Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Boise has had a large number of pedestrian accidents reported lately. Be careful out there. As a driver of a car or a pedestrian, refresh yourself on the rules of the road in Idaho. Generally speaking, Idaho first requires that drivers exercise due care to avoid colliding with a pedestrian:
… every driver of a vehicle shall exercise due care to avoid colliding with any pedestrian or any person propelling a human-powered vehicle and shall give an audible signal when necessary. Every driver shall exercise proper precaution upon observing any child or any obviously confused, incapacitated or intoxicated person.
(Idaho Code § 49-615). Of course, pedestrian have to exercise reason care, too, and they have to follow the traffic signals and markings to keep a driver from claiming that the pedestrian is at fault. Stay in a cross walk to have the right-of-way. (Idaho Code § 49-702). And, mind the pedestrian lights. Technically a pedestrian can only enter a crosswalk managed by a light when facing a “Flashing or Steady "Walk" (Idaho Code § 49-803(1)). A pedestrian is not supposed to enter a crosswalk when seeing a “Flashing or Steady ‘Don't Walk’ or ‘Wait.’" (Idaho Code § 49-803(2)).
The situation where a pedestrian misses the “walk” light but sees the flashing, but not solid, “Don’t Walk” light and enters the crosswalk is all too common. Pedestrians who do this do not have the right-of-way and, if hit by a car, can be found negligent.
Any pedestrian who is hit by a car should contact a lawyer immediately. Pedestrian-automobile accidents require a firm understanding of Idaho’s rules of the road. But, best approach for pedestrians is to follow the rules so they are sure to have the right-of-way. Having the right-of-way is the best defense to a driver trying to blame a pedestrian for the injuries the driver caused.
Posted by eswartz at 4/14/2016 12:17:00 AM
Sunday, April 12, 2015
Injuries from car accidents may not be limited to the car accident itself. Certain vehicle designs or malfunctions may make injuries worse. Injuries caused by a seat belt failure, air bag failure, seat-back collapse, roof collapse, or other defects or failures may be the cause of catastrophic injuries that otherwise would not have been suffered in a car accident had the failures of defects not occurred.
If you are in a car accident, do not overlook the possibility that the person who causes the accident is not the only one who is at fault. Careful consideration should be given to whether a car manufacturer is to blame for some or all of the injuries.
Jones & Swartz PLLC not only handles car accident injuries, but also handles injuries sustained from car defects. Contact an attorney who understands the signs of car defects.
If you are in a car accident contact Jones & Swartz PLLC without delay. In addition to assisting you with your car accident claims against a liable third party, we can assist you with evaluating whether you have a claim against a car manufacturer, and if so, assist you with preserving your car – the evidence of you need to further explore and possibly pursue a car defect claim.
Posted by eswartz at 4/13/2015 1:07:00 AM
Monday, March 9, 2015
Idaho is among a handful of states known as community property states. Because of its designation as a community property state, many believe that, in the unfortunate event that they go through a divorce, all of the property they own is divided equally between them and their soon-to-be ex-spouse. While that is the case with some couples' property, it does not unequivocally apply to each and every piece of property in the marriage.
Idaho law recognizes a distinction between marital property and separate property. In a divorce action, marital property is split between the spouses while separate property goes independently to the owning spouse. Generally, any property either spouse owned before the marriage is considered separate property. Separate property also usually consists of items a spouse receives as a gift or individually inherits, even if it is during the marriage. Additionally, if a spouse acquires new property during the marriage through the proceeds of her separate property, that property likely remains her sole possession. The property that does not fall into those three separate property categories is generally considered marital property; however, property can change designations during the marriage.
Despite the law identifying which property is marital property and which property is separate property, many divorcing couples continue to disagree as to what category some property falls into. It is important to have an attorney that can help a divorcing spouse navigate the sometimes-complicated community property laws. A diligent lawyer can help a spouse ensure that the division of property is fair, reasonable, and in accordance with the law. At Jones and Swartz, PLLC, we passionately advocate for our clients’ interests and our attorneys are there to answer questions about Idaho law every step of the way.
Posted by eswartz at 3/10/2015 4:55:00 AM
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Sometimes, a problem involves the law, but that does not necessarily mean litigation. Sometimes problems just need creative legal solutions. That takes creative lawyers and parties to the problem who value a mutually agreeable resolution over being found to be “right” in a court of law. While Jones & Swartz lawyers base in Boise litigate cases when necessary, they also take pride in their ability to assist clients with finding a creative legal solution.
Imagine there was one orange, but two people who wanted it. Both parties are willing to go to court to get it. There are lawyers who will take the matter right to court. Jones & Swartz lawyers will, at least, inquire if taking it to court is the only and best option. After all, by the time the dispute makes its way through court, the orange is likely to be rotten and useless to both parties fighting over it, and they will both have paid a lot in attorney fees and costs for nothing.
The party who hired Jones & Swartz is already benefiting from creative legal solutions by hiring Jones & Swartz, but for the other party to benefit as well, their lawyer needs to be more concerned about their client’s wishes than running up lawyer fees. So, let’s say the other party hires a lawyer who is willing to at least talk through things to learn if litigation is the only option. The parties and lawyers learn that both parties want the orange and all of it. As such, splitting the orange in half will not work. The lawyers and parties cannot stop there. They need to learn why each party wants the orange and whether each party’s desire excludes the other party’s desire. This takes cooperation, persistence, good lawyers to help clients focus on goals, and, best of all, not as much in attorney fees as would be spent in litigation.
Turns out, one party needs the whole orange to make orange oil. The other party wants to make juice. Turns out that neither desire excludes the other and both parties can get what they want. Orange oil is made from the peel of the orange, both the fruit. Orange juice is made from the fruit, not the peel. Now, the lawyers get to work drafting a settlement agreement to memorialize the creative legal solution of transferring ownership of one part of the orange to one party and another part of the orange to another party.
Not every dispute is as simple of this example, but it is worth at least making the inquiry into whether it could be. Look for creative legal solutions before looking to litigation. Look to Jones & Swartz’s lawyers for both.
Posted by eswartz at 3/1/2015 7:19:00 PM
Sunday, February 22, 2015
People often say that they want the best injury lawyer for their claim. I can’t say that I blame them. I, too, would want the best lawyer handling my claim. So, who is the best injury lawyer?
Believe it or not, the best injury lawyer is not necessarily the lawyer plastered all over the phone book. The best injury lawyer is not necessarily the lawyer paying the most in google ad words. The best injury lawyer is not necessarily the lawyer with television ads. The best injury lawyer is not necessarily the lawyer who helped a family member or friend with their claim.
The best injury lawyer is a lawyer who is responsive to your needs, a lawyer who you feel comfortable with and trust, and a lawyer who is competent to handle your claim. So, how to do know who that is? Meet them. Meet with many lawyers. Get a feel for how they interact with you. See their office space to get a sense of who they are.
You are likely to be working with the lawyer you select for a minimum of many months, if not many years. Select a lawyer you feel is going to be as easy to work with on the day they seek your business all the way through your claim. And, if you choose the wrong lawyer, do not be afraid of switching. You need to look out after your own best interests. So, first thing’s first – find a lawyer who agrees that you come first.
At Jones & Swartz PLLC, we strive to put our clients’ first. We assign two attorneys to each claim along with a paralegal. With three points of contact for our clients, it is our hope that we can be available and responsive to our clients’ needs. Calls are returned and emails are responded to and face-to-face meetings are always welcome.
Injury claims can be difficult situations for clients. At Jones & Swartz PLLC, we strive to make the injury claim process as easy as possible for the client. It is out hope that our way of handling injury claims allows our clients to focus on getting better and getting back to being the person they were before they were injured.
Posted by eswartz at 2/22/2015 6:24:00 PM