Is There a Difference Between Wrongful Death and Survival Action?

Losing a loved one is a painful and challenging situation, regardless of the reasons and conditions in which the person passed away. When something like this happens, the surviving family members, or the persons who represent the victim’s estate, have legal recourse through which they can recover compensation. Today we will talk about these two processes known as “wrongful death” and “survival action” and explain their differences.

In a wrongful death case, the person dies due to the negligent actions of a third party—for example, medical negligence, car accidents, accidents in facilities, etc. The first thing to consider is that a wrongful death lawsuit aims to obtain compensation for damages for surviving family members. Therefore, the only people who can carry out the process are the victim’s spouse, parents, or children. This compensation will include all medical expenses, pain, and suffering of the family for the loss of a loved one, lost wages that the family finances depend on, and loss of company. This compensation goes directly to the surviving family members and is generally tax-exempt.

On the other hand, the survivor action is handled like a personal injury case, even if the person is deceased. The victim’s heir or the representative of the will and/or their estate can carry this process out.
In the survival action, the compensation does not go directly to the relatives but to the person’s assets. Medical expenses, pending bills, and even the pain and suffering that the person may have suffered before death can be covered through this.

That is, this compensation would go directly to the person’s assets, so this would be subject to taxes. However, once the victim’s expenses have been paid and taxes have been deducted, the remainder can go to the relatives according to the deceased person’s last wishes.


When to Fire a Personal Injury Lawyer and Hire a New One

Being involved in legal proceedings for a personal injury accident is not a desirable situation. There are many things to consider, and a lack of knowledge can prove dangerous for your case. Having a lawyer who is skilled and experienced can be crucial for your case. 

When hiring a lawyer, it is vital to consider not only recommendations but also their academic and work history, rate of cases won, etc. There are situations in which people may feel that:

  • Their lawyer is not doing enough to win their case.
  • He or she is not investing enough time or resources in the process. 
  • There isn’t constant and effective communication; 

It may also be the case that the client disagrees with how the attorney is handling the situation, or they simply don’t trust their lawyer enough to continue working with him or her.

In the United States, the judicial system states that all citizens have the right to a fair trial, both in criminal and civil proceedings. That is why American citizens have the right to choose who they want to represent them. If, for any reason, you feel that you can no longer work with your lawyer, it is essential to know that you can fire him and hire a new one.

Before firing your current attorney, review the terms of your contract. Within them, you should be able to find something related to the termination of services. For example, it should specify how to pay for services and the time spent on your case up to that point, as well as services that could have been already paid for but that have not been carried out yet.

Make sure you have a new attorney before doing so. A significant advantage may be that most personal injury attorneys offer free consultations. Talk to another attorney about your case, your concerns, and your questions. Once you have decided on another lawyer, you will have to send a letter in writing to the previous lawyer requesting the termination of the contract. Your new attorney can help you obtain your file and all the essential documents related to your legal process.


When Airbags Kill

Airbags have been a technological breakthrough that all new cars today include to ensure a safer experience. In fact, since 1998, front-end airbags for the driver and passenger became a mandatory feature in all the new cars manufactured and sold in the United States.

Having something to cushion your body against the steering wheel and dash during an accident can prevent severe injury. Unfortunately, however, airbags have also injured thousands of people, and in some accidents, they have even caused death. This has had to do with the operation of the same airbags, with failures by the manufacturers, and due to people not wearing a seat belt or wearing it incorrectly.

The mechanism of an airbag starts with sensors that detect a sudden deceleration, which means that a collision has occurred. These sensors send a signal that activates an inflation mechanism where chemicals are burned to produce gases that inflate the bag quickly. It happens in a few seconds, so the force exerted by the airbags is tremendous. It is not uncommon for a person to be burned or injured after an airbag has been deployed.

The most vulnerable people in the face of this enormous force can be children, the elderly, and young adults who cannot withstand this colossal pressure. Because of this, children must always go in the back seats and be protected in their own seats, and although there are airbags in the back seats, they tend to be lateral and not frontal.

Now imagine that force unfolding in front of you, and you holding something in your hand, be it a cell phone, food, or anything else. The consequences can be severe. In fact, it is estimated that between 1990 and 2008, airbags caused around 290 deaths. However, it was also noted that in many of these cases, the cars involved had been manufactured before 1998.

Automakers have worked hard to improve airbags, and we’ve come a long way, but remember that you, too, should take precautions and stay safe.


Delivery drivers and car accidents

Working delivering food is not an easy job. Although it can be perfect for many people, given that it provides them a lot of flexibility in their schedules, the truth is that they also face many dangers. First of all, we must bear in mind that these workers do not receive an hourly wage, but many of them are paid for each delivery service. Thus, the more you deliver, the better your pay will be. Some of these workers will do everything possible to deliver the good in the shortest time possible, often exceeding the speed limit.

If we add to this that many of these services are performed through an application, you can imagine how distracting this can be while driving. For example, your attention is not entirely on the road when trying to find an address or getting more deliveries scheduled. Most of these workers use either a motorcycle or a scooter to do their job, and a low percentage of them use a car.

Second, we know that motorcyclists and cyclists are the most vulnerable drivers we can find on the road because they do not have a cabin between their vehicle and the asphalt to protect them from a blow or other cars. Other drivers can often not see them due to their vehicle’s blind spots or because they do not take the time to do so, causing terrible accidents.

Another important thing to consider is that the food delivery service increases on those days when the weather is terrible. These days, people prefer not to go out, and it is very common for them to request these types of services, Leaving these workers to face bad weather conditions in which car accidents tend to happen frequently.

It is essential that the people who carry out this type of work have the necessary experience driving their vehicle and that they do not engage in negligent behaviors that could endanger their lives as well as the lives of others.


What to do if you are hit by a drunk driver

We have all heard or seen terrible news where adults, children, or entire families die due to the behavior of a driver who was driving while intoxicated. Unfortunately, it is estimated that around 28 people die from this cause each day in the United States. The saddest thing about this situation is that each and every one of these accidents could have been prevented.

If you ever find yourself involved in such a terrible situation, you must call 911 immediately. They will be able to send a police unit as soon as possible to collect evidence. They can also send you an ambulance with medical personnel who will provide urgent services, ensuring that both you and others who may have been injured get medical attention as soon as possible. Your safety and that of others should be your top priority.

If you can move, and your car is still working, try to move it to a place where you are safer and cannot cause another accident. In case the vehicle cannot be started, then move to a safer place. If some other vehicle collides with your car, you don’t want to be there for further damage.

If the driver responsible for the accident fled or wanted to flee the scene, take photos of his vehicle, license plates, and everything possible.
If you can take a video of the driver that shows their drunkenness, either because of their behavior or way of speaking, please do so. Also, take photos of any alcoholic beverages you find.

Once you have obtained the necessary medical attention and are in a safe place, communicate to the police all the information you have about how the accident occurred and your version of the events. Hire a specialized attorney who can represent you.


ER Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Going to the emergency room can be very scary. In general, the people who come to this site require urgent medical attention that their GP cannot provide. In this chaotic environment, doctors and nurses do their best to provide efficient and quality service. However, some errors can occur. Here are four of the main ones that have been observed and how to avoid them.

  1. A bad diagnosis. Working under pressure and in an environment where time is of the essence, misdiagnoses can sometimes occur. If possible, contact your GP while you are in the emergency room, and explain what your symptoms are so that he or she can guide you as to the possible diagnosis and treatment to follow.
  2. Wrong information and poor communication between members of the medical staff. While patients are in the outpatient area, the data recorded on their admission sheet may be incorrect, as well as their vital signs and set of symptoms. Ask for the names of the people who are assisting you so that you can follow up on the steps that have been taken.
  3. Mistakes regarding lab tests carried out and/or their interpretation. If the medical personnel does not have enough information about your symptoms, they may request the wrong laboratory tests. It is vital that you explain everything you are feeling so that they can find the cause of your condition and interpret the results correctly.
  4. Poor monitoring. With so many critical situations to attend to in the emergency room, time is sometimes not enough to constantly monitor all patients. You must report if your symptoms become more severe and, if possible, do your best to be in constant communication with your GP.

If you believe that you have been given improper treatment or inadequate medical care, contact an attorney to discuss possible medical malpractice and how to file a claim.


Why personal injury victims need contingency fees

When a person is involved in a personal injury accident, recovery can be long and painful. There are many expenses to cover, such as medical bills, property damage, rehabilitation, etc., and situations where the person cannot return to work immediately after the accident. These situations have a financial impact, not only on the victim but on the family as well.

Many of these victims hesitate to hire a lawyer to represent them, thinking that the attorneys’ fees will be tremendously high and only add to the existing expenses. Unfortunately, it is because of this belief that many people are left without obtaining the justice and compensation they deserve.

Most personal injury attorneys work under what is known as “contingency fees.” This means that the victim will not have to make any payment for the services of the legal firm until an agreement or resolution has been reached, one that is beneficial for the client. Only in this case will the lawyers charge for their services.

That is why lawyers specialized in this area carefully review each of the details of the accident and the person’s specific situation. They only accept cases in which they are sure that the result will be successful.

And how much would the contingency fee be? The amount of the contingency fee will be a percentage of the compensation received by the victim. And this percentage is determined out of various factors such as the severity of the injuries, current and future lost wages, the temporary or permanent disability of the person, etc. Most of these cases are resolved based on out-of-court settlements, however, should the case go to court, this would also be considered when determining a percentage.

Before signing any contract with a lawyer, you must review the clauses and clear all your doubts before signing any contract. Hiring a lawyer is your best bet to obtain justice!


Can pictures of an accident scene help hold someone negligent?

Unfortunately, in the United States, there are about 6 million accidents a year. This causes a great loss of money and, many times, of lives and is responsible for severe injuries that the victims and their families have to face.

One of the essential things to be able to do after an accident is to determine who caused it.

Insurance companies (businesses, after all) are more likely to deny a claim if the case is not very strong or there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate the negligence of a third party.

Can photos help us as evidence that we were not responsible? Indeed.

It has always been said that a picture is better than a thousand words. And in these types of situations, this applies perfectly.

If you or a loved one are involved in an accident and have the opportunity to take photos, don’t miss out on the chance to do so.

Some of the photos that you can take and that will help you in case of a lawsuit are:

  • Take photos of the conditions in which the two cars ended. Not only in terms of the damage they suffered but also the road’s position and direction where they ended. This can give you an idea of ​​what happened.
  • Take photos of all the traffic signs you can see around you. From stop signs, speed limits, traffic lights, yield signs, etc. This will explain the rules that each of the drivers had to have followed when the accident occurred.
  • Take photos of your injuries. If you have immediately visible injuries, take pictures of them right then and there—either your injuries or those of the people who accompanied you.
  • If necessary, and if this was an essential factor during the accident, take photos of the weather conditions.

And another important thing, don’t forget to take the contact details of any witnesses!


What rights do same-sex couples (not married, but in a civil union) have if a loved one is injured or killed?

A legal union in which a couple decides to live under the same roof but without getting married – whether they are heterosexual or same-sex couples – is called “domestic partnership.”

Although they do not have a legal marriage certificate, these couples can draw up a document that describes the legal rights and responsibilities of each of them. In fact, some counties in the state of Texas accept the presentation of these documents from couples and even maintain a registry of them.

These documents are essential for different reasons.

Although these couples do not have some of the benefits that married couples have – such as property protections – these documents can be used by their employers when granting some employment benefits. For this reason, it is so important to have them and that the responsibilities of each member of the couple in terms of debts, assets, etc., are defined in advance.

For all families and couples – regardless of sex – it is essential to have a will and power of attorney, which establishes the decisions that the other person can make in the event of death, accidents, medical decisions, etc.

This may come to represent the protection of the surviving family or partner and the protection of the children. It is always important to make decisions and discuss them before any eventuality can occur. Even with equal legal marriage, estate planning is vital for naming guardians, trusts, property management, etc.

In the absence of a will or a document of this type, and in the event of death, state law will make this type of decision and designate a person to perform these functions.

In addition to this, for those same-sex couples who would like to legalize their status outside of marriage officially, there are the options of domestic or civil unions.


Safety advantages of sitting in the front seat vs. the back seat

In which seat do you think you would be safest in the event of a car accident? In the back seat or the front?

Previously, riding in the back seat was thought to offer you more protection if you were involved in a crash. However, with so many new security features that have been developed in recent years, that is no longer true. Front seat safety has come a long way. We now have better seat belts, sensors, and airbags; these tools make the driver or front passenger more protected in the event of a collision.

By contrast, progress in back-seat safety has been slow. In different studies, it has been shown that many times the force exerted by seat belts to stop passengers in their seats has resulted in various injuries. This is particularly important for older passengers as they are more vulnerable and prone to broken bones.

While it is true that a lot has to do with the type of collision you face and the point of the car that receives all the force of the crash, it is considered that car manufacturers and designers should pay more attention to improve the safety of the back seats.

On the other hand, the current safety levels in these seats comply with federal standards in terms of protection level. However, it should be noted that when we talk about minors, it is essential to consider the height of the children in relation to the height at which the airbags are placed. Seating a young child in a front seat puts them at significant risk of being suffocated by the safety feature, so in this case, riding in the back of the car is still the safest option for children.

We hope that the back seat’s safety will soon be equal to that of the front seats.