Category: Legal Branding

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Distracted driving accidents in and around Milwaukee

After being injured in a car accident in Milwaukee that was caused by a distracted driver, you’re confused and hurt. You’re physically unable to work, and the medical bills continue to accrue. At the Groth Law Firm, our Milwaukee car accident lawyers provide effective and compassionate representation of men, women and children who have been injured in car accidents in and around Milwaukee.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, distracted driving consists of any number of activities that take a driver’s attention off of the roadway. Those can consist of:

  • Using a mobile or navigational device
  • Changing radio stations or CDs
  • Looking for something inside of the car
  • Eating
  • Grooming

When we’re driving a car, we’re required to use three cognitive activities. Those are:

  • Manual using your hands and feet
  • Visual by keeping your eyes on the road
  • Cognitive in keeping your mind on what you’re doing

Texting while driving
Keeping those cognitive activities in mind, it’s then clear that texting while driving is the most dangerous distraction. It requires a driver to take his or her hands off of the wheel and their eyes off of the road while concentrating on something a world away from driving. As per the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, if you take your eyes off of the road for five seconds to read or send a text message at 55 mph, you’re traveling the length of a football field. Anything can happen in front of you in those five seconds. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reports that there were 24,089 distracted driving accidents in Wisconsin in 2015. Those accounted for 20 percent of all motor vehicle accidents statewide. That translates into a distracted driving crash occurring every 22 minutes in Wisconsin.

Your rights
Pursuant to Wisconsin law, if you’ve been injured in an auto accident as a result of the carelessness and negligence of a distracted driver, you may have the right to obtain compensation for damages. Those may include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Past and future lost earnings
  • Any permanent disfigurement
  • Any permanent disability
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of a normal life

Preserving your rights
Sometime after the accident the opposing insurer might contact you and ask for a statement about how the crash occurred. Never give any type of a statement to an opposing insurer. Your under no legal obligation to give a statement, and it’s likely that the insurer will only try to use it against you in the future. Call us first. If we’re retained, you’ll never hear from that insurance company again.

If you were injured in a distracted driving accident, or if a family member perished in one anywhere in Wisconsin, contact the Groth Law Firm in Milwaukee at 877-375-7001. Consultations and case evaluations are free, and if you’re injuries don’t permit you to travel to us, we’ll come visit you. Don’t worry about having to pay a cash retainer. That’s because we don’t get paid until we obtain a settlement or verdict for you.

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Three Facts About Disability and How They Affect You Personally

Being disabled without money coming into the home can be a nightmare. Those who are recently unable to work may find themselves with more questions than answers. If you are wondering about filing for Social Security benefits, you may have a great deal of angst regarding the process. Most things about the process are common knowledge; however, there are some things that are not talked about as much. You may not be aware of things that can affect you personally.

1. Everyone Has A Five Month Waiting Period

The waiting period is something that many do not consider when filing for disability benefits. First, you must be disabled for at least 12 months or expect to be off work for the next 12 months to qualify. After you have been approved, no benefits will be paid for the first five months. You actually won’t get anything until the sixth month.

The Social Security Administration goes back to the date of your disability. For instance, if you were disabled on February 1, 2017, you will not get a check until August of 2017. There is no way around this waiting period, and it is difficult for those who are suddenly disabled. Most people are owed back pay when they receive their benefits, and they do not feel the pain of losing those five months. However, if you get approved right away, you may be waiting a few months to get any money.

2. If Your Need Is Great, Then Your Case May Be Fast Tracked!

The Social Security Administration has identified the need for some people to receive benefits right away. If the applicant has a certain illness, their application may be picked to be “fast tracked.” Social Security can speed up the process when they feel a Quick Disability Determinations or a Compassionate Allowance is needed. About 60,000 applicants each year will be fast tracked. This means that the benefits can be approved in as little as three months.

The Administration just added 52 new illnesses to the list in 2011. So, they are aware of the suffering caused from those who wait for benefits for years. However, the waiting period still applies in most cases. Talk to an attorney from the Summit Disability Law Group to see if your condition is on the “fast track” list.

3. You Can Collect Both Disability and SSI Payments

Many people do not know that you can collect both SSDI and SSI. SSI is a need-based program that is used to supplement income when SSDI payments are low. All the figures are based on an average on your wage history. If you make less than a certain amount a month, then they will also give you an SSI check to help supplement your income.

While it is not a huge check, it is enough to help you cover your bills. Some people who collect both SSDI and SSI also qualify for food stamps and a medical card to help pay for incidentals. Everyone who gets SSDI gets Medicare, but they are required to pay a spin down and get supplemental insurance. Those who collect SSI on top of it will receive Medicaid and not have to pay anything.

Legal Counsel Can Help

Filing for disability can be a difficult time. It is best to have an attorney representing you during this process. Whether you are approved right away or need to go to a hearing, you will need the extra support from a legal representative. There are timelines, waiting periods, and plenty of questions that clients are concerned with. Do not try to maneuver the disability program alone, get professional help from someone that knows the ins and outs of filing for Social Security Disability.

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Tips for Keeping Teen Drivers Safe on The Road

When you have a baby, you’ll spend the rest of your life trying to protect that child. And you’ll worry forever, especially when they are able to drive a car. You can’t keep them little forever, and unfortunately, you can’t keep them in a bubble. But you can do your best to help protect your child when he’s on the road, and as such we would like to provide you with some tips on how you can keep your teen safe while he’s on the road.

Teen Driver Safety Week

Each year, there is a designated National Teen Driver Safety Week. This is to bring attention to the fact that teenage driving is very dangerous. It’s estimated that thousands of teenagers are involved in deadly car accidents each year. It is very important for adults to help reinforce proper driving technique and behavior because teen drivers are the least experienced drivers on the road.

Display Proper Driving Habits

Parents and guardians of teenagers should help to teach teenagers the proper driving techniques as they help their teen learn to drive. There are so many distractions that are vying for a teenagers attention that they tend to lose focus on what’s important. Helping to teach your teenager basic and safe driving etiquette to avoid car accidents is vital. Some safety tips to pass along to your teenager include:

-Implementing a no-cell phone use rule while driving. Find a punishment and follow through when you find out your teenager has not followed this rule.

-Not allowing your teen to have extra passengers in the car.

-Make sure your teenagers know the importance of driving at a safe speed limit.

-Teach your teen the dangers of drinking and driving.

-Make sure your teenager knows to always wear his seat belt and that he should encourage his passengers to do the same.

Consider Other Drivers on The Road

You will also want to help your teen better understand the other drivers on the road by implementing the following tips:

-Teach him to not drive like he owns the road, but to drive like he owns the car.

-Never make assumptions about what other drivers are going to do. For example, don’t assume a driver with a turn signal on is actually going to turn. He could have just forgotten to turn it off.

-Be on alert for aggressive drivers, and try to stay out of their way, as they are generally the cause of many accidents.

– Never swerve into someone’s lane or pull out in front of anyone. Give that person plenty of room.
These tips are basic and somewhat repetitive, but they need to be reinforced because you’re not only creating a safe teen driver now, but you are helping to build lifelong skills for later.

For more information on safe teen driving, or if your teenager has been injured in an accident, please visit http://www.ladahlaw.com/las-vegas-car-accident-lawyer to learn more about our law firm and experienced team.

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Common ADA Violations That Lead To Lawsuits

The ADA, or Americans With Disabilities Act, was passed back in 1990. This Act requires that businesses become accessible to those with disabilities. Although most businesses have taken the initiative to become more accessible, others haven’t. This has lead to a surge in the number of ADA violation lawsuits. The most common of these are listed below.

No Handicap Accessible Entrances 

It’s required that every business serving the public have a ramp or other form of accessible entrance to their facility. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t matter the age of the building, all businesses must be compliant. Those stores who have stairway entrances or high lips on the doorways are finding themselves being sued by angry individuals who can’t gain access to their doors.

No ADA Accessible Bathrooms 

In some cases, individuals can make it inside public businesses but do not have access to a public bathroom. This is the second biggest problem that handicapped individuals face at public places. To avoid being sued it’s best to have a commercial ADA Compliance inspection company come in and advise you on the issues that you have. It’s best to trust a professional to give you the exact details of what you need to do to be compliant.

No ADA Van-Accessible Parking Spaces 

For those who enjoy their independence, having a van-accessible parking spot where they exit their vehicle via a ramp is important. Businesses are required to have at least one ADA parking stall that has room for a ramp. Using signs as well as pavement markings is highly advised as snow can easily cover the parking spaces.

Unnecessary Firing or Not Hiring Due To Disability 

It’s part of the Americans With Disabilities Act that a disabled person may not be fired due to their disability. In addition, those in charge of hiring new people can’t discourage hiring an individual due to their disability. This is a general law that encompasses the fairness of those with disabilities having access to various jobs.

It’s important to note that there are specific occasions where businesses can’t be compliant with the law. For example, a boss for a construction company can’t be found at fault for not hiring a quadriplegic that wants to apply for a construction worker job. This law is mean to protect the right of the disabled but also to be followed on the grounds of common sense.

Refusing Service Dogs Access

According to the ADA, a business must allow a service dog access to wherever their owner goes. Any business that forces a service dog and its owner out of their establishment can be sued for violating the ADA. While there are certification papers that verify a dog is a service dog under the law, disabled owners are not required to procure these papers for any businesses.

If you are a business owner, you should ensure that you are following all the regulations set forth in the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990. This will help you to avoid unnecessary lawsuits and keep your business open for all those with disabilities.

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You Should Have This Conversation with Your Spouse Before Filing for Divorce

Family-Law-Banner-42

The average divorce rate in America is 50 percent of first marriages and 67 percent of second marriages. With such staggering statistics, it is easy to see why the divorce courts are full. However, what you do not see is the numerous statistics that talk about the couples that divorce and remarry the same person again. According to a survey, two out of every divorced couple will remarry or rekindle their romance. They say that breaking up is a hard thing to do, and according to the numbers, you should ask yourself these three questions before calling a divorce lawyer.

  1. Am I Still In Love?

Though love is not the only thing that matters in a relationship, if you still love this person, then you need to reconsider. There are other options available to work through troubles. Many couples have had great success with marriage counseling. Do not be so willing to throw away the love of your life, especially if there is something that can be done. Many people will not even try counseling or any other options. They just assume that when it is over, it is over. However, it is when they are away from each other, for a few months, that they change their tune. You can save yourself a great deal of heartache and money to find this out before you are divorced. Find out why it is not working, and fix it.

  1. Can I Live Without Them?

You form comforts around knowing the other person is going to be there. You know that when you are in trouble they will come running. Some people try a trial separation to see how things go. In many cases, it is hard to live with them, but it is impossible to live without them. Being apart for a season may help put things into perspective.

 

  1. Am I Ready To Move On?

Everyone must get to that place where they are ready to move on. Can you live with seeing your ex-husband or wife with another person? Most people will date new people and move on with their life. However, it is often the case that the previous relationship cannot handle this. If there are children involved, it can make it especially difficult. You will be tied to this person for life. Seeing them with their new wife or husband will be a reality you must face. Are you ready to move on to a life without them? If not, find out why.
If you can honestly answer all of these questions in favor of a divorce, it is best to get an attorney to help. Having a lawyer to handle the divorce will take some of the pressure from you. They will represent your interests in dividing the marital assets, and they will ensure that you get a fair deal. Be careful about filing a divorce without a lawyer, especially if you have assets. You need someone on your side to handle the paperwork, and they will also be a shoulder to lean on during this difficult time.

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Motorcycle Safety, a Rider’s Prerogative

motorcycle-accident

Motorcycle accidents account for a higher number of fatalities compared to car related causalities. In the United States, the government in 2014 released accident reports and estimated that motorcycle deaths stood at 27 times more than those that were car related per mile covered. In considering injuries aside from deaths, most motorcycle accident victims account for a larger portion of those suffering from major injuries such as concussions, spine injuries, lacerations, sprains, and sprains. If you have been involved in a motorcycle accident, click here to learn about your legal options. Here are key safety considerations.

Motor-Cycle Safety Training

The training is more than an education session where you pass your exam, get a driving license course. It is crafted to ensure riders get to understand the various traffic regulations including response measures to different emergency situations. The course further goes on to elaborate on bike maintenance, better ways to avoid dangerous situations and the best countermeasures to situations such as skidding. As much as the programs are tailored on improving bikers’ confidence, it is a great measure in the safety campaign.

Helmet Up

Dressing up in a helmet is safety 101, and its importance cannot be overemphasized. However, other considerations to have emerged as equally crucial. The first is the size of the helmet. It is recommended that you, as a rider find a perfect fit helmet and one that does not obstruct your view. As a second consideration is that the full-face helmets are safer than those lacking the chin protection. Opting for a trendier helmet as opposed to the recommended full-face fit will prove a costly option in the event of a face-first accident. It is prudent for one to go for the approved helmet by the Department of Transportation.

Respect The Weather

Riding in a storm, a snowy condition or that icy road has a catastrophic end. Riding on two wheels has less traction against that of a car, and this poses a more risky situation. If any of these conditions would ever be your situation, forget the bike and find an alternative transportation means to your destination.

Have Enough Braking Distance

In comparing to a car, the braking effort is less and has a more stable feel as compared to a motorbike. That being the case, bikers are advised to consider having a generous stopping distance so as to have a gradual deceleration. An abrupt stop could lead to a nasty fall on the asphalt. Investing on anti-lock brakes also improves on the safer braking experience and thus a worthwhile selection.

Use the Right Biking Gear

Looking at the bike speeds on the road and imagining that they bump into pebbles, bugs and all that the wind carries, it should sting. Protective gear has been developed as a safeguard against this. Most are familiar with leather jackets, which are good but much lighter and vented jackets are a newer trend that also pays attention to biker safety.

Feet Protection

Flip-flops and soft-soled shoes are a big no-no in bike riding. Shifting gears will need grip and a fast response that only closed, rugged-soled shoes provide. In another light, there is a risk of getting burned from the engine’s heat at your feet if one puts on open-ended shoes. So, the next time you are on a bike, do have a second look at your footwear.

Avoid all Distractions

Phone use is the number one distraction on roads. For bikers, the use of earphones is included in the list of distractions. Riders are advised to refrain from using earphones at all costs. Some bikers steer with one hand as a show of prowess. This is a risky move as one’s control, and the braking ability is greatly compromised.
Safety starts with you as a biker. Always remember this.

 

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To Mom: How to Keep your Kids Safe While Playing Sports

What You Can Do to Keep Your Active Kids Safe While Playing Sports

It is important for children to be physically active, and sports are a great way for your kids to get the exercise they need. Sports are also helpful for a child’s teamwork skills and social and cognitive development. Even with these many benefits of sports, there are potential hazards, especially the risk of a physical injury. You can take these three actions to keep your kids safe while they play sports.

Provide Your Child with the Proper Equipment

An important first step in keeping your kids safe while they play sports is providing them with the proper equipment. If your child is young and new to a sport, it could be tempting to purchase a secondhand face mask or helmet. However, this could put your child’s life at risk. An old helmet could have interior damage with the protective foam. Some pieces of equipment, such as shoes and helmets, should be purchased new and upgraded as your child grows. Other pieces of equipment, such as a baseball bat or a tennis racket, could be purchased secondhand with no risk to your child’s health or safety. Make sure that your child is assessed for fit by someone who is experienced. The fit of a soccer cleat is different than the fit of a rock climbing shoe.

Check Out the Sports Facility

Many kids’ sports games take place on a public field. Try to take a walk around the field before each game or practice and check for obvious hazards such as a hole or a loose drain cover. Some kids play sports at a facility, such as in an indoor basketball court or gymnastics center. You may wish to check on the facility’s inspection results and licensing status before enrolling your child in lessons or a sports league. Old, dated equipment, peeling paint, loose bolts or rust are all signs that the facility may not be providing safe equipment for your child to use. If the facility where your kids play sports is not up to code or has not been recently inspected, consider contacting a Manhattan injury attorney. You may be able to protect your child’s rights if the facility where your child plays sports was not properly maintaining its equipment or grounds.

Make Sure Coaches and Trainers Are Certified

Anyone coaching a child’s sport or providing training to a child in a sport should be certified by the governing authority of the sport. For example, Little League baseball coaches should be in good standing with the league. Check on whether or not the coach and staff are certified in CPR and first aid. Stay during your child’s practices and games. Watch your child for signs of fatigue. According to the WebMD website, a child is more likely to experience an injury if he or she is already tired and worn out from frequent or intense practices, training sessions or a particularly long game. If you see that your child has had enough, do not hesitate to step in and say something. It is better to deal with an annoyed coach than an injured child.

Keeping Kids Safe

Preventing an injury is much easier on you and your child compared to dealing with the aftermath. Commonsense on the field can prevent many sports injuries, as can wearing the right equipment and training with an experienced coach. If your child does experience an injury, it is important to seek care first and consider taking legal actions after that.

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Three Signs a Loved One Suffers from Domestic Violence

Every relationship is different, and not every couple can get along perfectly all the time. It’s difficult to watch a loved one struggle in an unhappy relationship and let them work it out on their own. However, when disagreements escalate into domestic violence, the situation changes. Many victims of domestic violence need help to escape their abuser. In North Carolina, contacting a Raleigh Domestic Violence Attorney could give your loved one the insight they need to recognize the fact they are in a destructive relationship. Following are three common signs that a loved one might need intervention and help to escape from a domestic violent situation.

Isolation from family, friends, and other support systems

Domestic violence is a crime of isolation. The abuser needs to maintain complete control and power over the victim, and that isn’t possible if the victim has a support system in place. Slowly and subtly over time, many abusers cut their victims off from their family and friends until they reach a point where there is no one they can turn to. Isolation from friends and family keeps the victim dependent on their abuser emotionally, financially, and often physically. If your loved one has quit their job or schooling and slowly over time cut ties with everyone they were once close to, this may be a sign that there is domestic violence and the victim has reached the point where they are unable to reach out for help.

Loss of self-esteem and self-confidence

Emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence where constant belittling and criticism wears away at the victim’s self-esteem. Humiliation, name calling, and constant insults are all ways the abuser controls the victim and chips away at their self-confidence. Denying the abuse ever took place is another tactic the abuser uses to make the victim question their own sense of reality and whether they are being too sensitive or overly dramatic.

Abusers can shift the blame for the abuse back on to the victim. Abusers can make their victims feel responsible for their situation. They may be embarrassed and feel shame that they are not “good enough” to prevent their abuse. Many victims feel like they deserve the abuse or they instigated it. This also makes it hard for them to reach out for help when they feel like they could have prevented it if they could just be a better person.

Showing fear of their partner or the situation

No one should live in fear of their partner or their partner’s reaction. If your loved one is walking on eggshells around their partner for fear that they might say or do something that will set them off, this could be a clear sign that they are abused. Often victims do not know when or what will trigger their partner’s temper, so they live in constant fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. Many abusers use intimidation to control their partners. Threats to hurt pets, children, or their victims are all ways to exert control. Abusers can even threaten to hurt themselves as a way to punish their victims and make them feel like everything is their fault.

Summary

Most relationships do not start out as abusive. The abuse starts slowly and builds over time to the point when often the victim doesn’t even recognize that they are being abused until it gets physical. If you suspect a loved one is in an abusive relationship, intervention could be their only hope.

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Minding These Precautions Will Keep You Safe While Shopping in Times Square

Times Square is a favorite destination for shoppers. While visiting, not only will you be able to shop at a variety of outlets, you will be able to tour historic sites and enjoy diverse entertainment options. While Times Square is an impressive place to visit, it can also be potentially dangerous. As it is a bustling area, you as a shopper have many potential hazards to watch out for. Even if you do your best to avoid some of the dangers in Times Square, you may still fall victim of an accident. If you experience a New York sidewalk injury, you have legal options you can pursue. Meanwhile, when shopping in Times Square, be sure to mind these precautions.

Stay Away from Construction Sites

Several news outlets have reported falling debris in Time Square, injuring pedestrians as they walked by. In 2013, a plywood construction wall fell on two women. Two other pedestrians were injured when a 10-foot metal beam fell from 100 feet above them.

While shopping in Times Square, be aware of all construction zones. Take note of where construction is actively happening and where construction is currently on pause. It is especially important to be aware of the surroundings immediately around you as well as what is happening in the buildings above you. Keeping your distance from these sites will keep you safe.

Be Extra Careful Near the Subway Tracks

In 2015, a man was rescued by police when he fell onto the tracks in the Times Square subway station. Although he was conscious, the man stated that he “had no idea what had happened.” This is concerning because it means that this could happen to anyone at a moment’s notice. As you arrive in Times Square to begin your shopping or as you get ready to leave, do not get too close to the tracks. This should protect you from this particularly dangerous type of slip and fall.

Be Aware of Traffic

The Wall Street Journal reported that there were fewer traffic injuries in Times Square since the city built a pedestrian plaza in 2009. However, that does not mean that the area is perfectly safe from these types of accidents. In 2015, two tourist buses collided, injuring 14 people. While this does not mean you should avoid these tourist buses at all costs on your shopping trip, be aware of where the traffic is. Follow pedestrian rules when walking around the city.

Visit During Slow Tourism Seasons

Times Square gets crowded. New York City is a largely populated city and a common tourist destination. With more people around, you will have less visibility of damages to sidewalks and other tripping hazards. You are more likely to bump into other tourists and shoppers as well. If you are planning a shopping trip to Times Square and would like to visit at a less populated time, the quietest time of the year is January through February. However, you must contend with the cold and the additional slipping hazards of ice and snow. Avoid the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas if congestion is a problem for you. You may want to try planning your shopping trip in Times Square in the early fall to experience a happy medium.

Don’t let some of these hazards scare you away from visiting an exciting city full of a lot of shopping potential. Enjoy your time in Times Square. If you are aware of your surroundings, you are sure to have a satisfying and safe experience.

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Steps to Take Following an Automobile Accident

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One of the most devastating things some people ever have to go through is an automobile accident. Some accidents are less severe than others, with just the car being damaged in the collision. Other accidents affect the drivers and passengers who may need to go to the hospital for medical treatment. Getting into a car accident is horrifying, but there are ways to correct the issue and move on so that you can heal from the experience.

What to Do at the Time of an Accident

If you get into a car accident and are able to get out of the vehicle, you need to call local police and exchange insurance information with the other driver. Oftentimes, the police officer will take details of the accident so that you can use this as proof to the insurance provider of what happened. You’ll notice on the back of your insurance card that it states you should never assume responsibility of an accident. This is a safe bet even if you feel you were actually the one at fault. Let the insurance company determine who was at fault for the accident. The moment you assume full responsibility, you’re the one left holding the bag. If you were injured in an accident, you need to wait for medical professionals to come and assess your situation before trying to get out of the car.

Dealing with Car Damage

Car damage is dealt with through the insurance companies. The insurance company will send out an inspection expert after you get into an accident. They’ll assess the damage and give you a specific amount they’ll cover for the damages sustained. You can save money by taking your car to one of their insurance auto shops, but you can go to any shop you like and still get reimbursed. If you were at fault for the accident, your insurance premium could go up because you are now responsible for repairing not only your car, but the other driver’s car as well.

Getting a Car Accident Attorney Involved

For anyone injured in an automobile accident, you need to consider getting a car accident attorney involved. You can find an attorney by visiting the website of TJ Smith, where you can learn about your legal rights following an automobile accident. Car accident attorneys work with victims to ensure that they get the compensation that they need. Oftentimes, when you’re in an accident, you are off work for a period of time that could affect your income and quality of living. You might have medical expenses that your insurance provider won’t cover and don’t know how to pay for these bills. In these cases, an accident attorney will work to get you money so that the accident is just a minor problem and not something that overtakes your life.

Learning How to Heal

Once you receive compensation and have had your car repaired, it’s time to move on. If you were the one at fault for the accident, it might be a smart idea to take a defensive driving course to brush up on your driving skills. If you were hit by someone who was driving recklessly, you need to realize that it’s safe to drive and to not be afraid to get back out on the road. It’s not uncommon for a car accident victim to be hesitant to get behind the wheel again. Therapy can help people in this situation, but the real issue is that you need to just get back out there and drive. One bad experience shouldn’t deter you from enjoying a life of convenience and happiness.