What To Consider Before Driving On The Highway 

Car Driving on a HighwayDriving on the highway can be nerve-wracking for not only new drivers but also experienced drivers. Highways often require you to drive at faster speeds than you are accustomed to, around many vehicles, and for several hours at a time. High-speed car crashes can cause serious permanent injuries and death. Before merging onto the highway, you should always make sure that you and your loved ones are buckled in and that you know what to expect. 

Road Rules and State Statutes 

Instead of airline flying, many people now opt to drive when they go on vacation. Plane tickets can be expensive and checking yourself through TSA can be a hassle. A drive across state lines will normally take longer, but many people prefer taking that extra time to avoid using commercial airlines. 

You should always remember that different states may have different road laws when you are traveling across state lines. Additionally, some states are notoriously much stricter about certain violations. When you know that you’re going to be driving throughout different states, you should take some time to see whether different rules apply. 

Road Trips and Towing 

Highways are also filled with families and other road tripping drivers driving throughout the state or from state to state for fun activities. It is common to see recreational vehicles, boats, and off-road vehicles being towed on the highway from a regular vehicle. While one of the last things anyone going on vacation wants to deal with is an accident on the highway, it can still happen to anyone while hitching something.  

Using trailers or driving large vehicles is more difficult because people will have far more blind spots in addition to a harder time driving. On the highway, always watch out for people with larger hauls or baggage in the trunk blocking their windows and creating additional blind spots. People on vacation will also be more likely to feel relaxed and less attentive, so be aware that you may have to be extra cautious to make up for any lack of skill, experience, or awareness. 

Working Drivers 

Many people take a highway even when their destinations are within the same city. Cities oftentimes have several exits so that people can get from Point A to Point B directly without stopping at red lights or other delays that driving through town can bring about. Additionally, highways always have semi trucks driving throughout the states with truck drivers driving for much longer than most people would. 

These working drivers are typically accustomed to the highway, but this can actually be negative as this can lead to speeding and feeling overly confident. Whenever entering the highway, everyone should be cautious. Watch out for reckless or negligent drivers and try to stay away from them when you notice an unsafe driver. 

Contact Us 

When you’re involved in a car accident on the highway, you deserve to have a highly skilled attorney fighting on your side for compensation. The O’Brien Law Firm has the experience and qualifications necessary to help you receive the compensation you need for your injuries. Call us today at (716) 907-7777. 

How To Prevent Bicycling Accidents

Cyclist on the roadEach year, thousands of people are injured and/or killed due to accidents involving vehicles and bicycles. This is often either the driver’s or bicyclist’s fault but oftentimes, an accident could have been prevented if either party took additional precautions.

Whether you are a bicyclist trying to avoid vehicles or vice versa (a driver trying to get from point A to point B without any problems), you should consider all these tips to avoid injuries and lawsuits.

Bicyclist Prevention

When you are bicycling, you need to always be aware of your surroundings. There will likely be other drivers, pedestrians, and fellow bicyclists around you that can cause you to crash your bike. When you want to go on a bicycling stroll, take these following precautions:

  • Stay within the parameters of any bike lanes on the roads
  • When you have to cross a roadway, check for any vehicles
  • Always wear a helmet
  • Install lights and reflective devices on your bike so that other drivers can see you while biking
  • Wear reflective clothing while bicycling at dawn or dusk
  • Keep your phone on you in case of an emergency
  • Consider purchasing a smartwatch with emergency services that will contact your close family when you signal it
  • Listen to your music at a low volume so you can hear cars coming up behind you

Driver Prevention

Whenever you get behind the wheel, there is a chance of being in a car accident not only with another vehicle, but also bicyclists. You can always reduce your chances of being involved in one when you are cautious and know the various dangers on the road. When you drive:

  • Check the sidewalks to make sure no bicyclists are around before turning onto a road
  • Always look both ways when you are merging onto a road
  • Drive within the speed limit at all times, especially in residential zones – residential zones often have many bicyclists and runners exercising
  • Be aware that many bicyclists may be listening to music on earphones and can’t hear cars driving by
  • Give bicyclists plenty of room when you are passing them in case they lose their balance and fall over

What To Do

Similar to a car accident, you should always write down the information of anyone you are in an accident with. When possible, write down the license plate, vehicle make and model, and name of the driver who crashed into you. You will need this information to inform authorities of what happened.

Additionally, be cautious of what you tell the driver that is at-fault or the police. If you say you’re not in pain and feeling alright and only later feel pain once the shock has settled, this can be used against you if you decide to file a claim. Anything you say can be misconstrued, so it is best to stay neutral and simply write down the information that you need.

Contact Us

If you are injured in a car accident while you were riding your bike, you may be able to receive compensation. We always offer free initial consultations to determine whether you may have a successful case. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 so that our experienced team of attorneys can help you.

Should You Sue For Food Poisoning?

Woman suffering from food poisoning with doctor next to herFood poisoning is a common ailment caused by contaminated, old, or poorly-stored foods. Bacteria and viruses including E. Coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Norovirus can be found in produce, meat, fish, dairy, or prepared meals.

This year, the FDA has issued recalls for certain brands of romaine lettuce, eggs, cut melon, along with several snack foods (only to name a few) for potentially being laced with such bacteria and viruses. Without refreshing the FDA’s recall list every day, it can be easy to overlook a new food recall. 

Symptoms are usually simply an inconvenience but can also be severe leading to hospitalization and in rare cases, death. Symptoms can be more severe for younger children and the elderly due to their weak immune systems. While you should always see a doctor if you believe that you have been food poisoned, there are certain considerations to take into account before filing suit. 

Extent Of Damages 

Minor food poisoning can entail multiple trips to the restroom and discomfort. With food poisoning being so common, these minor symptoms may not merit the time and expenses of a costly lawsuit. If you only feel minor discomfort, you should probably wait for the symptoms to pass with time. 

On the other hand, severe food poisoning can require professional medical care, overnight stays at the hospital, pain, and loss of income from not being able to work. Serious symptoms can include excessive vomiting, blood, extreme cramps, fever, cold sweats, dehydration, weakness, and blurry vision.

If you experience the more serious symptoms, that’s when you should see a doctor immediately and furthermore consider suing for the damages that you endured. In the case your family member passes away due to food poisoning, you can also file a wrongful death suit on behalf of them. 

Proof 

Likely the biggest obstacle that you will have to overcome is proving where the food poisoning originated from. You may not start feeling any symptoms until several hours or a few days have passed. Within that time, you will likely have eaten something else as well as eaten food before the meal you believe poisoned you.

Therefore, the food-provider will argue that the other food could have caused you to be poisoned, rather than the food you ate from him or her. 

Even if you have the food in your possession with the possibility of it being tested at a laboratory, a defendant can contend that you were the one negligent in storing the food or contaminating it with other food.

Typically, it will be several days that have gone by since the food was sold to you, so within that time, there can be multiple opportunities for food to be contaminated at home. The best ways you can prove the food poisoning was caused by a food-provider is if there was a product recall from the FDA or multiple other people were food poisoned after consuming the same food as you. 

Contact Us 

If you have been severely food poisoned and can prove that someone else is to blame for it, you should contact our team of experienced attorneys at The O’Brien Law Firm. The more time that passes without taking action will lessen your chances of receiving compensation, so contact us at (716) 907-7777 today so we can evaluate your case immediately. 

Contacting A Personal Injury Attorney After Sexual Abuse

Scared woman with hands over her ears and mouthBeing a victim of sexual and domestic abuse can naturally be traumatizing and can result in physical injuries as well as emotional distress.

Although you may be scared, feel violated, or embarrassed following sexual abuse, you should still speak to medical and legal professionals to protect yourself and receive compensation.

Each professional will most likely be understanding and help you fight back for your rights. 

Criminal V. Civil

Many people don’t realize that there is a difference between criminal and civil cases. Criminal cases are prosecuted by the state and may include jail or prison time, fines, and probation. On the other hand, civil cases are initiated from private individuals for actions such as assault and battery, breach of contract, or defamation (to name a few) so that a plaintiff can be compensated for expenses, reliance, and/or other damages. 

Specifically, sexual assault is a criminal offense that can be prosecuted. However, whether or not the defendant was found guilty or not, you can still file your own civil suit for your pain, suffering, emotional trauma, and future medical expenses.

There have been civil sexual abuse cases regarding medical professionals acting beyond the scope of the reason for the visit, domestic family-related abuse, and assault from random strangers. Whichever the situation, personal injury attorneys are capable to handle your sexual abuse case and will be there for you every step of the way. 

In a criminal case, the prosecution will have to prove a high burden that the defendant was guilty (beyond a reasonable doubt). This is because criminal cases entail incarceration among heightened fines.

However, civil cases have a lessened burden and victims will be more likely to prevail. An attorney will be able to discuss the different burdens to you and provide you with the support and counseling that you need to prevail. 

Moving Forward

As difficult as it seems, if you are a victim of sexual abuse, you need to stand up for yourself and receive the help necessary to achieve your goal. It is normal to be afraid or want to move past and forget the conflict so you can try to live your life free from abuse.

However, no one should feel ashamed for something that they did not bring about. As a victim, you are not at fault. On the contrary, the person who is guilty of causing you harm needs to be held responsible for your injuries. Pursuing your lawsuit will not only compensate you but may also prevent future harm to other victims. 

An attorney that you hire will be on your side and do everything in his or her power to make sure that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for the harm that was caused to you.

Additionally, you may want to file a restraining order or need monetary help to relocate away from the person who abused you. Attorneys can provide all that help and support and advise you on how to move forward. 

Contact Us

The O’Brien Law Firm understands that this is a difficult time for you and will be compassionate to help you overcome this situation. Our team will also be strong and fight for you because we believe you need to be compensated. Call us today at (716) 907-7777 for a free consultation.