Gravity. Our nemesis ever since our first steps, gravity has tried to keep us down our entire lives. But each morning we get out of bed and stand up in defiance to gravity. We go about our daily business without much thought of the eternal force weighing us down. That is until our feet betray us and down we fall. Whether it’s a slippery floor, a vacuum cord, or an uneven step, occasionally we fall victim to gravity’s embrace.

Sometimes it’s a pure accident. But more often than not the cause of our fall is the result of someone else’s negligence. A slip and fall is sometimes no big deal. We go down and then get up with only minor pain, maybe a scrap knee or a bruise. Other times, however, we go down and break a bone or tear a ligament. There are falls that at first only cause minor pain, but progressively worsen as time goes on. These type of falls require medical treatment; treatment that can last months or years. When you are out somewhere and you trip or slip, then keep these steps in mind:

  • If Needed, Seek Medical Attention. The most important thought going through your mind should be your physical well-being, or the health of your loved one. If you are in pain or otherwise injured, call for medical attention immediately. Don’t get angry or upset at the store employees or the owner of the property. It will do nothing to help your pain or case. Focus on your health because that is the top priority.
  • Report It. Be sure to report your fall to the owner or manager of wherever you fell at (even if you fell at your friend’s house, report to them what happened). If you fell at a commercial location, report the fall to the manager and ask for a copy of their accident report. If you did report the fall but didn’t ask for a copy of the accident report you can still ask for a copy.
  • Take Photos. Assuming you were not whisked away in an ambulance, be sure to take plenty of photos, especially the location where you fell. Also, photograph everything around the area you fell. This includes stairs, railings, wires or cords on the ground, any ice or puddles, and anything else that is nearby. Be sure to document the date and time of your accident with the set of photos. Be sure to make a note of the weather and temperature if the fall happened outside.
  • Get the Info. In order to help your case it is important to gather names, phone numbers, and addresses of anyone who saw the fall. Witnesses are important to back up your story when other pieces of evidence don’t.
  • Keep Track of Your Medical Documents. Depending on extent of the injury you will receive medical treatment. Keep and save the bills and other forms you receive from your doctor. You will use the medical costs to determine how much the other side owes you in damages. The opposing party will want copies of them, too, so make duplicates.
  • Call an Attorney. In order to juggle the different parties and your medical treatment it is highly recommended to hire an attorney when considering a lawsuit. By their nature, slip and fall cases are difficult to prove in a trial. Often, opposing counsel will cast the blame on you for not exercising reasonably care. Moreover, initial settlement offers from insurance companies are generally low. That is why you need an experience attorney to be your champion. Insurance companies do not wish to spend resources going to trial, and will take your claim more seriously if you have an attorney representing you.
  • To Sum Up. Above all, if you are in pain get medical help. That is your top priority. Report the fall as soon as you can so there is documentation that you fell, but your first concern should be your health. Have someone that is with you at the time of the fall take pictures of the area for you. Finally, contact an attorney to go over your legal options.

Call us today if you slipped and fell. We will determine what your legal options are and what your compensatory damages could be. We will do our best to get you the maximum amount possible.

 

—Disclaimer—
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

A car accident is something that we know can happen any time we get into a car. We hear of wrecks on the morning news. We see fender-benders on the evening commute. We use the event of a car accident as a measuring rod on how safe another activity is, like flying on a plane, or how likely an event is to occur, like being struck by lightning. We know that an accident can happen, but do we know what to do once it does? Consider the following:

  1. Make sure you are all right before you exit your vehicle: Check for any injuries. If you’re bleeding, disorientated, or otherwise experiencing significant pain call an ambulance. When in doubt if you are injured, call an ambulance.
  2. DO NOT LEAVE THE SCENE: It is crucial that you remain at the scene of the accident, especially if someone was injured or killed. Leaving the scene of an accident, even if you believe there is minor damage, can result in you being charged in a felony hit-and-run.
  3. Call the Police If Needed: Generally, you should call the police for any accident with noticeable damage or injuries. That way there will be a police report filed so there will be documentation of the accident. A police report is regarded as reliable by courts, and is likely to be your strongest piece of evidence (or most damaging depending on who was at fault).
  4. Check on All Drivers and Passengers: See if everyone else in the accident is all right. Obviously, call for help if anyone is hurt. If there is an imminent danger (like a car sinking in a body of water or car on fire) move people out of harm’s way. Otherwise, do not move injured people and especially do not move their neck. Let the paramedics take care of them.
  5. Exchange Information with the Other Driver(s): When obtaining everyone’s contact information, do not be emotional or disrespectful. It will get you nowhere. Exchange phone numbers, names, insurance information, and driver’s license. Also, don’t apologize. You may think that it was your fault, but other factors could be at play. Be respectful and helpful, but do not take blame.
  6. Talk to Any Witnesses: Get the contact information of anyone who saw the accident.
  7. Snap Pictures of Everything: A picture may say a thousand words, but they are invaluable at trial. After police reports, pictures are the most powerful pieces of evidence a party could have. Take a picture of everything; not just the vehicles but also the road and surrounding area. If there are skid marks or broken glass, then take pictures of those, too. Try to create a thorough documentation of what the scene of the accident looked like.
  8. Call Your Insurance Company: You will probably dread doing this, but it is critically important that you inform your insurance company right away. Be honest with what happened and give them all the facts. Lying to your insurance company could result in you losing coverage for the accident.
  9. Be Suspicious of Immediate Settlement Offers: The other driver’s insurance company (or sometimes even your own) will try to save themselves some money by trying to settle with you as soon as possible. They will offer you a low offer but it would be immediately available. Be careful. Some injuries from car accidents don’t appear until days or weeks after an accident. That low settlement offer may not pay for all of the treatment. Once you sign a settlement though you lose your chance to collect any more money. So talk to your own lawyer before accepting an offer to settle your claim.
  10. Think about Calling an Attorney: If the accident caused substantial damage to your car or significant injury to yourself or others, consider hiring an attorney to help you deal with the insurance companies.

If you’ve been involved in an automobile accident give us a call today. We’ll go over your case and advise you what legal options you have to maximize your damages.

 

—Disclaimer—
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.

dog attacks

There are over 1,000 attacks reported every day in the U.S.

Many of us are dog lovers. We just cannot resist the urge to approach a dog we see in public. We see dogs in parks, on front lawns, on sidewalks walking their owners (who really owns whom?). But all of us, dog lover or not, have at least once in our lives been intimidated or threatened by man’s best friend. And an unlucky few of us have been victims of dog attacks. We walk down a street, turn a corner, and come face to face with a snarling, growling canine. What do we do?

First, it is important that you stay calm. Even if dogs can’t smell fear (and I’m pretty sure they can), waving your arms and screaming is a dead give away. Dogs are predators by nature. If you act like a scared bunny it’s going to treat you like a scared bunny. So stand tall and keep cool.

Which brings me to my second point: do not run. I know that your instinct is to flee from danger, but ask yourself: can I outrun a German Shepard? The answer is no, so do not try. Instead, calmly and slowly move away from the dog. Do not make eye contact with the animal, but keep him in your peripheral vision. In order words, do not turn your back to him. If you make a calm retreat, the dog is more likely to let you leave his territory.

If the dog persists in being aggressive, however, you need a shield and a sword. Look around you. If there is a large stick, grab it and hold it out towards the dog while slowly retreating. If you are wearing a backpack or a heavy coat take it off and use it as a shield. If the dog charges and you have nothing else, grab a rock and chuck it at him. A rock is likely to startle the dog, but remember: do not run. If the rock stops the charge, pick up another rock and keep throwing until the dog backs off. Stand your ground until it is safe to walk away.

If the dog does attack you, then fight like hell. You’re going to think I am crazy, but offer one of your forearms to the dog. This will leave you three other limbs to fight back with and to protect your throat. Kick, punch, or stomp at the animal with all of your might. Do not stop fighting back until the dog let’s go. Once the dog lets go and backs off, resume holding what you had to shield or protecting yourself and slowly back away to safety. Do not turn your back on the dog.

Once you are safe, see a medical professional immediately if you have serious wounds. If the wounds are not serious (use your best judgment), then:

  • Take a picture of your wounds;
  • If people witnessed your attack, then you need to get their contact information;
  • If possible get the name and address of the dog’s owner or those who had custody of the dog at the time. This may not be possible at the time of the attack;
  • Go see a doctor as soon as possible to get treatment and to ensure you don’t have any diseases from the bites like rabies. Also, have your doctor document the bites; and
  • Report the attack to animal control, the police department, humane society or whatever agency does animal control in your city. The agency will likely ask for the contact information of any witnesses so give it to them if you have it. But most importantly, the agency needs to know who the owner of the dog is. If you have that information, great. But if not, you need to find this out either by asking people that live in the area or perhaps asking one of the witnesses if they know.

It is important to report any dog attacks, even if the wounds are minor, because the owner needs to be held accountable for their dog’s behavior. You may have got away relatively unscathed, but next week that same aggressive dog could attack a child and that child may not be so lucky.

If you or your loved ones (furry or not) have been the victims of a dog attack, please contact us today. We will go over your case and determine what legal options are available to you.

For reporting dog attacks in the city of Seattle, contact Seattle Animal Control at (206) 386-7387 or visit their website at: http://www.seattle.gov/animal-shelter/animal-control

For King County, contact Regional Animal Services of King County at (206) 296-7387 or visit them at: http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/regional-animal-services/animal-control-response.aspx

 

—Disclaimer—
This article is made available by Lee & Lee, PS for educational purposes only. The intent is to give the reader general information and a general understanding of the law. The article does not provide specific legal advice. Readers of this article should understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the writers. Furthermore, the article is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your jurisdiction.