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Driving Away from Car Accidents

 

Driving away from the scene of a car accident is a crime, no matter the circumstances. Being in an accident can be scary, and the knee jerk reaction can easily be to drive away and avoid getting into any trouble. However, if you drive away from an accident you can find yourself stuck in a world of legal issues that can result in the loss of your license or even jail time.

The law differentiates between driving away after hitting a parked car and driving away after hitting a moving car. When you strike an unattended vehicle, you have a duty to attempt to contact the owner of the vehicle. This can be done by simply leaving your name, phone number, address, and insurance information in a note on the car before leaving. Be sure to take a picture of this note in the event that you may later need to prove that you left it. Failure to make an attempt to contact the owner of the vehicle can result in being charged with a misdemeanor and risks your license.

Leaving the scene of an accident involving an operated car or a person is a much more serious crime. When you are involved in a car accident, you have a legal obligation to stop and ensure that everyone involved has not sustained major injuries and to call an ambulance if necessary. You are also required to call the police and give your name and insurance information to others involved in the accident. If you fail to stop and instead leave the scene of an accident which results in serious injuries or death, you can be found guilty of a felony and sent to prison.

If you have been hit by a driver who has fled the scene, try to get as much information as you can about the driver’s car. If possible, take pictures and write down the car’s license plate number. As soon as you can, contact the police and give this information to them.

Though fleeing the accident may seem like an easy way to avoid getting in trouble, doing so risks your driver’s license and your freedom, as well as puts the lives of those who you leave behind at risk. The best thing to do is always to stop and talk to the other people involved and call the police. If you have been in an accident and did not stay as required by law, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney Dekalb County GA relies on to ensure that you fully understand your rights moving forward.


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Andrew R. Lynch, P.C. for their insight into driving away from the scene of an accident.

Before You Sign a Waiver – Here’s What You Need to Know

From zipline adventures to rides on a hay wagon, it seems like every activity comes with a waiver. Over 15 million civil lawsuits are filed each year, as a skilled personal injury lawyer Phoenix AZ trusts might explain. Waivers are designed, usually by insurance companies, to prevent people who engage in dangerous or recreational activities from suing the companies in charge in case something goes wrong.

Should you always sign a waiver? You should definitely think about it. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 3.5 million children under the age of 14 are injured every year in sports or recreational activities. Whether you are sending your child to camp, signing up for a new fitness center, or renting a paddleboard at the beach, it seems that a waiver signing has to happen first. But just what rights are you signing away? If the treadmill malfunctions and you fly off and break your leg, do you have any rights against the fitness center, or have you signed them all away? If your child isn’t properly supervised at camp and suffers an injury, are you still protected?

Before you sign a waiver, be sure to:

1. Read the waiver. It’s easier to just sign quickly and move on, but it may not be wise to if you don’t really know what you are signing. If there is something you don’t understand in the waiver, ask.

2. Make sure you can still sue the company if there is gross negligence. All waivers are designed to protect the company from accidents, especially if they are unpreventable. For example, if your child jumps off the table in the camp cafeteria and hurts his ankle, this is likely not the camp’s fault. However, if a camp counselor tells your child to stand on a table, and then the table breaks resulting in an injury to your child’s ankle, that could be.

3. Know the difference between gross negligence and ordinary negligence. Gross negligence occurs when an injury is caused by a piece of equipment that was reported to be malfunctioning. If the equipment was not taken out of service or fixed, this is gross negligence. Ordinary negligence is the failure to act as a “reasonably prudent professional” would act under the circumstances. If the camp counselor at your child’s camp tells your child to use a canoe that has a hole in it, but the counselor didn’t know about the hole, this is ordinary negligence.

4. Trust your instincts. Do not sign a waiver if something seems “off” about the company or the activity. Do a little research first. The internet is a good source of reviews and articles on many companies. If someone else has had a bad experience — or a good one — at a place you are considering visiting, it’s likely they have posted about it to social media, Yelp, or other websites.

When you sign a waiver, you are usually agreeing to “hold harmless” the company involved. This does not, however, mean that you can never recover damages. If you have been injured, an attorney may be able to get you the compensation you deserve. If the company is at fault and guilty of gross negligence, you may still have a case against them, waiver or not.

Alex and Saavedra Law OfficesThanks to our friends and contributor from Alex & Saavedra, P.C for their insight into signing waivers.

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Seeking Civil Justice for Special Needs Children: Where do I begin?

Every day parents of children with disabilities ask what I can do to ensure that my child receives a free appropriate public education and related services under the law. There are a number of steps these parents can take to seek “justice” for their children with disabilities. Continue reading “Seeking Civil Justice for Special Needs Children: Where do I begin?”