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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.

Lowball Offers Require Litigation

November 21st, 2016 by Ron DeSimone

The Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office have handled thousands of car accident cases over the past twenty three years. Approximately ten percent of those end up not settling or being resolved without a lawsuit.  The reasons a lawsuit would be necessary to resolve a traffic accident claim are either because the negligent party’s insurance company is not offering a fair amount of money to settle a claim or they are offering no money at all because they state that their insured is not at fault for an accident.  Sometimes these failure to pay cases by insurance companies are done in good faith but often times they are not. An insurance company will often make a low offer on an accident claim in the hope that the claimant needs money now and can’t wait on the outcome of a lawsuit to get a fair result.  Low offers are consistently made by some insurance companies on all their insurance claims in the hopes that when an attorney sees the insurance company name he will not take a new case involving that company because he knows he will not be able to settle the case easily.  A person unrepresented by an attorney is an easy target for a low offer. The insurance company knows that such a person does not have the resources or knowledge to challenge a low offer on their own and will often settle their case for pennies on the dollar.

If you have been in an accident and do not wish to be taken advantage of by an insurance company and their low offer strategy, call the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office immediately.  They will be able to procure a fair settlement from the insurance company and are ready to file suit at a moment’s notice when they see an insurance company trying to strong arm a client into an unfair settlement.

Jury Verdicts Determine Insurance Company Offers

November 14th, 2016 by Ron DeSimone

The Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office have to explain insurance company actions every day to clients or potential clients.  Why isn’t the insurance company treating me fairly on the value of my car?   What does the amount of damage on my car have to do with how hurt I feel?  Why does the amount of my medical bills have anything to do with what the insurance company is offering for pain and suffering on my case?   These questions are some of the questions that we are asked on a daily basis by clients and potential clients.  The short answer to most of them is that insurance companies know what a jury is likely to do with a case, and they make an offer commensurate with what they feel like their financial exposure is on any given case.  For example, no matter how hurt you are and how much you incur in medical bills and lost wages, an insurance company in Harris County, Texas is not going to offer very much if any money at all to settle the case if the damage to your car is under a thousand dollars.  Why is that? The damage to a car does not have anything to do with how hurt you are. That statement is correct in the real world but in the courtroom jurors come into the courtroom brainwashed by Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse and other insurance company propaganda that most injured parties are fakers.  The insurance company attorney then shows a picture of the car without much visible damage to a jury giving them their excuse in accordance with their mistaken beliefs to not award any money to an injured party even for their medical bills. This result happens quite often in Harris County, Texas.  Insurance companies know this is a likely result so even though they know the injured claimant is hurt,  they will not may very much if anything on the claim because they know they have the jury pool in Harris County, Texas in their back pocket on this particular set of facts. We will go into this situation further next week.

If you are being treated unfairly by an insurance company on your claim, call the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office.  They will make sure you receive all the compensation you deserve.

You Could Be Liable for Accidents Even If You Are Not the Driver

November 10th, 2016 by admin

auto-femaleYou might be surprised to learn that you can be held responsible for accidents even if you were not behind the wheel at the time. If you allow another person to drive a vehicle that belongs to you, you are subject to a legal principle known as vicarious liability. Working with qualified Houston auto accidents lawyers can help you navigate the legal process more effectively after an accident. Here are some of the most common classes of drivers who may not be legally responsible for damages caused when driving a vehicle you own.

Employees in the Course of Assigned Duties

If your employee drives your company-owned vehicle during the course of his or her duties and is involved in a Houston car accident during working hours, your company will generally be held responsible for the damages caused by this accident. Accidents that occur outside working hours and during activities that are not related to the job duties of your employee, however, will typically be the responsibility of the driver.

Drivers Permitted to Operate Your Vehicle

If you allow someone else to drive your car through an oral, written or implied agreement, you may be taking on legal liability for any accidents that occur during the course of their journey.

  • In the state of Texas, car insurance policies usually follow the vehicle, not the driver. This can lead to major increases in your insurance rates as well as the loss of your deductible.
  • If the person you allow to borrow your car or truck has insurance of his or her own, that policy may also be used to cover any expenses not handled by your own insurance policy.
  • If you knowingly allow your vehicle to be driven by a person who does not have a valid driver’s license, who is unfit to drive or who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you may be liable for any costs not paid by your insurance company for damages or injuries caused in a Houston car accident.
  • Minor children are usually covered under your car insurance policy as a matter of course. Making sure that your insurance company is aware of their driving status can help you avoid unpleasant surprises if an accident should occur while they are behind the wheel.

Showing discretion and good judgment when lending your vehicle can provide added protection against these issues.

If your vehicle is involved in an accident, consulting with an experienced Houston auto injury attorney can provide you with added help in dealing with your insurance company and ensuring that your legal rights are protected in and out of the courtroom setting.

Information To Obtain At An Accident Scene Part 2

November 7th, 2016 by Ron DeSimone

Last week the Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office talked about some of the information a car accident victim  needed to obtain while at an accident scene.  There is crucial evidence that needs to be gathered as well.  With the advent of camera phones it is imperative to take accident scene photos. Often times there are disputes over how a traffic accident happened (such as which lane an accident happened in or the position of the cars when an accident happened) which can be cleared up through accident scene photos. Damages to the other person’s vehicle will generally not be available at any other time other than at the scene of an accident.  These photos can be valuable in showing the impact the accident had in producing your personal injuries.  Obtaining names, phone numbers and addresses of witnesses is crucial in accidents where there is a dispute over what happened.  Red light swearing matches can be converted from no recovery cases into cases where you can recover your medical expenses and property damages from the other party’s insurance company through eyewitness testimony. Make sure to note which police department came to the scene and obtain the police report case number to make it easy to get the report when ready.

If you have been involved in an accident and have obtained the necessary information at the scene of the accident but don’t know how to proceed, call the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office.  They will use their knowledge of handling auto accidents to put your evidence and information to work.

Information To Obtain At An Accident Scene-Part 1

October 31st, 2016 by Ron DeSimone

The Houston Auto Accidents Attorneys at DeSimone Law Office wish to tell its’ clients and prospective clients how crucial it is to get any and all information and evidence you can when involved in a car accident.  After a car wreck occurs the first thing to do is to check on all people in both cars to see if anyone needs emergency medical attention. Next call the police to come to the scene to do an investigation.  Be forewarned that often times the police will not show or will not write a police report if they do not see what is in their opinion enough damage to merit a report. Next get the other party’s name, address, all phone numbers, Texas driver’s license number, license plate, v.i.n. number, make and model of their car, and insurance information. Make sure to write down the other person’s policy number, the names of any insureds on the card, the name of the insurance company and any phone numbers to the insurance company. When involved in a truck accident often times the other vehicle is owned by a company. If the name of the company is visible on the outside of the vehicle,write that down as well.  Also make a note of a physical description of the other driver and note the number of people in the other party’s car.   Next week we will look at what other information or evidence to obtain at the car accident scene that does not come from the other party.

If you have been involved in an accident, have the other party’s information,are hurt and without transportation andunsure about what to do next, call the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office.  We will handle all your auto accident related insurance claims in a timely and efficient manor.

The Worst Holidays for Drinking and Driving Accidents

October 24th, 2016 by admin

windshields-150x150Holidays are traditionally a time of celebration and family gatherings. Unfortunately, these occasions are also associated with a higher-than-average number of drunk driving incidents and accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has instituted an annual Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign to alert drivers to the risks of drunk and impaired driving. For those who have been injured or who have lost a loved one due to a drunk driving incident, filing a Houston auto accident lawsuit with experienced Houston car crash attorneys can provide closure and can hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Identifying the Most Dangerous Holidays

Independence Day is statistically the most dangerous holiday for traffic accidents. A 2010 study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety indicated that an average of 148 people lost their lives each Fourth of July from 2004 to 2008. New Year’s Eve, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Labor Day weekends are also high-risk holidays for drivers across the country. Taking special care on these holidays can ensure greater safety on the road.

Staying Safer on the Road

Especially during the holidays, staying safe on the road can be a challenging task. Here are some key strategies for ensuring that you and your family enjoy a happier holiday season:

  • Always designate a sober driver for get-togethers and family gatherings. Even if you have had only one drink, you could be putting yourself and your passengers at risk on the road. If a designated driver is not available, using Uber or taking a taxi home are viable alternatives that can keep you and your loved ones safer.
  • Be alert for drivers who are exhibiting erratic behavior. Weaving, unexpected stops and starts and unannounced lane changes can be signs of drug or alcohol use. Avoid driving too close to these individuals.
  • Distracted driving can be almost as dangerous as drunk driving. Stay off the cell phone and avoid other distractions behind the wheel.
  • Buckle up every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle. Seat belts save lives and are legally required in nearly every state in the U.S.
  • Try to plan your drive during non-peak daylight hours. Driving at night or in heavy traffic can present greater risks for you and your family.
  • If an accident does occur, consulting with qualified Houston car crash attorneys can help you manage the aftermath of these automotive mishaps.

By remaining alert to hazards and dangerous drivers, you can more effectively protect yourself and your loved ones from serious accidents and injuries when driving on holidays.

A little extra care can protect you against accidents caused by drunk drivers on U.S. streets and roadways. If you are involved in an accident involving the use of alcohol, seeking the help of professional Houston auto accidents lawyers can help you deal with these issues more effectively in and out of court.

Any Auto Accident Claim Can Be Disputed

October 17th, 2016 by Ron DeSimone

The Houston auto accident attorneys at DeSimone Law Office have had several cases in recent years where clients that had been involved in a rear end collision had their claims denied by the negligent party’s insurance company.  The denial of responsibility was by the negligent party’s insurance company even though their insured had struck our clients from behind.   The reasons for denying these claims which were accidents that happened here in Houston, Texas were varied but were not reasonable excuses for their policy holder’s negligence.  One excuse was that our client had stopped suddenly and their insured did everything they could reasonably do to stop but still struck our client.  The argument was that since their insured had acted reasonably, their insured was not liable. Are you kidding me?  Sudden stops are a fact of life when driving in Houston. Children or dogs run in front of cars all the time.   People slow down all of a sudden to make a turn they thought they were going to miss.  When an individual is driving a car it his responsibility to  not hit the person in front of him regardless of the reason for the sudden stop.   Remember the rule we were taught in driver’s education class?  Stay one car length away from the car in front of you for every ten miles per hour in speed you are travelling.  Today’s insurance companies think their insureds don’t have to follow that rule any more. In their never ending attempt to not pay injured parties the insurance companies will lower themselves to the aforementioned arguments and other arguments to wrongly deny injured parties’ traffic accident claims.

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a rear end collision, don’t assume  that an insurance company is going to treat you fairly. All auto  claims have become battle grounds for most insurance companies to deny  legitimate claims.  If you have recently been involved in a Houston car crash, call the lawyers at DeSimone Law Office. We will force the insurance company to pay all of your damages including your medical bills, lost time from work, automobile damages and rental car charges.

How Auto Insurance Companies Determine a Total Loss

October 10th, 2016 by admin

auto-insuranceThe United States is a car nation. Almost every driver owns a car or truck. We depend on them to get us to our jobs and elsewhere. We love our cars. We name them and can be very sentimental about them. However, insurance companies are not emotional. If you are involved in a crash, sentiment will not play a part in a Houston auto accident compensation settlement. The amount you are offered might not be enough to replace your car if the insurer considers it to be a total loss.

Houston auto accident settlements are based on the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle. If the cost to repair it is more than the car’s value, the insurer is likely to call it totaled. This is especially true if the car is an older model. Body work can be very expensive, which is why insurance companies deem a car totaled even if it could be repaired. A serious accident could require a new hood, grill, fender, bumper and other parts. Even after a minor crash, it can cost quite a bit to restore a newer car to its former condition. Some insurers consider a car totaled at a threshold percentage of the ACV, such as 75 percent.

Your insurance company will have a claims adjuster examine your car, but some damage is hard to detect until the chassis is inspected. You might need to get a repair estimate from a shop that the insurer trusts and has worked with previously.

If your insurance company decides to cover the repairs, they will only pay to fix the damage caused by the accident. Any pre-accident damage will remain as it was before the wreck.

To establish their settlement offer, your insurer will check a resource like the Kelley Blue Book, which factors in the make, model, trim package, age, condition and mileage to determine the vehicle’s fair market value. If it was already dented or damaged, the ACV will be decreased. In the event that you receive a full “totaled” settlement, you must turn the vehicle over to the insurer, and it will be sold in its current condition at an auto auction.

There is no cut-and-dried rule. Each case is unique, and insurance companies have been known to make surprising decisions regarding totaled vehicles. In some cases, Houston car crash attorneys can successfully argue that the vehicle is not a total loss and is worth repairing. Then, the insurer could be required to pay for the repairs.

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