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Fake Injury Claims After A Houston Auto Accident

January 16th, 2017 by Shana Schnitzer

Can you spot a liar from a mile away? Fake injury claims are more common than you think. Do you know how to protect yourself from fraudulent insurance claims? If you don’t ask the right questions, take the right pictures, and document the right information, you could find yourself on the losing side of an argument. You never know when a Houston car accident is going to happen, so learn how to protect yourself before jumping into the driver’s seat.

First understand that there are two types of fraud- hard fraud and soft fraud. Hard fraud has serious criminal and civil repercussions, but they do happen. In this fraudulent instance, a claimant creates an elaborate story of a Houston car wreck to get money from the insurance company for damages and injuries. In a soft fraud, which is a more common offense, the claimant is involved in a wreck, but they exaggerate the damage and seriousness of injuries.

After a Houston car accident, call the police regardless of how small the damage is. Let the police know if anyone is visibly hurt, where you are in relation to streets and traffic blockages, and if the wreck could be of danger to other driver
s. These factors will determine if the police will dispatch to where you are. Based on the information you give, the police will decide if it’s necessary for them to visit the scene. If no one was injured, and the wreck isn’t blocking or causing harm to others, there’s a good chance that the police won’t show up. No record of police showing up means that the accident wasn’t serious, and will likely help expose a false claim.

Make note of what the other person says after the wreck. If someone claims to be fine, or gives statements of admission of guilt immediately following the altercation, document it. These statements could help you win in a court case against someone claiming injury. It is said that statements made directly after the wreck will indicate the driver’s state of mind.

Witness could be your best friend. Find as many witnesses as possible, take their statement and contact information down. It’s best to find a witness that has no ties to either you or the other driver, such as a third party driver, a pedestrian, or a store owner. These witnesses have nothing to gain or lose by telling the truth.

Another smart step to take is to snap photos immediately after the accident. Make sure to get multiple angles of impact, and surrounding area photos. It also helps to get pictures and/or video of the other driver. If you notice the driver acting normal or laughing, record it. If they claim later that they were seriously injured, you have proof otherwise.

As soon as you’ve taken down all the needed information, call your insurance company. Just as much as you hate dealing with false injury reports, your insurance company hates it even more. Give them all the information you have, and offer to provide the proof you took down. Answer any questions the insurance company asks with the most honest, detailed answers you can provide.

Keep in mind that you can’t force your insurance company to deny a claim you believe to be false. Sometimes it’s cheaper for the insurance company to pay the claim than to fight it. Unfortunately, this may lead to higher premiums on your insurance plan, or possibly a canceled insurance policy. Another smart move is to call a Houston auto accident attorney such as DeSimone Law Office. We can help fight the insurance company and/or the driver claiming false injuries. The moral of the story is to make sure all of your bases are covered to ensure the best possible scenario for yourself.

Must-Have Items for Your Vehicle Emergency Kit

January 10th, 2017 by admin

In most cases, Houston car crash attorneys can provide the support you need after an accident. If you are stuck in your car for a prolonged period of time, however, you may require a little added help to stay safe and comfortable until help arrives. Automotive experts recommend keeping an emergency kit packed and ready in your vehicle at all times. The items contained in this kit could provide life-saving assistance if you are involved in an accident or are stranded after running off the road. Here are some of the most essential items for your vehicles emergency kit.

Emergency Medical Supplies

First aid supplies are must-haves for your emergency kit. Bandages, aspirin and topical antibiotics can help you deal with minor scrapes, cuts and bruises immediately after a Houston auto accident. Checking the expiration dates and restocking these medical supplies on a regular basis can help you and your family to stay safer on the road.

Food and Water

Crackers, energy bars and other snacks can provide quick energy if you are stranded in your vehicle for a lengthy period of time. More important than food, however, is a supply of fresh bottled water. Scientists estimate that humans can survive for an average of three days without water; making sure you have plenty on hand is vital to your safety after an accident leaves you stranded.

Road Flares

Especially if you plan to drive in rural or remote areas, maintaining a supply of road flares can help increase your visibility at night and in inclement weather. This can sometimes help emergency services personnel to spot your vehicle and to provide you with assistance when you and your family need it most.

Portable Phone Battery Pack

Keeping a spare power pack charged and ready in your vehicle can allow you to use your cell phone to communicate with the authorities and to extricate yourself from dangerous or uncomfortable situations. This can be a real lifesaver if your car breaks down and your car charger is not functional.

Flashlight

A flashlight with working batteries can allow you to signal nearby traffic, increase your visibility and stay safer in the dark. By including this practical item in your emergency kit, you can increase your comfort and your chances of being found quickly after an automotive accident.

Retaining the services of an experienced Houston traffic accident lawyer can help you navigate the legal process more effectively. Just as an emergency road kit can protect you against some of the most serious dangers of driving, your attorney can help you manage the court process to achieve fair compensation for your injuries and losses, allowing you to reach the best possible outcome for your case.

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Evidence Gathering Crucial At Early Stages Of Trucking Accident Case

January 9th, 2017 by Ron DeSimone

The Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office last week described actions that happen at the scene of an accident when an injured party in a car has an accident with a big truck.  As we have outlined before in this blog, as in any other accident, witness testimony and physical evidence at the truck accident scene are crucial to recovery on the personal injury claim.  As difficult as it may be when injured at an accident scene the injured party at the hands of the truck driver must try to get photos of the vehicles and the vehicles positions after the accident. Names and numbers of any witnesses must be obtained when possible. Unfortunately if you are being carted off to the hospital it may make it impossible to get these pieces of evidence. Of course the truck driver is fine and his company representatives are called to the scene immediately where they can alter the scene n their favor and keep witnesses not in their favor from talking to the police officer.  We have had former clients smart enough to call us from the scene of an accident where we advise as to what to do or where we can send our own investigator to the scene to secure evidence. Also in cases of severe injury DeSimone Law Office will retain the services of an accident reconstruction expert.  This individual is expertly trained in reconstructing accidents after the fact and can overcome the items on the police report that are in favor of the truck driver that are obviously a result of the trucking company representatives controlling the scene of the accident.

If you have been in an accident with a truck, contact the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office immediately.  We will tale the action necessary to make sure you obtain the justice you deserve.

Trucking Accident Claims Are Battles

January 3rd, 2017 by Ron DeSimone

The Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office have handled many trucking accidents over the past 24 years. Because of the size of a truck as compared with a car, accidents with trucks can definitely cause some of the most severe property damage and personal injuries.  Proving up that the 18 wheeler driver is at fault is always difficult.  The truck drivers are taught what to say and what not to say after an accident. We believe they are trained never to admit fault any under circumstances. If the driver is local, they are taught to call their home office so a team of people can hurry to the scene in an attempt to hide evidence of fault and convince the police to write any report in their favor. Normally the driver of the truck is feeling fine because he was in the safety of a big rig at the time of the accident.  In the meantime, the injured party, normally in a much smaller vehicle, is either carted off to a hospital immediately or is still at the scene in a state of pain and shock from the truck accident.  Either way the trucking company and his associates get to tell the police officer their side while the injured party is either physically unable or is approached by the officer before he has a chance to recover from the accident and compose his thoughts. These circumstances are normally played out at the scene of the accident after the accident. Of course this assumes the truck driver has even stopped after the accident as many times they flee the scene after an accident in the hopes of not being discovered.   We will have more on this next week.

If you have been involved in and accident with a big truck, call the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office.  They have handled these for many years and will make sure you get the money you deserve

Unfair and Deceptive Insurance Company Practices

December 22nd, 2016 by admin

autos-on-hwyIf you or someone you care about has been involved in a Houston auto accident lawsuit, you probably already know some of the ways in which insurance companies can attempt to get out of paying for injuries and repair costs associated with a serious automobile collision. While most insurance adjusters and representatives stay within the letter of the law while managing costs on behalf of their employers, some companies have engaged in deceptive and potentially criminal activities in attempts to avoid paying out on legitimate claims. Enlisting the assistance of a qualified Houston auto accidents attorney is usually the best solution to these denials of valid insurance claims. Here are some of the most common tactics used by unscrupulous insurance companies in the consumer marketplace.

Delaying Settlement or Payment of Claims

Insurance companies have a financial interest in limiting the amount they pay out on claims each year. Delaying the processing of claims can sometimes discourage policyholders and may allow the insurer to settle the claim for a lower amount or to avoid paying out on these claims altogether. Texas law establishes strict time limits for insurers to accept or deny your claim. By requesting additional information or making unreasonable demands, your insurance company may be able to delay payment on your claim for an extended period of time.

Denying Valid Claims

In some cases, insurance companies will attempt to avoid their financial responsibility by denying your claim outright. When insurers deny claims without adequate reason, they are said to have acted in bad faith. Unreasonable interpretations of policy clauses, failure to conduct a fair and comprehensive investigation and cancellation of policies without advance warning are all signs that an insurance company may be denying the valid claims of its policyholders. In some cases, the insurance adjuster may even claim that injuries were not sustained in the accident in question.

Making Lowball Initial Offers

Many insurance companies will attempt to minimize their payouts by offering a smaller settlement as a first negotiating tactic. Adjusters employ these strategies because they often work. Some of the reasons that accident victims might accept the first offer include the following:

  • Lack of knowledge regarding the insurance claim and settlement process
  • Fear that the offer might be withdrawn
  • A desire to put the incident behind them
  • A mistaken impression that the insurance company is looking out for their best interests

It is almost never in your best interest to accept the first offer made by your insurance company. Even a short delay can often elicit a better settlement offer from your insurer.

Retaining the services of a qualified attorney can provide accident victims with the most effective support in reaching fair Houston auto accident settlements and achieving reasonable compensation for injuries and damages. This can reduce the financial burden caused by these incidents and can ensure a brighter future for you and your family.

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Radiating Pain, Numbness And Tingling In The Extremities Indicates Need For MRI And Specialist Visit

December 19th, 2016 by Ron DeSimone

The Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office last week talked about what is known as a soft tissue injury to a traffic accident victim’s neck and back. Basically the muscles and ligaments in the neck and back are strained because of a violent front and then back whipping of the car accident victim’s head and body .  Often besides pain that is localized in the neck or back a client will experience pain that radiates from the neck into the arms or hands. Also numbness in the hands or fingers or a tingling sensation will be felt. Sometimes pain in the lower back will radiate in to the legs and numbness may be felt in the feet.  The personal injury that the client has probably sustained is known as a herniated disc.  In between the vertebrae are discs that keep the vertebrae from touching each other and provide a cushion for the back. When one of these liquid filled discs gets out of place and shifts this is known as a bulge or in more severe cases as a disc herniation.  Along the spine run the nerve endings of the back. If a disc gets out of place and impinges on a nerve, this will cause pain in the neck or back along with radiating pain.  Physical therapy and medications will probably not help here and other methods will have to be used to get well.  We will address those in next week’s blog.

If you have been injured in a car accident and have pain in your back that radiates, call the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office.  They will make sure you can obtain the medical treatment you need and the money you deserve.

Houston Leads Texas in Dangerous Intersections for Traffic Accidents

December 9th, 2016 by admin

stoplightTexas is a beautiful state that is filled with scenic vistas, colorful characters and an abundance of culture. It also has some of the deadliest roads in the nation. Houston was rated the most dangerous city for red-light accidents in 2013, and it has the unpleasant distinction of being home to the worst intersection in the entire United States and many of the worst in the Lone Star State. Any experienced Houston auto accidents attorney is well aware of how dangerous Houston’s roads are and is familiar with the process of aggressively protecting those unfortunate drivers, pedestrians and cyclists who are involved in traffic accidents. Out of the 20 most-dangerous intersections in the state, 13 are in the Houston area.

Intersections have always been the most likely places for traffic accidents. One sobering fact is that in the 10-year period from 2004 to 2013, 181 people perished from drivers running red lights in Houston. In the past five years, fatal accidents have increased. The increase may be due to the constant road construction or the recent surge in population. Many Houston vehicle accident lawyers attribute it to the removal of video cameras at intersections. There was a 30 percent increase in accidents at intersections in the four years after the cameras were banned. From 2012 to 2015, intersection accidents lurched again by more than 40 percent from 21,524 to 30,583. Those statistics indicate that Houston drivers and pedestrians are 40 percent more likely to die on the roadways than motorists in Los Angeles, which has always been notorious for traffic and reckless drivers.

Nearly half of the 50 intersections where you would be most likely to get into a Houston auto accident are on the Sam Houston Parkway, which is also called Beltway 8. The 19 intersections on Beltway 8 accounted for about 2,700 accidents, 2,000 injuries and five fatalities. Bissonnet Street and Sam Houston Parkway is the most dangerous intersection in all of Texas. From 2012 to 2015, more than 300 accidents have occurred there that injured about 250 people. Far in the distance is the second most dangerous intersection at Hardy Road and Sam Houston, which is followed in third place by the Westheimer intersection at Sam Houston.

Here are the 10 worst intersections in Houston:
1. Bissonnet Street at Sam Houston Parkway
2. Hardy Road at Sam Houston Parkway
3. Sam Houston Parkway at Westheimer Road
4. Main Street at South Loop
5. Greens Road at I-45
6. Main Street at Sam Houston Parkway
7. Beechnut Street at Sam Houston Parkway
8. Sam Houston Parkway at Westpark Tollway
9. Hammerly Boulevard at Sam Houston Parkway
10. I-45 at Sam Houston Parkway

Dash Cams and Houston Auto Accident Claims

December 5th, 2016 by Shana Schnitzer

“There are two sides to every story, and the truth is somewhere in the middle.”

This seems to be a common theme when dealing with insurance companies after a Houston car accident. You’re upset because you feel that your side of the story is the truth. Then, somehow, the insurance company comes up with these crazy, nonsensical “70% your fault, 30% their fault” numbers. It’s frustrating to have to deal with this back-and-forth argument. Luckily, we’re living in the 21st century, and we have technology to help us with these sorts of situations. May we present to you the wonders of a dash cam, and the multiple reasons why you should invest in one:

The Truth is in the Middle

Regardless of the “he said, she said” that goes on during auto accident claims in Houston, a dash cam will always tell the truth. It makes it easy to catch the other driver in a fib, which helps to your benefit when dealing with insurance, and keeping your rates low. If you’re going to offer up the dash cam footage, though, we recommend you make sure your side of the story matches up with what is shown on the camera. You want the dash cam to work in your favor, not against you.

Call Their Bluff

The police try their best, but catching the wrong car in a speeding frenzy happens from time to time. Regardless of what happens, if you have a dash cam proving your innocence, you can contest the ticket. Sure, it’s a pain to have to go to court over the ticket fee, but wouldn’t you rather that than paying a hefty speeding ticket?

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Insurance fraud happens ALL. THE. TIME. The biggest issue comes from being able to prove it. This goes back to the “he said, she said” game with the insurance company, unless you have a dash cam. Whether you are personally being scammed by someone, or you see an “accident” that doesn’t look right, your dashboard cam is there to save the day- and a lot of money!

Practice Makes Perfect

The same way that a bodybuilder watches his/her form in the mirror to improve, a driver can do the same with a dash cam. Watch your driving back on the footage, and make notes on what you should work on. Are your turns subpar? Doimg_3496bfree you notice some difficulty with keeping up with traffic? This handy tool will help you improve your driving game in no time.

I Spy With My Little Eye…

…a new driver who is driving like a maniac, thinking he/she won’t get caught. A dashboard cam will allow you to keep a watchful eye on a new driver, both inside and outside the vehicle. Young drivers have the highest insurance premiums, which makes a dash cam to ensure safe driving habits are being performed a great option.

Catch Them Red Handed

Thieves may believe that they’re sneaky, but thanks to special motion activated dash cams, your anti-theft devices are sneakier. These motion activated cameras start recording as soon as movement is felt by the camera. Catch the culprit on camera, and the police will have a better chance of catching the law breaker. Another positive to motion activated dash cams? No longer will a hit and run be a hit and run. Whether you’re in the car or not, the jolt from a vehicle backing into your car triggers the camera and records the offender pulling away without leaving insurance. Justice has been served.

Science and Other Cool Happenings

You simply never know when something cool is going to happen. From insane weather conditions to funny instances while you’re driving, it’s all recorded! You can become YouTube famous off of a video you wouldn’t have captured had it not been for your dash cam.

While a dash cam can be pricey depending on the type you buy, it’ll pay for itself once you’re able to prove your innocence in car wrecks and other driving mishaps. Plus, it will keep you, your family, and other on the road safer. At the end of the day, if all else fails, you always have your Houston car crash attorneys by your side to help with any legal issues.

Possible Neck And Back Injury Symptoms

December 4th, 2016 by Ron DeSimone

The Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office have represented many car accident victims over the past 24 years for their personal injury claims.  The majority of the injury claims associated with traffic accidents are neck and back injuries.  The most common type of injury is what is commonly known as whiplash.  During an accident the neck and back are whipped back and forth resulting in injuries to the muscles, ligaments and tendons in the neck and back.  These injuries commonly result in pain in the neck and back areas, and often the tight muscles in the neck will result in headaches for the injured party. Treatment for these injuries is normally physical therapy that takes place normally for 6 weeks for about 3 times a week. Massage, heat treatment, ultra sound, electrical stimulation and adjustments to the spine are some of the treatments used to get the injured party better.  Often times the injured party may have pain that radiates from their neck into their arms accompanied by numbness or tingling in the hands and arms.  Other parties have pain that radiates from the low back into the legs accompanied by numbness or tingling in  the feet or legs. Sometimes the injured party’s legs will give out when walking.  Both of these symptoms in the neck and back indicate that the injured party has a herniated disc in their neck or back which requires more serious treatment. We will discuss these alternative treatments further next week.

If you have had an auto accident and are experiencing neck and back pain, call the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office .  They will make sure you receive the medical treatment and monies for the inuries you have suffered

Fatal Traffic Accidents on the Rise Due to Tech Distractions

November 23rd, 2016 by admin

textingTraffic fatalities are rising for the first time in many years, and the reason for the increase might surprise you. Your first guess would probably be that instances of drunk or impaired driving made the numbers spike, but distracted driving due to our ever-growing dependence on electronic gadgets like cellphones is the real cause. Currently, a Houston auto accident claim is more likely to be the result of drivers text messaging someone or reading a text message sent to them. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has had a tremendous effect on reducing the number of annual deaths across the country. Perhaps the day is coming when a similar group will form to prevent drivers from texting or using their cell phones while they are behind the wheel.

Last year, deaths across the nation soared by 8 percent according to the National Safety Council. That is the largest increase in traffic fatalities in over 50 years. The death toll has already risen 9 percent during the first six months of 2016, which does not bode well for year-end statistics.

Texting is not the only cause of the problem. Drivers are increasingly checking their email, eating fast food, playing games like Pokemon Go and using apps to get directions while they are driving. Laws might have a chilling effect on this behavior, but it is more likely that society needs to adopt a negative attitude to such behavior. Experts say the situation will get worse before it improves. Cellphone use is distracting enough, but surfing the web or checking social media requires more attention and is more likely to be the cause of a Houston car accident.

Traffic fatalities are likely to exceed 40,000 this year, and although that is better than the 55,000 recorded in 2007, it is an abrupt spike when compared to recent statistics. Improved airbag systems, heightened awareness and stricter laws regarding impaired driving have all contributed to lowering the figures previously. An increase in compliance with the enforcement of safety belt laws also cut down on fatalities.

Lawmakers are searching for new ways to help solve the distracted driving problem. A device called the totalizer can check to see if a driver was using a phone at the time of an accident. The Supreme Court has recently ruled that police need a search warrant to access cellphone records according to a Houston traffic accident lawyer.

The solution to the problem is obvious. Drivers must resist the urge to interact with their cellphones and other devices. Until then, distracted driving will continue to cause the number of traffic fatalities to spiral.

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