What to Do After a Hit & Run Accident

Louisville, KY Hit and Run Accident Law Firm - Gladstein LawAutomobile accidents can be some of the most traumatic events of our lives. Whether you are the one involved in the accident, or someone you love was involved in an accident, it’s natural to want to understand how it happened. It brings us a certain amount of emotional satisfaction to have that resolution. However, when someone causes an accident and then speeds away, we may never get that “why” question answered.

If you or a loved one are victims of a hit and run auto accident, there are some steps that you can take to protect yourself and your future, and possibly even get an answer as to why the accident happened.

  1. Get as much information about the car that hit you as possible. This starts with being an observant driver. Pay attention to the vehicles that are around you. If someone hits you, try to identify:
  • Vehicle make and model
  • Vehicle color
  • License plate number
  • Driver gender and appearance
  1. Get witness information. Try to identify any person that may have seen the accident happen. If possible, get their names and contact information, along with an outline of what they saw. They may have been able to get a better look at the car and driver that hit you.
  1. Take pictures or video. Witnesses may be able to help with this, especially if you are seriously injured. Use your cell phone to take pictures and video of:
  • the accident scene
  • your vehicle
  • close-ups of the damage to your vehicle, including paint transfer (this can help you prove to your insurance company that another car was involved and you are not trying to defraud them.)
  • the surrounding area, including traffic signs and road conditions
  1. Don’t attempt to follow the driver that hit you. If there is only mild damage to your vehicle and no injuries, you may be tempted to speed after the driver that hit you. Little good can come of that, and it may expose you to more danger. You have no idea who this driver is and what state of mind they are in.
  1. File a police report. If you have been involved in a hit and run accident, call 911. A crime has been committed and you may need medical attention. Tell the police what you know and let them handle the follow-up. You should obtain a copy of the police report for your insurance company and attorney.
  1. File a hit and run claim. If you were able to collect enough information about the car and driver that hit you, you may be able to file a claim with their insurance company. If not, you can file a claim with your own insurance company.
  1. Contact a personal injury attorney. Regardless of what information you were able to get from the accident, it never hurts to contact an experienced personal injury attorney to find out what your rights are.

Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC is ready to fight for your rights. Contact us today for a free consultation by scheduling online or calling 800-991-0474 to get started.

C-Sections and Medical Malpractice

Louisville, KY Medical Malpractice Attorneys - Gladstein LawOver 32% of pregnant women gave birth via cesarean section (C-section) in 2014, according to the most recent study by the Center for Disease Control. This increasingly common procedure allows doctors to deliver a baby through small incisions in the mother’s abdomen and uterus, but is generally only used when there is some danger to the baby or mother that makes natural childbirth too dangerous.

Despite the relative frequency with which C-sections are performed, mistakes are still made, causing injury to either the mother or the child. When this happens, a medical malpractice action may be close behind.

Common Injuries to the Child in C-Section Births

C-sections are often carried out in emergency situations, where either the mother or the child are in danger. Many different factors can combine to cause injuries during C-sections. Common birth injuries include:

  • Oxygen deprivation – can occur when a C-section is delayed
  • Abrasions, lacerations, scarring – a physician may make an incision too deep, causing injury to the child
  • Erb’s Palsy – excessive force against the child’s shoulder area can injure the brachial plexus nerve bundle
  • Wrongful death – in extreme circumstances, the doctor’s actions can cause death to the child.

Common Injuries to the Mother in C-Section Births

Just as a C-section can be dangerous for the child, it can sometimes be even more dangerous for the mother. Common C-section injuries to the mother include:

  • Hemorrhaging – cutting into the mother can cause excessive blood loss if not managed carefully.
  • Infection – can be caused by improperly sterilized tools, gauze left in the mother’s body, and lack of antibiotics.
  • Bladder/Bowel Injuries – these organs lie close to the uterus and can be damaged during the C-section process.
  • Anesthesia Injuries – can range from too little, which can cause extreme pain to the mother, or too much, which can cause dangerously low blood pressure and death.
  • Blood Clots – failure to administer blood-thinning medications can lead to blood clots that can cause permanent damage or death.

Proving a C-Section Medical Malpractice Case

Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor deviates from the established standard of care in the medical community, either through an action or omission, which causes harm to a patient.  To prove a medical malpractice case, there are four requirements that must be met:

  1. The physician owed you a duty to perform your procedure according to the established standards of care in the medical community.
  2. The physician was negligent and unacceptably deviated from the standard of care.
  3. Because of this negligence, you or your child were harmed.
  4. The negligence was the direct and proximate cause of the injuries to you or your child.

What to Do If You or Your Child Were Injured During a C-Section

If you or your child were injured during a C-section and you suspect medical malpractice, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney immediately. You will want to obtain all medical records prior to talking with the attorney so that he or she can give you the best advice on your case. At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC our Kentucky birth injury attorney will research every detail of your unique situation to determine the most effective strategy. Contact us today for a free case evaluation by scheduling online or calling 800-991-0474.

Navigating Workers’ Compensation Claims Following a Construction Accident

Louisville, KY Workers' Compensation Law Firm - Gladstein LawConstruction is a dangerous industry in which to work, hands down. According to the latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over 18 people died in construction-related accidents in Kentucky in 2013. In 2012, there were 800 incidences of non-fatal illnesses or injuries reported in the Kentucky construction industry.

Not only do these individuals and their loved ones have to deal with pain, suffering and a new way of life, they also have to deal with the headache of figuring out how to pay for the medical expenses, loss of wages and other expenses related to the injury. Many of these individuals end up dealing with the workers’ compensation system.

Kentucky Construction Employers Have a Duty to Maintain a Safe Workplace

All Kentucky employers have a duty to maintain a safe work environment. Given the inherent dangers associated with the construction industry, that duty is paramount in the construction environment.

In addition to maintaining a safe working environment, construction employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect their employees in the event of workplace illness or injury. Workers’ compensation benefits are there to cover:

  • Partial wages
  • Medical expenses
  • Re-training for injured workers unable to return to prior duties
  • Burial expenses in the case of workplace fatalities

The Kentucky Workers’ Compensation Process

In order to obtain workers’ compensation benefits in Kentucky, you must show that you have an injury or illness that occurred due to the conditions of your employment. If you are injured, you must report the injury to your employer immediately. If you discover that you are suffering from a work-related disease or illness, you must report this as soon as you discover the illness.

Your employer will provide you with the necessary forms for your workers’ compensation claim. These forms must be filled out and notarized prior to submission.

You should also submit a medical report from your doctor discussing your injury or illness and how it is related to your work.

You will receive notification as to whether your claim was accepted or denied. If your claim is denied, you have the opportunity to appeal, but you must do so in a timely manner. Your appeal will be heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), who will issue a written decision. If the ALJ denies your appeal, you may further appeal that decision through the Kentucky court system.

Legal Remedies Outside of Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Unlike many other states, employees in Kentucky may waive their workers’ compensation benefits in order to sue their employer for their injuries or illnesses. There are some benefits to this tactic, because in a lawsuit, you have more options for compensation than you do with workers’ compensation benefits. To follow this route, the employee must fill out a Form 4 Waiver and submit it to their employer, who then must submit the form to the Department of Workers’ Claims.

Waiver of workers’ compensation benefits will enable you to sue your employer for your work-related injuries, but you must be able to prove that your employer was negligent. This is not the case with workers’ compensation benefits.

If you or a loved one has suffered from a construction work-related illness or injury, before you do anything, talk to an experienced Kentucky construction injury attorney to better understand your rights. We are committed to aggressively pursuing the full amount you need for financial security. Contact us today for a free case evaluation by scheduling online or calling 800-991-0474.

Doing Battle With Insurance Companies After an Accident

Louisville, KY Insurance Litigation Attorneys - Gladstein LawNo one wakes up in the morning anticipating that they will get into an auto accident, but sadly, it happens every day. According to the Kentucky Traffic Collision Facts Report, there were over 151,000 accidents reported in 2014, and the numbers are on the rise.

Aside from dealing with the injuries and pain, which can be substantial, your next hurdle is making an insurance claim for your injuries and property damage. Whether you’re making a claim to your insurance company, or a third party insurance company, there are a few things you need to know about your rights with regard to insurance companies.

Kentucky Insurance “Bad Faith”

If someone injures you in an automobile accident, the insurance company of the person responsible is generally obligated to pay your claim. Under the Kentucky Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act, insurance companies must comply with a number of requirements when dealing with insurance claims. Among those requirements, a few stand out as common in dealing with insurance claims after an auto accident. When dealing with insurance companies, keep the following in mind.

Top 5 Kentucky Bad Faith Issues

  • Insurance Companies May Not Misrepresent Pertinent Facts or Policy Provisions

Under the UCSPA, insurance companies may not lie to you or misrepresent facts about the policy at issue. This means that they cannot tell you that something is not covered, when in fact, it is.

  • Insurance Companies Must Promptly Acknowledge and Respond to Claims

When you submit a claim to an insurance company, they are required to acknowledge receipt of the claim and respond in a reasonably timely manner. This is a common tactic among insurance companies to repeatedly delay response, in the hopes that the statute of limitations on a legal claim will expire.

  • Insurance Companies Must Promptly Investigate Claims

Insurance companies are required to adopt reasonable standards for the prompt investigation of claims. Insurance companies are famous for avoiding this requirement, again, in the hopes that the statute of limitations will run out on filing a claim with the courts.

  • Insurance Companies Must Conduct a Reasonable Investigation

Refusing to pay a claim after a substandard investigation is prohibited under the Act. It is the responsibility of the insurance company to make a good faith effort to obtain the necessary information and conduct a reasonable investigation based on all of the available facts.

  1. Insurance Companies Must Not Require a Lawsuit to Recover a Fair Settlement

This is another standard procedure for insurance companies. You file your claim, they investigate and offer you a meager sum as compensation in the hopes that you will go away. This happens every day, usually close to the limitations date for a court action. At this point, most car accident victims obtain a lawyer to help them fight the insurance companies.

If you have been trying without success to obtain a fair settlement from an insurance company after an auto accident, do yourself a favor and contact an experienced personal injury attorney who is also competent in the area of bad faith insurance litigation. Seth Gladstein is a Kentucky personal injury attorney who understands bad faith and is committed to fighting for your rights. Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC today for a free case evaluation by scheduling online or calling 800-991-0474.

How to Break the Habit of Texting and Driving

Louisville, KY Distracted Driver Lawyers - Gladstein LawWith all of today’s news, entertainment, and communication coming through our cellphones, the temptation to stay connected is hard to resist. Constant updates and notifications continually distract drivers.  Over 70 percent of young adults admit to using their cellphones behind the wheel, and over 30 percent admit to nearly crashing as a result. Though a seemingly simple distraction, texting while driving is a dangerous habit that could lead to financial, legal, and emotional ramifications.

Statistics on Texting while Driving:

  • The National Security Council estimates that 1,600,000 accidents per year are caused by texting and driving.
  • Distracted drivers kill an average of 9 Americans per day and injure over 1,000.
  • Texting while driving has surpassed drunk driving as the leading cause of death among teens.
  • Automobile crashes are three times more likely while texting and driving.
  • When a driver is distracted, his brake reaction speed decreases by 18 percent.
  • The time to break if driving at 55 mph could be the amount of time it takes to cross a football field.

What the Law Says

While Kentucky prohibits all drivers from texting while driving, the laws are often difficult to enforce. The current law does not specifically prohibit surfing the web or scrolling through songs on a music player, and allows dialing, looking through contacts, and using GPS software.  The loopholes make it easy for drivers to use their devices without fear of the law.

How can this dangerous habit be broken?

There are simple strategies that can be practiced by teens and adults alike. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration uses the phrase “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” to describe their number one prevention technique. When drivers place their phones out of reach, the temptation to use it instantly decreases. Additionally, if the phone is put on silent while in the car, the driver will not be distracted if it rings. Drivers should put their phones in the back seat, their purses, or even in the trunk to reduce the temptation to use it while behind the wheel.

When driving with passengers, the driver should use a “designated texter.” A designated texter is a passenger who takes control of the driver’s phone while they are in the car. The passenger has the responsibility of keeping the driver focused, while dictating and sending texts, calls, or directions when needed. Using a designated texter will also take away the driver’s temptation to look at his phone while driving.

For parents, a few measures can be taken to ensure their child is being safe on the road. Installing a DriveCam in the car, which monitors risky driving, can help users become aware of their driving habits and how to be more cautious on the road. Alternatively, apps can be installed on smartphones that block certain functions while driving, alert parents when a child’s phone is being accessed, and give rewards for safe driving.

Above all, the best way to prevent texting while driving is to set a good example. Forty-eight percent of teens have been in a car with a driver who was texting, and 48 percent of teens have seen their parent texting while driving. Drivers should take an active pledge to remain cellphone-free while driving, and encourage other to do the same. Passengers should speak up if they are in a car with a driver who is texting. Staying conscious of the decisions one makes while behind the wheel will help prevent distracted driving and will make it safer to travel on roads.

Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC | A Personal Injury Law Firm

Despite our best efforts, traffic accidents are unavoidable. If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be eligible for legal compensation. Know that we are here to assist you. At Gladstein Law, we provide experienced personal injury representation with a combination of compassion, skill, and tenacity. We are experts in identifying the legal and financial needs that come from personal injury, and we fight with persistency to ensure those needs are adequately met. Attorney and founder Seth Gladstein uses his wide range of experience to anticipate the prosecution’s plans and find weaknesses in their case. He will examine every detail of your situation to determine the best way to move forward. Contact Gladstein Law Firm today for a free consultation.

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