What Is Wrongful Death?

What Is Wrongful Death?

When a person dies due to the misconduct, negligence, or intentional harm of another person, surviving family members may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit is a civil court action requiring grounds (a legally supported reason) for filing.

Wrongful death lawsuits aim to prove that not only did the deceased lose his/her life due to the negligence of another, but also that his/her family members were directly affected emotionally and financially due to the death. Therefore, wrongful death cases will determine the financial compensation the family members should receive.

How Does Someone Prove Wrongful Death?

To be successful in a wrongful death lawsuit, some elements must be proven:

  • The person’s death was caused by neglect or wrongful conduct.
  • The surviving family members have suffered measurable damages as a result of the death.

If a victim, who would have otherwise been able to file a personal injury claim had he/she survived, dies as a result of the action of another, a “survivorship” claim is appropriate.

Common grounds for wrongful death lawsuits may arise out of a number of circumstances:

  • Medical malpractice death
  • Vehicle fatalities
  • Exposure to toxic/hazardous work conditions
  • Death during a supervised activity

Who Can File a Wrongful Death Claim?

Every state has a wrongful death statute or set of statutes that set the standards for actions against wrongful death. A lawsuit for wrongful death may be brought by a representative of the estate of the deceased, including:

  • A spouse
  • Parents of minors
  • Extended family members, such as grandparents and siblings (in some states)
  • Any person named as executor of the estate

What Damages Can Be Awarded?

Once a death has been proven to be the result of a wrongful act, damages can be collected for the following:

  • Medical bills incurred prior to death
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • The pain and suffering of the decedent prior to death
  • Lost wages and expected income
  • Mental anguish endured by the survivors
  • Loss of inheritance
  • Punitive damages intended to punish the offender and discourage similar actions (in some states)

If you believe that may have a wrongful death claim, contact us for a free consultation. We will help you understand your legal rights and determine if you should pursue a lawsuit.

5 Common Myths Regarding Car Accidents and Whiplash

Whiplash is a very common injury associated with rear-end collisions and other types of motor vehicle accidents. Unfortunately, the sheer force that causes whiplash can lead to other serious conditions, including debilitating chronic pain. The validity of a whiplash claim often comes under question, but it is a real condition that many accident victims suffer. For any victim, it is important to understand the myths about whiplash and be educated on the facts.

What is Whiplash?

Whiplash typically occurs in a rear-end car accident. When the vehicle pushes violently forward, the individual in the car will be pushed forward, creating a whipping motion. When the neck, shoulders, and torso are forced to move out of the ordinary range of motion, it leads to damage to the ligaments, muscles, and tendons.

What are the Common Whiplash Myths?

Symptoms of whiplash go away in just a few days. It is a common misconception that whiplash is a temporary condition, but it can take up to a month to recover from this injury. In some cases, victims will have chronic pain that lasts for up to a year. Whiplash can include difficulty in moving the affected area; muscle spasms and pain; and nausea, headaches, and other complications.

Attorneys make it easy for people to seek compensation. Many believe that the no-win-no-fee model used by personal injury lawyers will draw in people who will file frivolous claims. That is rarely the case, however. Instead, these attorneys provide a way for injured people to receive compensation by a qualified attorney who can represent them fairly.

Whiplash is impossible to diagnose, and a doctor’s testimony is not required for a personal injury claim. Traditional diagnostic imaging tools often do not show proof of injury, which causes some to question the condition. However, a medical professional can accurately diagnose whiplash by examining the patient’s symptoms and performing an assessment.

Injured people are better off dealing with insurance companies than attorneys. After an accident, a victim will be approached by an insurer. However, settling a claim without a personal injury attorney is never ideal. An attorney ensures that current and future medical expenses are addressed and that the compensation is fair for the victim’s injuries, pain, and suffering.

Whiplash is a controversial injury and juries do not believe victims. Whiplash claims cost billions each year, but rarely are those claims fictitious. In fact, whiplash claims are notorious for leading to chronic pain and disability. While a claimant may be painted as an insurance fraud, the reality is that whiplash is a real, very serious injury that has a life-long impact on the victim. Therefore, they have a right to collect compensation for that suffering.

Contact Ethan Vessels Today

As you can see, whiplash injuries can be controversial, which is one of the reasons that you need the services of a personal injury attorney. Ethan Vessels is a trial lawyer with experience in car accident claims. Contact us today at Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels for experienced legal representation. Call 740-374-5346 or fill out our contact form and we will get back with you very soon.

Top Cellphone Apps That Combat Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a well-known danger on the roads, but hundreds of drivers still continue to drive while using their mobile phone or engaging in other forms of distracted driving.

In response to the threat of these devices, several app developers have worked on creating new applications that combat distracted driving.

Today, there are numerous apps to choose from that will stop distracted driving for teens and adults.

 

The Purpose of Distracted Driving Apps

Smartphones are powerful. They keep individuals connected, allow business professionals to conduct business on the go, and allow children to maintain contact with their parents. However, text messaging remains a common issue. It takes just one text message to take a driver’s eyes and attention off the road for five seconds. These apps are designed to stop distracted driving by shutting down notifications, sending replies to text message senders that their recipient is occupied, and more.

Tips for Choosing the Right App

  1. Make sure the app is compatible with the phone’s operating software, such as iOS or Android.
  2. Look for an app that blocks messages and phone calls.
  3. Verify that the app offers notifications to parents so that they can monitor teen drivers.
  4. Check if the app tracks miles driven safely and if there are rewards for distraction-free driving.

What are the Best Distracted Driving Apps Available Today?

LifeSaver App – LifeSaver combines GPS monitoring with cell technology to dramatically reduce instances of distracted driving. They have rewards for safe driving, and when engaged, the app blocks a person from using their phone while driving. Also, it will notify parents that their teen driver has reached their destination and parents can use the “Driver Portal” to monitor teen driving habits. Parents are in control of the rewards offered to their teens. LifeSaver also works for commercial fleet managers that want to limit employee distractions.

AT&T DriveMode – AT&T released their DriveMode app for iOS and Android systems. It blocks texting and receiving phone calls while operating a vehicle. It can be set so that it automatically starts blocking when the vehicle is moving faster than 15 miles per hour. Also, parents can receive notifications if their teen tries to change a setting or deactivate the app. This app is very user-friendly.

TrueMotion – TrueMotion is free for iOS and Android system phones. It has unique features that other distracted driving apps do not, including a trip score that rates a person’s driving and moments that they might have been distracted.

Drive Beehive – This app connects drivers with sponsors who can set rewards for the specific number of miles safely driven.

Most safe driving apps are free or come with a nominal fee. Considering what they could do for a person — including saving a person’s life — paying a few dollars is always worth it to have an app that limits or stops distracted driving.

Car Accident Attorney, Ethan Vessels

If you or a loved one are hurt from a distracted driving car accident, contact Ethan Vessels at Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels for possible legal representation. Ethan has years of experience as a trial lawyer, and he knows how to win. Contact us today at Fields, Dehmlow & Vessels for experienced legal representation. Call 740-374-5346 or fill out our contact form and we will get back with you very soon.

Why Should I Have Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage?

It is estimated that 1 out of 7 drivers in the U.S. are uninsured or underinsured. If you are involved in an accident where the other driver is at-fault, typically their liability coverage would be responsible for any medical bills and auto repair costs. However, if the driver does not carry any – or not enough – insurance, you may be left paying out of pocket.

In order to protect yourself, it is recommended that you purchase uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage from your insurance company. Regular car insurance coverage protects other drivers from damages you cause, and uninsured/underinsured coverage protects you from damages caused by other drivers.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

It is important to note that the uninsured/underinsured policies provide liability coverage for the other driver. Therefore, you still have to prove that the other driver is at fault, that your injuries were caused by the accident, and that the treatment for those injuries was reasonable.

Purchasing this coverage is a backup plan, as is all insurance purchases. No one plans on getting into an accident, but they happen, and sometimes they happen due to the fault of either an uninsured or underinsured driver.

If you are involved in this type of accident, having the extra insurance allows the insurance company to cover all of your costs up to the policy’s limit. If the at-fault driver only has the bare minimum coverage required, then he or she likely will not be able to cover all the expenses, and the underinsured coverage will fill in the gaps.

Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage Usually Offers Two Types of Protection

Bodily Injuries Coverage (UMBI) The uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can cover not only car damages but bodily injuries as well if you choose to add this coverage. The bodily injury insurance would cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and funeral costs for you and any passengers in your vehicle.

Property Damage Coverage (UMPD) This type of coverage is not offered in all states, but if available, it may be worth consideration. This type of protection covers damages made to personal properties such as a house, fence, or even cell phones and other electronics.

State Requirements

Insurance requirements vary by state. Approximately half of all states require some type of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage. Some states even require that the coverage is offered, and if you want to decline, you must put it in writing.

Call an Attorney Who Has Experience with Uninsured/Underinsured Coverage

If you have been in an accident where the at-fault driver does not carry enough or any insurance, you should call an attorney with experience. Attorney Ethan Vessels represents clients from Ohio and West Virginia. He is the author of the book “I have been injured. What are my legal rights?” If you would like to request a free copy of the book or schedule a consultation, please call 740-374-5346 or fill out our online contact form.