injured and needs medical attention.  If you were involved in a less serious accident and feel like you can safely speak with the other driver and exchange information, then you may do so.  You will need the insurance information from your driver and the other drivers who were involved in the accident.  You should also make sure to obtain a copy of the accident report from the police and information from any witnesses. If you went to the hospital immediately after the accident or you followed up with your doctor a few day later, then you need to keep copies of a records, bills, and notes given to you by your doctor.

Before you file a claim, you will need to know who the at-fault party is because you can only pursue compensation for your injuries against a negligent driver.  Sometimes your claim might be filed against multiple drivers, if more than one person was at fault.  In some situations, you might even have to file a claim against the driver of the car you were in.  Many people are reluctant to do this, as often the driver is a friend of family member. However, it is important to understand that your friend or family member has insurance for situations like these and that you are attempting to collect compensation from their insurance; you are not having them pay out of pocket to you.

Accidents are confusing so it important to make sure you are taking the proper steps to maximize your chances at filing a successful claim.  In order to do this, the best thing you can do is hire a competent attorney to assist you.  The attorneys at Tompkins, Selph & Associates are ready and able to assist you if you have been a passenger in a motor vehicle accident and suffered injuries.

Legal Glossary

Being involved in any legal matter is a difficult time, no matter what side you are on.  It is a confusing, scary, and sometimes sad time for many.  To make matters worse, the language of the law is complicated, and hard to understand unless you have been specifically trained to do so.  If you have ever watched a legal based show or movie then chances are you have heard some terms you are probably unfamiliar with.  In these low pressure situations, you might not be too worried about not understanding some of these terms, but if you are thinking you might need to seek legal representation, then it is going to be especially important to understand these terms.  Tompkins, Selph & Associates has put together a glossary of some legal terms that might be helpful to you and anyone else that has become involved in the legal system.

  1. Cause of Action: The reason for which a plaintiff files a complaint or suit against someone. This can be negligence, breach of contract, malpractice, or defamation, to name a few. A cause of action is divided into elements, and each element must be proved to win the case.
  2. Compensatory Damages: Damages that are recovered for injury or economic loss. For instance, if someone is injured in a car accident and the party who injures them has to pay compensatory damages, the party at fault must cover cost of things such as the ambulance, doctors’ bills, hospital stays, medicine, physical therapy and lost wages.
  3. Damages: Compensation imposed by the law to one who has suffered harm due to another’s wrongdoing.
  4. Motion: A formal request to a court asking the court to answer a legal question or take some action.
  5. Negligence: Negligence refers to carelessness, or the failure to act in a way that a “reasonable or prudent person” would do in the same given circumstances. Negligence is different from intentional wrongs, such as assault or trespassing, but can still cause serious physical, emotional, or financial harm
  6. Reasonable person:A hypothetical “everyman”; a person of average intelligence and reason.
  7. Tort: A tort is an illegal act in which an injury occurs to another, whether intentional or accidental. Tort laws protect individuals from civil wrongs caused by individuals or by businesses, such as in the McDonald’s example above.
  8. Pro se: Representing oneself. Serving as one’s own lawyer.
  9. Settlement: Parties to a lawsuit resolve their dispute without having a trial. Settlements often involve the payment of compensation by one party in at least partial satisfaction of the other party’s claims, but usually do not include the admission of fault.
  10. Statute of limitations:The time within which a lawsuit must be filed, or a criminal prosecution begun. The deadline can vary, depending on the type of civil case or the crime charged.

This is just a brief look at some common legal phrases that you might hear either in the course of your daily life or if you are involved in a legal dispute.  If any of these terms sound like something that might apply to you please contact the attorney’s here at Tompkins, Selph & Associates.  Our experienced attorneys can help you decide if you have a matter that needs legal assistance or explain anything that is confusing to you.

What to do immediately after an accident in Ohio?

The odds that the average American will be involved in an accident at some point in their lives is relatively likely.  If you have never been involved in an accident, then you might be wondering what steps you should take after it happens.  Accidents are a time of stress, confusion, and often anger, so it is important to know how to handle the situation to protect yourself.

If you have been involved in an accident, the first thing to do is stop.  Never drive away from the scene of an accident, no matter how minor.  Protect the scene buy putting your hazards on or setting up flares if need be.  This will help to protect other drivers and preserve the scene for when the police arrive.  If it is safe for all parties to do, vehicles should be moved the side of the road to allow for traffic to keep moving.  It is a good idea to call the police, even if there are no serious injuries.

A police report is often needed if you wish to file a claim with your insurance company or seek the help of an attorney.  Making an accurate report to the police is crucial.  You should tell the investigating officer exactly what happened and should not speculate or guess certain facts.  If you do not know something it is ok to tell the officer that you do not know.  If your vehicles have visible damage or you have injuries, you should try and take pictures of the damage.  It is important to not interfere with the police investigation, so if you cannot take pictures at the scene of the accident, try to take them as soon as you are able to.

If the police do not respond to the scene, then you must make sure to exchange your information with the other driver.  Get their name, address, telephone number, names of any passengers, and their insurance information. If you are injured seek medical attention immediately.  Even if you are not visibly injured, it is still worth seeking the treatment of a physician as some injuries are not always immediately apparent.  Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible and begin to keep a file of all accident-related documents.  This will help you as you work with your insurance or if you choose to pursue a claim with the help of an attorney.

Finally, perhaps the most important thing you can do is take steps to protect yourself.  Seeking the advice of an attorney is recommended as an attorney will be able to advise you on a variety of topics, including how to get the best compensation possible.

If you have been involved in an accident recently, the experienced attorneys at Tompkins, Selph & Associates are here to protect your rights and work with you to get the best possible outcome.