NY Accident Lawyer Recommends Free Online Resource to “Sketch” an Accident Scene

AccidentSketch-demo-shotFree is ALWAYS good in my book!

There is a great new FREE resource available to all New York and Pennsylvania car accident victims. AccidentSketch is a online utility that anyone can use to graphically document a car accident. The service is free and doesn’t even require registration!

Why Drawing an Accurate Accident Sketch is Important

Insurance companies, courts and lawyers all require detailed depictions of an accident to successfully resolve claims for compensation. Often there will be disputes about where each car involved in an accident was prior to, during or after the car crash. Ther may be disputes about the direction of travel for each car. There may be disputes about what car had the right of way at the time of the accident.

Experienced accident lawyers know that working with an accident sketch is a great way for your clients to discuss with you the details of EXACTLY how an accident occurred.

I discovered the existence of the AccidentSketch service through the Lifehacker weblog. I think it is a fantastic tool to ease the process of making an accurate accident report – and it puts the means in the hands of the people who were involved in the crash. AccidentSketch is one of those tools that is essential, once you know it’s out there.

One Warning!

Because it is critically important that an accident sketch be as accurate as possible, I would strongly urge anyone who was injured in a car accident to consult with an experienced accident lawyer BEFORE submitting an accident scene sketch to any insurance company. Why? Because anything you submit to an insurance company, even your own insurance company, may be used against you by the insurance company for the other driver involved in your accident. Accordingly, you want to make certain that the sketch is 100% accurate and there is nothing in the sketch that might shoot you in the foot…..

How AccidentSketch works

The software is amazingly simple to use. All of the standard road elements are already created – just put them together like a puzzle to recreate the circumstances of an accident.

First, you select road “pieces” to map an accurate depiction of the road, be it a curve, a urn, an intersection or other type of street. The pieces drag and snap into a grid at a scale of 1:100.

Then select your vehicle type (trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians are also options) and place it in the road map you created. You can choose vehicle colors and input license plate numbers.

Continue to add vehicles and other details, such as traffic signs, lights, arrows, braking marks and more, until you have an accurate drawing of your accident.

You may even create a time-lapse version of the accident, by placing multiple images of vehicles on the map and using arrows to show their courses of action.

To complete your account of the accident, AccidentSketch allows you to type in a text report, where you can explain the accident in depth.

At this point, without paying a fee and with minimum effort, you will have a detailed, accurate and easy-to-follow accident report that will be invaluable information in settling insurance claims or a court case. Check out this sample: AccidentSketch-example.

Thanks for reading,
Jim
_________________________________________
James B. Reed, Esq.
New York Accident Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
mailto:[email protected] http://www.zifflaw.com

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We Know Texting is Dangerous; New York Finally Makes it Illegal

texting while drivingNew York Gov. David Paterson recently signed off on legislation banning texting or the use of a keypad on any electronic device while driving. The ban starts November 1.

Research, informed communities and an unfortunate number of accidents, particularly involving teenagers, have led to this important law.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute recently released the results of a study about distracted driving. Their research found that “dialing a cell phone or merely reaching for an electronic device boosted the risk of an accident about six times in cars and trucks.”

The study also found that truckers who sent a text message were 23 times more likely to have an accident.

Some critics argue that the law will be difficult to enforce and lacks bite. The maximum penalty for breaking the new statewide law is a $150 fine that can only be applied if the driver also committed another infraction.

Advocates contend that the legislation is better late than never. New York made the hand-held use of cellphones while driving illegal eight years ago. The ban does send the message that distracted driving is dangerous. Including New York, 18 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting.

Pennsylvania is also looking at a texting ban, as the federal government becomes more likely to link highway funding to states’ willingness to apply the law. There are sure to be more states joining the movement as the year passes.

“The risks associated with texting while driving are well documented,” Paterson said in an announcement about the law. “As we learn more and more about just how dangerous this practice can be, I urge all New Yorkers to drive with caution and get in the habit of putting their cell phones away while driving to protect their own lives and the lives of others.”

Thanks for reading,
Jim
_________________________________________
James B. Reed, Esq.
New York Car Accident Lawyer & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
mailto:[email protected] http://www.zifflaw.com

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New York Social Security Disability Attorney Explains BEST

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...
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And by the title, I don’t mean that I explain best. I can only try to do that. What I want to explain is that the Social Security Administration offers an online Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) that allows you to find out what benefits for which you may be eligible.

BEST will screen for eligibility for Medicare, Social Security Disability, Social Security Retirement, Social Security Survivors’ Benefits, Special Veterans’ Benefits and Supplemental Security Income.

According to the Social Security Administration, it should only take 5 to 10 minutes to answer the questions. So before you buy that book about what you might qualify for, by the guy in the question-mark suit, try BEST.

Thanks for reading,
Eric

___________________________________________
Eric L. Johnson, Esq.
Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel: (607) 733-8866
Fax: (607) 732-6062
Toll Free: 1-800-943-3529
Email: [email protected]
Web: http://www.zifflaw.com

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Tioga County, PA Fatal Car Crash Due to Alcohol Claims A Young Life

Map of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania highlight...

Despite all the strides that have been made toward educating young drivers about the dangers of drinking and driving it seems that all too often we read news accounts of young passengers or drivers needlessly dying due to drunken driving. A very sad example of this continuing problem is the news that a sixteen year old passenger, Stacey Lynn Crowley from Wellsboro, PA was killed on Route 287 in Pine Township, Lycoming County, PA just south of the Tioga County line.

Police were considering filing charges against a Trout Run man who was driving a pickup truck that crashed late Friday night, killing a Wellsboro High School senior who was riding in the back seat.
Stacey Lynn Crowley, 16, of Woodland Avenue in Wellsboro, died when the pickup truck she was riding in crashed along Route 287 in Lycoming County’s Pine Township. Lycoming County Chief Deputy Coroner Mark Lusk pronounced Crowley dead at the scene of the 10:12 p.m. crash in Lycoming County’s Pine Township.

Two other occupants of the 1994 Mazda pickup truck — driver Justin Sherman, 21 and Colin Campbell, 20, both of Trout Run — were listed in fair condition on Saturday at Williamsport General Hospital.

Lycoming County Coroner Chuck Kiessling said it appeared that alcohol was a factor in the crash.

“It seems like it,” Kiessling said. “But I don’t have any numbers yet.”

Kiessling said he would order an autopsy on Crowley at Lehigh Valley Medical Center in Allentown if police file charges of motor vehicle homicide against Sherman.

“I’m expecting charges to be filed,” Kiessling said Saturday afternoon. “I’m waiting to hear from the DA and the state police.”

State Trooper Sean Cooney wrote in a press release that Sherman was driving the Mazda pickup truck south on Route 287 and lost control of the vehicle. It traveled off the east side of the highway and flipped onto its left side, ejecting Crowley and Campbell, who was pinned partially underneath the vehicle, police wrote.

The lesson to be learned by all of us is simple– under no circumstances should you drink and drive!

Thanks for reading,

Jim Reed
NY and PA accident and injury lawyer
[email protected]

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How to Hire the RIGHT Accident Lawyer for YOU

My dad was a Plumber and my summers spent working with him taught me many valuable lessons. Perhaps one of the most important lessons I learned was that there is the “right tool for the right job”. My father couldn’t stand to see someone using a wrench as a hammer or a screwdriver as a pry bar. If I heard it once, I heard it 1,000 times, “Use the right tool for the right job”.

Picking the RIGHT lawyer for your case is just like that. In every city, there are hundreds if not thousands of lawyers and it’s virtually impossible for anyone to know who they should hire as their attorney. I am shocked and amazed that given the importance of choosing the RIGHT attorney, that many people literally pick the first attorney they see on TV or in the phone book.

While I view it as a necessary part of my business that I advertise on TV and in the phone book, I would not for one moment suggest to anyone that the fact that I advertise like this means that I am the right lawyer for YOU.

I strongly believe that the choice of a lawyer is a very important one and I therefore urge you to keep the following suggestions in mind when you pick the RIGHT lawyer for YOU:

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DO YOU REALLY NEED A LAWYER TO HANDLE YOUR ACCIDENT CASE?

Despite the fact that I earn my living as a NY and Pennsylvania accident lawyer, you may be shocked to learn that I often recommend to people who meet with me that it is NOT necessary for every person to be represented by an attorney in every auto accident case.

That’s right…not everyone needs a lawyer in every accident case.

However, BEFORE you can make that decision, it is CRITICAL that you be properly informed so you can make the right decision and so you can properly protect your rights. Quite frankly, that’s why I am writing this post and that’s why I wrote a book (Learn the Five Deadly Mistakes that Can Kill Your Accident Case!) to help folks make this decision BEFORE talking to the other insurance company.

Please keep reading to get some basic advice and to learn how you can get a free copy of my book (if you live in NY or PA). Continue reading