Archive for the ‘Legal Information’ Category

Preventing and Dealing with Pedestrian Car Accidents

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

According to National Safety Council more than 5,900 pedestrians are killed each year after being hit by cars on US roads and highways with another 85,000 that suffer non-fatal injuries. In fact, one pedestrian dies every two hours after being struck by a vehicle. Almost half of these accidents that resulted in death, 48% to be precise, involved pedestrians and drivers who had consumed alcohol or were under the influence.  Nearly 25% of the reported pedestrian accidents involve children under the age of 15 years of age.

In most situations, pedestrians have ‘right of way’. However, pedestrians are required to follow the given traffic rules which are put in place in order to protect them from car accidents. Unfortunately, car accidents that involve pedestrian mostly have dire consequences.

Who is at fault?

It is true that pedestrians have got the right of way but you shouldn’t assume that pedestrians can never be at fault when an accident occurs. Both pedestrians and drivers are required to practice caution on the roads and highways. The person who is found to be negligent in an auto vs pedestrian accident will be the one at fault.

There are many situations where a pedestrian may be considered at fault when an auto accident occurs. For instance, if the pedestrian did not respect the traffic control signals or was walking in a freeway, highway or bridge (where pedestrian access is not allowed), he/she will be considered to have contributed or caused the accident. There are states that will not allow a pedestrian to recover any damages from the driver if he/she is found to have caused or contributed to the accident. In other cases, both the pedestrian and driver are at fault.

What happens when you leave the accident scene?

 If you have been involved in an auto vs pedestrian accident, do not move unless you are certain that you don’t have any serious injuries. The shock you experience when the accident occurs can make victims not to feel any injuries they may have. Wait until an emergency response team can come and assist you.

If you are in a position to move then watch out for incoming traffic and move to the side of the road then call for emergency help. If you are able to, take a few photographs of the scene and any injuries you may have sustained and make note of the environmental and traffic conditions.

After the accident, the driver may face an insurance claim, a personal lawsuit and in some cases, criminal charges. If alcohol was a contributing factor then the driver will also have to answer DUI charges. If the pedestrian succumbs to death after being struck by a car, an intoxicated driver can be charged for manslaughter.

To avoid pedestrian accidents, drivers need to know ‘defense driving’ and utilize this knowledge when they see people walking, cycling or operating a wheelchair, rollerblade or scooter on the road. A driver needs to be attentive when children and older people are on the road because they are more likely to stray and pay less attention traffic signals. Those who are not inside a car are more exposed to greater injuries during an accident compared to drivers so give them time, space and notice to move out of your way.

Getting Arrested Can Happen to Anyone So Be Prepared

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Getting arrested is typically something most people don’t plan on happening.   However if it does happen to you, there are some things to keep in mind that may help you deal with the situation.

First off resisting arrest regardless of cause or reason for the arrest may lead to more serious charges and less likely the officer will provide further information on the reasons for the arrest.  Try to remain calm and listen to the officers instructions while trying to gather as much information from the officer as to the reason and cause for the arrest.  Perhaps the only legitimate reason to resist an arrest is if the person making the arrest does not appear to be a police officer providing proper identification which leads you to suspect the person is impersonating an officer.  Make sure to get the name and badge number of the officer making the arrest for that reason.

If ultimately the reasons for your arrest are not justified as determined by a judge or court of law, the actions and information provided by the officer at the time of the arrest may be the basis upon which you can file charges against the officer and/ or police department for false or unlawful arrest.  This happens more often in the case of an arrest by a private security guard where there is insufficient evidence or just cause to physically detain someone, such as in the case of shoplifting.

You have the right to remain silent if you are arrested because what you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present if the officer decides to ask you any questions or conduct an investigation.  The only person you should talk to or give information to is a lawyer. At that time the lawyer will look over information and protect you in any way needed as well as help get you released from custody. Make sure that you have a lawyer in mind that you can contact in case this happens to you or a loved one.

After you are arrested they will get your finger prints and then book you. They will take your pictures and then put you in a holding cell. If you have done nothing wrong, they will release you within 24 hours depending on the situation. If they arrested you for a specific reason, you will be transported to the jail, and then the next business day you will see a judge. At this point you can be held in jail for a few months before a hearing and at that time is when you can post bail to be released until the court date.  Contact a Bail Bond agent to help you sort through the process and get out of jail.


War on Public Safety and The Bail Industry

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

The Justice Policy Institute (JPI) has declared a War on Public Safety by going after the commercial bail system. Bail is an Eight Amendment right which protects the “innocent until proven guilty” from being held in custody, on excessive bail, prior to trial. JPI suggestions sound very altruistic and “warm and fuzzy”, but the truth is that their plan will put more and more of the public in danger from the criminal element, while costing U.S. Tax Payers millions of more dollars; at a time when our governments are already near, if not in, bankruptcy!

Dr. Dennis A. Bartlett, Executive Director of the American Bail Coalition has summarized this attack, exposing the lies and misrepresentations of the JPI claims:

There is  a war being waged on the criminal justice system.  This is a war being funded by government agencies on the bail industry. A war being waged with taxpayer dollars against the bail industry that produces  revenue for states and local communities.  A war being waged that adversely impacts our communities’ public safety interests.

  • Did you know that violent career criminals are being released from jail on nothing but a promise to return for their court dates?
  • Did you know that your tax dollars are used to fund these releases? 
  • Did you know that almost 30% of those people released on a “promise” never show up to court? 
  • Did you know that no one goes after those people to bring them back? 
  • Did you know that the only way these persons are returned to custody is when they are ultimately re- arrested for additional crimes…thus creating another crime victim in the process?
  • Did you know that there is a method of pretrial release that doesn’t cost taxpayers anything? 
  • Did you know that there is a method of pretrial release that ensures that 99% of those released make it to court…and that for those who do not make it to court, it pays a financial penalty to the county?

If you answered “No” to any of the above questions, then you will want to read the following document. Over the past few months, The Justice Policy Institute has released two separate whitepapers designed to criticize and attack the commercial bail bonding industry, or “Money Bail” system as they refer to it. Both of these so called “research” documents are not only riddled with anti-bail propaganda, but also are filled with misinformation, unchecked facts and baseless claims against private businesses. Even simple things like the names and locations of specific counties are misrepresented (i.e., Broward County Texas…there is no such county). In response, the American Bail Coalition (ABC) thought it important to clarify and correct the many misrepresentations found in these publications. This document is a critical analysis of the two JPI whitepapers. It points out the many deceptions being promulgated by JPI, and also provides real facts, quotes and statistics that support the existence of commercial bail bonding as the most effective form of pretrial release. We have identified 18 key deceptions in the JPI documents. Each of these deceptions is identified and responded to with what we call a “Bail Truth.” Also provided at the end of this document, as an Appendix, is a list of questions that every citizen, county commissioner, judge, law enforcement official, legislator, etc. should be asking about their county’s Pretrial Service Agency. From the risk assessment methodology they say is being used to how their performance is measured, we think that every taxpayer and community member has the right to know these things. More Information on the  War on Public Safety from the  American Bail Coalition