Personal injury law goes back to ancient history. According to the old Testament of the Bible, it is written an “eye for an eye.” This Jewish law required equal punishment when harm is done to an individual. However, personal injury lawsuits as we know them did not appear until the 20th century.
During this period, personal injury law has been modified to fit the needs of our society. Unfortunately, many attorneys have been criticized due to a few frivolous lawsuits over the past 30-40 years. Despite the negative conations, personal injury law is a standard practice in our society to protect consumers and seek justice for those injured because of the negligence of others. Righting wrongs suffered by others is the paramount objective of personal injury attorneys and is due to centuries of legal precedent.
Open the yellow pages, watch television, or even check your mailbox and you will see advertisements from various personal injury lawyers who promise to help you with your claim. When under lots of stress, it can really be tempting to immediately contact and hire one of these attorneys. However, before you do that, it is important to carefully consider the reason why you are contacting a lawyer and what you want to accomplish. Most of us are very careful when choosing which doctor we will entrust our physical wellbeing to. When looking for a lawyer to whom we could entrust our legal well-being, we should be just as careful.
In order to determine if a particular lawyer is right for you, request a free consultation with the attorney whom you are considering to hire and ask some, or all, of the following questions:
1. What is your experience in handling cases that are similar to mine?
2. Were you successful in those cases?
3. What is your policy about communicating with clients? How can I reach you? How long will it take you to respond to my questions? Will I be able to reach you directly or will I only have contact with your support staff?
4. How will you be paid? How are settlement and litigation costs handled?
5. Do you have past clients who can serve as references?
6. If a settlement is offered that you suggest I take and I don’t want to accept it, how will you handle that situation?
7. Have you ever been professionally disciplined or had your license to practice law ever been suspended?
While these questions will provide you with some useful information, the most important information that you will gain from an initial consultation is information about your potential lawyer’s personality. Do you feel comfortable with him? Does he listen to you? Does he respect your legal goals? If the answers to these questions are yes, and you received answers with which you are comfortable with to the questions described above, then you have found yourself a personal injury lawyer.
Dolan Law Offices represent victims of personal injuries throughout the state of Illinois and welcome new client meetings.
With a steady rise in cell phone related car accidents, distracted driving is becoming more and more of a hot button issue among legislators and drivers alike. On Tuesday December 13, 2011, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) urged states to put forth efforts to ban all cell phone use among motor vehicle drivers.
We recently reported on NTSB’s push for cell phone bans among commercial truck drivers following a devastating trucking accident which claimed the lives of 11 people in Munford, Kentucky. But an August 5, 2010 four-vehicle crash which resulted in two deaths and 38 injuries has motivated the board to urge a ban on all non-emergency cell phone use for all drivers.
Although the NTSB does not have the authority to legislate, the board’s unanimous recommendation promises to spark much debate on the issue of distracted driving. Members of the NTSB are calling for a ban not only on the use of hand-held cell phones but on hands-free devices as well. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt is being widely quoted, by CNN for example, after referring to distracted driving as “the new DUI.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that the year 2010 saw 3,092 traffic fatalities due to distracted driving. Cell phone use—particularly texting while driving—is becoming an epidemic in America, one which requires immediate attention.
The problem: While more and more states are implementing bans on cell phone use in motor vehicles, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety makes the claim that these bans result in little to no change in traffic crashes. Whether banned or not, many people will continue to use their cell phones while they drive. In response to this issue, many car manufacturers are developing new technologies which promise to make in-car communication safer and more productive.
The video below, provided by CNN, features Ford researcher Jim Buczkowski discussing the voice-activated Sync system. The goal for Sync and similar systems is to enable drivers to make phone calls while keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.