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DISTRACTED-DRIVER-300x200According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 2,840 victims suffered fatalities in distracted driving accidents during 2018 alone. Roughly 9 victims are killed each day in the 1,000 plus car crashes involving distracted drivers. It is no surprise that the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee reported distracted driving as the leading contributing factor in New York State collisions. 

What Is Considered Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving happens much more often than you would imagine. Anything that removes a driver’s complete attention from the road is considered distracted driving. Suppose a driver looks at something other than the road, takes their hands off the wheel, or even thinks about something other than driving. In that case, that driver can be regarded as distracted. Below are some common examples of distractions while driving:

Rear-End-Accident-300x200Car crashes can range in severity from minor cuts and bruises to total paralysis and even death. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, over 36,000 victims died in car accidents. The actual injuries suffered depend considerably on the nature of the accident, the speed of the cars, the type of vehicles involved, and whether or not the occupants were wearing their seatbelts. Unfortunately, many victims suffer long-term effects from car accidents that outlive their initial visits to the emergency room. 

The 5 Most Prevalent Types of Car Crashes

To better protect you and your family from suffering a devastating accident, it is crucial to be aware of the common types of collisions. Below, the Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s highly experienced team has listed the most frequently occurring car accidents along with tips to avoid them: 

After-An-Accident-300x200No one ever anticipates getting into an accident and withstanding life-changing injuries or worse. After an accident, it is customary to be angry, disoriented, and in some pain. Some victims may not know what to do after an accident and panic. Unfortunately, the actions you take directly following the incident could drastically impact the outcome of your future lawsuit. Even the slightest mistake could result in significantly less compensation. It is crucial to be prepared so that you can strengthen your claim. Below our veteran attorneys have listed a few things you should do and a few things you should not do after an accident. 

Steps That Can Support Your Claim

  1. Seek Medical Treatment: If your injuries are severe, your top priority should be receiving medical treatment. Call 911 immediately if an ambulance is required. Getting a doctor’s examination can help verify the harm you suffered.

Dog-Bite-1-300x200According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 4.7 million victims are bitten by dogs throughout the country each year. Approximately 20 percent of bite victims suffer injuries serious enough to require medical attention. Children are the most common victims and are more likely to bear brutal wounds. Dog bites can lead to nerve damage, amputations, permanent disfigurement, and even death in severe cases. People are often shocked to discover that most bites involve domesticated dogs, as opposed to stray dogs. Almost 80 percent of bite victims are the dog’s owners or their children, friends, or relatives.  

Why Do Dogs Bite?

Any dog, whether big or small, young or old, can bite. Even the friendliest, cutest, and most playful dogs have bitten people. While dogs bite for various reasons, typically biting is a reaction to something. Dogs can snap because they feel nervous, afraid, or have been startled. When a dog finds itself in a stressful or threatening situation, it may attack to protect itself or its territory. They sometimes bite to defend something precious, such as their puppies, food, or even a favorite toy.

SUMMER-CAMP-1-300x200With over 12,000 summer camps operating throughout the country, over 6 million children participate in day or overnight camps each year. Summer camp is an excellent way for parents to keep their kids active and entertained while school is out. With camps providing adventures for children of all ages, there is no doubt that lots of unforgettable memories are made. However, serious accidents and resulting injuries can devastate children’s camping experiences and lead to permanent disfigurements, pain and suffering, and even life-long disabilities.

Common Types Of Summer Camp Mishaps

Summer camp allows children the opportunity to try new things and enjoy the great outdoors. Most people associate camp with bonfires, kickball tournaments, archery practice, and scavenger hunts, not to mention swimming at the pool or lake. Along with all the fun also comes its fair share of risks. There are numerous dangers which your child could encounter. The most common incidents that result in severe injuries at camp include:

Boat-1-300x200With nearly 12 million registered recreational vessels throughout the country, boating is a popular pastime. Boating can be an excellent way to spend a hot summer afternoon. There is nothing better than heading out on Lake Erie with family or friends, but it can also be hazardous. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2019 alone, 4,168 boat accidents resulted in 2,559 injuries and 613 fatalities.

Common Causes Of Boating Accidents

  1. Negligent or Reckless Boat Operators: Many owners navigate their boats irresponsibly or carelessly, leading to unnecessary accidents in the water. This can include various actions or inactions, such as violating low wake rules, overloading a boat, failing to notice other boats in their vicinity, failing to yield to another watercraft, neglecting to maintain a safe distance from other vessels, or overall inattention by the operator.

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During the summer, hot weather and longer days bring many Buffalonians outdoors for pool parties, sporting events, camping trips, and cookouts. Summer is one of the most active seasons of the year for all ages. Unfortunately, summertime accidents and resulting injuries lead to a dramatic increase in visits to emergency rooms each year. Sunny days prompt many people to try new endeavors that are not possible during the winter, which helps transform the summer months into one of the busiest periods for accident-related injuries. Traumatic injuries among adults surge approximately 30 percent, while child trauma cases nearly double.

Prevalent Summertime Injuries And How To Avoid Them

  1. Drownings: When the summer heat strikes, swimming pools quickly become an epicenter for fun and entertainment. Unfortunately, a fun day at the pool can lead to severe bodily injuries and unintentional drownings. Roughly 20 percent of drowning fatalities occur in children aged 14 and younger. It is crucial to never leave your children unsupervised in or around a pool.

Debt-Collection-300x100After an accident, the settlement amount you obtain can help you pay for hospital bills and other related expenses. Clients, who owe debts, often wonder if their compensation can be subject to garnishment actions at the hands of creditors. Fortunately, under New York State law, personal injury settlements are partially exempt from the reach of most creditors. In other words, creditors are typically prohibited from seizing settlements to satisfy existing debts.

Protecting Your Compensation

If you declare a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, all non-exempt assets are eligible to be distributed for the payment of creditors in return for discharging unpaid debts. Individuals filing for bankruptcy can choose to apply for either New York State or federal bankruptcy exemptions. Typically, federal exemptions provide more generous guidelines than those within the state. Some important exemptions include:

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Victims of serious accidents can be incapacitated at hospitals for weeks or even months. Even with medical insurance, hospital bills, prescription medications, surgeries, and rehabilitation costs can quickly add up. This often makes life extraordinarily burdensome for victims. Unfortunately, winning a large personal injury verdict does not always guarantee that a victim will collect a payout from the liable party. In some cases, a defendant may lack adequate financial resources to pay the judgment and file for protection under bankruptcy.

What Happens If The Defendant Files For Bankruptcy?

Defendants, such as municipalities and large corporations, tend to have deep enough pockets to satisfy large judgments and settlements. However, some defendants who cannot afford to pay millions of dollars may decide to file for bankruptcy. While most personal injury lawsuits are tried under state law, bankruptcy is a federal matter.

Paraquat1-300x200As the number of claims filed continues to multiply, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has ordered all paraquat lawsuits to be consolidated. The paraquat multidistrict litigation, MDL No. 3004, will be administered by the Honorable Nancy J. Rosenstengel at the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois. The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation’s decision indicates that paraquat lawsuits are rapidly building momentum and could soon develop into a mass tort.

How Is Multidistrict Litigation Beneficial?

When personal injury or product liability cases affect large numbers of plaintiffs, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation can implement special pretrial proceedings known as multidistrict litigation. In which multiple claims sharing common legal issues are provisionally combined and moved to a district court. The chosen district court supervises the discovery and pretrial litigation for the group of cases. Multidistrict litigation helps conserve resources while supporting consistent court rulings for different claims involving similar matters of law. By eliminating duplicate discovery demands, depositions, and other pretrial procedures, they help streamline cases. Upon completion of pretrial proceedings, several lawsuits may be designated to serve as bellwether trials. The judgments from the bellwether trials often serve as a basis for possible settlement amounts in the remaining claims. Unsettled lawsuits are transferred back to be tried at the courts of original jurisdiction. While the issues surrounding the plaintiffs’ injuries are similar, the injuries can vary in severity. Thus, multidistrict litigations provide victims with an opportunity to address the nature of their damages independently.

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