Don’t Do These 5 Things When Driving—The Top Causes of Traffic Accidents

A traffic accident is something no one wants to have happen in his or her life. Sometimes an accident is completely unavoidable and sometimes it is entirely preventable. The NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) reports there were 30,057 fatal crashes with 32,719 fatalities in 2013 alone. In the same year, there were 5,687,000 police-reported crashes with 2,313,000 people injured. The NHTSA breaks down the data even further denoting certain factors involved in the data—some factors such as impaired driving and speeding that possibly could have prevented these accidents. Don’t do these 5 things when driving and hopefully you won’t become an NHTSA statistic:

Impaired Driving

It may seem tempting to drive home after a few drinks, especially when you keep telling yourself you are fine to drive. Additionally, driving while exhausted counts as impairment and can easily lead to accidents. Do yourself a favor – don’t. Remember, you are impaired and unable to make clear judgments.

Speeding

Think you will get there quicker by going faster? Think again. Driving above the speed limit may decrease your reaction time and cause you to be in a traffic accident. You may end up never making it to your destination. Continue reading

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FAQs about Workers’ Compensation

What is workers’ compensation?

Employers pay for accident insurance–workers’ compensation–which may provide the company’s employees with benefits to assist with recovering from on-the-job injury (medical, rehabilitation, and income compensation).

What benefits am I entitled to if I am injured on the job?

If the injury or illness is attributed to the job, you may be entitled to medical care for the injury, compensation for lost wages, and rehabilitation. If the accident results in an employee’s death, the employee’s dependents will receive monetary compensation.

When should I expect my first check after filing workers’ compensation?

If disability is the result of on-the-job injury, you should expect the first check within twenty-one days after your first missed day of work. However, in order to receive a weekly disability check, an authorized physician must place you under work restrictions saying you cannot work at all or that you can work subject to some physical limitations that your employer cannot accommodate by offering you a lighter-duty job. The rules regarding this are complicated, so speak with an attorney about your particular situation to understand how the rules apply to you. Continue reading

Meet the firm!

lizstaleyLiz Staley takes pride in helping the clients of Staley Law Firm through difficult times. Find out what she has to say about her career as a paralegal:

1. How long have you been a paralegal at Staley Law Firm?

8 years, though I’ve been a paralegal before that for various law firms. All combined, I’ve been a paralegal for about 14 years in multiple practice areas.

2. What do paralegals do?

Anything and everything it takes to keep the office running smoothly. I meet and greet clients, both on the phone and in person, update client files with information received through the mail, faxes, and phone calls, assist clients in many different ways, collect and coordinate medical information, write demands, order supplies, make deposits and pay bills.

3. What are the skills and traits of a successful paralegal?

I’d say the most important quality for a paralegal in our area of practice is to be personable and understanding of our clients’ struggles and difficulties. Most of our clients are suffering both physically and financially and it’s important to empathize with them, even if they are difficult at times. Beyond that, a paralegal must be flexible – always prepared to adjust. Paralegals must be very good at multi-tasking to be successful, because law firms are often chaotic places to work. Continue reading

Think You Have a Case? Don’t Do These Things Before Contacting an Attorney!

There are a few things you can do that can hinder the integrity of your potential case before you’ve even considered contacting an attorney. In order to prevent possible harm, do not do the following before contacting an attorney:

Directly Consult with Insurance Companies

Even though you do not intend to harm yourself or your case, an insurance company can present information against you in court based on conversations you have with the company. It is best to not give a recorded statement without the guidance of an attorney. Remember to refer all communication with insurance companies to your personal injury lawyer to avoid any “miscommunication” between you and the insurance company.

Post Information about Your Case on Social Media

The entire town does not need to know the ins and outs of your legal situation. Certain things can harm your case if you post inappropriate information that can be used against you later in court. Keep your information confidential at least until your consult with an attorney.

Forget to Call the Police and Obtain a Police Report

A police report is an integral part in establishing a case’s validity because it will not be one person’s word against another’s. Don’t forget this important step. Make sure you call the police if you have an auto accident and wait for them at the scene of the accident. Then, follow-up and obtain the written police report to help you case along. Continue reading

Meet the Firm!

henrybstaleyThirty-seven years ago, Henry Staley created Staley Law Firm with the notion that integrity and compassion for the client are essential components in maintaining a successful firm. Here, Mr. Staley shares the trials of law school, career motivations, and qualities an effective attorney must maintain.

Where did you go to undergraduate school and law school? Why did you choose that law school?

I went to the University of Virginia to undergraduate school. After graduating, I worked for Maryland Casualty Insurance Company in Richmond, Virginia as a Claims Adjuster and then as a Claims Supervisor. I decided to go to law school in the evenings and continue working for Maryland Casualty Company. I transferred to Atlanta and attended Atlanta Law School at night.

What were the most challenging aspects of acquiring your law degree and securing your first legal job after passing the Bar?

I worked full time with Maryland Casualty Company and went to law school in the evenings. It was challenging to arrange my time to work, go to school and to study. I was offered a job 3 days after I passed the Bar Exam in which I shared space and expenses with five other lawyers. I have always been in practice for myself so the challenge was to build a law practice. Continue reading

FAQs for Auto Accident Cases

Car_AccidentIf involved in an auto accident, what is the first course of action?

After calling police to the scene of the accident so they can gather evidence and prepare a police report, seeking medical attention for injuries should be the first step taken to ensure your health and safety. Once you have taken care of any potential medical needs, immediately contact an auto accident attorney so he or she can direct you in the future of your case.

If I have been injured, what are my rights?

If you are not the party at fault, then you have the right to acquire compensation for your injuries. Each case varies, so compensation will depend on factors involved in your particular case. Contact an auto accident attorney as soon as possible so they can make the most of your claim.

How long does an auto accident claim take?

Determining a generalized time-frame for the duration of any case is difficult. An auto accident claim could settle in a matter of a few months, or it could take years to reach a settlement. Also, not all cases go to trial due to parties reaching a settlement outside of court, which may decrease time. However, cases that do go to court may experience lengthier time frames. The biggest factor in how long a case takes is how much medical treatment is necessary to get you back to your pre-injury condition. Continue reading

The Layperson’s Glossary of Legal Terms (Cont.)

Understanding these common legal terms may be beneficial for you or someone you know if involvement in any legal matter becomes a reality.

1. Acknowledgement – a signature by an attorney or clerk verifying the contents of the document are true.
2. Action – alternate name for “case” or “lawsuit.”
3. Adjudication – a judge’s decision or sentence
4. Affirmation – if a person decides not to take an oath for religious or other reasons, he or she will affirm or declare truth under penalty of perjury. Continue reading