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.

2015 Quickly Becoming a Dangerous Year for Traffic Deaths

Louisville, KY Car Accident Lawyers - Gladstein LawAccording to the National Safety Council (NSC), traffic deaths have risen by 14 percent already in 2015 – making this year the deadliest year for motorists since 2007. The non-profit organization surveyed accident data from January to June 2015 and found that there were more than 18,600 deaths due to auto accidents. This is a significant increase from this same time period in 2014, which only saw 16,400 deaths.

The NSC also estimates that the cost of these deaths and injuries associated with these accidents costs $152 billion – which is up 24 percent from the same timeframe in 2014. The costs can include lost wages, productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative fees, employer costs and property damage costs.

Why the Sudden Increase in Traffic Fatalities?

The rise in traffic facilities is believed to be caused by three different items, which include:

  1. Cheaper Gas Prices Mean More Cars on the Road – Gas prices continue to remain low. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, gas prices are down by 30 percent since 2014. Because it is more affordable to commute, more vehicles are now on the road and fewer groups are carpooling or using public transit. The high volume of vehicles on the road increases the likelihood of accidents.
  2. More Jobs Mean More Commuters – In addition to cheaper gas prices, there has also been a significant increase in the number of jobs added to the U.S. market. Jobs are continuing to steadily increase in 2015 and the more individuals entering the workforce, the more vehicles on the road commuting to and from work.
  3. Distracted Driving Still Causing Traffic Fatalities – While the first two causes are not preventable, the third contributing factor is: distracted driving. The NSC states that distracted driving is still a common cause for accidents and accident-related deaths in the United States. They feel that Americans are “addicted to these devices,” and therefore, would risk their own safety and the safety of others to use them while driving. Even with nationwide bans and some states creating harsh penalties for cellphone use while driving, drivers continue to break the law.

What You Can Do

If you want to help reduce the number of traffic fatalities, there are things you can do to lessen your own risk:

  • Never drive distracted or drive with individuals who engage in distracted driving;
  • Carpool to work even if gas is cheap – you will only save more money;
  • Use public transit a few times per week to decrease road congestion;
  • Always use safe driving practices while on the road and never engage in reckless driving;
  • Be aware of common distractions, including cellphones, radios and even talking to passengers in the car;
  • And, never drink and drive.

Injured in an Accident? Contact a Louisville Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. It is imperative that you speak with a Louisville car accident attorney regarding your accident for a case assessment and to determine if you have a valid claim. Contact Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC online or call 800-991-0474 now to schedule your free consultation.

Safely Reaching Your Vacation Destination

car accident lawyerWhen traveling for vacation, we are usually in a great mood. Excited for a week off work in a beautiful setting, we cannot wait to get out of the office and onto the road. Once the bags are packed and our gas tank is full, the open road is the only thing between us and our seaside retreat or cabin in the mountains. Unfortunately, in the haze of excitement to reach a vacation destination, people often make risky choices. Speeding, posting “road trip updates” on Facebook, and even drinking alcohol are common risk behaviors when driving to a vacation spot. Considering we have to be alive and well to truly enjoy our vacation, it is wise to utilize safe driving practices on the way there.

Fatal Accident Splits Car in Two

Recent tragic events serve as a devastating example of how deadly speeding can be. In March, California’s beautiful Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) was the scene of a fatal car accident involving two cars. The collision near La Jolla Canyon road was so violent that one of the vehicles literally split in two. In fact, law enforcement initially thought there were three vehicles involved.  After further investigation, they determined that the “extra” wreckage was from the car that had split in half. According to witnesses, one of the cars was driving at excessive speeds when it lost control and swerved into oncoming traffic. That vehicle crashed head-on into another vehicle, killing three people inside. The PCH was shut down for hours following the accident.

Safe Driving Tips to Always Use

The good news is that speeding is entirely a choice. Tragic events like the story above are easily preventable. You have the right, the choice, and the responsibility to drive safely, and you owe it to yourself and everyone on the road to make the right choice. Below are some tips for safely reaching your vacation destination, every time:

  • Use your cruise control
  • Leave on time, or early
  • Listen to calming music
  • Remind yourself of the risks
  • Don’t drink alcohol until you have safely reached your destination
  • Don’t be distracted (texting, eating, or staring at your GPS)
  • Drive defensively

Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC | A Kentucky Personal Injury Law Firm

You can be the safest driver on the road, but risks still exist. Other drivers may be drinking, texting, or speeding. Road conditions might be bad. If you have been injured in an accident, we can help. Seth Gladstein is a Louisville, KY attorney who represents victims of all types of accidents, including car accidents. To arrange a time to speak with our legal team about your case, contact us today for a free consultation.

Driving Safety during the Holidays

Parked Cars On A Snowstorm Winter DayThe holidays are upon us, which means that there will be plenty of work parties and family gatherings to attend. It also means that the roads will have more traffic as more people travel to see friends and family. With more reasons to travel, you need to stay safe while on the roads this holiday season. We will help you do just that with some tips in today’s post.

Drive Sober

One of the first things you must do in order to drive safely during the holidays is to drive sober. If you are headed to a holiday party, make sure you have a designated driver or the number of a taxi company or car service so you can get home safely. Never step foot behind the wheel of a car after drinking.

Take Five, Stay Alive

A common saying on road signs across the country is that of “Take five, stay alive.” This is advice for you to leave five minutes earlier when heading to your destination so you do not have to speed to get there on time. The more time you take, the better your chances are of staying alive.

Check Your Car

Before heading out for a holiday road-trip, make sure you check your car for any issues. Check the pressure of all your tires, including your spare tire. Make sure you have enough windshield wiper fluid in the tank and carry an extra bottle in your trunk. You should also have jumper cables in the trunk in case the battery dies while on the road.

Have a Travel Plan

Another good idea is to have a travel plan in place before hitting the roads during the holidays. Know your directions before leaving on your trip. Have a map or a GPS programmed so you do not have to pull to the side of the road to figure out directions.

Use Roadside Assistance

If you have a roadside assistance plan, make sure it is up-to-date before heading out on the roads for the holidays. Roadside assistance is excellent because it will respond to your location should your battery die, you get stuck in snow or mud, or if you get a flat tire.

Keep a Safety Kit in the Trunk

Make sure you have a safety kit in the trunk of your car when traveling during the holidays. The safety kit should have an extra pair of gloves, a blanket, a flashlight with extra batteries, a radio with batteries, and any other items you feel will help you when in need.

Avoid Bad Weather When Possible

When possible, avoid driving in bad weather during the holidays. If it is unavoidable, make sure you take your time and allow for travel issues such as traffic and bad roads. If you can avoid traveling in bad weather, you will put yourself at an advantage.

Have you been injured in a holiday traffic accident? If so, contact the Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC by calling 1-800-991-0474 or fill out the contact form. We will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss the next steps in your case.

The Dangers of Driving While Taking Pain Medication

Pain medications can severely impair a person’s ability to drive. These drugs may induce drowsiness, dizziness, fainting, and nausea, reduce reaction time, and impair vision. Older individuals are at a greater risk, and more than 60% of drivers age 65 or older take five or more medications on a daily basis that hinders their driving capability according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. Studies by the AAA Foundation have shown that medications may impair a person’s ability to drive even more than alcohol does. People who take pain medications, drive, and cause accidents may be liable for jail time and lawsuits.

Precautions

People who must drive while taking pain medications should be extremely cautious. In this situation, individuals should speak with their doctors about possible side effects that could possibly reduce driving capabilities. They should also discuss all the medications the patients are taking for possible combined effects of these drugs. Doctors may advise patients to adjust a dose or adjust the time when taking a medication to minimize the risk of an accident. People should also read the side effects listed on a medication’s packaging or instructions. Finally, they should carry a list of all the medications they are taking in case of an emergency.

Alternatives

People who are taking pain medications should consider other alternatives to driving. These could include:

  • Getting driven by friends or family members
  • Using public transportation such as buses and trains
  • Taking a taxi

Liabilities

The reason people driving while under the effects of pain medications may be legally liable for jail time and lawsuits is because driving while taking these substances may be considered negligent. In the legal realm, negligence is when a person behaves in a thoughtless manner that may cause harm to others through a particular action that could have been avoided or prevented. Negligence is a term often used in motor accidents involving drivers who have taken pain medications because they put other people at risk. In these types of cases, the law explains that a driver taking medication could have been more careful, and as a result of the negligence, he or she caused injury or death.

Getting Help

Victims of car accidents who have been injured by a driver who was under the influence of pain medication may receive compensation for their injuries and mental distress. These cases are complex, and a victim would have to prove that the defendant was negligent in their behavior and could have taken precautions to avoid harming others. Hiring a personal injury lawyer may help victims navigate this complex area of law and learn whether they qualify for compensation. To find out more, call Seth Gladstein today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back with you within 24 hours.

Pedestrians and Distracted Driving

The dangers of distracted driving can be catastrophic. In an area with heavy pedestrian traffic, a driver that fails to pay attention puts pedestrians at risk of severe harm or even death. Distracted driving is a form of negligence. Thus, if a distracted driver causes an accident, legal action may be warranted.

What Is Distracted Driving?

Any activity that causes a driver to stop paying attention is considered a distraction. If the driver is moving at 55 MPH and stops paying attention for only five seconds, the distance covered while distracted equals that of a football field. This distance provides an alarmingly high number of opportunities for potential harm to others in a very short amount of time. Examples of distracted driving may include but is not limited to:

  • Texting or talking on a cellphone
  • Changing the radio station
  • Operating a GPS
  • Eating
  • Grooming
  • Interacting with other passengers in the car
  • Reading a map

The Duty of Reasonable Care

All drivers assume a duty of reasonable care. This means that they are legally expected to operate a vehicle with the same standard of care expected of other drivers. When driving in an area where children are likely to be present, even more caution needs to be exercised since young children are unpredictable and do not have the ability to ascertain a potentially dangerous situation.

Being struck by a moving vehicle can result in severe physical injuries for a pedestrian. This is largely due to the vulnerable position the pedestrian is in without the protection of his or her own vehicle around them. Severe physical injuries can cause a victim extreme pain and emotional distress, put them at risk of permanent disability, and keep them from returning to work. Common injuries include:

  • Severe lacerations
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Death

Proving Distracted Driving

A victim will need to prove that the driver caused the accident due to distracted driving. This can be through the driver’s own admission of guilt, an eyewitness, or from a police report. If found negligent due to distracted driving, the driver can be expected to pay for the victim’s medical expenses and/or other related damages.

Legal Action

If distracted driving caused a pedestrian to be harmed in a car accident, then the victim may want to contact the Gladstein Law Firm. Experienced in car accident law, the Gladstein Law Firm can determine if distracted driving caused the victim’s physical injuries and determine the best course of action for seeking compensation.

If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, call today or use our online contact form and the Gladstein Law Firm will contact you about your claim. If negligence caused your injuries, Gladstein Law Firm will handle the case while you focus on healing.

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