Painful Accounting

Anyone who suffers injuries as the result of another person’s negligence should
take the time to document his or her injuries and treatment history in a journal.
Relying on memory for such information jeopardizes a plaintiff’s ability to
receive full compensation if he or she should win a personal injury lawsuit for the
injuries sustained. Keeping a detailed record of injury and treatment is especially
important in cases where the injured person suffers pain, anxiety, or loss of
sleep, which cannot be detected by visual examination. Taking note of injuries
may help health care professionals to diagnose delayed symptoms. Personal
accounts become part of the medical records that will later provide evidence
in any case that may be brought. Those keeping personal injury journals should
note in detail how the injury has changed their lives, affected their work, and
disrupted their ability to normally conduct their daily lives. Keeping a journal
of your injuries is a step that’s not obvious in the chaos and pain that follows a
bad accident. That’s why you need to get a lawyer involved as early as possible
after you’ve been hurt.

Defenses to a Workers’ Compensation Claim

Generally speaking, workers’ compensation covers most onthe-
job injuries. The system is intended to provide benefits to
injured workers even if an injury is caused by the employer’s or
employee’s carelessness. However, there are some limits. For
instance, injuries that occur because an employee is intoxicated
or using illegal drugs are not covered by workers’ compensation.
Coverage may also be denied in cases where the injuries are
self-inflicted, when they were suffered while the employee was
in commission of a crime, or the injuries were suffered while
the employee was engaged in “horseplay”. As you can see,
there are circumstances under which the employer can contest
benefits. If you need help with a workers’ compensation claim,
contact an attorney.

Do Accidents Just Happen?

While we are quick to label a crash between vehicles as an “accident,” the
word is not always appropriate. The word “accident” implies that the event
“just happened” and no one is at fault; however, car crashes and similar
occurrences are very often the result of someone’s negligence, carelessness,
or recklessness. Thus, when a crash or other incident that causes injury
(either bodily or property) occurs, there should be a determination of
who is at fault (and liable). This process begins with a consultation with
a lawyer and the injured party. The police report documenting the police
investigation of the accident should be obtained as soon as possible. In
most cases the investigating officer will make a finding as to which driver
caused the accident and information regarding any citation(s) issued to
the at-fault driver. Under no circumstances should those involved in an
“accident” discuss blame with other people involved in the incident. Simply
collect information and wait to speak with your attorney.


When an automobile is hit from behind, the driver of the rear-ended vehicle can virtually always hold the other driver liable. This placement of liability is based on the basic rule of the road that requires drivers to be able to stop their vehicles safely if the car in front of them stops. Those who cannot stop without hitting the car in front of them are not driving in a responsible manner. When a third car hits the car in front of it and pushes it into the lead car, it is the driver of the third car who is at fault and against whose liability insurance the drivers of the front two cars would file their claims.

HINT: Tailgating is an inherently dangerous driving behavior that guarantees tailgater liability in the event that the driver is involved in a crash with the car ahead of it.