Denver Legal Malpractice Blog

How to maintain your safety at intersections

Intersections are among the most common areas for car accidents, as they pose a variety of challenges to drivers. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to maintain your safety at intersections.

Here are five things you should always do:

  • Watch for pedestrians: For example, if someone is crossing the street in a crosswalk, stop until they reach the other side.
  • Know who has the right of way: If you don't know who has the right of way, you may be confused as to when you should stop and when you should continue driving.
  • Obey the rules of the road: Don't roll through a stop sign or blow through a yellow light that's about to turn red. Doing these things may sound harmless, but they increase the risk of an accident.
  • Watch the other driver: Don't assume that other drivers are following the rules of the road and paying attention. For instance, you may have a green light, but someone traveling from a crossroad could miss the red signal and strike the side of your vehicle.
  • Slow down: By slowing down, you give yourself more time to react, such as if a pedestrian darts out in front of your vehicle.

Memories constantly change, and that matters for criminal cases

Do you remember what you had for lunch last Monday? What about your Spring Break trip in college? What about Christmas morning when you were 12 years old?

You probably have all sorts of memories from different times in your life. You trust those memories. To you, they feel accurate and solid.

Is legal malpractice on the horizon? Common red flags

You hire a lawyer. Everything seems perfect at the first meeting. They seem interested in your case, engaged in the conversation and dedicated to helping you out. You hire them based on that gut feeling, and, though you know they cannot guarantee any specific outcome, you feel like they'll do their best to fight for you and your rights during the case.

Then things slowly start to fall apart. You're not even in court yet and you already feel like you're going to lose the case. You think your lawyer is to blame; they suddenly seem negligent and careless. You don't think they're going to work hard enough on your behalf and you think they might make critical errors that could cost you a winnable case.

Do you yield or do you stop?

While most people have a basic understanding of what to do at a stop sign and yield sign, you never know what type of situation you'll run into when you're behind the wheel.

With a stop sign, there is no gray area. You're expected to come to a full stop, assess the intersection and then decide how to safely proceed. Even if there are no vehicles around, you must still stop, as neglecting to do so can put other people, such as pedestrians, at risk.

These are among the top causes of car-pedestrian accidents

As a pedestrian, it's easy to become so comfortable with your surroundings that you assume nothing could ever go wrong. This is particularly true if you're familiar with the area in which you're walking, jogging or biking.

Unfortunately, a car-pedestrian accident can happen at any time, thus resulting in serious injuries or even death.

Did your attorney fail to provide adequate legal guidance?

When you hire an attorney to handle your legal issues, whether you need legal representation for a civil issue or to defend against a potential criminal charge, you entrust your future to the attorney that you hire. You expect your lawyer to understand the law and provide you with accurate and useful guidance about your legal issues.

In some cases, those facing criminal charges may not have much authority in the selection of the attorney involved. Instead, they will have to use a public defender assigned to them. Regardless of the nature of the relationship between you and the attorney, you have rights as the person depending on the lawyer for representation.

Should you follow a hit-and-run driver?

A driver runs a stop sign and slams into your car. Then you watch in shock as they back up and drive away from the scene. It's a hit-and-run.

Your instincts tell you to chase them down if your car still works. Otherwise, they're going to get away and you'll have to pay for all of this yourself. Maybe you already feel like you got hurt, and you want them brought to justice to cover the medical bills you know are in your future.

What are the most common motor vehicle accident injuries?

You don't have to be involved in a serious collision to suffer an injury as the result of a motor vehicle accident. In fact, a minor fender bender can result in a variety of injuries, all of which require immediate medical care.

Understanding the most common car accident injuries will allow you to administer first aid and receive the proper treatment should you find yourself in this position.

  • Back and neck injuries: For example, whiplash is common if your vehicle was struck from behind. Other back and neck injuries include spinal cord damage, broken vertebrae, sprains and strains.
  • Head injuries: A concussion is a common head injury that typically results from your head striking the dashboard, window or steering wheel. Other head injuries, such as a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain, are much more serious.
  • Broken bones: Every bone in your body is vulnerable to injury in a car accident. For example, broken legs and arms are common.
  • Abrasions and burns: These injuries are common in serious accidents, such as those in which one or more vehicles catch fire, or you are ejected from your car.

What does reckless driving look like?

Obeying the rules of the road is one of the easiest ways to reduce the chance of an accident. There are many forms of reckless driving, all of which you should avoid if you want to reach your destination safely.

Here are several examples of reckless driving:

  • Speeding: Every road has a speed limit, and you should do your best to obey it. Furthermore, excessive speeding, such as driving 15 miles per hour over the speed limit, greatly increases the risk of a crash.
  • Tailgating: The closer you drive to the vehicle in front of yours the less time you have to stop. This is reckless behavior because any situation that calls for an abrupt stop is likely to result in a rear-end collision.
  • Running a red light or stop sign: Traffic signals and stop signs are in place for a reason. If you neglect to stop when directed, you could be part of an intersection accident with one or more vehicles.
  • Illegal passing: There are many examples of this, such as passing in the right lane on the highway or crossing over a solid traffic line in a rural setting.

Did your lawyer have a conflict of interest?

You hire a lawyer and take your case to court. You feel good about it from the very beginning, and your lawyer seems positive. However, you then lose the case, and you get the sense that they did not do all they could to help you. At times, it even seemed like they were working against you or trying to sabotage the case.

Then you find out that your lawyer had a conflict of interest. And suddenly everything clicks. They were never really on your side from the beginning.

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