Posts made in February, 2015

Can A Past DUI Affect Your Auto Accident Case?

If you fear that your past DUI charge will affect the future outcome of your no-fault auto accident, take a moment to ease your stress. Unless alcohol plays a part in your recent accident, it might not hinder your case against the other driver. However, an accident attorney is the best person to ask about your case in this type of situation. He or she can guide you through the tough questions the other party’s insurance company may ask to stall or discredit your case. 

The insurance company may ask if you currently receive rehabilitation treatment for your alcohol problem, and whether or not you possess any new charges since your previous DUI charge. You can prepare for your case by obtaining pertinent information, such as the results of your DUI.

Why Should You Get Copies of Your DUI Records?

States like Montana allow DUI charges to stay on your driving records for five years or more — even if you complete your mandated probation and/or jail time early. The negligent driver’s auto insurance provider may choose to use your records against you.

Remember, even if it’s clearly the other driver’s fault, the insurance company needs to save money when it comes to paying out accident settlements. Although this may or may not happen, the company may try to discredit your character by saying you didn’t complete any of your DUI requirements as ordered. You may still be a danger to other drivers.

You can help your attorney strengthen your case by obtaining records of what you did after your DUI charge. The records may show when you completed a mandated rehabilitation program and your probation requirements after your DUI, as well as when you received the return of your driver’s license. If the DUI was your first and only problem, the records may state it.

Where to Get Records of Your DUI?

The attorney can get copies of your completed probation records, but it may take time away from investigating the rest of your case. Unless your state prevents this, you may approach criminal court for your records in person. Your past case probably went to criminal court if you killed or seriously harmed other drivers or bystanders while driving under the influence of alcohol. In addition, criminal court takes cases that require a jury of peers to decide.

If you didn’t harm or injure other drivers or pedestrians during your DUI, civil court may hold your records. Civil court requires you to pay fines or restitution to people you hurt instead of serve serious time in jail or prison.

You should contact both court locations to find out exactly where you need to go and when. Keep in mind that government bodies like courts close down at certain times of the day, during federal holidays and on the weekends. You should obtain your records as soon as it’s feasible for you to do so.

Additionally, if civil or criminal court allows you to get copies of your DUI case in person, you may need to bring along and present copies of your:

  • Social Security card
  • Identification card or license if you still have it
  • Proof of United State’s residence, such as a birth certificate, green card or passport

The information prevents other people from obtaining your private documents. Also, ask the court system if you can order copies of your records online through its Clerk of Courts sites. If so, you’ll need to pay a small fee before you open and print the files. But understand that online records probably won’t reveal much about your case because they may contain information, such as felonies or crimes against the state.

In most cases, only government, legal and medical entities can legally obtain full criminal or civil records of citizens. If you can’t obtain copies of your DUI records from any of the courts, tell your attorney as soon as you can to keep your case on track.

Although it may seem hopeless or frustrating, you shouldn’t let your past haunt you. Your accident attorney, like one from Bailey Law Office Ltd, is there to help you every step of the way.

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Understanding Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries And Your Personal Injury Rights

One of the most common injuries that can occur during birth is a brachial plexus birth injury. Brachial plexus injuries occur when the nerves that run from the spine to the collarbone and throughout the shoulder and arm are torn or stretched. Understanding what causes these injuries and how they should be treated is the first step toward protecting your baby. Equally important is knowing when you should reach out to a personal injury malpractice attorney to help you pursue a personal injury case.

How Do Brachial Plexus Injuries Happen At Birth?

Brachial plexus birth injuries are typically the result of the baby’s head being pushed upward away from the shoulder while the shoulder is being pressed downward. Sometimes, these injuries are the result of a breech delivery or a lengthy, difficult labor. In other situations, these injuries can occur if the doctor is trying to dislodge the baby’s shoulders around the pelvic bone during delivery.

When the baby’s head is free and the shoulders are caught behind the pelvic bone, the doctor handling the delivery has nothing more than the infant’s head to use as leverage to slide the shoulders free. The pressure that this can cause on the nerves may actually lead to stretching or tearing. In some severe situations, it can actually separate the nerves from the spinal area.

What Are The Symptoms Of Brachial Plexus Injuries?

In the mild cases, the symptoms typically show as mild weakness in one arm or minimal movement in that hand and arm. More severe cases can cause a loss of feeling in the affected limb or a complete inability to use the arm at all.

How Are Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries Treated?

The treatment options for brachial plexus birth injuries are as varied as the degrees of the injuries. Mild injuries can heal on their own with some doctor supervision and examinations to ensure that the nerves are healing properly.

Even in these minor cases, though, physical therapy is a daily necessity to ensure proper healing. Physical therapy is the most common non-surgical treatment option for these injuries. During physical therapy, the specialist works with you to help you move your child’s arm properly. The goal of this therapy is to keep the arm, shoulder and hand as limber as possible and to keep the muscles working correctly while the nerves heal.

If the doctor opted to monitor the recovery with minimal intervention and there is insufficient improvement based on the expectations that he or she had, there may be need for surgical intervention. In those situations, surgery is usually not considered until several months after birth to give the nerves time to recovery on their own. If surgery is necessary, it starts with exploratory surgery to see how the nerves can be restored.

In the most severe cases, when the nerves are physically separated, surgery will be necessary for any kind of functional recovery. In the case of severe injuries, it often requires multiple surgeries before there’s any movement restored in the arm.

When Should You Consider A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Although some instances of brachial plexus birth injuries are unavoidable, there are many risk factors that your doctor should acknowledge before delivery. The risk of these injuries is greater when you have gestational diabetes or a large baby. There’s no single weight range to consider, though, as “large” is relative to your body structure.

Additionally, if you have a history of deliveries with this type of injury, your doctor may need to consider a caesarian section delivery instead. Failure to do this may be considered medical malpractice on the part of your doctor if the baby is injured during delivery. There are several other medical options to encourage a safe delivery if your baby’s shoulders get stuck, and if your doctor fails to try anything other than physically pulling on your baby’s head and shoulders, that’s also potentially justification for a personal injury suit.

If your child suffered a brachial plexus birth injury, even a minor one, you can learn more by calling a personal injury attorney who specializes in birth injuries. He or she can not only step in to offer you legal support during the recovery, but can also help you gather information in case you need to take the case to court. If your child was injured due to errors during delivery, you may want to consider a personal injury lawsuit.

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