Today I read in the Indianapolis Star that a seven year old child was in critical condition after being struck by a car while he was riding his bike. The child is only 7 years old. I know very little about the facts of the case, because the Star did not provide any, but I bet a few things are true. This child will have injuries that will affect him for the rest of his life. The driver of the car is guilt ridden. The child was struck in his neighborhood where other children are known to play.
I do know one thing for sure about this situation. We, as drivers must train ourselves to see children as stop signs. This means that when we see a child playing in or near a street, we must be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice. This means slowing down the car. Sure you might get to your destination five minutes later, but you will not have the guilt associated with the collision. You will not have to worry whether you broke the child’s bones, or caused him to be paralyzed, and even to worry about causing his wrongful death. In fact you will enjoy your own children that much more being free of the guilt.
So, I beg you, if children are in the area, slow down enough to be able to stop at a moment’s notice. They are a stop sign.
Over my twenty five plus year career representing motorcyclist injured in collisions, I hear the same response from those responsible for the motorcycle crash, “I didn’t see the motorcycle”. This moment of inattention causes the most serious personal injuries to those on the bike including broken bones, spinal cord injuries resulting in paralysis, brain injury, amputations and wrongful death. I also hear from these same people that they wish they had the chance to do it over again, they would have done things differently. They would not have rolled the stop sign. They would have taken that extra second to look again before turning left in front of the motorcycle. They would have looked twice over their shoulder before they moved into the lane next to them where the motorcycle was in the their blind spot.
I also hear them say that they are sorry, that they will never forgive themselves, that they cannot believe what has happened. They cry for the ones they hurt, but their tears cannot and will not give back the little girl her father who has died a wrongful death. Their wishes will not give back the ability to walk and earn a living to the rider with the spinal cord injury dealing with paralysis. Their anxiety will not give clear thought back to the brain injured cyclist.
I ask you, for your own mental well being, and for the health and welfare of all those riding a motorcycle, for all those riding a bicycle, for all those using the road, slow down, take that extra second to look for danger, see what is there to be seen. Get home safely, and allow everyone else to do the same.
In most emergency situations if you give some consideration to what you will do if you are confronted with the emergency, you will be able to deal with the issues more efficiently. This is especially true of automobile collisions, motorcycle accidents and semi tractor-trailer collisions. There is always a good chance that you will be seriously hurt in the collision, which makes it even more difficult to think clearly. We offer the following information which we found on the State of Indiana BMV website.
It is essential to remain calm. Check your breathing and try to get control of your thoughts. You are likely to be in shock, which might make thinking clearly and calmly more difficult.
Before taking any other action, check yourself and other individuals involved in the accident for injuries. If there are any injuries or at least $1,000 in property damage, call the police.
Cooperate with law enforcement officers, and ask the investigating officer how to obtain a copy of the police report.
Take notes. Be sure to provide and obtain the following information:
Names, addresses, and phone numbers of all drivers and passengers involved in the accident;
License plate number, make, model, and a description of each car involved;
Operator license number and insurance identification information of all drivers involved;
Names and addresses of as many witnesses as possible;
Names and badge numbers of all police officers at the scene.
We suggest that you add to this list that if you cannot do these things, ask someone to do them for you if you can. We have seen it happen very often that the police do not obtain all the names of the witnesses at the scene. They might get a few, but not all. Your task it to get the identifying information from all witnesses. You never know who will have seen what.
Contact your insurance provider as soon as possible. Ask them to file a Certificate of Compliance (COC) covering the date of the accident in the vehicles involved. Failure to submit proof of insurance after an accident may result in the suspension of your driving privileges regardless of who is at fault.
Do not give a statement to the insurance company for the person who caused the collision until they agree present their insured for a statement at the same time as they obtain a statement from you. Afterall it is only fair that if they want your statement, you should be able to obtain a statement from their insured, who is the person you think caused the collision and your injuries.
If you have any questions about your rights, please call us. Our free consultation may be able to relieve you of the anxiety of dealing with these issues.
I just got off the phone with one of my Social Security Disability clients. His file came up on my diary system. I called him because his wife’s insurance through her new job was going to become effective in middle May and I wanted to make sure he had scheduled an appointment with his cardiologist for a full cardiac examination. I wanted him to have this full work up for two reasons. The first is for his overall health. He has a bad ticker and because he has not been working he lost his insurance and has not been able to get back to his doctor for a few years. The second reason is that when a person files for Social Security Disability, that person has the obligation of producing medical records which objectively establish the presence of the disabling condition as well as establishing the severity of the condition.
My client told me that he had been sent to a cardiologist by the Social Security Administration for an echo cardiogram. He wondered if this test was sufficient to make his proof. He wondered this because they were just getting back on their feet and the deductible for the cardiac work up could surely be used for other bills. I told my client that I certainly understand the tight money woes caused by the economy and his being out of work. But, I also told him that the echo cardiogram, although a good test, is not enough. It is not enough because it just a snapshot in time and might not even be a good test for his particular medical condition. I stand by that statement. It is always best to have your own doctors work you up. They are given more credibility than the Social Security Administration doctors. They are also the doctors who know you best and have your best medical interests at heart.
So, if you have a disability and are applying for benefits, make sure you see your doctor and share with them the truth about your medical condition.
NOTICE: No face-to-face meeting needed. You can remain safely in your home from case signup to settlement.