How do you calculate lost wages from a car accident?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A car accident resulting in injury tends to have a snowball effect; hospital stay, recovery time, surgery if necessary and extensive bills for all of the above are just a few of the problems with which you might have to contend. Another is lost wages from missed work. This can have lasting damage on your finances if not fully compensated, but your options to do so are not limited; one can be to sue the responsible party.

How Can I Calculate My Lost Wages?

This can largely depend on what type of job you have and how you are paid. If you work in a full-time salaried position, this calculation is rather simple. If you work on an hourly basis or your salary is largely dependent upon commission, it’s more difficult to calculate an exact figure.

If you have kept the same job and the same earnings, you could show your previous year’s tax return for an accurate estimate on how much you’re owed. If you have been working consistently before the accident, copies of recent pay stubs would also suffice. But if you have the type of job where earnings change from week to week depending on contracts, commission or the general scope of your work, you’ll need to show what you missed while you were away.

This is especially true if you are self-employed or work on a freelance basis. Showing proof of assignments and work you missed, the contract agreement for said work and/or what you had earned on similar projects in the past will all be important.

Wage loss doesn’t just include what you did miss, but also what you might have missed; future earning capacity and lost opportunities (such as a raise or promotion) can very well be included in your claim if you can verify them. Accurate calculation of lost wages depends on proper documentation; you’ll need:

  • Physician’s letter, describing the extent of your injuries, medications prescribed, suggested recovery and the total length of time you must miss work.
  • Employer’s letter, stating that you are in fact an employee there, and that you did indeed miss all of that time from work.
  • A copy of the police report.

The aforementioned paperwork, such as tax returns and previous pay stubs, will also be crucial for documenting your wages.

Wage Loss Insurance

It’s not a guarantee that your car insurance plan covers lost wages due to missed work. This usually happens if you choose the option with the lower deductible. Typical liability, uninsured motorist and personal injury protection plans will cover for lost wages, but as always, read the fine print to be certain.

Liability and uninsured motorist plans will cover 100 percent of lost wages. Personal injury protection can be very important, because even though it will only cover 80 percent of lost wages, it does this regardless of whether or not you were at fault.

In the event of a car accident, missing work can seriously hinder your ability to pay your medical expenses. Filing a lawsuit or claim for compensation against the responsible party can help you recoup what you had lost.

Posted by admin at 9:04 pm

What is Drowsy Driving?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The dangers that exist when behind the wheel are perilous and apparent; drunk and distracted driving garners much attention, and is something most drivers avoid themselves while remaining vigilant for it in others. One danger that we perhaps don’t pay enough attention to, however, is distracted driving, which, according to a AAA study, is just as likely to cause an accident as driving while intoxicated.

Fatigue Behind the Wheel

Lack of quality sleep can affect a lot of areas of your life, but driving is perhaps the most hazardous. Even if you’re awake, less than six hours of sleep per night can drastically increase your chances of being in an accident. Side effects of such little sleep include:

  • Impaired reaction time
  • Problems processing information and with short-term memory
  • Decreased performance and vigilance
  • Increased aggravation or short temper

If you’ve ever reached your destination and realized you don’t remember any of what you saw while driving there, yelled at another driver for a minor inconvenience or have felt yourself take an extra second to apply the brakes, this could be an indicator of lack of sleep.

Fatigue cannot be measured or tested for after an accident like drunk driving can. It’s therefore tough to tell just how often driver fatigue is the main cause of an accident. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 2.5 percent of fatal car accidents involve drowsy driving. However, because of the difficulty estimating drowsiness, that number could actually be anywhere from 15 to 33 percent.

Drowsy Driving Statistics

Of 19 states surveyed in a 2010 study by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 6.1 percent of Texas drivers reported falling asleep at the wheel within the past 30 days, the highest rate of any state. It’s unclear why Texas was the worst of the states surveyed, but it’s well above the national average of 4.2 percent.

An interesting anomaly in the CDC study concluded that it’s not just how much sleep we’re getting, but how well we sleep. Those who get less than six hours of sleep and snore reported falling asleep at the wheel at a rate of 8.5 percent, compared to 5.2 percent for those who don’t.

Getting the recommended amount of sleep is easier said than done, but it’s imperative to recognize the signs of a drowsy driver, whether it’s yourself or someone else. If you notice the driver appears fatigues, offer to drive for a while. If you feel sleepy behind the wheel, pull off the road and close your eyes for a few minutes. If you have taken a medicine that may cause drowsiness, don’t drive until you know how it affects you.

Posted by admin at 9:01 pm

What Are the Segway Laws in Texas?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

After its introduction in 2001, the Segway was banned from use on sidewalks in more than 30 states. Since then, many states have altered their laws to allow for easier transportation by Segway users. Because it has a motor, it is considered a “vehicle” and as such could be subject to some of the same regulations as a motorcycle.

What Are the Segway Laws in Texas?

A Segway is a “personal assistive mobility device” according to Texas law, and as such is under the same stipulations as a wheelchair. State law says that you may operate a Segway:

  • On a road where the speed limit is 30 mph or less only if:
    1. No sidewalk is available.
    2. You are making a direct crossing of a highway at a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
    3. You have been directed by a law enforcement or traffic control officer.
  • On a path designated for exclusive use by bicycles.
  • Must stay as close to the right-hand edge as possible.

Texas has no helmet requirement for those using a Segway. Other regulations which apply to bicycles also apply to use of a Segway, including necessary safety equipment, such as functional brakes and a lamp visible from 500 feet away if operating at night.

Dallas applies different rules to Segways than the state of Texas. Dallas actually does not allow their operation at night, and they do not allow Segways to be operated on sidewalks, according to city ordinances.

Segway Insurance

Segways have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice as a “power driven mobility device,” the same as a motorized wheelchair, and as such is included in the Americans with Disabilities Act as a legitimate mode of transportation for those with physical limitations.

You have the option to purchase insurance to cover damage or injuries in case of theft or an accident while operating your Segway. This is true whether you are part of a tour group (likely required as liability coverage for the tour company) or an individual owner. Given that state law and Dallas city law differ slightly – especially in regard to operation on sidewalks – it’s a good idea to protect yourself from liability.

Speak with a Dallas personal injury attorney today.

Posted by admin at 8:56 pm